Each year there seem to be more events surrounding the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, and in particular collector car auction events. Of the many that have tried to “move in” at Amelia, a few have seen success. The Bonhams Amelia auction is one of these events.
As I have said before many times, I really enjoy Bonhams because it presents lots from entry-level no-reserve cars to the top tier of the collector car hobby. When you combine that with strong customer service, you end up with a real winner.
I tried to make my picks from Amelia show the breadth and depth of the offerings at the auction. Being Amelia, most are sports and racing focused, but I hope that I have included something for everyone. I know that I would love to have any of the cars on this list.
1971 DeTomaso Pantera: In many ways, the Pantera is a thinking-man’s exotic car, with stunning Italian styling mixed with American power in the form of a Ford 351 Cleveland. Think of a car with the running costs of a Mustang and with styling as good as any Italian exotic of the era. This specific car is the most original example I have seen in years, with largely original paint, original interior and has never been modified.
2009 Bentley Brooklands: This is my single favorite modern car. I have had the opportunity to drive one of these magnificent cars when they were new and never have I driven a better built and more amazing modern car. Production of the Brooklands was limited to a total of 550 cars and each one was bespoke. In other words, no two are alike in color and options. When new in 2009, the Brooklands sold for more than $400,000 and sold out rapidly. The 0-60 time of the Brooklands is 5 seconds and the top speed is 184 mph. That might sound pretty good by modern standards, but the Brooklands is larger than my college apartment was and weighs in at 5,853 pounds. The best part is that the high estimate on this 12,00 original mile car is only $150,000, making it the bargain of the century.
1964 Austin Healey 100 BN1: This is one of the many “big Healeys” at Bonhams and my single favorite. Restored to 100M Le Mans specifications, this Healey 100 also features a front disk brake conversion and would make an exceptional rally entry at is eligible for rally you would care to enter in the United States.
1988 Porsche Turbo Cup car: If you have always wanted a classic factory prepared Porsche race car, this is a great entry point. This 944 Cup car is one of only 39 hand built Weissach race cars for North America and has great history with multiple podium finishes in period. It has been sympathetically restored and again wears the original livery it raced in when new. The best part of this is the estimate which is only $60,000-80,000 making for what has to be the best deal ever on a works prepared Porsche race car with winning history.
1952 Jaguar C-type: Other than the D-type, the C is my very favorite Jaguar model. The C-type is the car that started the Jaguar Le Mans winning legacy and is truly a mythic car. Combine that with how beautiful these cars are and you have a car I would love to own. This specific car has incredible history as well and to me is one of those cars you buy and hold for quite some time.
1961 Triumph TR3A: I owned a TR3A years ago but it was nowhere near as nice as this one. I would rate it as a very nice driver. Finished in the amazing combination of Silverstone Grey with a red leather interior, this car displays wonderful patina. Combine that with a very recent mechanical work including brakes, a stainless exhaust system and other items make to me a car that might be the best buy at Bonhams in Amelia this year.