Royal ownership enhances value at Bonhams’ Zoute auction

Cars owned by kings of Greece, Belgium (and Hollywood) sell well at the sale

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1957 BMW 507
This 1959 BMW 507 originally was owned by Greek royalty | Bonhams photos

Cars once owned by European kings were among the top sellers at Bonhams’ Zoute Sale staged Sunday in Belgium. The top sale of the auction was a 1959 BMW 507 originally owned by King Constantine II of Greece, which went for $2,441,565.

Another royal ride, a 1955 Aston Martin DB2/4 originally owned by King Baudouin of Belgium, brought $311,977. 

Fit for kings: BMW 507…
1955 Aston Martin DB2/4

Yet another car with so-called royal heritage was a 1956 Bentley S1 Continental coupe, one of 33 left-hand-drive Park Ward models and originally owned by Lew Wasserman, the talent agent and studio executive known as the “King of Hollywood.”  The car sold for $434,056.

The Zoute docket for the auction included only 36 lots, five of them motorcycles. With 25 of the vehicles selling, the auction produced more than €8.4 million ($9.92 million) in sales, Bonhams reports.

The auction is held annually in conjunction with the Zoute Grand Prix, a vintage sports car rally.

“The overall results – and indeed the number of registered bidders — show that the appetite for exceptional motor cars with interesting provenance and potential is still very strong,” Bonhams quoted Philip Kantor, head of its European motor cars division.

“We look forward to Knokke-Heist (Belgium) next year and hope to see a number of the motor cars sold this weekend taking part in the 2021 Zoute Grand Prix Rally.” 

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Both of the former monarchs’ motorcars had been restored. The 507 was one of only 252 such vehicles produced. The DB2/4 was put back to the specification when the king owned it, including its “Royal Crimson” color.

This 1957 AC Bristol raced at Le Mans in 1960

Among other top sales at the auction was a 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso Berlinetta that brought $2.1 million and a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster in triple black that sold for slightly more than $1  million. 

Bonhams noted that all of the top-10 sales were hammered sold for their pre-auction estimated values. Among them was a 1957 AC Bristol roadster ($535,787) that competed in the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans race. 

This 1976 911 Carrera Targa was one of 20 used by the Belgian police

Yet another car of special interest at the Zoute auction was a 1976 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 Targa ($223,810) that originally served as a Belgian police pursuit vehicle. 

Bonhams next European sale is scheduled for October 17 at the Goodwood SpeedWeek event.

For more information, visit the Bonhams website.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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