Bentley, barn-found Mercedes top Bonhams sale at Simeone museum

But a pari of Detroit muscle cars also cracks the top-10 results

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1935 Mercedes-Benz
This 1935 Mercedes-Benz 290 Cabriolet A presented in barn-found condition was among the top sellers at Philadelphia | Bonhams photos

Bonhams reports an 82 percent sell-through rate and $3.32 million on sales for its annual Collectors’ Motor Cars and Automobilia Auction held October 11 at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia.

Topping the sale was a 1931 Bentley 8-liter Tourer that brought $885,000, the final sale right at the top of the car’s pre-auction estimated value, Bonhams noted.

But perhaps just as impressive was the second star of the results, a Sindelfingen-bodied 1935 Mercedes-Benz 290 Cabriolet A presented in barn-find condition. The car was consigned to the auction by the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, Bonhams noted, and sold for $362,500 after frenzied bidding.

This 1931 Bentley 8-Liter Tourer was the top seller
Electric-powered 1913 Rauch & Lang didn’t need gas pump

While pre-war cars topped the sale and dominated the top-10 results, a 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 cracked the auction’s top-5, selling for $346,000 (prices reported include buyer’s fees). Also in the top-10 was another Detroit muscle machine, a 1971 Oldsmobile 442 W30 coupe. 

Another Detroit product, albeit from a different era, also was among the top-10 sales with a 1913 Rauch & Lang Model J electric coach topping its pre-sale estimate and selling for $80,640.

“As usual, we achieved fantastic results for our highlight pre-war lots,” noted Greg Porter, Bonhams motor car head of sale for the US, adding, “and also great results for some of the outstanding American muscle cars.”

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Top-10 sales, Bonhams at the Simeone museum 2020

  1. 1931 Bentley 8-liter Tourer, $885,000
  2. 1935 Mercedes-Benz 290 Cabriolet A, $362,500
  3. 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429, $346,000
  4. 1934 Lagonda M45 T8 Tourer, $179,200
  5. 1933 Packard 1004 Super Eight Convertible Victoria, $112,000
  6. 2009 Aston Martin DBS coupe, $108,640
  7. 1931 Packard 840 Deluxe Eight roadster, $105,280
  8. 1913 Rauch & Lang Model J electric coach, $80,640
  9. 1912 Peugeot Bebe 6hp Type BP1 2-seat tourer, $78,400
  10. 1971 Oldsmobile 442 W30 coupe, $78,400

(Prices include buyer’s fee.)

Bonhams next US sale is scheduled for January 21 as part of Arizona Auction Week.

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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