HomeThe MarketBonhams declares new format a success after Barber museum sale

Bonhams declares new format a success after Barber museum sale

Staff was at the museum, but some lots were on opposite coasts and the auctioneer was in London


Bonhams has declared its new “live & online” auction format a success after posting a better-than 70 percent sell-through rate at its recent and third annual sale of collector motorcycles and cars at the Barber Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, Alabama.

On the same day as that sale, Bonhams also staged its annual Collectors’ Motor Cars and Automobilia Auction at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia.

“Adapting to the COVID situation, and despite the rain pouring all day in Birmingham, we were delighted to see a healthy crowd of buyers in attendance at the museum and bidding online,” said Mathieu Guyot-Sionnest, Bonhams head of US motorcycle sales. 

The live and online format was a success seeing that three of the five top lots were not located at the Barber Museum. Interestingly, these lots were not even at the same location, as one was in Los Angeles and another in Philadelphia.”

In fact, the auctioneer wasn’t in any of those locations; Malcolm Barber conducted the sale from Bonhams facilities in London. 

“With auctioneer Malcolm Barber conducting the sale live from London, (with) motoring departments heads on site in Alabama, and lots positioned around the United States, it was truly a unique and exciting worldwide effort,” Bonhams noted.

While not revealing a sales total for the auction, Bonhams did list full results on its website.  The high-dollar price at the auction was the $229,600 to buy a 2016 McLaren 675LT Spider, one of several collector cars on the docket.

Among motorcycles, a 1934 Benelli Monalbero Sport brought $69,000 and a 1937 Harley-Davidson EL Knucklehead sold for $63,250 (prices include buyer’s fee).

While two of the top-10 sales were automobiles, four of the top-8 motorcycles sold were vintage BMW models, two of them with Steib sidecars.

Top-10 sales, Bonhams at Barber Museum 2020

  1. 2016 McLaren 675LT Spider, $229,600
  2. 1934 Benelli Monalbero Sport, $69,000
  3. 1937 Harley-Davidson EL Knucklehead, $63,250
  4. 1928 BMW R57, $51,750
  5. 1937 BMW R12 w/ Steib sidecar $20,125
  6. 1941 Indian 45CI Sport Scout, $17,250
  7. 1966 BMW R69S, $17,250
  8. 1959 Edsel Corsair convertible, $16,800
  9. 1934/46 Norton Model 18 International, $16,100
  10. 1957 BMW R26 w/ Steib sidecar, $13,225

(Prices include buyer’s fee.)

Bonhams next motorcar sale is scheduled for October at the Goodwood SpeedWeek.

For more information, visit the Bonhams website.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
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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