A 1959 BMW 507 Series II roadster, the cover car for Bonhams’ 10th annual Scottsdale Auction catalog, achieved the highest sale during the Live and Online event held January 21.
The 507, BMW’s flagship sports car and one of the most-glamorous roadsters of the era, reached a total of $1.809 million, including auction fee, after what Bonhams described as a “tense bidding battle.”
The auction overall had a 78 percent sell-through, with 29 cars sold of just 37 offered, and the sales total reaching $5.89 million. The 507 was the only lot selling for more than $1 million.
Bonhams was one of just two collector car auctions holding its sale on-site during Arizona Auction Week, when last January before pandemic restrictions, there were a record-setting eight full-scale auctions taking place. RM Sotheby’s also held a scaled-back 2021 auction in Scottsdale, although in a different location than usual. The other auctions canceled, postponed or went entirely online.
The Scottsdale sale was Bonhams Motor Car’s first collector car auction of the year.
“We’re very happy to have got our year off to such a good start in Arizona,” Jakob Greisen, vice president of the British auction company’s US Motoring division. “We had a lot of interest before and during the sale, reflected in a very satisfactory sell-through rate.”
The V8-powered BMW 507 is an evocatively styled convertible designed by Count Graf von Goertz, and the German brand’s most-expensive car at the time. Just 253 were sold, with notable owners including Elvis Presley and the Aga Khan.
The next-highest seller was another German car from the 1950s, a 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC roadster, one of just 53 roadster variants produced, which reached a total of $698,000. Third highest was a modern exotic, a 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Volante – the first of the 99 Zagato Volantes – that sold for $538,500.
Meanwhile, the Bonhams New York’s Fine Motoring Mascot Online Auction also finished January 21, with every one of more than 100 no-reserve lots sold and a total exceeding the pre-sale estimate by 25 per cent. The top seller was “A Girl in a Cape,” a 1920s nickel-plated bronze mascot, which went for $5,100, about 10 times the pre-sale estimate.
Next up for Bonhams US Motoring is the annual Amelia Island, Florida, auction, which has been moved back from March to May 20 to take place during the week preceding the re-scheduled Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Internationally, the next collector car sale for Bonhams, Legends of the Road, will be held February 19 in London.
For more information, visit the Bonhams Motoring website.