Classic car veteran James Knight is stepping down as group chairman of Bonhams’ Motoring Division, where he has been a member for more than 20 years, the London-based auction company has announced.
Knight plans to act as a consultant for the automotive-auction group, Bonhams noted, bringing expertise gained through a five-decade career.
“It has been an enormous privilege working at Bonhams,” Knight said. “Having been an integral part of the motoring management team for decades and heading the motoring group for more than 15 years, I felt it was time to hand over the steering wheel.”
In making the announcement, Bonhams listed some of Knight’s most memorable accomplishments, “including bringing to market renowned collections such as Rosso Bianco, Bernd Holthusen Lagondas, The Autocar Archives on behalf of the Haymarket Publishing Group, and the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust.
“Knight also sold exceptional individual motor cars such as the ex-Earl Howe Bugatti Type 57S Atalante, Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 short chassis Spider, numerous C-Type and D-Type Jaguars, and the Coventry marque’s unique 1960 Le Mans Cunningham team prototype ‘E2A’.”
One of Knight’s specialties was “finding new homes for cherished Aston Martins,” Bonhams added, such as the sale of the 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato that achieved a record £10.1 million ($13.91 million) at Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2018.
“Knight entered the motoring world in 1984 when he went to Christie’s where he worked with Robert Brooks, then head of the Motoring Department,” Bonhams said in recounting Knight’s career. “Brooks and Knight left Christie’s in 1989 and established BROOKS, the specialist Collectors Motor Car auction house.
“When Brooks acquired Bonhams in 2000, Knight followed to become one of the founding directors and over the next 20 years, he built up the Motoring Division to become one of the major forces in the car world.”
Bonhams chief executive Bruno Vinciguerra added, “Jamie is rightly celebrated for his astonishing track record. He is known throughout the auction world and has been a magnificent leader of the Bonhams Motoring division.
“I am delighted he will continue as a consultant where he can further contribute to the success of the department and the company as a whole.”