As Bonhams clocked up simultaneous sales at Goodwood and Reims, the top sellers on the English side of the channel were a beautiful 1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport Cabriolet by Pinin Farina (above), at £188,500; a 1938 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupé, at £186,300; and the 26th 1959 Aston Martin DB4 produced, in 1959, that made £145,600.
Appearing here for the second time after a no-sale on 2008, the sole surviving 1962 ex-works Healey ‘67 ARX’ went to a jubilant BMC rally car collector for an over-estimate £113,700. In near-perfect condition, it had been re-chassised after a historic rally shunt in 2000, but the new owner pledges to use the car for what it was intended. A 1956 Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupé from the same collection sold for
£131,300, 30% over top estimate and a 1988 Jaguar XJ-S V12 Convertible first driven by the Duchess of York but since re-engineered and restored by KWE, fetched a strong £23,000.
None of the big lots sold, however: the 1953 Jaguar C-type ‘016’ that had been resurrected from a car bent in the ‘50s, a 1926-dated Bugatti Type 35B with replica chassis and a Lola T70 MkII Spyder built up in period from a spare 1966 chassis. Negotiations on the C-type, which had stalled in the room about ￡60,000 short of what might have bought it, were ongoing into the week after the sale but as we filed copy it remained unsold.
Post-sale, Bonhams managed to shift four more cars that didn’t quite make the hammer, including the 1962 AC Aceca Coupé once owned by James Bond creator Ian Fleming, for a believed record ￡80,000 for the model, an XK150 and two E-types, roadster and coupe.
The full-size replica Spitfire that appeared in the catalogue was sold ahead of the auction for above its ￡60,000 top estimate – but thanks to a generous buyer it will remain available to The Royal British Legion which was reluctantly letting it go: ‘He made them an offer they couldn’t refuse,’ joked James Knight, Group Head and Managing Director of Bonhams’ Motoring Department, who presided over this mixed sale which resulted in new owners for 50 of the 78 car lots offered, for a 64% sell-through rate.