A 1936 Delahaye 135 S Compétition Court racing car and a 1991 Isdera Imperator 108i were the top results at the Bonhams 2021 Monaco classic car auction.
A rare 1936 Delahaye 135 S Compétition Court racing car that campaigned in 1930s endurance races including the 24 Hours of Le Mans was the top lot of Bonhams The Monaco Sale ‘Les Grandes Marques à Monaco’ in April 2021. It sold immediately after the auction for around a million dollars. The top result during the auction was a gull-winged 1991 Isdera Imperator 108i that achieved $832,500). The third most valuable motor car sold was a classic 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS Touring for $652,000 — the two million-dollar Porsches failed to sell.
Bonhams Les Grandes Marques à Monaco 2021 Sale
The Bonhams ‘Les Grandes Marques à Monaco’ sale was held on 23 April 2021 at the Fairmont Monte Carlo hotel during the Monaco Historic Grand Prix weekend (23 – 25 April 2021). It was a live auction.
Bonhams had previous successes at the biannual auctions during the Monaco Historic Grand Prix weekend. The 2020 sales were canceled but in 2018 Bonhams sold the 1993 McLaren MP4 that Ayrton Senna drove to his record sixth Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix victory sold for $5 million. Senna’s first Monaco racer – a 1984 Toleman-Hart – sold for a sensational $1.9 million in the same sale.
Top Results at the Bonhams Monaco 2021 Sale
1936 Delahaye 135 S Compétition Court
A rare 1936 Delahaye 135 S Compétition Court racing car, known as ‘Buzz II’ which campaigned in 1930s endurance races including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, was the top lot of Bonhams The Monaco Sale ‘Les Grandes Marques à Monaco’ 2021. It sold immediately after the auction for an undisclosed amount within the estimate, which was €800,000 – 1,100,000 ($950,000 — $1,300,000).
The 135 S made its track debut at the 1936 ‘Three Hours of Marseille’ endurance race 1936 as part of Écurie Bleu, the three-car semi-works team of Lucy Schell former racing driver and the first female motorsport team owner. The cars’ sky-blue paintwork, together with the muffled ‘buzzing’ sound of their engines earned them the nickname Blue Buzz’.
Blue Buzz II competed in pre-war Grand Prix races at Donington, Pau and Commiges and endurance races such as the Belfast Tourist-Trophy before its greatest challenge, the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1939.
The 135 S was offered with coachwork in the style of the Chappes Frères bodyshell, retaining its original period running gear, engine and, most importantly, the original chassis –a rarity for a racing car of this period.
1991 Isdera Imperator 108i
The top result achieved during the Monaco 2021 auction was for a rare gull-winged supercar – a 1991 Isdera Imperator 108i, that sold for €690,000 ($832,500). It was one of only 30 examples ever produced.
The wedge-shaped Imperator was the realization of the Mercedes-Benz design experiment of the late 1970s. Engineer Eberhard Schulz, who headed the original concept design team, formed Isdera to build his own supercars.
The 30 examples produced over nine years remained true to the original simple concept. Super-lightweight striking gullwing coachwork on a tubular steel chassis married with outrageous power from the highly regarded Mercedes-Benz 5-litre M119 V8 engine, resulted in unrivalled performance for its time, with a top speed of 275km/h.
The Isdera marque record was set at $1,340,000 for the unique 1993 Isdera Commendatore 112i at the RM Sotheby’s Paris 2021 sale.
Further Car Results at the Bonhams Monaco 2021 Classic Car Auction
A 1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé, the first example of the model designed by Jean Bugatti and the only one to feature a factory-fitted sunroof, sold for €385,250.
Also successfully crossing the block was a pair of British Aston Martins, with a 1968 DB6 Volante, an Aston Martin Owners Club trophy winner, making €460,000, while an earlier 1958 DB Mark III DHC, with coachwork by Tickford, cruised past its top estimate, selling for €368,000.
An important post-war competition racing car, a 1947 Cisitalia D46 Monoposto, which had been campaigned by the Horschell Racing Corporation and Écurie de Paris, realized €158,125. This rare motor car was one of 14 examples built, of which 12 are known to survive, and is believed to be the ex-Grand Prix de Bern car, driven by Harry Schell, the first American driver to start a Grand Prix race.
The third most valuable motor car sold was a classic 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS Touring, with original rare Bahia red livery finished with the iconic Carrera insignia. A very original example of the open-top targa version, in a highly-desirable colour scheme, of this celebrated mid-engined sportscar named after Enzo Ferrari’s eldest son and designed by Pininfarina. It achieved €540,500.
A 1968 Citroën DS21 Décapotable sold for €195,500. This rare cabriolet example of this famously futuristic Citroën featuring the semi-automatic transmission and built by lauded French coachbuilder Henri Chapron.
The Monaco Sale marked a return to the traditional Bonhams format with the auctioneer on the rostrum and a limited audience in the saleroom, in accordance with local COVID-related restrictions. The next live auction to be hosted by the Bonhams European motor car team will be The Bonmont Sale in Switzerland on 20 June 2021.