A 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500/540 K Spezial Roadster and a 1913 Mercer Type 35K Runabout were the top results in the Bonhams Amelia Island 2021 classic car sale.
A beautiful 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500/540K Spezial Roadster was the top lot in the Bonhams Amelia Island 2021 classic car auction when it sold for a strong $4.9 million. The second-most-expensive car in the sale was somewhat unexpectedly a 1913 Mercer Type 35K Runabout that achieved $2,425,000 — more than a million-dollar over top estimate. Bonhams followed a high-risk strategy at Amelia Island 2021 — its first live auction in the USA in 2021 — with all its top-end lots automobiles from the prewar era. The sale included several collections as well as a number of horse-drawn carriages.
Bonhams Amelia Island 2021 Classic Car Sale
Bonhams scheduled its seventh Amelia Island sale for May 20, 2021, at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club in Florida, USA. The format will be a live auction with onsite bidding, as well as internet, telephone, and absentee bidding.
The 2021 auction has a relatively high 90% sell-through rate that is very encouraging for the classic car market especially given the high number of prewar and even brass era automobiles on offer.
Bonhams had the two top results at the Amelia Island 2020 auctions but the lowest sell-through rate of 76% and total earnings of $21.2 million with an average price of $240,536 (according to Hagerty).
In 2018, Bonhams earned $13.4 million and in 2017 the gains were around $10.2 million. Bonhams’ best Amelia Island auction was in 2016 when it earned $27.5 million in a sale that included a $9,735,000 result for a 1937 Bugatti Type 57 SC Sports Tourer – one of the highest Bugatti results ever.
Top Results at Bonhams Amelia Island Sale 2021
The top results at the Bonhams Amelia Island 2021 classic car auction were:
|1934||Mercedes-Benz 500/540 K Spezial Roadster||4,900,000||4,500,000 – 5,000,000|
|1913||Mercer Type 35 K Runabout||2,425,000||1,000,000 – 1,500,000|
|1933||Duesenberg Model J Sweep Panel Dual-Cowl Phaeton||1,655,000||1,000,000 – 1,250,000|
|1934||Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet by Franay||1,325,000||800,000 – 1,000,000|
|1912||Stutz Bearcat||643,000||650,000 – 850,000|
|1908||Simplex 50HP Speedcar||610,000||600,000 – 800,000|
|1935||Auburn 851 Supercharged Boattail Speedster||456,000||600,000 – 800,000|
Million-Dollar Cars at the Bonhams Amelia Island 2021 Sale
Four of the six cars with presale estimates exceeding a million dollars were sold in the Bonhams Amelia Island classic car auction:
1934 Mercedes-Benz 500/540K Spezial Roadster
The beautiful 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500/540K Spezial Roadster, from the collection of real estate developer, the late Howard Fafard, was the top lot in the sale and achieved a near top estimate $4.9 million.
The top-of-the-line Mercedes of its day, this Spezial had a unique specification with its plethora of chrome accents and factory-upgraded 540K engine. Discovered as a dismantled barn-find in 1970s Poland, the Spezial was restored to its former glory by a previous owner who kept it for 40 years.
The Spezial was acquired by Mr. Fafard in Bonhams 2014 Mercedes Benz Sale in Stuttgart, where it was sold to benefit two Swedish charities for cancer and Alzheimer’s research. The price then was €3,105,000 million ($4.221,247 at the time of sale).
Other Top Results at Bonhams Amelia Island 2021 Sale
The second highest result in the auction was for the sole surviving 1913 Mercer Type 35K Runabout with its original bodywork, which sold for $2,425,000, doubling its pre-sale estimate.
It was from the Clem and Mary Lange Collection of 13 seminal Brass era automobiles, which made a total of more than $8 million with a 100% sell-through rate. Its capstone was the Mercer, a supercar of its era and the luxury version of the legendary Indy 500 competing Type 35 Raceabout, which was the subject of a tense bidding war in the Bonhams saleroom.
Two of its stablemates to also achieve seven figures were a 1933 Duesenberg Model J ‘Sweep Panel’ Dual Cowl Phaeton which sold for $1,655,000 and a 1934 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet, which achieved $1,325,000 -– both exceeding their top estimates.
For more on these cars see also: Bonhams Amelia Island 2021 Classic Car Auction Preview.
More contemporary highlights included:
- A 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster, sold for $412,000, exceeding its top pre-sale estimate of $350,000.
- A 2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition, one of only 343 limited examples of the supercar finished with the ‘Gulf Oil’ Heritage livery of blue and orange, which made $387,250.
The Fafard Collection presented some of the finest pre-war and Brass Era automobiles and also included an exclusive selection of 19th-century horse-drawn carriages. Produced by the most notable builders of their day, including Brewster & Co of New York and the Hume Carriage Company of Amesbury, Massachusetts, the carriages achieved a 100 percent sell-through rate, led by a majestic Mountain Touring Coach by Boccardi E Alessio of Turin which sold above estimate for $162,575. The collection contributed to the 100% sell-through rate of the auction’s automobilia section which realized a total of $637,000.
Amelia Island Classic Car Auctions 2021
Amelia Island 2021 Auction Results
Amelia Island 2021 Auction Previews