A 1937 Bugatti Type 57 SC Sports Tourer sold for $9,735,000 as the top result at the 2016 Bonhams Amelia Island classic car auction. This also set a new Amelia Island classic car week auction record that is unlikely to stand for more than a day. A 1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Cabriolet A sold for just below $3 million while a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 sold for $2,750,000 – the only million-dollar Ferrari Bonhams offered this year at Amelia Island.
(Gooding duly raised the record to $17,160,00 for a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider.)
Bonhams Amelia Island Classic Car Auction
Bonhams’ second Amelia Island classic car sale was held on March 10, 2016 at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club in Florida, USA. In addition to memorabilia – including a fine range of children’s pedal cars – 95 motorcars were on offer.
Bonhams earned nearly $27.5 million at Amelia Island 2016 compared to $14 million (on 80 cars) at its first Amelia Island auction in 2015. The sell-through rate slipped to 65% compared to a strong 79% a year ago. Modern classics priced above a quarter of a million struggled the most with a sell-through rate of only 60%.
Top Results at Bonhams Amelia Island 2016
The top results, including four in excess of a million dollar each, at the 2016 Bonhams Amelia Island classic car auction in Florida, USA:
|1937||Bugatti Type 57 SC Sports Tourer||9,735,000|
|1937||Mercedes Benz 540 K Cabriolet A||2,970,000|
|1967||Ferrari 275 GTB/4||2,750,000|
|1933||Maserati 8C 3000 Biposto||1,001,000|
|1955||Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing Coupe||902,000|
|1960||Maserati 3500 GT Spyder||880,000|
|1935||Riley MPH Two Seater Sports||880,000|
|1910||Thomas Flyer Model K 6-70 “Flyabout”||825,000|
Prices include premium.
Million-Dollar Plus Cars at Bonhams Amelia Island 2016
1937 Bugatti Type 57 SC Sports Tourer
Bonhams’ top result at the 2016 Amelia Island classic car auction was $9,735,000 for a 1937 Bugatti Type 57 SC Sports Tourer. The price was a bit below the $11 to $13 million range that was mentioned in earlier press releases but no official pre-auction estimate was released.
This 1937 Bugatti Type 57 SC Sports Tourer took the Amelia Island classic car week record from the elegant 1937 Delahaye 135 Competition Court Torpedo Roadster by Figoni et Falaschi sold for $6,600,000 at the RM Auctions Amelia Island 2014 auction. However, the new record is unlikely to stand with Gooding having a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider on offer a day later (Note: it sold for $17,160,000).
This was also the second highest nominal price ever paid for a Bugatti at public auction. The record is still held by the 1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe that Christie’s sold for $9.8 million in New York in 1987 – at adjusted prices just over $20 million in current terms. That car held the record of the world’s most expensive car until 2008.
This Bugatti Type 57 SC Sports Tourer, chassis 57541, is one of only two Type 57s with coachwork by Vanden Plas and the only one with a four-seater convertible body. Only 43 of the lower body Type 57 S cars were ever made and these were amongst the fastest cars on the road in the 1930s and 1940s.
It was the first Type 57 S with a convertible body offered for sale in a public auction in 17 years. RM Sotheby’s offered a standard 1936 Bugatti Tpye 57 two days later – it failed to sell with a highest bid of $650,000.
1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Cabriolet A
Bonhams achieved a strong $2,970,000 for a 1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Cabriolet A, which bodes well for the forthcoming 2016 Mercedes Benz Museum sale in Stuttgart where five 500 / 540 K cabriolet will be on offer.
This 1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Cabriolet A is one of only 32 produced in the Cabriolet A two-seater configuration. The car was restored in the 1980s when it received its black paint work – the car was originally white.
1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4
A 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 sold for $2,750,000 – just above lower estimate – as the only million-dollar-plus Ferrari offered at its 2016 Amelia Island sale. This Ferrari 275 GTB/4 was sold by the estate of Wade Carter, who had acquired the car in 1971. The ownership of 45 years is considered the third longest for any 275 GTB/4.
1933 Maserati 8C 3000 Biposto
A 1933 Maserati 8C 3000 Biposto sold for $1,001,000. Enthusiasm was limited by only the engine of this car being authentic – the chassis and body were later recreations.
Other Top Results at Bonhams Amelia Island 2016
A few cars with pre-auction upper estimates above a million dollar fell just short of seven figures at the 2016 Bonhams Amelia Island classic car sale:
- A 1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing Coupe sold for $902,000 – the third 300 SL and first Gullwing sold for less than a million dollar this year.
- A 1960 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder sold at mid-estimate for $880,000
- A 1910 Thomas Flyer Model K 6-70 “Flyabout” sold for $825,000 – the highest price paid for an American car at the auction that included a wide variety of pre-First and pre-Second World War era cars.
A new marque record for a Riley was set when $880,000 was paid for a 1935 Riley MPH Two Seater Sports (estimate: $600,000 – $750,000). This Swiss MPH was the last of 16 built and was owned for nearly 50 years by Bob Lutz.
Two noticeable unsuccessful bids were:
- A 1956 Mercedes Benz 300 Sc Roadster had a highest bid of $800,000 declined. The SL’s less sexy but more comfortable sibling was more expensive new but harder to sell in the current market.
- The 2005 Porsche Carrera GT was the sixth one offered at public auction this year and with a highest bid of $700,000 the fourth that failed to sell. (The one at Gooding Amelia Island 2016 was withdrawn prior to the auction.) Mecum sold one for just over a million dollar in Monterey 2015 but the highest result this year was $980,000 at Gooding Scottsdale 2016.
Bonhams will have a fantastic collection of five 1930s Mercedes Benz 500 and 540 K cabriolets on offer at the annual Mercedes Benz Museum sale in Stuttgart on March 19, 2016.