2020 Bonhams Quail Sale (Auction Results)

The top results at the Bonhams Quail Lodge 2020 sale were $2,232,500 for a 1959 Porsche 718 RSK Spyder and $1,750,000 for a 2014 Bugatti Veyron.

1959 Porsche 718 RSK Spyder at Bonhams Quail Lodge 2020
1959 Porsche 718 RSK Spyder – © Bonhams

Bonhams had mixed results at the top end of the classic car market at the Quail Sale 2020 when only two cars sold for over a million dollars and several top classic prewar Mercedes-Benz cars failed to attract much bidding. The top result at the Bonhams Quail Auction 2020 was $2,232,500 paid a 1959 Porsche 718 RSK Spyder. The only other million-dollar result was $1,750,000 for a 2014 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse “Meo Costantini”. The highest unsuccessful bid was $4.6 million for a 1934 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Cabriolet Décapotable — possibly the highest bid ever in an online-only car auction.

Bonhams Quail Lodge 2020 Sale

With much of the Monterey Motor Week 2020 canceled, Bonhams held a live online auction as its 23rd Quail Lodge sale on 14 August 2020. Although live, the auction was behind closed doors with only telephone, online, and advance commission bidding allowed.

Bonhams earned just below $13 million with sell-through rate of 63%.

In 2019, Bonhams earned $32 million with a sell-through rate of 76% of the 217 cars on offer. In 2018, Bonhams earned $37.7 million with a sell-through rate of 82% with 110 of 135 lots sold.

At the 2017 Quail Lodge auction, Bonhams earned $56,430,000 with a sell-through rate of 80% of the 105 cars on offer. The top result was a marque-record $15,620,000 for a 1995 McLaren F1 sports car.

Top Results at Bonhams Quail Auction 2020

The top results at the Bonhams Quail Auction 2020 were:

YearCarPrice ($)Estimate ($)
1959Porsche 718 RSK2,232,5002,800,000 – 3,200,000
2014Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse “Meo Costantini”1,750,0001,800,000 – 2,100,000
1956Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster951,000900,000 – 1,100,000
1931Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GTC by Touring582,500525,000 – 575,000

Million-Dollar Cars at Bonhams Quail Auction 2020

Only two cars sold for over a million dollar at the Bonhams Quail Sale 2020, although a further five attracted unsuccessful bids of over a million dollar each:

1959 Porsche 718 RSK Spyder at Bonhams Quail Lodge 2020
© Bonhams

The most expensive car sold at the Bonhams Quail Lodge 2020 sale was a 1959 Porsche 718 RSK Spyder that achieved $2,2323,500. At least three 718 RSK Spyders had sold for between $2.9 and $3.7 million at auctions in recent years.

The Porsche on offer at Quail Lodge, chassis no. 718-031, was one of only 34 ever built. It was ordered new by noted New Jersey motorsport enthusiast, Bernie Vihl, and extensively campaigned by legendary driver Bob Holbert at numerous SCCA and international events, including the 1959 Bahamas Speed Week where it was a multiple first-place winner. The 718 RSK has been in the same ownership since 1974.

The 2014 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse is the only US-specification of the three “Meo Costantini” special editions car built. It has only 400 miles on the clock.

The near a million-dollar result for the 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 Sc Roadster was surprisingly strong, especially in light of the weak performance of the other top Mercedes-Benz cars in the auction. Although only 53 were made and originally cost significantly more than the Gullwing, this heavier and more comfortable roadsters often struggle a bit at auction. Two had sold for just over a million dollars each but that was back in 2015.

Top Cars Not Sold at the Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction 2020

The top cars failing to sell at the Bonhams Quail Lodge 2020 sale included:

YearCarHighest Bid $Estimate ($)
1934Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Cabriolet Decapotable by FigoniHB 4,600,0006,500,000 – 7,500,000
2018Bugatti ChironHB 2,120,0002,500,000 – 2,800,000
2017Lamborghini Centenario CoupeHB 1,300,0002,000,000 – 2,300,000
1936Mercedes-Benz 500 K Offener TourenwagenHB 1,200,0002,000,000 – 2,500,000
1935Aston Martin Ulster by BertelliHB 1,025,0001,200,000 – 1,400,000
1955Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing CoupeHB 975,0001,200,000 – 1,350,000
1966Aston Martin DB6 Vantage Shooting BreakHB 900,0001,000,000 – 1,200,000
1929Mercedes-Benz Model 630 K Town Car by CastagnaHB 550,0001,000,000 – 1,400,000
1926Mercedes-Benz 24/100/140 Sports Phaeton by Erdmann & RossiHB 430,0001,000,000 – 1,400,000

Note: Highest Bid not accepted in the auction as reported by Hagerty.

1934 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Cabriolet Décapotable
© Bonhams

The biggest disappointment was that the most-expensive car on offer at the Bonhams Quail 2020 auction, and all the Monterey Week 2020 auctions, failed to sell. The 1934 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Cabriolet Décapotable with coachwork by Joseph Figoni attracted a top unsuccessful bid of $4.6 million. If that was accepted, it would have been by far the most expensive car ever sold in an online-only car auction. (The current record is a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Long Nose sold for $3,080,000 at the Gooding Geared Online sale 2020.) A similar Alfa Romeo received an unsuccessful highest bid of $8.7 million at the Bonhams Scottsdale 2020 auction.

After the first two Bugatti Chirons sold at auction achieved around $4 million, no more had sold, which certainly must be a disappointment to anyone who was hoping to earn a quick profit on flipping a near-new limited edition car. Bidding for Chirons seems to be struggling to go much beyond $2 million at recent auctions.

The same is true for the 2017 Lamborghini Centenario Coupe — a highest bid of $2.35 million for a Centenario was rejected at Mecum Monterey 2018 and the offer here was a million dollar lower.

1935 Aston Martin Ulster
© Bonhams

In the current market, there seems to be little upside left for the two Aston Martins on offer in this sale. Neither car is likely to be the first choice when full price is asked.

Bidding for the prewar Mercedes-Benz classics on offer was very disappointing with the highest bids around only half of lower estimate. The highest bid for the 1936 Mercedes-Benz 500k Offener Tourenwagen was lower than the $1.430,000 that Bonhams previously sold this car for at Scottsdale 2014 before it was refurbished to a standard that won it second in class at Pebble Beach.

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwings and Roadsters are again available in high numbers in classic car auctions and a car needs to be exceptional to achieve more than was offered here.

Monterey Motoring Week 2020

Most of the traditional Monterey Motoring Week events scheduled for mid-August 2020 were canceled. Gooding canceled the Pebble Beach 2020 Auction and replaced it with Geared, its first online-only auction ever. Bonhams Quail Lodge 2020 will be a live auction but behind closed doors (telephone, online, and commission bidding) while RM Sotheby’s plans a Shift/Monterey online-only auction.

Monterey 2020 Results

Monterey 2020 Previews

Monterey 2020 Announcements

Major Online Classic Car Auctions in 2020

Some of the major classic car online-only sales by major auctioneers in 2020 include: