A 1912 Simplex Torpedo Tourer, sold for $4,845,000 to lead the results at Bonhams Scottsdale 2023 sale, as the most-expensive pre-First World War car ever sold at public auction.
Bonhams had a strong start to the classic car auction year when a 1912 Simplex 50hp 5 Passenger Torpedo Tourer, sold for a sensational $4,845,000, as the most-expensive pre-First World War car ever sold at public auction and the most expensive car at any of the Scottsdale 2023 auctions. The second highest result was for a 2006 Maserati MC12 Corse that sold for a model-record $3,811,000. Bonhams sold six cars for over a million dollar at the Scottsdale 2023 sale.
Bonhams Scottsdale 2023 Classic Car Auction
Bonhams Scottsdale classic car auction: 27 January 2023 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Bonhams’ US season-opener at Scottsdale realized a total of $30 million, with 84% sold and 97% by value. Ranging from pre-war to 21st racing cars, the 125-lot sale for the 11th edition of the Bonhams Arizona auction was the British auctioneer’s best results in Arizona since 2017.
Despite considerable successes in previous years, the Scottsdale auction has been of lesser importance to Bonhams in recent years with earnings as follows:
- 2023 — $30 million
- 2022 — $11 million
- 2021 — $5,9 million
- 2020 — $1.9 million
- 2019 — $16.1 million
- 2018 — $25.2 million
- 2017 — $36 million
Top Results at the Bonhams 2023 Scottsdale Sale
The top results at the Bonhams 2023 Scottsdale classic car auction, including six million-dollar cars, were as follows:
|1||1912||Simplex 50 HP 5 Passenger Torpedo Tourer||4,845,000||2,500,000 – 3,500,000|
|2||2006||Maserati MC12 Corse||3,811,000||Refer to department|
|3||1958||BMW 507 Series II Roadster||2,067,500||2,100,000 – 2,400,000|
|4||1965||Ferrari 275 GTS||1,586,250||1,650,000 – 1,950,000|
|5||1953||Siata 208S Spider||1,572,500||1,500,000 – 1,800,000|
|6||2005||Porsche Carrera GT||1,033,500||1,100,000 – 1,400,000|
|7||1957||Chrysler Ghia Super Dart 400||819,000||750,000 – 950,000|
|8||1954||Chrysler Ghia GS-1 Coupe||802,500||600,000 – 800,000|
1912 Simplex — Most Expensive Pre-First World War Car Ever
A 1912 Simplex 50hp 5 Passenger Torpedo Tourer first owned by legendary American sportswoman, Eleonora Sears, a gift from Harold Vanderbilt, sold for a sensational $4,845,000 as the top result at the Bonhams Scottsdale 2023 classic car auction. The result was nearly double the presale estimate.
The 1912 Simplex 50hp 5 Passenger Torpedo Tourer thus became the most expensive pre-First World War car ever sold at public auction. It also took the Simplex marque record, the most valuable car at any Scottsdale 2023 auction, and the most-expensive car sold thus far in 2023.
The record Simplex was first owned by US tennis superstar Eleanora Sears, who received it as a gift from her fiance Harold Vanderbilt (but they never married). She is considered one of the first female motorists in the US, one of the first women to drive a racing car, and the first woman to contest a speeding ticket.
Other Million-Dollar Results at Bonhams Scottsdale 2023 Sale
In addition to the record Simplex, five further cars sold for over a million dollars in the Bonhams Scottsdale 2023 classic car auction:
A 2006 Maserati MC12 Corse sold for $3,811,000 — a new model record. The MC12 Corse, a non-competition track day car, was developed from the GT1 racing car in which Maserati won the FIA GT World Championship twice. Free from competition rule restrictions, the track-day car was actually more powerful than the official racing variant. This was the third of only 12 produced and had only 123 miles on the clock.
The 1958 BMW 507 Series II Roadster sold for a respectable $2,067,500, just below estimate. It was the 110th of only 253 BMW 507 Series II cars ever made and one of only 21 originally finished in Silbergrau metallic silver.
The US-delivered, matching-numbers 1965 Ferrari 275 GTS with a hardtop also just missed estimate at $1,586,250.
The 1953 Siata 208S Spider sold for $1,572,500. This exquisite V8-powered sportscar, with coachwork by Motto, restored to factory specification, was a Pebble Beach class winner and eligible for the Mille Miglia Storica.
The 4,900-mile 2005 Porsche Carrera GT sold for $1,033,500 — the third one to achieve over a million thus far in 2023. Carrera GT prices seem weaker than in 2022 but still a good couple of hundred thousand dollars more expensive than pre-Covid results. The Carrera GT was one of 644 examples produced in US specification but the mileage was not particularly low.
Chrysler Ghia Show Cars at Bonhams Scottsale 2023
Also commanding attention before the sale and at the rostrum was the late John White’s prestigious Ramshead Collection, which registered white glove results, selling collectively for $3 million. Highlights from the collection were a transatlantic trio of mid-century Chrysler Ghia show cars, which had all enjoyed later success at Pebble Beach.
Leading the way was the futuristic one-off concept 1957 Chrysler Ghia Super Dart 400, which achieved $819,000. Its stablemate 1954 Chrysler Ghia GS-1 Coupé, one of only five survivors of nine produced made $802,000, while a 1962 Chrysler Ghia L6.4 sold for $577,000.
The next Bonhams car auctions are Les Grandes Marques du Monde à Paris in February, followed by the Amelia Island Auction in March, highlighted by a 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Sports Tourer, a No Reserve 1966 Ferrari 500 Superfast Series 2, and a collection of rediscovered Jaguars, including one of three works built lightweight XK120 racers, campaigned by US Formula 1 World Champion Phil Hill.
Scottsdale and Arizona Car Auctions 2023
Many auction houses have sales during the annual Scottsdale week in Arizona, USA, in late January 2023, including amongst others:
- Barett-Jackson: 21 to 29 January 2023 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
- Bonhams: 27 January 2023 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
- RM Sotheby’s: 26 January 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona.
- Russo and Steele: 26 – 30 January 2023 in Scottsdale.
- Gooding & Company: no Scottsdale auction scheduled in 2023.
Scottsdale & Arizona Auction Results
- Barrett-Jackson: Top-Ten Cars and Top Charity Lot Results at Scottsdale 2023
- Bonhams: Scottsdale 2023 Top Auction Results, including the most-expensive pre-First World War car ever sold.
- RM Sotheby’s: Top Results Arizona 2023 Sale
Scottsdale & Arizona Pre-Sale Announcements
- Barrett-Jackson: Charity Lots
- Bonhams: Top Ten Lots
- Bonhams: Chrysler Ghia Cars
- RM Sotheby’s: LaFerrari and Shelby 427 Competition Cobra
- RM Sotheby’s: Top Ten Lots
Scottsdale & Arizona Sales — Previous Auction Results
- 2022: Barrett-Jackson (Charity Lots), Bonhams, Gooding, RM Sotheby’s
- 2021: Overview, Barrett-Jackson (Charity Lots), Bonhams, Gooding, RM Sotheby’s
- 2020: Gooding, RM Sotheby’s, Barrett-Jackson & Barrett-Jackson (Charity Lots).
- 2019 Scottsdale Auctions Results Overview
- 2018 Scottsdale Auctions Results Overview
- 2017 Scottsdale Auctions Results Overview
- 2016: Barrett-Jackson, Gooding, RM Sotheby’s, Bonhams
- 2015 Scottsdale Results Overview
- 2014 Scottsdale & Arizona Collector Car Auction Results