05/12/2002 2nd December 2002 - Auction Review - Bonhams Olympia
- by Charis Whitcombe
The halls of Olympia were bustling throughout this end-of-year extravaganza, and the cars started well with many of the early lots selling for well over their estimates. The sale also finished strongly but some high-value lots in the middle proved disappointing – most particularly, the ex-Guglielmo ‘Mimmo’ Dei 1953 Maserati A6GCS/53 Berlinetta, the star of sale and immaculately presented (although with its cramped cockpit this is not a car for the taller driver). Bidding went to £540,000 against an estimate of £550,000 – 700,000, and Robert Brooks brought down the hammer with a sombre, "Thank you, ladies and gentlemen". It seems the car did not sell at this price.
But let’s look at some of the cars which did find new owners – and there were plenty of these. The three top-selling lots on the night were all Ferraris: and this despite the forthcoming Ferrari specialist sale which Bonhams is holding in Gstaad on 20th December.
Effectively a new car, with just 7,500km on the clock, the 2001 Ferrari 550 Barchetta went for £133,500 while the 1964 Ferrari 275 GTS fetched £106,000. Meanwhile the 1963 Ferrari 250GT Lusso Berlinetta – very well presented, with a great deal clearly spent on its 1998/99 restoration – followed closely behind at £102,700. Superb inside and out, many considered this the best car in the sale although – looking hard for faults – the paint finish wasn’t perfect. All in the best Italian traditions…
There were also a fair number of good Rolls-Royces – such as the beautifully restored 1935 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Phantom II Continental with its racey-style coachwork by Kellner. One specialist said: "It's still a bone shaker. You'd be more comfortable in that", pointing to the 1920 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Torpedo Tourer nearby. On the night, the Phantom II went for £85,100 and the Silver Ghost for £90,600.
The 1931 MG C-Type Montlhery Midget was an attractive MG from the great days of Kimber's company. With an excellent history and in good condition, this example went for over the estimate at £62,000.
Finally, neither of the “Riley” registrations numbers (R1 LEY and RIL 37) sold, although bidding on R1 LEY went to £18,000.