Bonhams all-Ferrari Sale at Gstaad 19 Dec 2003 - Review
Bonhams’ sale of ‘Exceptional Ferrari Motor Cars, Automobilia and Fine Wristwatches’ in the fairytale Gstaad setting has become something of an end-of-season party for the world’s premier car collectors. With this year’s Sale featuring the complete 14-car ‘Lepeltier Collection’, it was perhaps appropriate that it should supply the top seller of the auction.
It was the steel, ‘street’ 1960 Ferrari 250GT SWB (chassis 2649GT), with its unusual faired-in headlamp treatment, that sold for SFR1,050,372 (the equivalent of £476,954, including buyer’s premium). Unused, but kept in dry storage since 1990 this car, like all the Lepeltier lots, has been started recently but will require some re-commissioning (at least) before returning to the road proper – a factor perhaps reflected in the selling price. Other significant cars from the collection were the Giallo Fly 1972 Ferrari 365GTB/4 'Daytona' ex-Geneva Show Car selling for SFR190,632 and the Silver 1967 Ferrari 275GTB/4 - at SFR504,768 showing just how valued these four-cam cars are now, irrespective of condition.
With all the Lepeltier cars finding new owners, it was interesting to see the current prices achieved for almost all the production models from Ferrari in that glorious thirty-year period from1963. All seem to be, with buyer’s premium, bang-on market price. Take the 1989 Ferrari F40. At SFR366,989 this equates to £166,643, with the 1985 Ferrari 288GTO (SFR344,944) at £156,633 perhaps slightly under. Many enthusiasts were keen to see how much the Lepeltier 1965 Ferrari 275GTB was going to achieve. Finished in a rather outré Gold, and not being the big-buck, 4-cam, long-nose model it was nevertheless a potential race-car (1965 being an important cut-off point for FIA racing) or, restored to its original Argento Auteil colour scheme, a magnificent V12 road Ferrari. It sold for SFR300,855 or £136,613 showing there’s no such thing as a bargain 275 now. Most affordable Lepeltier car was the charmingly 1970s fibre-glass Peppermint Green 308GTB for SFR45,948.
Of the other lots, with the ex-N.A.R.T. 1972 'Daytona' Grp IV Competizione failing to sell, it was down to another 12-cylinder competition car to be one Gstaad’s highlights. Going for a final hammer-price of SFR444,145, the 1980 Ferrari 512BB LM Series II (another ex-North American Racing Team car) represents an awful lot of proper competition car for the money. Two examples from the early 1960s’ era of bespoke Ferraris were also sold, the ex-Prince Bernhard 1964 Ferrari 500 Superfast Speciale for SFR422,100 and a very rare 1964 Ferrari 330 America for a reasonable SFR75,814. Outwardly similar to the 250GTE, only 50 ‘big-engined’ 330s were produced prior to the introduction of the 330GT proper in the same year.
The 1956 Ferrari 250GT Prototype 'Boano' was sold post-sale for SFR212,181 but the very pretty 1952 Ferrari 212 Barchetta by Allegretti was withdrawn prior to sale.
Of the extensive automobilia the 1:10 scale Ferrari TR58 – one of only two built by celebrated model maker the late Michele Conti – sold for SFR31,050, while a 1/2 scale 1965 Ferrari P2 child’s car was secured for a young collector for SFR18,400 – several times the price of a sister example offered in a London sale just weeks ago.
The last word must go to Simon Kidston, President of Bonhams Europe, “After working for so many years to secure the Lepeltier Collection, it seems incredible that we have finally sold it! It was quite emotional to see the collection dispersed and the public interest was greater than anything we have ever witnessed here in Gstaad”.
The Sale grossed over SFR5,800,000 across the three categories, motor-cars, automobilia and wristwatches, some £2.6 million or $US4.6 million.
To view the complete results please CLICK HERE .
Bonhams Europe also conduct Private Treaty Sales please CLICK HERE for a current stock listing.
Text - Steve Wakefield. Photos - Bonhams.