Bonhams & Goodman at Double Bay, Australia 14th Sept 2003 - Preview
The recently formed combination of London house Bonhams and Australian company Goodmans have assembled an interesting collection of boats and classic motor cars for their 14th September Sale. The most highly estimated car lot is a 1955 Mercedes 300SL “Gullwing” at Aus$350,000 – 400,000, but it’s not the most expensive lot. That honour goes to the ‘Right to Display Motor Vehicle Number Plate “NSW 2”’ – at Aus$500,000 – 800,000.
A very nice green 1954 Austin Healey 100/4 BN1, Aus$28,000 – 35,000, the subject of a body-off restoration in the mid eighties, it has been uprated to 100M specification. The Mercedes Gullwing was originally delivered to an American buyer in 1955. Prior to purchase by its present owner it had been in he hands of a well-known Australian collector who had kept it running in the manner required. Also included in the sale is a 1951 Bentley Mk VI, Aus$18,000 – 26,000, and for more modern enthusiasts a 1996 Mercedes Benz CL600, the V12 engined one, for Aus$60,000 – 80,000.
Australia has the perfect weather for boating and a significant part of the Auction is a selection of wooden power boats from the golden age of the genre, from 1930 – 1960 when big US V8s powered beautiful creations from Chris-Craft and Riva. The c1959 Chris-Craft Mahogany motor launch pictured here is said to have come from the estate of the eccentric American billionaire Howard Hughes. Estimated at Aus$35,000 – 45,000 the boat comes complete with a custom-built galvanised trailer.
Finally that number plate. The first time NSW “2” has been put to auction since it was issued 93 years ago, it has been in the one family for 72 years and Bonhams & Goodman believe that it is unlikely to appear on the market again in the foreseeable future.
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For information - the prices shown above are in Australian Dollars. At the time of writing US$1.00 = Aus$1.55 and £Stg1.00 = Aus$2.45.
Text - Steve Wakefield