Bonhams at Hendon 11 April 2011: Review

Best of Britain and Italy: Ferrari F50 in front of a Spitfire

Bonhams’ annual RAF Museum sale allows schoolboys of all ages to rediscover that ‘Airfix kit’ moment, as the Bond St auction house uses the museum’s exhibits as a backdrop to its collectors’ car sale.

Of the four headlining Ferraris from a private collection, both the F50 and the 288 GTO were sold by Private Treaty prior to the auction proper, the yellow 2003 360 Challenge Stradale (a nice car, so the experts agreed) went for £86,200 but the F40 failed to find a buyer. Jenson Button’s black 1978 512BB Berlinetta Boxer also went unsold, which was a pity; I rather liked it.

So, in the absence of published results for the F50 and the 288 GTO, what was the top-selling car at Hendon? The honours went to the 1901 De Dion Bouton 4 1/2hp Vis-à-vis (£97,200) with the 360 Challenge Stradale, the 1933 Delage D8 Foursome Drophead Coupé (£82,900), and the light blue metallic 1963 Bentley S3 Continental 'Flying Spur' not far behind (at £79,600).

Meteors, Lightnings, Typhoons and Lancasters aside, a high-flying star of the auction was the Classic Driver-tipped 1954 Allard Palm Beach Mk I 'Red Ram' Roadster which achieved double its pre-sale estimate, selling for £52,100. Of the two Lamborghini Espada Series IIIs at Hendon, only one sold, the c.1976 example, for £23,000.

1933 Delage D8 Foursome Drophead Coupé: Sold for £82,900 1963 Bentley S3 Continental 'Flying Spur' Saloon: Sold for £79,600

There were three Alvis sports cars in the sale. Proving the value of a drophead, while the 1960 TD21 saloon achieved £10,695, the 1953 3.0 Litre TA21 Drophead Coupé went for £43,300 and the 1964 TE21 Drophead Coupé £52,100. And, disproving the theory that you should never expect someone else to pay for your ‘improvements’ to a timeless classic, the rather sorry-for-itself 1950 Jaguar XK120 Roadster, with a multitude of badges, extra lights and other trinkets achieved £52,100. It was quite a nice shade of green, I suppose.

c.1976 Lamborghini Espada Series III: Sold for £23,000 1967 Bentley T-Series Two-Door Saloon: Not Sold

While the colour ‘Sand Titanine’ might suggest a dusky light sable eminently suitable for the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, in reality the eyeball-scorching green/gold of the 1967 Bentley T-Series Two-Door Saloon would be more at home in London’s Roman Road. The car did not sell, and that’s a shame, really, as Bonhams’ 'way above average example' catalogue description was probably spot-on.

Elsewhere in the sale, the 1979 Ferrari 308GTB did well at £29,900, the 1960 Daimler SP250 Roadster, at £27,025, showed the potential of these underrated cars, and £26,450 for the 1930 Rolls-Royce 20/25hp Limousine proves once again that I do not understand the market for pre-War Rolls.

Shouldn’t it be a lot more than that? Perhaps I’ll stick to Allards.

1950 Jaguar XK120 Roadster (£52,100) 1932 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Phantom II Limousine (£68,600) Not a car to be seen...

Prior to the motor cars, in the automobilia section of Bonhams’ £2.75 million-grossing Hendon sale, items such as the ‘Ferrari showroom illuminating sign, estimate £500 – 700’ sold well, in this case for £3600.

To see the complete results of the Bonhams 11 April Hendon sale, please click HERE.

Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: Classic Driver

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