Bonhams Les Grandes Marques à Monaco - 10th May 2008 - Review

The 2008 Bonhams Monaco sale achieved generally good results, despite some significant entries either not selling or being withdrawn. One of the highlights was the 238,500 euros achieved for the quite superb 1966 Maserati Mistral 4000 Spyder.

This was a car that ticked all the boxes, being a) from one of the Grandes Marques, b) in clearly superb, recently restored, condition, c) one of only a handful (40, to be precise) manufactured and, last but not least, d) an attractive, open-top car. Don’t underestimate the latter, as rarities from Zagato and Hooper usually fail to excite buyers due to ‘individual’ styling. Another car that deservedly did well was the 1970 Fiat Dino 2400 Spider at 80,500 euros.

Top car of the 50-or-so selling entries was – unsurprisingly – the 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Super Sport Roadster at 2,097,500 euros: the lower end of the estimate. Of the two Ferrari 275 GTBs, the silver 1965 short-nose car was withdrawn and the 1964 red historic racer failed to sell. Maybe buyers were waiting for the RM Sale at Maranello to be held just a few days later; however, that didn’t put anyone off purchasing the fabulous 1969 Ferrari 365 GTS Spyder for 799,500 euros, spot-on its higher estimate. Well done Bonhams.

1970 FIAT Dino 2400 Spider - Sold for EURO 80,500

1969 Ferrari 365 GTS Spyder - Sold for EURO 799,500

DB-era, six-cylinder Aston Martins go from strength to strength and the 1958 Aston Martin DB4 Series I smashed through its upper estimate, eventually selling for 293,500, while the 1959 Aston Martin DB MkIII Drophead sold for 172,500 euros. The AMOC ‘club racer’ DB4 failed to sell – perhaps better off in the forthcoming Newport Pagnell Works Service sale?

Given the popularity of Tarmac rallying in the superb mountain roads of the Côte d’Azur, the catalogue was packed with suitable machinery for a little light early morning exercise. The 1985 Audi Quattro Sport Coupé SWB ‘Série 200’ sold for 97,750 euros, while the fantastic 1983 Lancia Rally 037 Stradale Coupé (top) achieved 123,050 euros. Another success in this category would be the ex-Mille Miglia and Targa Florio 1953 Lancia Aurelia B20GT Coupé. We rated this highly on first catalogue viewing and so did the saleroom, as the historic car, estimated at 85,000 – 100,000, finally changed hands for 140,300 euros.

1966 Maserati Mistral 4000 Spyder - Sold for EURO 238,500

c.1944 Volkswagen Schwimmwagen Amphibious - Sold for EURO 149,500

Auction catalogues usually have ‘for the man who has everything’ entries and none more so at Bonhams Monaco than the c.1944 Volkswagen Schwimmwagen amphibious military car. Maybe the new owner was planning an original way to gain access to his superyacht in the harbour but, for whatever reason, the ex-Wehrmacht amphibian ‘sailed’ through its estimate, eventually selling for 149,500 euros.

1958 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Saloon EURO 293,500

1985 Audi Quattro Sport Coupé SWB ‘Série 200’ - Sold for EURO 97,750

And lessons on the market to be learned from Bonhams Monaco 2008? We’ll have to wait until the results of the ‘super-weekend’ of Bonhams Works Service and RM at Maranello for a true picture; however, at the top things are looking pretty good, Astons and super-rare Ferraris are as strong as ever, Maseratis are on the up, but cars that were automatic entries to the top tours and races (Carrera RSs and 275 GTBs) are getting a little commonplace now and have to be truly exceptional examples with impeccable in-period history (such as the Lancia Aurelia B20GT) to sell well.

To see the complete results please click HERE.

Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: Bonhams

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