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Bonhams at Quail Lodge - 14 August 2009 - Review

Top-selling car at this year’s Quail sale (no, the Auto Union wasn’t sold) was a pre-War Duesenberg. Hot on its heels was the fabulous ‘Bumblebee’ 1952 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupé by Vignale, achieving $804,500.

The ‘Duesie’ was a 1933 Model J Torpedo Convertible Victoria and sold for a handy $1,437,000 (mid-estimate for the ex-‘Hopalong Cassidy’ car). The armoured 1930 Cadillac Series 452 V-16 Imperial Sedan, formerly the property of Al Capone and the Chicago Mob sold for $309,500. These were just two of the generally Without Reserve, Sidney H.Craig Collection ‘Classics and Celebrities’ cars – although it was not all 1930s decadence, as the dancing school mogul’s (only in the USA...) 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL ‘Gullwing’ sold for $546,000. It was Strawberry Pink metallic, though.

The wonderful two-tone Ferrari was originally delivered to France in June 1952. It then passed through various collectors’ hands, including Don Nelson and Anthony Bamford in the UK. Estimated pre-sale at $1,000,000 – 1,300,000, the magnificent, restored machine sold for $804,500. A good buy for a super-rare Ferrari that drives well, too.

1971 Lola-Chevrolet T260 CanAm Racing Spider - Sold for $304,000

1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster - Sold for $804,500

The ex-Otis Chandler 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster matched that price, as did the c.1931 Bentley 4½ Litre ‘Birkin Style’ Tourer with original Supercharger. Another Cricklewood car, the 1929 Bentley 4½ Litre Supercharged Birkin Team Car Specification Tourer went well for $722,000.

It wasn’t all good news, though, as the 2009 Quail Lodge auction’s unsold figure of just over 40 per cent shows. Auto Union apart – and I think there were few who believed the car would sell – the American ‘muscle’ cars did not fare well, and neither the original ‘Daytona’ Spyder nor the elegant 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Coupé found new owners.

1952 Allard J2X 'Little Red' - Sold for $194,000

1955 Alfa Romeo 1900C Super Sprint Berlinetta - Sold for $557,000

A varied and well-presented catalogue doth not a successful Monterey-week sale make. But, before I leave the pulpit, let’s finish on a couple of positives: well done the man who bought the white 1970 Maserati Mistral Spyder for $130,750 (RHD but below estimate and a nice-looking car), and it’s good to see a well-patinated E-type FHC go for reasonable money. The 1964 matching-numbers, California car catalogued well in its original Golden Sand metallic/Cinnamon interior colour scheme and sold for $99,450 - under estimate, but more than it would achieve in the UK.

Prior to the motor cars, Bonhams sold a variety of jewellery, watches and automobilia, including A Louis Vuitton humidor ($29,280).

Please CLICK HERE to see the full results for the 2009 Quail Lodge sale.

Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: Bonhams

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