Friday fancies (and not just Ferraris) at Bonhams’ 2015 Quail Lodge sale
Leading the 111-car lotlist for Bonhams’ all-day Friday auction at Quail Lodge this year is an alloy-bodied ‘Interim’ Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione, whose TdF underpinnings were graced with an elongated version of the coachwork worn by SWBs – with a debatable level of success. Regardless of whether you believe the stretch ruins what many consider to be the perfect proportionality (we actually rather like it), the car’s competition history is unquestionable. In its Competizione specification, it clinched third place at the 1959 Tour de France. Other notable Ferraris include a recently restored 212 Inter Cabriolet by Vignale – which finished Best-in-Class at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours, only losing out to the eventual Best-in-Show-winning 375MM – and a GTS/4 Spider, made even rarer than most drop-top Daytonas by its European specification. Only 25 were made in this guise.
It’s not only a handful of Ferraris from the lotlist that are set to fetch seven-figure sums: there’s a 1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic (estimate: $1.8m - $2.4m) that was shown at the Pebble Beach Concours when it was just four years old; a Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America (estimate: $1.8m - $2.4m); and a Siata 208S. Others whose estimates bracket the magical million-dollar mark include a Bugatti Type 29/30 – claimed to be one of two remaining, effectively making it the oldest surviving 8-cylinder two-seater sports Bugatti – along with one of the four C4R Continuations blessed by the Cunningham family, and Lamborghini Miura P400. There’s also a sub-5,000-mile Porsche 959 Komfort up for $1m - $1.3m, but the car is only likely to appeal to U.S-residing enthusiasts: the five-year ‘Federalisation’ project undertaken by Canepa Designs saw it lose its pioneering adjustable-height suspension system, and some of its originality (and character?) in the process.
More air miles than road miles?
The relatively untravelled 959 is joined by several other contemporaries, whose odometer readings are perhaps a little closer to the sweet spot of ‘low, but not too low’. These include a trio of collectable BMWs – a 10,700-mile E30 M3, an 11,200-mile M1, and a 13,000-mile Z8 – as well as a 9,250-mile Mercedes 560SL from 1987, and a 1979 Ferrari 308 GTB showing a shade over 23,000 miles. Notable ‘millennials’ include the one-off 2004 Aston Martin Vanquish bodied by Zagato, and a Ferrari 575M Superamerica (both showing around 13,000 miles if you were wondering). However, it’s a much earlier rarity that’s our collective favourite from the catalogue: the 1949 Veritas Scorpion Cabriolet, which was based on BMW 328 underpinnings, but updated with post-War mechanicals and stunning coachwork by Spohn. We’re not alone, either; it was entered in the 1992 Pebble Beach Concours, where it placed third in class.
Last but by no means least, there’s the 1948 2-litre Aston Martin that we rediscovered in 2013, ahead of its appearance at Villa d’Este later that year. It was the very car that clinched the win for the Works team at the 1948 24 Hours of Spa and, despite David Brown’s intentions of creating a production run in its honour, it ultimately remained a one-off.