Perusing Bonhams’ bumper Quail Lodge 2019 catalogue

Later this week on 15–16 August, Bonhams will once again take residence at Quail Lodge & Golf Club in California for its annual collector car sale on the Monterey Peninsula. We’ve perused the bumper 225-lot catalogue and picked out our favourites…

Bonhams’ Quail Lodge Auction is a veritable smorgasbord of automotive treasures this year, comprising 225 collector cars ranging from affordable British roadster to the bluest of blue-chip 1960s sports prototypes and pre-War Grand Tourers. The headliners are as follows. Spearheading the sale is a matching-numbers 1959 Porsche 718 RSK, one of just a handful of centre-seat examples produced and boasting a race-winning period competition history. The pre-sale estimate is available on request. 

Hot on its heels is a magnificent 1937 Delahaye 135M Competition Court Roadster with an incredibly elegant body by Guillore. One of just 30 such models built and eligible for such prestigious events as Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, it’s estimated to sell for 3.25–3.75m US dollars. Perhaps even more beautiful is the Ghia-bodied 1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic (est. 1.75–1.95m dollars), a Jet Age dream car that boasts an exemplary record of concours appearances, including at Pebble Beach in 2017. 

If you’re anything like us, you’ll have fallen for the new De Tomaso P72 when it was revealed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, you might be interested in the car from which it drew its primary inspiration: the 1965 Shelby–De Tomaso P70. The voluptuous and achingly pretty prototype was developed together with Carroll Shelby initially to take the fight to McLaren in the popular Can-Am championship. Alas, the project was ill-fated, and this is the sole prototype. It’s expected to fetch 2–3m dollars when it crosses the block in a wave of V8 thunder later this week. 

A slew of contemporary supercars also feature prominently in the catalogue, from a unique, as-new 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder fitted with the desirable Weissach package and resplendent in a retro livery (1.6–1.9m dollars) to an ultra-low-mileage 2017 Ford GT Heritage Edition (1.25–1.9m dollars) and a 2017 Ferrari F12tdf with a particularly tasteful colour scheme and livery (975,000–1.1m dollars). 

As expected from the Bond Street auction house in this, Bentley’s centenary year, there are a number of the 100-year-old British marque’s very special cars offered, headlined by a 1931 Bentley 4½ Litre Birkin Le Mans Replica with Vanden Plas-style coachwork. A winner at Brooklands in the period and highly eligible for events such as the Mille Miglia, the handsome drop-top, which boasts continuous history from new, is expected to garner 2.75–3.75m dollars. Similarly, a matching-numbers 1930 Bentley Speed Six ‘Le Mams Replica’ is also offered, estimated at a slightly lower 1–1.3m dollars. 

For the same money, you could also be driving away from Quail Lodge (via Big Sur, naturally) in the beautiful 1965 Iso Grifo A3 Competizione – a car that was extensively restored in 2012 by a former Bizzarrini foreman and exhibited at Pebble Beach the following year. 

A number of cars also struck us as particularly ‘California’. Take the beautifully restored 1968 Porsche 912 finished in Irish Green (65,000–85,000 dollars), the carefully maintained 1972 Citroën SM, perfect for wafting along the Pacific Coast Highway (50,000–70,000 dollars), and the bright orange 1962 Volkswagen Dual Cab Transporter – the rolling embodiment of Venice Beach cool (70,000–90,000 dollars). 

And for the environmentally-conscious Los Angeles dweller with a keen interest in collectable cars of the future, how about the original 2010 Tesla Roadster? Estimated at just 50,000–75,000 dollars and fully loaded with optional extras, it’s virtually brand new having only covered 10 miles from new. A piece of history from what was a pivotal turning point in the story of the motorcar, we reckon it’s one to watch later this week. 

Photos: Bonhams © 2019