Bonhams - At the very first Monaco Grand Prix in 1929, it was a Bugatti Type 35B which took the chequered flag – and the same model came in first at the Bonhams Monaco Sale, achieving €2 million ($2,083,268).
This rare jewel was offered from 47 years’ ownership by the vendor, a Belgian gentleman racing driver to become the pearl of the 30th anniversary edition of Bonhams’ prestigious sale, which realized more than €13 million($13,541,244).
A second Bugatti, a 1929 Type 37 which raced in Grand Prix of the period, was also offered from long-term family ownership of more than six decades and was sold to a new custodian for €862,500 ($898,409).
A 1965 Ferrari 275 GTS, formerly owned by the 1972 Monaco Grand Prix winner, Jean-Pierre Beltoise, sold for €1,495,000($1,557,243).
Meanwhile, the ex-Alessandro Zanardi 1999 Williams-Supertec Renault FW21 Formula 1 Racing Single-Seater, which was driven to fifth place by the Italian in that year’s Monaco Grand Prix, raced past its pre-sale top estimate of €150,000 ($156,245), to sell for €362,250 ($377,332).
Just nudging ahead was another Formula 1 veteran from an earlier era – the 1962 Brabham 1 1/2-litre Brabham-Climax BT3 Formula 1 Racing Single Seater, which made €385,250 ($401,290). This truly historic racing car was the first Formula 1 car to carry the Brabham name and was the first car constructed by its driver - three-times Formula 1 world champion, Jack Brabham - to take a Formula 1 chequered flag.
Overtaking the Brabham was a works 1956 AC Ace Bristol Roadster, ordered new by Jacques Swaters, founder of the renowned Écurie Francorchamps and later owned by racing driver Armand Armand ‘Blary’ Blaton, who tested it for his 24 Heures du Mans campaign, topped its pre-sale estimate, selling for €460,000 ($479,152).
More contemporary precious metal also set the salesroom alight today with a 1988 Porsche 959 Komfort realizing €1,437,500 ($1,497,349) and its Stüttgart supercar sibling, a 1997 911 GT2, achieving €1,046,500($1,090,070). A fellow German performance car, a one owner from new 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series Coupe, doubled its pre-sale estimate, racing away for €301,875 ($314,443).
Further highlights from today’s auction included:
1961 Aston Martin DB4 Series III Saloon, which had had only two owners from new, sold above estimate for €356,500 ($371,343).
Its younger stablemate, a 1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante ‘X-Pack’ also surpassed its estimate, achieving €310,500 ($323,427).
There were also gems to be found in the automobilia section of the sale, most notably an original lithograph poster by Robert Falcucci. The ‘2nd Grand Prix Automobile – 1930’ signed by the artist, more than doubled its pre-sale estimate to achieve €26,775 ($27,890).
The Bonhams European motor car team is now gearing up for its first sale in the Swiss Alpine resort of Gstaad for twenty years on July 3rd and, just a week earlier, the Festival of Speed Sale at Goodwood in Sussex on June 24th. Consignments for both auctions are still being invited. Contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and collectables, motor cars and a luxury division, including jewelry, watches, wine and whisky. The main salesrooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles, Paris and Hong Kong, with auctions also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers advice and valuation services in 53 specialist areas. For a full list of forthcoming auctions, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit bonhams.com
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