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The 'Flying Ace' AC sportscar flies high at Bonhams Scottsdale sale

1958 AC sport car and "Rain Man" 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible shone as bright as the desert sun at Bonhams Scottsdale sale.

Scottsdale, Arizona - A 1958 AC Ace Roadster, first owned by a a USAF pilot who brought it from France to the USA, was the top lot, soaring above its top estimate of $375,000 to sell for $516,500 at Bonhams Scottsdale Auction (January 27), which had an impressive sell-through rate of 95%.

1958 AC Ace Roadster, SOLD for $516,500

1958 AC Ace Roadster, SOLD for $516,500

Offered from a prominent US-based collection of show winners, the impeccably restored left-hand drive Ace, which had retained its original aluminum bodywork and matching numbers engine, had itself won many trophies at major Concours d’Elegances. 

1953 Mercedes-Benz 300S Roadster, sold for $472,500

1953 Mercedes-Benz 300S Roadster, sold for $472,500

In its slipstream was a very special ‘barn find’ Mercedes-Benz, surely one of the last unrestored 300S Roadsters, of which only 141 were produced. This largely original motorcar had spent many decades of its later life off the road and was offered as an exciting restoration project and a rare opportunity to restore one of the finest post-war high performance luxury automobiles to its former glory. 

Nine of the top ten-selling collector motorcars at the Bonhams sale had crossed the Atlantic, representing the greatest European and British automotive names. 

1997 Porsche 911 ‘Type 993’ Turbo S Coupé, sold for $467,000

1997 Porsche 911 ‘Type 993’ Turbo S Coupé, sold for $467,000

Two particularly strong performers were more contemporary classics: a 1997 Porsche 911 ‘Type 993’ Turbo S Coupé, which had covered just 14,000 miles since new, achieved $467,000, far exceeding its top estimate.

The other, an even lower mileage 1989 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary, which had driven fewer than 11,000kms, also accelerated past its estimate achieving $445,000

The Rain Man 1949 Buick Roadmaster Convertible, offered direct from actor Dustin Hoffman, sold for $335,000.

The Rain Man 1949 Buick Roadmaster Convertible, offered direct from actor Dustin Hoffman, sold for $335,000.

The Rain Man 1949 Buick Roadmaster Convertible, offered direct from actor Dustin Hoffman, sold for $335,000.

However, the Stars and Stripes were flown by an American automotive icon: a 1949 Buick Roadmaster Convertible, the ‘third character’ in the 1988 multi-award-winning road drama motion picture Rain Manoffered direct from the ownership of Dustin Hoffman. The 'best supporting car' of the Bonhams Scottsdale Auction sold for $335,000 to a telephone bidder, setting a new world record for a Roadmaster convertible, following a spirited bidding against rivals online and in the Arizona saleroom.

The eleventh edition of the Bonhams auction presented 90 collectors’ automobiles, spanning all eras. Other highlights of the sale included: 

1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon, Coachwork by Touring, sold for above estimate for $381,750. This left-hand drive example, with original, matching numbers engine, was delivered new to Los Angeles socialite William Winans and remained in California for more than 40 years. 

1961 Porsche 356B 1600 Super T5 Cabriolet, sold for $226,240. A highly collectible matching-numbers example of the classic 356 Cabriolet in the desirable Reutter T5 body style, also been subject of a Concours d'Elegance winning restoration.

1995 Ferrari F355 Spider, sold for $224,000. With its odometer reading less than 900 miles from new, this 6-speed manual F355 Spider must be among the lowest mileage examples left of the Pininfarina-designed convertible.

Bonhams Motoring’s next sale takes place in Paris on February 3, at the Grand Palais Ephémère set against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower.

Meanwhile the Bonhams US motors team is actively consigning for The Amelia Island Auction on March 3. Further consignments are invited for consideration to join this prestigious sale, contact

Bonhams 2021

Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and antiques, motor cars and luxury. 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

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