Following the three major auctions held during Monterey Car Week in late August, momentum was maintained by RM Sotheby’s and Bonhams again holding sales in the UK in early September, and logistics and jet-lag be damned!

1.RMS Battersea

With 1960s and ‘70s Ferrari road cars having slightly underperformed in California, would these two UK sales confirm that that market is about to start a period of ‘readjustment’? We could only wait and see…

(All quoted sales figures are inclusive of buyers’ premiums.)


5th September

2.RMS cover   

No-one could accuse RMS of not trying; a stylish, evocative catalogue offering a wide variety of desirable cars with 30% at no reserve along with a bustling, atmospheric saleroom and superb presentation. All the ingredients for a blockbuster sale?

Unlike Monterey eleven days earlier there were no multi multi-million cars, but among the 94 cars offered two seven-figure sums were achieved by a pair of Ferraris: a 2003 Enzo (£1,973,750) and a 1953 212 Europa Coupé (£1,017,500).

3.RMS Enzo

Other cars to sell included:

2003 Porsche 911 GT3 RS * £83,375 (est. £70-100k)
2006 Aston Martin Vanquish S * £109,250 (est. £180-220k)
1964 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 3.8 FHC £140,875
2010 Porsche 911 GT3 RS £161,000
1972 Maserati Bora 4.7 £161,000
1970 Ferrari Dino 246 GT £172,500
1972 Ferrari 365 GTC/4 £184,000
1994 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.6 £189,750
1967 Aston Martin DB6 £207,000
1970 Maserati Ghibli SS 4.9 Coupé £218,500
1979 Ferrari 512 BB £250,000
2016 Porsche 911 R £332,375
1993 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabrio £381,875
1971 Iso Grifo 7-lItre Series II £500,000
1993 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.8 £933,125

*no reserve

Finance a Aston-Vanquish-S with JBR capital

Finance a 911-CarreraRS with JBR Capital

The Vanquish S’ vendor probably won’t be celebrating, but otherwise they’re mostly pretty healthy figures, with sold Porsches being quite numerous. On the other hand, eight of the 13 Ferraris offered failed to sell, with some of the 44 unsold cars also being quite surprising. Among those were:

2004 Lamborghini Murciélago £100k (est. £120-150k)
2007 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder £100k (est. £120-150k)
1996 Lamborghini Diablo £100k (est. £120-160k)
1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5 16 Evo II £120k (est. £135-160k)
2017 Ferrari 488 GTB 70th Anniversary £260k (est. £290-340k)
1963 Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 Series III £270k (est. £315-350k)
2001 Ferrari 550 Barchetta £290k (est. £320-360k)
2016 Lambo Aventador LP750-4 SV Roadster £320k (est. £350-400k)
1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta £425k (est. £490-540k)
2011 Ferrari 599 GTO £525k (est. £550-600k)
2017 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta 70th Anniversary £525k (est. £550-650k)
1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta £525k (est. £585-625k)
2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Volante £650k (est. £700-900k)
1996 Porsche 911 GT2 £650k (est. £725-850k)
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing £875k (est. £950k-1.2m)
2015 Porsche 918 Spyder £900k (est. £1.1-1.2m)
1971 Lamborghini Miura P400S (ex Rod Stewart) £1.1m (est. £1.2-1.4m)
1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy £1.8m (est. £2-2.2m)
1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT (ex Peter Sellers) £2.65m (est. £3-3.4m)

6.RMS 488GTB 70th

So the Battersea blockbuster was not to be, at least not this year, with a little over half (50) of them selling for an average of c.£187k per car. This is falls way short of RMS’ recent 83.33% Monterey sell-through rate, but it’s 2% up on Battersea last year, while total gross sales of £9.35m is over £2m up on last year – a figure which would naturally have been improved had more of the seven-figure cars sold… But however you look at it, this year and last are a long way off Battersea 2016’s £21.66m gross figure.

RM Sotheby’s Battersea 2018

Finance a DB4GT with JBR Capital


8th  September

8.Bonhams cover

Seventy-odd miles to the south west and three days later the bidding commenced in the packed Bonhams tent. Like last year’s Revival sale there were few multi-million pound megacars on sale, but of the 114 cars offered (with hardly any at no reserve) 61% of them sold for a gross total of £13.83 million – about £3.1 million up on last year’s figure and £2.4 million more than was achieved in 2016.

9.Bonhams Shelby Cobra

Last year’s top Revival seller was a £606k Ferrari Daytona Berlinetta. This year that honour went to a 1973 Shelby Cobra 289 Competition roadster which, with a £1.2-1.5m estimate, sold for £1,359,000. The only other car to break the seven-figure sum was a 1990 Jaguar XJR-11 Group C prototype racer in the evocative Silk Cut livery which sold for £1,191,000.

Another car of note was a ’72 Ferrari Dino 246GT that had been owned from new for 14 years by Keith Richards. Estimated at £300-400k, this LHD beauty made £442,750, or a little over £205k more than was paid for the same car at a Monaco sale in 2014. By contrast, a 1974 RHD Dino with one non-celeb owner since 1975 and 28,000 miles from new sold for £247,250.

With 1965 being the average year of cars offered, more modern cars weren’t in great number, but among those that sold were:

2003 Aston Martin DB7 GTA coupé £24,150
2007 Bentley Continental GTC convertible £40,250
1987 Ferrari Testarossa £103,500
2018 Honda NXS hybrid £132,250
1990 AC/Autokraft Cobra 427 £140,300
2002 Rolls-Royce Corniche Final Series £189,750
2009 Lamborghini Murciélago LP670-4 SV coupé £201,250
1995 Rolls-Royce Corniche IV convertible £255,300
1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage X-Pack £345,000


11.Bonhams Murcielago

Meanwhile a trio of hypercar heavyweights failed to sell, this perhaps indicative of the more old-school nature of Bonhams’ Revival sale:

2012 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Supersport  (2,500km) est. £1.4-1.9m
2015 Ferrari LaFerrari (5,900km) est. £2.3-2.8m
2017 Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta (517km) est. £5-6m

12.Bonhams Aperta

However, a few older ‘cast-iron’ classics were also among the non-sellers:

1971 Ferrari 246GT Dino Berlinetta est. £180-240k
1964 Aston Martin DB5 est. £650-750k
1952 Bentley R-Type Continental est. £700-800k
1964 Ferrari 250GT Lusso est. £1-1.5m

13.Bonhams Lusso

And for those interested in reg. plate values, ‘RR 1’ sold for a below-estimate £460k. Going out on a limb here, but we’re guessing it was bought by a Rolls-Royce owner.

With 70 cars sold for an average of over £197k apiece, Bonhams should be more than satisfied with this year’s Revival sale, despite not moving on the three seven-figure hypercars. They’ll also be relieved that RMS’ relatively disappointing result in Battersea a few days earlier didn’t have a knock-on effect down in deepest Sussex.

Bonhams Goodwood Revival 2018

14.Bonhams Revival


15.RMS Battersea

We don’t wish to state the obvious, but it’s important to remember that the price attained at auction for any particular car may or may not be indicative of that model’s value. Values can vary greatly for two essentially similar models as so much depends on cosmetic and mechanical condition, originality, provenance and so forth.

Likewise, the state of the market should not be gauged from one auction, or even a flurry of auctions held within a short period of time. There are simply too many variables to make an accurate call.

Although the cars-sold percentages and overall gross figures are substantially lower for these two UK sales relative to the late-August Monterey sales, both RM Sotheby’s and Bonhams performed better than last year, over £23 million’s worth of metal was sold in under two days and the heart of collectors car market remains in rude health, despite the odd blip here and there. More important in the long-term is that enthusiasm for classic cars is greater than ever, as confirmed by the continually growing attendances at auctions, concours and competition events.

We’re passionate about classic cars at JBR Capital and we can quickly build a bespoke, pre-approved auction finance package to suit your needs. So if you’re interested in bidding for the car of your dreams then please call one of our experts today on 020 3355 0035 to explore your finance options.

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