Bonhams, Audrain Motor Week, Newport, RI, September 30, 2022

The Audrain Motor Week is becoming a force in American collector car events, spearheaded by its backer, Nick Schorsch, and Donald Osborne, Audrain’s CEO.

Based upon the first three years of the Audrain Newport Concours & Motor Week (to give it its full name) a long-term plan is being implemented and, despite its events being scattered across the Aquidneck Peninsula east of Narragansett Bay, it is taking on a welcome cohesion. Central to the theme is the contribution that the Northeast made to the motor car’s development a century ago and the motoring accomplishments of Newport residents like Willie K. Vanderbilt to early 20th century competition.

Newport, Rhode Island, is a tourist destination. It has the magnificent “cottages” built by financial and industrial barons of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. It has the tightly-packed winding streets of a colonial American port city. It has destinations for tennis (Motor Week is centered at the International Tennis Hall of Fame) and yachting. There are ocean-front vistas. And it has stores, shoppes (sic) and all manner of [good] food. A few days in Newport is almost invariably well-spent.

Unlike Monterey, it might be added, which has magnificent over-priced dining and dreadful traffic.

Oh, but Newport has even narrower streets and dreadful traffic, too. You will get lost driving around Newport.

The Audrain Newport Concours & Motor Week is worth the trip, and getting better every year.

But back to Bonhams, because this is an auction report.

Motor Week is in its third year. Bonhams Audrain auction is in its second year. The behind the scene machinations and negotiations are a mystery, but what had been announced as a Gooding & Company auction at inception was realized as a Bonhams auction in 2021. Nevertheless, the enthusiastic Bonhams Motoring crew is a sympathetic fit for Motor Week

There isn’t a lot of space in the indoor tennis court that sites Bonhams and the 44 cars that made up this year’s auction were about as much as it can contain without becoming overcrowded.

The total sale was modest and down from last year’s sale by something like a third but the top sale, a barn-find 1957 BMW 507 for $2,315,000, was more than thrilling enough to distract from the median $97,440 transaction.

Here are the numbers:

Year Cars Sold/ Offered Sale % Sold < Low Est Sold > High Est Average Sale Median Sale Total $
2022 35/44 79.6% 62.9% 8.6% $197,137 $97,440


2021 34/41 82.9% 39.0% 14.6% $270,671 $164,400



19 of the 44 lots offered (excluding pedal cars, if you please) are reported here by Rick Carey.

Lot # 105 1956 Austin-Healey 100/M Le Mans Roadster; S/N BN2L233047; Engine # 1B233047M; Florida Green, Ivory/Black leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $160,000 – $190,000; Older restoration 3+ condition; Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $127,500. – 2,660/150hp, 4-speed, overdrive, Moto-Lita woodrim steering wheel, silver painted wire wheels, Vredestein tires, dual fender mirrors, no bumpers, Lucas driving lights and rear fog light, Monit rally timer, hood strap, louvered hood, BMIHT and 100M Le Mans Registry Certificates. – A factory built 100/M Le Mans, originally lefthand drive, represented as numbers-matching. Restored in the UK in 2008. Good older paint, chrome and interior. Touched up nose stone chips and a small crack by the trunk corner. Scuffed cowl where the windshield folds. Clean underbody. A nice example with some age and miles on the restoration including the 2015 Mille Miglia in 2015. – Offered by RM at Monaco in 2018 where it was bid to $173,290 (Euros 145,000 at the time, this result in today’s fading Euros is 130,300.) Well-maintained and attractive in Florida Green, it’s worth more than the reported high bid here, but not as much as the 2018 Monaco bid. Exchange rates matter and this 100/M Le Mans is on the wrong side of the curve.

Lot # 106 1986 Aston Martin V8 Coupe; S/N SCFCV81S7GTL12520; Engine # V5852520LFM; Winchester Blue/Beige leather; Estimate $120,000 – $180,000; Unrestored original 3 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $250,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $280,000. – 5,340/315hp, 5-speed, sunroof, Sony stereo, woodrim steering wheel, BBS alloy wheels, Goodyear tires, built in telephone. – Upgraded to Vantage specs and cosmetics after the initial purchase. Edge chipped doors. Stone chipped nose. Lightly stretched and worn upholstery. Clean original underbody. 12,434 miles from new. – A bidding contest with some 42 bids on the phone and in the room. It blew through its estimate range in short order even though it hasn’t been run in some time. The fascination it generated is impossible to fathom and this result at double the reasonable pre-sale estimate is fantastic. It is not going to be inexpensive to take it from a lump to a runner, a cool car but woefully expensive to the phone bidder who bought it.

Lot # 109 1954 Jaguar XK 120SE Roadster; S/N S674747; Engine # F1765-8S; Dark Green/Biscuit leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $130,000 – $160,000; Older restoration 2- condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $110,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $123,200. – 3,442/180hp inline six, 4-speed, chrome wire wheels, Avon tires, Lucas tri-bar headlights, JDHT certificate documented. – Very good paint, chrome and interior. Orderly underbody and chassis. The windshield header is scratched from the top. Orderly engine compartment with little use but some age. An older restoration with little use and good care. Represented as the matching-numbers engine block. – Sold by Gooding at Pebble Beach in 2015 for $220,000 with a little over 1,300 miles added to its odometer since then. It has deteriorated since then, but not as much as this result would indicate and is very good value for the money in this transaction, an XK 120 SE that is more than good enough to tour and show on weekends.

Lot # 110 1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupe; S/N H2KA186; Engine # TY8712203; Metallic Blue/Beige leather; Estimate $140,000 – $180,000; Visually maintained, largely original 4 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $105,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $117,600. – 383/335hp, single 4-barrel carburetor, automatic, chrome wire wheels, Michelin X tires, Marchal headlights, power windows, power steering, air conditioning, woodrim steering wheel. – Poor old repaint with abundant flaws and damage. Surface creased old upholstery. Dry, stiff and cracked body and window seals. Dirty wheels. Tired and in desperate need of some attention after nearly a decade on static display. – Facel IIs are expected to be dual quad 355hp cars but this one has only a single 4-barrel and its condition begs for attention which will soon morph into a full restoration in the way these things happen. The price it brought, however, takes that into account with all (or at least most) of the uncertainties hedged and the result here makes sense for both parties.

Lot # 112 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible; S/N 5662073179; Cream/Beige leather; Beige cloth top; Estimate $110,000 – $130,000; Older restoration 3+ condition; Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $90,000. – 364/305hp single 4-barrel, automatic, Autronic Eye, power steering and brakes, power windows, power bench seat, silver Sabre wheels, wide whitewalls, WonderBar radio, parade boot. – Good older paint and chrome. The engine is freshly rebuilt but the engine compartment is aged. Creased front seat upholstery. A good driver. – Bought at Bonhams Greenwich in 2021 in a post-block sale after it was bid to $75,000 on the block, the engine ran a bearing upon its first drive necessitating the engine rebuild. The reported high bid is realistic, holding out for more is not, just write it off to experience.

Lot # 115 1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante; S/N SCFCV81V0KTL15715; Engine # V5855715LFA; Cherry Red/Beige leather, Red piping; Beige cloth top; Estimate $150,000 – $200,000; Modified restoration 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $185,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $207,200. – 5,340/390hp, Tremec 5-speed, power windows, alloy wheels, BFG tires, air conditioning, Euro bumpers, converted from an automatic, Wilwood brakes, performance suspension, fitted luggage. – A U.S. spec “cosmetic Vantage”, one family owned from new with 10,059 miles and Vantage-style performance upgrades. Fresh paint, bright chrome, lightly worn and stretched original upholstery. Bright, crisp gauges. Clean original underbody. – The “left bids” were left behind at the low estimate, with live and online bidders making up the difference to this price. Low miles, known history and a litany of thoughtful performance upgrades contribute to the appeal of this Aston which may have been “cosmetic Vantage” when it left the factory but it makes a case for being a solid value in this transaction.

Lot # 117 1963 Jaguar XKE SI Semi-Lightweight Roadster Replica; S/N 861113; Engine # 7E15096-9; Silver, Silver hardtop/Red leather; Estimate $125,000 – $150,000; Modified restoration 3- condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $100,000. – 4,235/292hp six, 5-speed, lookalike modification with faux Dunlop wheels, Remington tires, roof and trunk vents, three Webers, welded hood louvers, screwed on headlight covers, roll cage, Sabelt 4-point belts, two seats, outside fuel filler, hardtop. – German-built aluminum body panels. FIA papers. Usable old upholstery. Sound paint. Erratic chrome. A usable event car. – It looks great and probably runs like a bear but faux Lightweight people were thin on the ground at Audrain this week and there was no serious bidding on this Jag.

Lot # 118 1957 Jaguar XK 150 3.4 Drophead Coupe; S/N S837126DN; Engine # V2048-8; Beige/Red leather; Tan cloth top; Estimate $50,000 – $60,000; Visually maintained, largely original 3- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $45,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $50,400. – 3,442/190hp, 4-speed, overdrive, chrome wire wheels, Michelin tires, fender mirrors, JDHT Certificate documented. – Poor old repaint with many flaws, nicks and scrapes. Fair chrome and upholstery. Old discolored top. Neglected and needs much if not everything having been sitting for some time. – An apparently solid, sound example, the recommissioning it needs won’t be onerously expensive. It is elegant, comfortable and handsome, a bargain at the price it brought.

Lot # 119 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster; S/N 1980428500081; Engine # 1989807500725; Silver/Blue leather; Blue cloth top; Estimate $1,100,000 – $1,300,000; Older restoration 2- condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $975,000 plus commission of 10.51%; Final Price $1,077,500. – 2,996/250hp, 4-speed, body color wheels with polished rims, Michelin XWX tires, air conditioning added, Talbot outside mirror, Euro headlights, Nardi woodrim steering wheel. – Discolored stone chip on the nose, crack by the left jack point. Good chrome. Surface creased upholstery. The hood fits slightly but visibly high. Discolored cockpit surround molding chrome. It is sound, but not exceptional. – This car struggled, not only to meet the expectations for a 300SL Roadster but also to find a buyer. The time from $960,000 to this sold bid was nearly interminable, at least ten minutes in all. The car, it should be noted, is nothing to write home about and the result is generous for its condition.

Lot # 121 2022 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG Convertible; S/N W1KVK8ABXNF001830; Alpine Grey/Sienna Brown; Black cloth top; Estimate $190,000 – $230,000; Unrestored original 2 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $170,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $190,400. – 4-litre/469hp V8, 9-speed automatic, alloy wheels, red calipers, the usual upscale options including a computer screen big enough for a desk. – A new car with 100 miles. – AMG, for all its fabled history, has become a Mercedes-Benz nameplate since it was acquired in 2005. This is a new car and it is apparent just how irrelevant and unsatisfying it is in this result which is not even what it would have sold for off the showroom floor. Yawn.

Lot # 122 1953 Jaguar XK 120 Fixed Head Coupe; S/N 680893; Engine # W7726-8; Champagne Gold/Black leather; Estimate $100,000 – $130,000; Older restoration 3+ condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $92,500. – 3,442/160hp, 4-speed, body color steel wheels with chrome hub caps, blackwall tires, dual wing mirrors, skirts, wood dash and window trim, locking filler cap, tool kit, JDHT Certificate documented. – Represented as the numbers-matching block and cylinder head. Clean engine bay. Very good upholstery, interior wood and chrome. Excellent paint aside from an inch-long star crack behind the passenger window. Restored fourteen years ago and very lightly used and well-maintained since. – Sold at Auctions America’s Ft. Lauderdale auction in 2015 for $115,500, then at RM Auburn Fall in 2021 for $82,500, this is classic XK 120 FHC style in a sound and presentable package. It might deserve a better price than this, but this bid is substantially more than it attracted at Auburn last year and could have been sold with no regrets.

Lot # 124 1966 Sunbeam Tiger Series I Convertible; S/N B382001098LRXFE; Engine # 661106; Cardinal Red/Black vinyl; Black cloth top; Estimate $85,000 – $105,000; Cosmetic restoration 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $75,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $84,000. – 260/165hp, single 4-barrel carburetor, 4-speed, 4-spoke alloy wheels, Uniroyal tires, AM radio, two tops. – Good paint, interior and top. Old, cracked windshield post rubber. Good chrome. Chapel House collection. – A pretty little Tiger with the little Tiger 260 V8, it is better than many others and doesn’t appear to have been given a load of LAT (LA Tiger) upgrades, an honest little car that will thrill a new owner, particularly at this moderate price. 3

Lot # 125 1995 Porsche 911 Supercup Coupe; S/N WP0ZZZ99ZSS398082; White, Yellow “Hasseroder”/Black cloth; Estimate $350,000 – $400,000; Competition restoration 3+ condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $270,000. – 3,746/310hp, 6-speed, single Recaro seat, Momo steering wheel, centerlock modular alloy wheels, Pirelli tires, fire system. – Alleged to have been raced in the Supercup Championship; in 1995-1997, but not documented. Restored after years of racing in this configuration. Excellent paint with one big cracked rivet on the nose. Stone chipped headlights. Clean orderly interior and engine compartment. – A track day car with indeterminate history, it took Bonhams’ auctioneer only four bids to write off this ephemeral Porsche Supercup

Lot # 126 1964 Jaguar XKE SI Fixed Head Coupe; S/N 889928; Engine # RA5245-9; Golden Sand/Beige leather; Estimate $160,000 – $190,000; Cosmetic restoration 3 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $127,500 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $142,800. – 3,781/265hp, Tremec 5-speed (original 4-speed included), chrome wire wheels, Vredestein tires, pushbutton radio. – Good clearcoat paint with small fisheyes and rough finish on the bonnet. Sound lightly stretched upholstery. Clear gauges. Fair trim chrome. Polished engine. A decent driver. – Bid to $190,000 at the Broad Arrow Monterey auction five weeks ago, this result makes much more sense.

Lot # 128 1974 Alfa Romeo 2000 GT Veloce Sprint, Body by Bertone; S/N AR3024419; Quarry Beige, Blue nose apron/Black vinyl; Estimate $55,000 – $75,000; Modified restoration 3+ condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $65,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $72,800. – 1,962/145hp, dual 45DCOE Webers, limited slip axle, fuel cell, alternator, 4-piston disc brakes, Konis, Eibach springs, urethane bushings, 15″ Campagnolo style alloy wheels, Michelin tires, Prototipo leather rim steering wheel, Stack tachometer. – Clean, orderly engine compartment. Good clearcoat paint with a few small flaws. Good upholstery, glass and gauges. No bumpers. Driving out of the preview it displayed the “thud, thud” of an Alfa’s short induction tract, just as it should. – This is a dream car. It’s not original, it doesn’t purport to be original, but it has all the stuff anyone could ever want in a GTV, competently and thoughtfully done. (Does it show that I like GTVs and am not afraid of making them better?.) With stock GTVs bringing near, and even over, 6-figure prices this is a sincere value.

Lot # 131 1966 Maserati Mistral 4000 Coupe, Body by Frua; S/N AM109A11260; Engine # AN109A11260; Rosso Cordoba metallic/Cream leather; Estimate $100,000 – $130,000; Cosmetic restoration 3- condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $102,500 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $114,800. – 4,014/255hp inline six, triple 2-barrel Webers, 5-speed, silver painted wire wheels, Avon blackwall tires, FI replaced with three Webers – Originally fuel injected, now with Weber carburetion. Poor old repaint with drips and blistering. Trim chrome scuffed during sanding and incompletely polished. Weak trim chrome, rusty door handles. Driver’s door doesn’t close flush. Good upholstery with minor scuff marks. Underbody is heavy with thick old undercoat and light areas of Ruby overspray. – Sold for $118,023 at Bonhams Paris in 2014 (Euros 109,250 at the time, this result is Euros 117,300), the cosmetic presentation here is seriously lacking which doesn’t give much confidence about what lies within and the result, sold to a phone bidder, is generous.

Lot # 132 1963 Daimler SP250 Dart Convertible; S/N 100929; Blue-Grey/Beige leather; Beige cloth top; Estimate $40,000 – $50,000; Visually maintained, largely original 3- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $28,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $31,360. – 2,578/142hp, 4-speed, silver painted wire wheels, blackwall tires, laced leather steering wheel rim cover. – Represented as the matching-numbers engine. Protective clearcoat paint with visible preparation flaws. Dirty wheels. Sound but aged upholstery with deeply scuffed driver’s seat bolster. Banged wheel nuts. Dirty engine compartment and chassis. Very used. – Bought well considering its condition and mediocre performance. The body design? Well, it’s more distinctive than an MGC. Daimler, official marque of the Royal fleet, tried with this fiberglass bodied hemi-head V8 to break out of its staid image. The SP250/Dart (Chrysler objected to the “Dart” name used in the UK) remains under the radar, and an intriguing value at prices like this.

Lot # 133 1957 BMW 507 Convertible; S/N 70059; Engine # 40072; Bright Blue, Bright Blue hardtop/Grey leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $1,800,000 – $2,200,000; Unrestored original 4 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $2,100,000 plus commission of 10.24%; Final Price $2,315,000. – 3,168/150hp V8, 4-speed, Rudge centerlock wheels, Pirelli tires, two tops, multiband radio, tool kit, owner’s handbook and bill of sale to Herman Bold. – Awful, peeling, blistering old repaint. Worn, discolored upholstery with a pulled seam on the driver’s seat cushion. Aged and tired barn find but sound and complete. Video introduction in the barn and at Lime Rock, an important barn find from a shed in Philadelphia where it has been secreted since it was acquired by Herman Bold in 1979 for $22,000 43 years ago. – This is a rat. It also is a wonderful rat, started from time to time and driven out of its shed under its own power after decades in limbo. It got the Audrain collectors’ juices flowing, but they couldn’t match the phone bidder who bought it. Now the new owner is going to have to decide what to do with it having paid generously but not egregiously for the privilege of owning it.

Lot # 136 1994 Lamborghini Diablo VT Coupe; S/N ZA9DU07PXRLA12203; Black/Black leather, Red bars; Estimate $225,000 – $275,000; Unrestored original 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $220,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $246,400. – 5,797/492hp, 5-speed, polished modular wheels, PZero tires, Kenwood stereo, all wheel drive. – Stone chipped windshield wiper arms. The nose has some fisheyes and stone chips that suggests it has been repainted but the rest of the paint looks original. Good lightly worn upholstery. A sound example that needs nothing. – Sold at Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach in 2013 for $89,100, then passed at Mecum Dallas five months later on a bid of $85,000 and sold a year later at B-J Las Vegas for $104,500. A passing comment observed that “You couldn’t give these cars away two years ago. Now they’re a quarter million dollars.” And, as this result shows, so they are.

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