While Covid 19 has brought many adjustments to the collector car auction calendar, other influences have also had their effect.
The emergence of new events like Chattanooga have attracted auctions – in that case Mecum. Hagerty’s acquisition of the Greenwich Concours from the founding Wennerstrom family and a Covid-related hiatus in 2020 saw Bonhams well-established Greenwich auction moved to online only and a preview at the Hagerty Garage + Social facility in Bedford Hills, NY in 2021.
Only a half hour’s drive north of Greenwich, this was a significantly different event.
Greenwich draws spectators from wealthy Fairfield County, Connecticut, a half hour’s train ride from Wall Street. They come for an afternoon’s diversion on the concours field and – most of the nearby residents being financial types – walk into the Bonhams auction marquee to see what the market will bear.
There they have found interesting, attractive and affordable cars that over the Bonhams Greenwich auction history have had median transactions in mid-five figures, pocket change for the locals. That’s intriguing and casual spectators have become buyers on a whim.
That was lost when Bonhams displayed its cars at the Hagerty Garage + Social facility, as attractive as it is, in Bedford Hills. If there were curious walk-in spectators in the hard to find facility they were invisible. Bonhams had fewer bidders. Hagerty handicapped its corporate efforts to spread the word about collecting cars and encouraging new collector car owners in the remote venue.
Despite that, and a consignment of some rather sketchy-condition cars that were predominantly Rolls-Royces and a single collection of neglected and dirty Aston Martins, Bonhams knocked the ball out of the park, selling nearly everything, many of them at truly optimistic prices
Here are the numbers:
|Cars Sold/ Offered||Sale %||Sold < Low Est||Sold > High Est||Average Sale||Median Sale||Total $|
20 of the 43 lots on offer are described here by Rick Carey, sorted in lot number order.
Lot # 7 1957 Aston Martin DB2/4 Coupe, Body by Tickford; S/N AM3001272; Engine # VB6J896; Burgundy/Magenta leather; Estimate $120,000 – $160,000; Modified restoration 3- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $160,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $179,200. – 2,922/140hp, 4-speed, silver painted wire wheels, Firestone tires, Lucas driving lights, AM-FM radio, air conditioning, power windows and outside mirrors. – Modified with air conditioning, power windows and mirrors. Two owners from new. Dented wheel rims. Good but bright upholstery and interior trim. Rusty bumper overriders. Sound paint with some orange peel in difficult places. Filthy engine compartment. – One of several Astons in this auction that seem to have been dragged largely immobile from the deserts of the Middle East. Boasting a half-assed repaint, rusty wheels and chrome, and eye-searing magenta upholstery and trim, one look under the hood at the dirty, neglected engine compartment is enough to induce cringing. The buyer was an optimist and this price leaves no margin for whatever may be found upon closer inspection.
Lot # 9 1953 Nash-Healey Series 25 Roadster; S/N 2409; Engine # NHA1426; Burgundy/Beige leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $70,000 – $90,000; Older restoration 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $80,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $89,600. – 253/140hp six, 3-speed with overdrive, chrome wire wheels, whitewall tires, pushbutton radio, fender mirrors. – Restored in the 90’s, good older repaint with minor scratches and scuffs. Sound upholstery. Good chrome. Dull paint on the back deck and fenders. Clean underbody. Recently mechanically serviced at a cost of $15,000. An attractively aged older restoration that comes with spares including an engine. – This is a reassuring car despite the two decades old restoration. It doesn’t appear to have been seriously neglected or abused since the restoration and the recent service (it is, after all, a relatively uncomplicated Nash under the skin) is a good sign. The result here is right where it ought to be, without taking into account that it is Mille Miglia eligible. It is a solid value.
Lot # 10 1972 De Tomaso Pantera Coupe, Body by Ghia; S/N THPNMG03229; Red/Black leatherette, cloth inserts; Estimate $60,000 – $80,000; Unrestored original 3 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $60,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $67,200. – 351/330hp, 5-speed, gold painted alloy wheels, Comp T/A tires, Pioneer cassette stereo, power windows, air conditioning. – Dull, crazing old paint with some rust blisters. Sound original upholstery and gauges. Dirty tires that look like they’ve been flat for years. An early small bumper Pantera that doesn’t appear ever to have been modified, it is showing 63,016 miles that could be all it has covered since new. – Panteras have been prone to careless modifications over the years into cafe racers with wide wheels, flares and pumped up engines. This one has escaped that treatment and is, these days, in the minority of preserved largely original cars. The result here fits the Hagerty Price Guide opinion, but has little if any recognition of its originality and is a sound value.
Lot # 11 1966 Sunbeam Tiger Mk IA Convertible; S/N B382001974LRXFE; Dark Blue/Black leatherette; Blue cloth top; Estimate $50,000 – $70,000; Modified restoration 3 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $38,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $42,560. – 260cid, 4-barrel, 4-speed, Minilite alloy wheels, Yokohama tires, Hurst shifter, Prototipo leather rim steering wheel, Willans belts, bucket style seats, two tops. – Orange peely paint, blisters and stone chips on the nose. Delaminating windshield. Orderly engine compartment, Edelbrock intake manifold and 4-barrel carburetor. Restored chassis. An enthusiast’s driver with useful performance tweaks but has been dormant recently. – Perhaps put off by the warning about sitting for a while, the bidders’ reluctance to undertake a project resulted in this fully-hedged result for an otherwise well-presented two-top Tiger Mk IA. There’s enough headroom at this price to give it pretty much anything that it needs and still be above water, a good value.
Lot # 12 1986 Ferrari 412i 2-Dr. Sedan, Body by Pininfarina; S/N ZFFYD24B000063755; Black/Beige leather; Estimate $40,000 – $50,000; Visually maintained, largely original 3- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $35,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $39,200. – 4,942/318hp, automatic, alloy wheels, TRX tires, air conditioning, power windows, later CD stereo, built in mobile phone. – Represented as 47,940 miles from new with a known ownership history since arriving in the States in 1986. Poor old repaint over old paint. Abundant chips and scratches. Sound but creased and surface cracked original upholstery. Dusty, dirty old undercoat. A tired but not neglected Ferrari sedan. – As the catalog notes, “this is the perfect Ferrari for a burgeoning Tifosi-especially if they are unburdened by the ability to drive a stick.” It’s also good for hauling around kids or dogs and has an elegant Pininfarina profile as well as being bought in this transaction for a price appropriate for its condition and equipment.
Lot # 13 1965 Porsche 356C 1600 Coupe, Body by Karmann; S/N 220507; Engine # 715811; Signal Red/Black leatherette; Estimate $50,000 – $70,000; Older restoration 3+ condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $70,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $78,400. – 1,582/75hp, 4-speed, Nardi woodrim steering wheel, no radio, chrome wheels, hubcaps, Pirelli P6 tires, Kardex copy documented. – Chips in front of the luggage compartment opening and behind the rear license plate, otherwise good paint. Poor quarter window and door window frame chrome. Bright, crisp gauges. Good upholstery. Aged, dusty, overlooked engine compartment. Restored but subsequently driven, more recently static displayed and neglected. – A cheerful Porsche from the last year of 356 production in decent but definitely used condition. The result here is optimistic but within reason.
Lot # 14 1972 Volvo 1800E Coupe; S/N 1826363039291; Cyprus Green/Beige velour; Estimate $10,000 – $20,000; Visually maintained, largely original 4+ condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $11,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $12,320. – 1.986/120hp, 4-speed, overdrive, Kenwood CD stereo, MSW alloy wheels, Prodic tires, Hella driving lights. – Vinyl wrapped steering wheel rim. Poor trim chrome, left outside mirror missing. Filthy, grimy engine compartment. Quick old repaint with more than enough flaws and scrapes to go around. Tired original upholstery with some seams starting to pull. Dirty undercoat in the wheel wells. Reported to have been sitting since 2007 and not running, a straightforward “rolling restoration” project. – A full restoration is not in the cards unless the new owner is Volvo-obsessed but a less ambitious project is realistic at this price and the result will still be pleasing without being egregiously expensive.
Lot # 18 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible; S/N 5762066646; Black/Black, Cream leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $90,000 – $120,000; Older restoration 3- condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $90,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $100,800. – 365/325hp, dual quads, automatic, Silver Sabre wheels, Silvertown whitewalls, Autronic Eye, parade boot, power antenna, power windows, pushbutton radio, power steering and brakes. – Indifferent quality old repaint. Lightly soiled upholstery. The batwing air cleaner is not installed but is listed as included. Weak chrome, paint loss under the hood. An elegant Eldo, but tired and aged. – Sold by Kruse at Auburn Fall in 2002 for $32,860, then by RM at Ft. Lauderdale in 2019 for $121,000, this Eldo is neglected but not seriously deteriorated. It is still a statement, even though it’s old enough to qualify for Social Security, and brought an appropriately modest price.
Lot # 20 1964 Imperial Crown Imperial Limousine, Body by Ghia; S/N 9343106979; Black/Black leather, Grey cloth rear; Estimate $50,000 – $80,000; Visually maintained, largely original 4+ condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $35,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $39,200. – 413/375hp, pushbutton shift automatic, wheel covers, whitewalls, dual outside mirrors, power windows, air conditioning, six-window body. – Lousy old repaint, poorly masked and now blistering and chipped. Thin, shadowed chrome. Good front and rear upholstery. Once elegant, chic and imposing. Radio missing, broken robe rope. Now sad and forlorn. – Sold by Barrett-Jackson at Las Vegas in 2008 for $93,500 and today in the same sad, forlorn, neglected condition it was then having added only six more miles to its odometer. It has the potential to be a wonderful luxury car but as it sits it needs comprehensive and expensive attention even before it can be driven. It was expensive in Vegas thirteen years ago and is no bargain even at this price.
Lot # 24 1941 Packard 110 Deluxe Station Wagon, Body by Hercules; S/N D14092; Gold, Wood, Beige leatherette roof/Beige leatherette; Estimate $70,000 – $80,000; Cosmetic restoration 3 condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $67,500. – 245/100hp L-head six, 3-speed column shift, overdrive, 3-row seating, body color wheels, hubcaps and trim rings, Michelin blackwall tires, pushbutton radio, turn signals added. – The body was rebuilt in teak at yacht builder Merrill & Stevens in Jacksonville, Florida for yard owner Kenneth Merrill. Decent clearcoat paint and varnished wood with minor joints separating. One delaminating side window and no seals on the sliding quarter windows. The driver’s door bottom sticks out half an inch. Sound upholstery. Aged gauges and dash knobs. – The combination of an intriguing story, limited ownership and decent condition contributed to a generous offer for this six-cylinder Packard wagon. The offer was generous enough that it should have been taken but perhaps it was in the estate of its most recent owner, Steve Dana, and in the hands of a stiff-backed Vermont probate lawyer unable to realize this may be the best offer it’ll ever receive. A missed opportunity.
Lot # 25 1912 Kissel Kar Model D-11 Semi-Racer; S/N Engine No. 15031; Engine # 15031; Black/Brown leatherette; Estimate $55,000 – $85,000; Rebodied or re-created 4 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $70,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $78,400. – RHD. 334/32 ALAM hp L-head four-cylinder, single carburetor, 4-speed, Solar acetylene headlights and kerosene sidelights, Eversure bulb horn, Stewart speedometer, oval bolster tank, dual rear-mounted spares, 34×4 wood spoke wheels, Kissel Moto-Meter. – Discovered in the 80’s as an engineless chassis with the correct 124-inch wheelbase and 4-speed gearbox of a Semi-Racer. Restored with a 1914 Kissel Model 40 engine and rebodied by Vic Groah from original Kissel blueprints. Now aged to nearly barn find condition with dull brass, chipped old paint but sound upholstery. Old, used, dirty and grimy but remarkably well-preserved and all there. It would be a shame to restore it again. – This Kissel is not pure. In fact it’s a long way from pure, but so are most other sporting cars surviving from 109 years ago and it is thoughtfully restored and good enough to be enjoyed on the road. The transaction result reflects its appeal and rarity.
Lot # 29 1960 Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk III Coupe, Body by Tickford; S/N AM30031728; Engine # DBA1346; Oxford Blue/Tan leather; Estimate $120,000 – $160,000; Cosmetic restoration 4+ condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $200,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $224,000. – 2,922/178hp, 4-speed, chrome wire wheels, Firestone tires, front disc brakes. – Represented as the original engine and U.S. delivery lefthand drove. Rusty wheel rims. Dirty, dust-covered interior. Torn left door window seal. Various corner chips. Fair chrome. Dirty chassis. Not recently used and in need of comprehensive attention. – Offered by Rick Cole at Monterey in 1991 where it was bid to $36,800 but not sold. It doesn’t appear to have much if any use or attention since then but has deteriorated badly and needs pretty much everything. At this price it will be very expensive once it is recommissioned to be safe and reliable to drive.
Lot # 30 1970 Aston Martin DBS Coupe; S/N DBS5649LC; Engine # 4004703S; Silver Birch/Dark Blue leather; Estimate $70,000 – $90,000; Visually maintained, largely original 3- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $95,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $106,400. – 3,996/282hp, three SU carburetors, ZF 5-speed, Blaupunkt multiband radio, air conditioning, power windows, chrome wire wheels, Pirelli tires. – Sound older clearcoat repaint over old paint and some chips. Surface cracked but sound original upholstery. Dusty, aged dash, knobs and gauges. Thin bumper chrome. Dusty old underbody and chassis. Dormant since 2009, an extensive and expensive recommissioning is in its immediate future. – Desirably equipped including the ZF 5-speed and factory A/C, this is a DBS with real potential, particularly at this price and even facing not-inconsiderable bills to make up for it sitting for eleven years.
Lot # 31 1971 Aston Martin DBS V8 Coupe; S/N DBSV810366LCA; Engine # V540052EE; Ruby Metallic/Parchment leather; Estimate $70,000 – $90,000; Visually maintained, largely original 3- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $75,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $84,000. – 5,340/310hp, automatic, Sony stereo, power windows, Coolaire air conditioning, alloy wheels, Goodyear tires, Moto-Lita woodrim steering wheel. – Sound paint and interior. Good gauges. Clean underbody. Static displayed since 2008 and looks like it. – Sound and inherently in decent condition, the long static display is going to be expensive to remedy. Cosmetically it is better than it must be mechanically and at this price there’s room for it to be put right without too much financial pain. The price realistically reflects the condition and history.
Lot # 32 1971 Aston Martin DBS V8 Coupe; S/N DBSV810361LCA; Engine # V540050EE; Dark Green Metallic/Dark Green leather; Estimate $60,000 – $90,000; Visually maintained, largely original 3- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $70,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $78,400. – 5,340/310hp, automatic, alloy wheels, Cooper tires, air conditioning, Waso steering lock. – Quick old repaint with chips, scratches and peeling clearcoat on the hood. Sound, lightly creased upholstery in an otherwise dirty, dusty interior. Dusty old engine compartment and chassis. Flat right rear tire. Static displayed since 2008 and neglected. – The only practical reason this DBS V8 brought less than the one sold just before is DBS or Aston Martin fatigue among the bidders. Or perhaps Ruby Red was more attractive than Dark Green. Either way this is a reasonable price for a tired Aston that will not be cheap to get back on the road.
Lot # 34 1966 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage Coupe; S/N DB62514LN; Engine # 4003547N; Silver Birch/Dark Blue leather; Estimate $240,000 – $300,000; Older restoration 3+ condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $450,000 plus commission of 11.11%; Final Price $500,000. – 3,995/325hp six, triple dual choke Weber carburetors, ZF 5-speed, chrome wire wheels, Avon tires, multiband radio, power windows, hidden CD stereo. – Restored by Kevin Kay Restorations in the early Naughts, color changed from its original Goodwood Green over Natural leather. Very good clearcoat paint with negligible small chips and a small blemish on top of the left front fender. Good upholstery and dash. Dusty undercoated chassis and engine that shows age and use. An attractive driver with a restoration that’s aging well but has not been driven in a decade. – The only box not ticked by this DB6 Vantage is air conditioning aside, that is, from the “reasonable price” box. This is a huge price even for the quality of its Kevin Kay restoration but it is a value that was also apparent eleven years ago when it was sold by RM at Arizona for $319,000.
Lot # 36 1966 Aston Martin DB6 Coupe; S/N DB62631LN; Engine # 4002536; Silver/Black leather; Estimate $150,000 – $200,000; Visually maintained, largely original 4+ condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $150,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $168,000. – 3,995/282hp, three SU carburetors, automatic, chrome wire wheels, Uniroyal tires, AM-FM radio, Normalair air conditioning. – U.S. delivered, original lefthand drive. Sound clearcoat paint and upholstery. Pimpled outside mirrors, Dented and scratched right rear bumper, weak front bumper chrome. Filthy engine compartment. Crazed headlight covers with dust behind them. Static displayed, in common with many of the other Astons in this auction, for over a decade and neglected. – A potentially wonderful Aston but seriously disappointing in its neglect over the past decade or more, the pain that will be incurred in resurrecting this neglected beast will be mitigated by the moderate price that it brought here.
Lot # 37 1978 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Coupe; S/N V811929LCAV; Engine # V5401929LFA; Madagascar Brown Metallic/Parchment leather; Estimate $100,000 – $150,000; Original, modified for competition or performance 3- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $220,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $246,400. – 6 litre upgraded V-8, four Weber carburetors, estimated 440hp, ZF 5-speed, alloy wheels, Avon tires, power windows, air conditioning. – U.S. delivery lefthand drive, engine and gearbox updated in the U.S. in the 90’s. Shiny clearcoat paint and decent chrome. Soiled and creased original upholstery. Dirty engine compartment and chassis. Static displayed since it was acquired in 2008, aged but not as neglected as some of the other Astons in this collection. – This is a hammer looking for a nail, a seriously brawny Aston Martin. It is a shame that its driving performance was allowed to languish in some dank and dusty storage unit for years but the bidders here didn’t seem to care too much and fully valued its potential in this transaction.
Lot # 38 1989 Aston Martin Lagonda 4-Dr. Sedan; S/N SCFDL01S4KTL13581; Engine # V5853581LFA; Cream/Blue-Grey leather; Estimate $60,000 – $90,000; Unrestored original 3 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $130,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $145,600. – 5,340/289hp, automatic, grey painted alloy wheels, Avon tires, Blaupunkt cassette stereo, sunroof, power windows. – 2,027 miles and all original. Excellent original paint and lightly stretched upholstery. Minor scrapes at the front of the hood and some discoloration on the nose but otherwise remarkably clean and preserved but static displayed since 2010. Appropriate recommissioning will be required. – The shingle-shaped Lagonda sedan was fantastic when it appeared, and it is still fantastic today. Nothing else has quite captured its combination of design, four-place accommodations and performance, although the last is compromised by the smog-era engine’s puny 289 horsepower. They were plagued by build quality and electronic issues, however, and have a bad reputation for unreliability. Which is, on the other hand, of little significance when a Lagonda is so good to look at. This result represents a healthy premium for design, low miles and originality but with little recognition for the cost of making it run and drive reliably.
Lot # 42 2008 Porsche 911 GT3 RS Coupe; S/N WP0AC29988S792374; Signal Green, Black accent/Black leather, Alcantara inserts; Estimate $180,000 – $220,000; Unrestored original 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $280,000 plus commission of 11.79%; Final Price $313,000. – 3,600/415hp, 6-speed, black alloy wheels, Pilot Sport Cup tires, yellow calipers, carbon fiber brake discs, power windows, carbon fiber interior trim and wing. – Stated to be 6,092 miles. Slightly stretched driver’s seat. Scraped and cracked splitter. Sound original paint but with texture in places on the front deck lid and nose that along with the cracked splitter imply front end repair. – This is a huge price even for a 911 GT3 RS in this condition that could have been sold for the pre-sale low estimate without regret. It’s an example of the ultimate evolution of the naturally aspirated 997-generation air cooled Porsches, and it’s a gorgeous tree frog green, but here among the Astons, Bentleys and Rolls-Royces that comprised the bulk of Bonhams Greenwich Concours online only auction it stood out as the newest car in the field by two decades. Thus set apart, the bidders seem to have come unglued and bid with their testes, not their heads. This is a ridiculous price for a car that in recent auction history for pristine examples without broken splitters has been closer to its original MSRP of $155,000.