Fifteen years ago in 2007 RM Auctions sold kitchen cabinet mogul Gene Ponder’s collection (or much of it) in Marshall, Texas at No Reserve raising $11.9 million.
But, you can’t keep an enthusiastic serial buyer down and on September 24 RM Sotheby’s sold the latest Ponder acquisitions with No Reserve also at his spread in Marshall, Texas. 97 lots (not including motorcycles or buildings full of automobilia and signs) brought a total of $20,302,150.
It’s been a busy fifteen years for Gene Ponder, who has parlayed his 2007 windfall and cash flow into an even bigger car collection, not to mention signage, automobilia and memorabilia in quantity that would have impressed even Mike Dingman.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Gene Ponder’s collection is the number of replicas, re-creations and tributes offered. In 2007 replicas were fourteen of the 52 lots, 27%. The replica total was less of the 2022 auction at seventeen of 97 lots but still amounted to $4,969,250 of the $20.3 million sale, 24.5% of the sale’s total and 17.5% of the lots offered.
Included were three Pur Sangs (an 8C 2300, a Bugatti Type 35 and a Type 55 Super Sport), four other Alfa Romeos of various parentage and three more Bugatti replicas.
Some, like the Pur Sangs, were wonderful and accurate. Others were simply strange silhouettes. They’re not reported here in detail (except the Pur Sang 8C 2300 Corto Spider) but they were nonetheless intriguing. Some were commissioned by Gene Ponder, others bought as they were. Several were of Argentine origin where building old car replicas out of parts (or in the case of Pur Sang, making the parts from scratch) is a successful artisanal business.
Some were simply bizarre:
- A fiberglass bodied Porsche 550 Spyder replica powered by an inline four-cylinder water-cooled Audi engine, the most bizarre of all (sold for $90,750);
- An Argentine replica of a Delahaye 135 GP car based on a Delahaye truck engine salvaged from a Laffly Type BSS firetruck (sold for $209,000);
- An Alfa 8C 2900 Mille Miglia Roadster powered by a pair of cleverly-conjoined and retimed postwar Alfa 1600 blocks (sold for $341,000);
- A Bugatti Type 57 “Tank” rebody on a Proteus C-type replica chassis with Jaguar power (sold for $159,500);
- A misshapen Ferrari Testa Rossa based on a Ferrari 412i with Ferrari (or more likely Fiat) V-6 power (sold for $154,000); and
- An Alfa 6C 2300 Corto Spider with a Jaguar drivetrain (sold for $198,000).
It’s not fair not to mention the wonderful Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic re-creation that brought $1,155,00. It had a “bespoke” 3.3 litre supercharged engine and new “surbaisse” frame with some original Type 57 parts from Gangloff sedan bodied Bugatti s/n 57654.
It’s one way to build a collection of cars that stops onlookers in their tracks and it likely paid off for Gene Ponder in this auction.
Here are the numbers for 2007 and 2022:
|Year||Cars Sold/ Offered||Sale %||Sold < Low Est||Sold > High Est||Average Sale||Median Sale||Total $|
On-site observations of these 37 lots are by Andrew Newton. They are sorted in lot number order. Photos are by Andrew Newton with some that were awkwardly displayed in the preview courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.
Lot # 3126 1973 Fiat 850 Spider, Body by Bertone; S/N 100GBS10130763; Red, Black side stripes and graphics/Black piped in Red; Black top; Estimate $10,000 – $20,000; Older restoration 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $16,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $17,600. – 903/52hp, 4-speed, Cromodora wheels, Vredestein tires, luggage rack, heat and defrost, books. – Lovely paint with a tiny scratch on the left front fender. A little bit of dirt on the wheels. The doors stick out slightly at the bottom and the car looks like it’s sitting too low on the rear suspension. Clean underneath with thick paint on the frame. Good upholstery. Original-looking dash and gauges. A cute car, cleaner than most 850 Spiders, and a lot of charm for the money. – The Fiat 850 was a huge seller in its basic two-door sedan form, with nearly 1.8M built. A handsome fastback coupe version also found over 340,000 buyers. But the best known model in this country is probably the Bertone styled Spider, built from 1967-73. As with many cheap, rust-prone convertibles, though, there aren’t a ton of survivors out there and it is always nice to see a clean one like this. The bidders thought so, too, putting it at the high end of its estimate (and HPG Price Guide) range, but it’s hard to argue that the car didn’t deserve it.
Lot # 3135 1990 Ferrari 348ts Spider, Body by Pininfarina-Scaglietti; S/N ZFFFG36A5L0086502; Rosso Corsa/Tan leather; Estimate $45,000 – $65,000; Unrestored original 2 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $115,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $126,500. – 3,405/300hp, 5-speed, BFG G-Force Sport tires, engine-turned aluminum trim round the shifter and door handles, original window sticker and books. – Represented as a one-owner car and showing just 8,769 miles. There are some of the tiny, almost inevitable rock chips at the front of the nose but otherwise this looks like a carefully kept and seldom driven 348 with a service history of two engine-outs. – A reasonably desirable car with a known history of a single owner from new and consistent service as well as regular care, all of which are valid points, but don’t come close to supporting this fantastic price. It would have been a bargain at the low estimate and a sound buy at the high estimate but this hammer price is $50,000 more than the pre-sale high estimate. It’s enough to buy two similar 348ts Spiders and still have money left over for an engine-out service on one of them.
Lot # 3140 1975 Porsche 911S Targa; S/N 9115211503; Engine # 64H02778; Guards Red, Black Carrera graphics/Black, Red; Estimate $50,000 – $70,000; Original, modified for competition or performance 3+ condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $62,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $68,750. – Later 3.2 engine from an ’87 Carrera, 5-speed, Fuchs wheels, Pirelli P4 tires, later Pioneer head unit. – Major service within the last 12 months. Showing 54,478 miles on the odometer. Mostly good paint with a scrape on the right front, a small blemish on the front of the hood, and a few scratches on the rear bumper. Some scuffs on the front rubber bumperette. Clean wheels, engine, and underbody. Good upholstery but the steering wheel shows age, the left two gauges are cloudy, and all the gauges are faded. A solid mid-70s 911. – A $36,000 car with its original 175hp, the 231hp (or so) of the later 3.2 engine adds driving enjoyment but detracts for the collector appeal of an unmodified car. At a significant premium over a 1975 911S Targa it is expensive without being able to cite any reason for the premium.
Lot # 3143 1964 Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider; S/N 192572; Engine # AR00601.05001; Red/Black vinyl piped in Red; Tan cloth top; Estimate $225,000 – $275,000; Older restoration 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $200,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $220,000. – 2,584/165hp, 5-speed, hub caps, Michelin X tires, factory hardtop, boot cover. – Good older paint and chrome. Clean wheels. Tidy and maintained underneath. No real issues other than yellowed, fading gauges. – No real issues with the price, either. It’s a bit generous, but these are rare, comfortable cars for touring.
Lot # 3146 1953 Alvis-Healey 3-Litre Convertible, Body by Panelcraft; S/N G524; Engine # 26184; Dark Green/Biscuit leather piped in Green; Dark Green cloth top; Estimate $175,000 – $190,000; Older restoration 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $95,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $104,500. – RHD. 2,993/106hp six, twin SU carbs, 4-speed, aluminum body by Panelcraft, hub caps and trim rings, Dunlop Road Speed tires, wood dash, Smiths gauges. – Represented as one of 28 Healey Sports Convertibles and 25 with Alvis drivetrains. Good older paint with some light scratching here and there. A few marks on the driver’s door handle, and the quarter window on that side is delaminating. Tidy underneath. The fit on the doors is a little uneven. The interior looks great. Alvis and Healey are both big names in the world of British sports cars, but this unusual collaboration is a very rare and quite handsome little car that few have ever heard of. – The Alvis-Healey, also known as the “Healey Three Litre Sports Convertible,” bears a strong family resemblance to the early Nash-Healey (both were penned by Gerry Coker and built by Panelcraft in Birmingham) and was built at the same time. The Healey chassis is different, however, and unlike the Nash version came standard with lockable doors as well as a heater and radio, plus the grille is slightly different. Healey also sold a Riley-engined version, which is even rarer. But with 25 built, largely for the domestic UK market, the Alvis-Healey is still as rare as it is obscure. This was a good place for this one to sell considering the Nash-Healeys and other hybrid sports cars on offer from the Ponder collection, but it was overshadowed by the better-known Panelcraft-bodied Nash-Healey (Lot 3158, sold for $154,000).
Lot # 3149 1974 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS Spider, Body by Pininfarina-Scaglietti; S/N 07892; Red/Black, Red leather; Estimate $400,000 – $500,000; Older restoration 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $575,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $632,500. – 2,419/195hp, 5-speed, 14-inch Borrani wire wheels, Pirelli tires, headlight covers, fender flares, Daytona-style seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power windows, air conditioning, Becker Mexico stereo. – Genuine “chairs and flares” Dino, represented as one of 150 so-equipped, and sold new in the US. Good older paint and chrome. The leather seats look newer but the steering wheel shows serious wear on the leather rim, warping on the areas around the shifter, and worn switchgear. Tidy, maintained engine. Better than a driver-quality car, but it has a few things to nitpick, including upholstery that looks incorrect and the fact that the Borrani wires are not to everyone’s taste (this car had Campagnolos on it originally, but they are not included in the sale). – Even though it doesn’t make the car faster or even make much of a difference in looks, the combination of Daytona seats and fender flares (“chairs and flares”) is a rare enough option that it can add a premium of 20 percent on top of a “regular” Dino. Plus, “chairs and flares” is fun to say. In the case of this Dino, despite having some incorrect details it blew past its estimate and sold for what a perfect, show-worthy Dino with regular seats and fenders ordinarily would.
Lot # 3150 1956 Lancia Aurelia B24S Convertible, Body by Pinin Farina; S/N B24S1191; Engine # B241303; Red/Tan leather; Tan cloth top; Estimate $400,000 – $475,000; Recent restoration 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $325,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $357,500. – 2,451-cc V6 with dual 40DCL5 Webers, Nardi aluminum intake manifold and air cleaner, 4-speed, Borrani wire wheels (original wheels included in the sale), Nardi woodrim steering wheel, modern speedo mounted under the dash. – Sold new in Italy in green over green. Unknown early history, bought by Ponder in 2017. Engine rebuilt within the past few years. Represented as matching numbers in the catalog but clarified in a saleroom notice that it is not. Very good paint, chrome, and interior. Never fully taken apart for restoration, but has received enough extensive attention to result in a solid, attractive presentation. – The lesser of two B24 drop top models with the B24S Spider America being much more valuable. But the Convertible is more comfortable, particularly in the rain or cold, and not notably slower particularly with the Nardi 2-carburetor intake. Sensibly maintained and modified, this is a significant value in a sound and well-maintained B24S Convertible and the new owner should be very happy with it at this price.
Lot # 3153 1954 Arnolt-MG Coupe Fixed-Head Coupe, Body by Bertone; S/N 26873; Engine # XPAG/TD2/27325; Red/Red leather piped in White; Estimate $75,000 – $100,000; Older restoration 3+ condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $55,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $60,500. – 1250cc MG engine with Judson supercharger, modern 5-speed with modern shifter, Borrani wire wheels, Bluemels Brooklands steering wheel, period radio. – One of 67 coupes. Decent older paint with some orange peel and masking errors above the windshield and rear glass. The windshield itself shows several scratches in the glass. Significant scratching on the rear quarter window frames. There is also a small dent below the rear glass. Beautiful interior, although that modern shift knob is a bit conspicuous. All little niggles on a seriously rare car and rather handsome car. – Bonhams sold this car in scruffy and largely unrestored condition at the Simeone Museum in 2015 for $39,600. It has clearly had a lot of money spent on it since then, not all of which is accounted for in this price. It’s a surprisingly modest result, especially given the massive price for the cabriolet sold later in the day, but maybe all the bidders were just keeping their powder dry for the rarer drop top car.
Lot # 3156 1948 MG TC Roadster; S/N TC5452; Engine # XPAGSC10559; Beige, Tan side stripe/Tan leather; Estimate $50,000 – $70,000; Modified restoration 2 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $47,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $52,250. – 1,250 inline four, Judson supercharger, Arnolt aluminum valve and tappet covers, modern 5-speed and steering kit, Alfin aluminum brake drums, badge bar with single Lucas driving light, headlight stone guards, wider than stock Rudge chrome wire wheels, Blockley tires, Jaeger gauges, boost gauge for the blower. – Body-off restored to high standards, especially for an MG, and fitted with lots of period performance goodies plus a few modern upgrades. The car is clean top to bottom and has nothing serious to criticize. Beautiful, tasteful, fun. – Like many of the other MGs out of the Gene Ponder collection, this TC has been both restored to a high standard and modified tastefully for both performance and usability. The bidders, many of whom were attracted by a collection that was rich in both MG cars and memorabilia, recognized this and afforded it a healthy price that is high but not over the top.
Lot # 3158 1951 Nash-Healey Series 25 Convertible, Body by Panelcraft; S/N N2097; Engine # NHA1100; Maroon/Tan leather piped in Maroon; Estimate $150,000 – $175,000; Older restoration 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $140,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $154,000. – 235/125hp six, 3-speed, wheel covers, Dunlop Road Speed tires, banjo steering wheel, turn signals. – Early Nash-Healey with the Healey/Panelcraft bodywork. Very good paint. The chrome looks older with some light pitting on top of the windshield frame. Good panel gaps. Tidy interior and underbody. A straightforward older restoration finished about a decade ago. – One of the earliest postwar sports cars, the Nash-Healey came about from a conversation between Nash-Kelvinator president George Mason and English car designer Donald Healey while the two were on a Transatlantic voyage to England in 1949. A Nash Ambassador engine and 3-speed manual were provided to Healey, who penned the aluminum bodies and provided the sports car underpinnings and ladder-type steel frame. Later Nash-Healeys have more distinctive and handsome Pinin Farina bodywork, and a little over 500 cars were built in total. Like other multinational sports cars, Nash-Healeys aren’t as valuable as other thoroughbreds with similar style and performance. The earlier Panelcraft-bodied Healeys like this one also usually don’t sell for as much as the more common Pinin Farina-bodied ones, largely because they aren’t as nice to look at. This was an exception, though, as its lovely condition helped it sell for nearly 50 grand more than the 1953 Nash-Healey offered a few lots later.
Lot # 3159 1937 MG SA Drophead Coupe; S/N SA1912; Engine # QPHG23185; Dark Blue/Gray leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $140,000 – $180,000; Rebodied or re-created 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $140,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $154,000. – RHD. 2,278/75hp six, 4-speed, wire wheels, Dunlop tires, single Lucas driving light, dual chrome horns, headlight stone guards, dual mirrors, suicide doors, landau bars, wood dash and window trim, Jaeger gauges. – Good paint with some orange peel ahead of the grille and some blisters at the back of the hood. Very good chrome. Clean top. Lovely interior. Rare, solid example of MG’s large prewar model that competed with the likes of the SS Jaguar. Reportedly produced originally as a four-door saloon and later rebodied in about 2009 as a drophead by SVW Limited in the style of Reinbolt and Christe. Replacement engine from s/n SA2857. – The SA is a rare big MG (if 2.3 litres can be considered “big”) and came with upscale coachwork. This is an attractive drophead coupe, but it must be kept in mind it’s not the original body on this chassis nor even an original body being constructed two decades ago. It is, however difficult to fault in any meaningful was and while this is a handsome price for an MG SA it’s also a handsome MG SA Drophead.
Lot # 3161 1999 Ferrari F355 Serie Fiorano Spider, Body by Pininfarina-Scaglietti; S/N ZFFXR48A3X0116250; Rosso Corsa/Tan leather; Estimate $100,000 – $140,000; Unrestored original 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $190,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $209,000. – 3,496/375hp, F1 gearbox, red calipers, Scuderia shields, Pirelli P Zero tires, suede-wrapped steering wheel, carbon fiber interior accents, books and tools. – Number 24 of 100 of these final series 355s produced with some cosmetic enhancements like a Challenge-style rear grille plus Fiorano steering and suspension, and cross-drilled rotors with Competizione pads. This one shows just 8,656 miles. There are a few tiny chips on the nose but the paint mostly looks good. The wheels and brakes could be cleaned up. Light but visible wear on the driver’s seat and some smudges on the boot cover. Could be cleaner given the mileage but this is a rare-spec, collectible 355. – The F355 is a fabulous but finnicky Ferrari that requires regular, often engine-out services and often suffers from the sticky switchgear endemic to Ferraris of this vintage. It’s not clear when this car’s last belt service was and despite low mileage that should raise some concern. But the bidders don’t appear to have factored in a five-figure shop bill here, or much else other than the bright red paint, limited production, and shrieking V8. This price is way above-estimate, and other Serie Fiorano cars sold recently have brought a lot closer to $100K than $200K.
Lot # 3163 1955 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster; S/N VE55S001564; Gypsy Red/Red vinyl; Beige cloth top; Estimate $90,000 – $110,000; Older restoration 3+ condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $107,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $118,250. – 265/195hp V8, Powerglide automatic, spinner wheel covers, whitewalls, pushbutton radio. – Good paint from a short distance but there are a few blemishes up close, including a crack and chip around the right front wheel well. Older chrome. Good, clean seats but lightly faded carpets and pitting on the radio controls, plus some wear on the steering wheel rim. Rare combination of V8 power with early C1 body, but in not much better than driver condition. – This first-year V8 Corvette was restored in the early 2000s, and back when it was fresh it sold for $45,900 at Barrett-Jackson’s Petersen Museum auction in 2002 and for $69,120 at Scottsdale in 2003. The car has aged since then but oh so much has happened in the collector car market over the past 20 years, and then we have to think about inflation. This is a generous result for this car’s condition in 2022.
Lot # 3164 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe, Body by Pinin Farina; S/N 1491GT; Engine # 1491GT; Red/Red leather with Black inserts; Estimate $475,000 – $550,000; Older restoration 3+ condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $445,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $489,500. – 2,953/240hp, 4-speed, Borrani wire wheels, Dunlop Racing tires, woodrim steering wheel, later air conditioning, Superamerica-style hood scoop. – Owned for over 40 years by Wayne Sparking, a senior NART technician, restored under his ownership and represented as the matching-numbers engine. Good but older color change repaint from the original Nocciola (Hazelnut) with orange peel in a couple of spots and a masking error above the rear glass. Slightly imperfect panel fit. Good interior but the A/C vents look a little out of place in a `60s gran turismo. Lightly used underneath. The tires look older. By Ferrari standards, even a “regular” old 250 GT, it’s not a great car but is still a perfectly good, usable one. – If, as Wayne Sparling did, you lived in the middle of Florida adding air conditioning didn’t take much consideration back when a Pf Coupe was worth barely six-figures and it wanted to be driven on a regular basis. In this case the A/C remains a tribute to Sparling’s skill and his sympathetic approach to old Ferraris as cars, not objects of veneration. This result might be a little generous, but it’s an ex-Wayne Sparling car which earns it more respect.
Lot # 3166 1953 Nash-Healey Series 25 Roadster, Body by Pinin Farina; S/N 2378; Engine # NHA1393; Red/Beige leather; Estimate $100,000 – $125,000; Older restoration 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $85,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $93,500. – 253/140hp, 3-speed, wire wheel covers, Firestone whitewalls, pushbutton radio, side curtains. – An older restoration with some cosmetic and mechanical work done in the past three years. Good paint and chrome but both are starting to show their age a bit. Very good interior. Slightly uneven panel gaps. A handsome, usable Nash-Healey, better for the open road than the show field but still quite pretty. – Although there were three Nash-Healeys at this auction, this Anglo-Italo-American hybrid is quite rare. Just 162 were built in 1953. Ponder bought this one out of Guatemalan collector Mario Sueiras’s offering of cars at Mecum Houston three years ago. He paid $82,500 for it. Despite the improvements and corrections since then (the incorrect Jaguar-looking wing mirrors were removed, for example) the difference in price between then and now is marginal. Given their rarity, built quality and Pinin Farina lines, these cars are surprisingly inexpensive and this one was surprisingly cheap even by Nash-Healey standards. Any interested parties may have been saving their attention for the earlier, rarer, Panelcraft-bodied Nash-Healey offered a few lots earlier.
Lot # 3167 1938 MG TA Tickford Drophead Coupe, Body by Salmons & Sons; S/N TA2948; Engine # MPJG3210; Red/Beige leather piped in Red; Black cloth top; Estimate $100,000 – $140,000; Older restoration 3+ condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $70,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $77,000. – RHD. 1,292/50hp four, 4-speed, wire wheels, Blockley tires, Midge radiator mascot, single Lucas driving light, headlight stone guards, Jaeger gauges, wood dash and window trim. – Represented with its original body, chassis and engine. In England until entering this collection in 2015. One of 260 built. Older paint and chrome but no major issues. Lightly worn interior upholstery and wood, particularly the wood trim on the door. A few light smudges in the carpets as well. A rare early T-Series in a similarly rare body style. – Called a “Tickford” but built by Salmons & Sons, a misattribution that must have annoyed coachbuilder Tickford’s, the TA Drophead combines MG’s value with some needed comfort and weather protection. Only 260 or so were built, barely enough to satisfy today’s prewar MG fans. Those fans must have been elsewhere when this TA crossed the block or at least closely considering prior TA Drophead auction results because this price is, contrary to the pre-sale estimates, entirely appropriate..
Lot # 3168 1966 Sunbeam Tiger Mk IA Convertible; S/N B9473486LRXFE; Carnival Red/Black vinyl piped in Red; Black top; Estimate $80,000 – $110,000; Older restoration 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $75,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $82,500. – 260/164hp, Holley 4-barrel added, “Tiger” valve covers, 4-speed, Rudge wire wheels, Vredestein tires, Momo-Lita woodrim steering wheel, documented by the Tiger Ownership Group and Rootes Archive. – Not represented as matching numbers. Restored in 2012. Odd pitting in the “U” of the Sunbeam script on the front, and some light pitting on the quarter window frames. Otherwise the chrome and brightwork look fine, just older. The front bumper is askew. Good paint. Lightly worn interior. Clean wheels and tires. Lightly worn underneath. Nicely organized and clean engine compartment. A solid older restored Tiger. – The 4-barrel carburetor isn’t a surprise, nor does it raise much angst among Tiger fans and it only makes this Tiger more fun to drive. Given the attention that has been paid to it and its performance, this is a reasonable, even modest, price to pay for it and a good value for the new owner’s money.
Lot # 3172 1935 MG PB Airline Coupe, Body by Carbodies; S/N PB0610; Red, Dark Red/Red leather; Estimate $130,000 – $175,000; Older restoration 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $110,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $121,000. – RHD. 939/43hp overhead cam four, 4-speed, Borrani wire wheels, Blockley tires, sliding sunroof, Midge radiator mascot, single driving light, headlight stone guards, sliding side windows, Jaeger gauges. – One of 14 PB Airline Coupes built and few survivors. Restored in Europe in the 2000s. Presentable but older paint with a few chips on the right front fender and a scuff on the left A-pillar. Older tires. Tidy underneath. Some dirt and dust in the interior so it could use a detailing, but there’s nothing seriously wrong in there. A super cool prewar MG with a rare, handsome streamlined body, and the sunroof with three small “cathedral” windows cut in it is an awesome detail. – For us Americans, the MG story really starts in the 1940s when the T-Series helped this country fall in love with road racing and nimble little roadsters that flew in the face of the large, clumsy cars coming out of Detroit. But MG’s tradition of lively, moderately priced two-seaters goes back well before World War II in the UK/Europe with cars like the original Midget and the P-Type. Any P-Type MG is rare enough on our side of the pond, but this one’s body style made it a standout among the group of 33 MGs offered out of Gene Ponder’s collection. Several British coachbuilders built swoopy “Airline” bodies in the Art Deco era, and MGs are perhaps the best known. They’re still extremely rare which explains the six-figure price here, but it was still surprisingly modest. Bonhams sold a PA Airline Coupe at Amelia in 2016 for $132,000, and a bit further back RM sold Ponder’s six-cylinder NB Airline Coupe back in 2007 for a staggering $398,750. So even if that itty-bitty four-banger makes just 43 horsepower, the new owner here got a lot of car for the money so long as they focus on the style, fun, and exclusivity.
Lot # 3174 1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport Cabriolet, Body by Pinin Farina; S/N 915811; Engine # 928114; Red/Brown leather piped in White; Estimate $450,000 – $500,000; Older restoration 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $400,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $440,000. – RHD. 2443/110hp, column shift 4-speed, Rudge wire wheels, Excelsior tires, woodrim two-spoke steering wheel. – Represented as matching numbers. Sold new in Rome. Restored in 2016-17. Good older paint and brightwork. Bumpers were accurately replicated and fitted to the car within the past three years. The passenger’s door sticks out very slightly at the bottom. Beautiful interior (especially that steering wheel) with very lightly wrinkled leather. Clean and detailed underneath. Restored to appropriately high standards a while ago and lightly used since. – This envelope body by Pinin Farina isn’t the most graceful shape to grace a 6C Alfa but it’s still an eye-catching car with an even more beautiful cockpit. It was offered at Mecum’s Monterey auction in 2011 in more aged condition where it was reported bid to $325,000, then had boatloads of money spent on it and sold for $417,500 at Bonhams Greenwich in 2019, presumably to Ponder. He lost a little bit of money on it, then (taking fees into account), but no big deal. This is still reasonable money and for the rest of the sale there were as many strong sales as there were modest ones.
Lot # 3176 1962 MG MGA 1600 Mk II DeLuxe Roadster; S/N GHNL2108480; Engine # 16GC-U-H8809; Red/Red leather; Tan cloth top; Estimate $75,000 – $90,000; Older restoration 2 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $55,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $60,500. – 1,622/93hp, modern 5-speed, Dunlop alloy wheels, Talbot Berlin mirror, luggage rack, badge bar, period pushbutton radio, Bluemel’s Brooklands steering wheel. – Rare DeLuxe model. One of 395 built late in the A production run with Dunlop wheels from the Twin Cam, plus disc brakes and better seats. There is a small crease in the paint on the left rear but otherwise the exterior of the car looks great. So do the interior and underbody, for that matter. It’s a sharp-looking MGA with options that are highly desirable to people who know these cars. – And people who know these cars were there in force. The DeLuxe is rarest of MGA variants, and this one sold for a price that borders on Twin Cam money. The car deserves it.
Lot # 3181 2006 Ford GT Coupe; S/N 1FAFP90S86Y401601; Midnight Blue, White stripes/Black leather; Estimate $400,000 – $450,000; Unrestored original 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $375,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $412,500. – 330/550hp, 6-speed, BBS wheels, red calipers, McIntosh stereo. Fitted with Ford Racing short throw shifter but the original is included with the sale. – Four-option car but represented as a two-option car for some reason, maybe the stripes and wheels came later. 6,636 miles, one owner. No real flaws to speak of. – The newest car offered out of the collection, this GT sold for a spot-on result that both parties should be happy with.
Lot # 3182 1960 Maserati 3500GT Spider, Body by Vignale; S/N AM1011007; Red/Black leather; Estimate $800,000 – $1,000,000; Older restoration 2 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $700,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $770,000. – 3,485/220hp, triple Webers, 4-speed, Borrani wire wheels, Pirelli Cinturato tires, power windows, jack and tools. – One of about 250 built. Sold new in Rome in gray over red. Restored under previous ownership in California. Light wear and no real issues. – Sold at auction in the Netherlands in 2001 from the Charles Zwolsman cars confiscated by the Dutch government pre-restoration for $34,490. After restoration it sold for $275,000 at RM’s Monterey auction in 2007. It presents quite well, today, but history like that is always worth noting. Regardless, as a Vignale-bodied Maserati this was always going to be one of the stars of the Ponder sale and it wound up being the fifth most expensive car out of the collection. Although it didn’t quite meet its low estimate, this is still a strong result for a 4-speed carbureted car (later 3500s got ZF 5-speeds and fuel injection).
Lot # 3190 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster; S/N 19804210002546; Engine # 19898010002598; Dark Red, Dark Red hardtop/Cognac leather; Beige cloth top; Estimate $1,700,000 – $1,900,000; Older restoration 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $1,450,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $1,595,000. – 2,996/250hp, 4-speed, Rudge wheels, Michelin tires, hardtop, luggage, Becker Mexico radio, Euro headlights, luggage. – Sold new in Ethiopia of all places, originally finished in white over red. Represented as matching numbers. Not much history until the late 1980s, when it was in Connecticut. Restored by Paul Russell for Bud Lyon and finished in the mid-1990s and has been collector owned since. Used in several Gullwing Group events and on the Copperstate 1000 in the past few years. There is light age to the paint, chrome and interior, and this Dark Red finish wasn’t a factory 300SL color, but otherwise this is a solid, drivable SL Roadster. – Bud Lyon’s choice of DB542 Dark Red is impossible to fault even though it is not the way this Roadster was delivered. It has the ambience of a great, rich, luxurious wine, particularly with the body color hardtop and Rudge wheels. This a generous price for a 300SL Roadster, but there are many attributes of this 300SL Roadster that commend it to collectors and the final price is sensible.
Lot # 3192 1933 Pur Sang 8C 2300 Recreation Corto Spider, Body by Pur Sang after Touring; S/N PS0318; Dark Red/Brown leather; Estimate $550,000 – $650,000; Non-factory replica 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $570,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $627,000. – RHD. 2,336/165hp supercharged inline eight, 4-speed, silver painted wire wheels, two rear-mounted spares, aluminum body in the style of Touring, center throttle pedal. – Accurate, high quality recreation by Pur Sang in Argentina. Most people would have no idea it’s not the real thing. Looks like it was painted in a correct period manner and not overdone to show standards, other than a few scratches and scuffs on the running boards it looks great. The leather is a little loose on the driver’s side as well, and there are a few minor scuffs on the leather door panels. – Vittorio Jano’s 8C 2300 is, without fear of overusing the term, an icon. Its performance, technical features and even aggressive, purposeful design put it on a pedestal that few other than the later Alfa 8C 2900s can approach. The sound of its straight eight is almost drowned out by the wail of the engine’s many gear trains driving the superchargers, overhead camshafts and auxiliaries. 165 (or more in Pur Sangs) horsepower, the short wheelbase chassis and skinny tires are a handling delight. 8C 2300s are seven- and even eight-figure cars but Pur Sang Argentina has reproduced the function, sound, performance and handling in a meticulously crafted largely hand built series of re-creations. And they have spare parts available. Some, perhaps many, Alfa Romeo built 8Cs have newly built Pur Sang engines under their hoods allowing them to be driven enthusiastically without putting the original drivetrains at risk. This is the essential 8C 2300 Corto Spider experience achievable at a price that lacks the additional zero in the value of an Alfa-built 8C. Have your cake, and drive it, too.
Lot # 3193 1953 Arnolt-MG Drophead Coupe, Body by Bertone; S/N 22876; Engine # XPAG/TD2/23496; Post Office Red/Red leather piped in White; Estimate $130,000 – $150,000; Older restoration 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $160,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $176,000. – 1,250 four with Judson supercharger, 4-speed, chrome wire wheels, Dunlop whitewalls, cloth boot cover, Jaeger gauges. – One of 36 convertibles built. Good paint with some small blisters on the trunk lid. Clean underneath. Beautiful interior. A few marks on the windshield frame. Ultra-rare British/American/Italian droptop with just a handful of real flaws. – The story of these cars goes that a cash-strapped Bertone brought a pair of cars based on MG TD underpinnings to the 1952 Turin Motor Show. Chicago industrialist Midwest distributor for MG/Riley/Morris Stanley H. “Wacky” Arnolt saw the Bertone-clothed MGs and was smitten enough not just to buy the pair but to put in an order for 200 cars (100 convertibles and 100 coupes). Marketed as “the Continental sports car for the entire family,” the Arnolt-MG shared the standard Y-type chassis and 1250 engine with the standard MG TD, and the voluptuous Bertone body only weighed about 40 pounds more than the British MG body. At over $3,000, though, the Arnolt-MG was nearly as expensive as much larger and faster cars. Barely 100 were screwed together in the end so all of them are rare, but only around a third were convertibles so this car drew more attention than the coupe (Lot 3153) offered at the same sale. It drew more money, too. Over $100K more. And that’s a surprisingly big gulf between the two, especially since they are both good cars with desirable Judson blowers. This is the most we’ve ever seen anyone pay at auction for an Arnolt-MG.
Lot # 3198 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead Coupe, Body by Graber; S/N LML562; Engine # VB6E 50 1294; Dove Grey/Dark Blue leather; Dark Blue top; Estimate $800,000 – $1,000,000; Older restoration 2+ condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $625,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $687,500. – RHD. 2,580/126hp, 4-speed, chrome Borrani wire wheels, Avon tires, boot cover, books, jacks, tools. – One-off with this bodywork by Graber of Switzerland. Numbers matching. Shown at Pebble Beach in 2010. Video-documented restoration. Beautiful paint. Even gaps and straight body. The seats look barely sat in. Restored by Kevin Kay years ago and still a stunner. This Swiss coachwork isn’t exactly drop-dead gorgeous, but uniqueness counts for a lot. It would make a statement in any concours or collection, and it certainly does here. – This Aston sold for $715,000 at Pebble Beach in 2011, and then sold again there eight years later for $720,000, both times about double the price of a standard DB2/4 Drophead. This price, while still a big premium, is surprisingly modest for the one-off coachwork and beautiful condition, but then again Frank Feeley concedes nothing to Graber and many would argue that the standard car looks better. And there was a standard DB2/4 in the same sale to compare it to. Given that, and the fact that this is the Graber car’s third time to market in relatively recent memory, the lower result seems sensible.
Lot # 3200 2002 BMW Z8 Roadster; S/N WBAEJ134X2AH61803; Titan Silver Metallic, Titan Silver hardtop/Black leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $150,000 – $200,000; Unrestored original 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $165,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $181,500. – 4,941/394hp V8, 6-speed, Bridgestone Potenza tires, 15-spoke 20-inch alloy wheels, two tops, car phone, spare keys, manuals. – 8,181 miles. A few tiny scratches on the front. Cloudy headlight covers. Small scratch on the E-brake handle but otherwise great interior. Other than having non-original wheels it’s a solid but used Z8. – Z8s have enjoyed a value run recently, establishing themselves as highly desirable cars that have re-established themselves as collectors’ favorites. Under the circumstances this example ran against the tide but also recognized the non-trivial mileage on its odometer. It stands, even taking that into account, as a good value in this transaction.
Lot # 3201 1964 Lancia Flaminia 3C GT Convertible, Body by Touring; S/N 8261341052; Engine # 826 080 1492; Dark Blue/Red leather; Estimate $210,000 – $240,000; Older restoration 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $205,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $225,500. – 2,775/150hp V6, triple Webers, Monza exhaust, 4-speed, Borrani wire wheels, boot cover, Blaupunkt radio. – Little known history but serviced and refurbished under current ownership. Engine rebuilt last year. 2018 repaint and old chrome. Large chip on the top of the windshield, and some chips on top of the painted door panels. Clean underneath. Slightly uneven gaps. A handsome and unusual car with good performance. – Rarely seen top of the Lancia line in the 1960’s and attractively presented the bidders were entranced by its elegant appearance and promising performance and followed it well into rarified air for a Flaminia. But convertible 3C GTs are almost never seen at auction and there was a “buy it now because it may be a long time before another one shows up” argument for the price it brought.
Lot # 3202 1939 BMW 327/28 Sport Cabriolet; S/N 74208; Light Gray, Dark Gray/Red leather piped in Black; Dark Gray top; Estimate $250,000 – $300,000; Recent restoration 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $135,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $148,500. – 1,971/79hp, three Solex carburetors, 4-speed, centerlock wheels, Michelin tires, fender skirts, cloth boot cover, banjo steering wheel. – Originally owned by works BMW motorcycle racer Ernst J Henne. Some restoration work done in the 2000s, and work was continued/finished under Ponder’s ownership that started in 2018. Currently has Bristol cylinder head. Some marks in the grille trim and a small dent in the right bumperette. Mostly good paint with a handful of chips around some panel edges. Good interior other than cracks in the steering wheel rim. A nice, drivable 328 with some neat ownership history. – This is not the race-winning tuned BMW 327 of legend. It is a 328 with a detuned 327 engine and luxurious bodywork with comfortable room for four, an autobahn cruiser with satisfying but not electrifying performance. It was sold by Worldwide at Scottsdale in 2019 for $264,000 and it’s been finished since then, but that result was an aberration and this one makes sense.
Lot # 3204 1958 AC Ace Bristol Roadster; S/N BEX340; Engine # 100D671; Red/Saddle leather; Estimate $350,000 – $400,000; Older restoration 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $255,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $280,500. – 1,971/120hp, centerlock Borrani chrome wire wheels, Pirelli Cinturato tires, Marchal headlights, wind wings, side curtains, tonneau cover, grille guard, hood scoop, tool roll, AC Cars Certificate documented. – Represented as matching numbers, restored under prior ownership, and bought by Ponder from Skip Barber (in 2009, for $192,500 at RM Monterey). Engine rebuilt in 2018. A proven rally/tour car used on the Colorado Grand and California Mille. Good paint with some small bubbles on the crease around the hood scoop. Some black paint has chipped off the Bristol badge on the nose. Lovely interior with light wear on the steering wheel. A handsome, genuine Bristol eligible and ideal for all sorts of prestigious driving events. – With class wins at Le Mans plus National Championships in SCCA E-, D- and C-Production, the AC Ace with its raspy, potent Bristol engine would be a highly respected and very valuable collector car even if it had never spawned the Shelby Cobra. And with a docket full of other nice British sports cars, this attractive and usable Ace seemed poised to sell for plenty of money. But it didn’t. This price is #3-/#4+ money and it bought a car that is decidedly better than that.
Lot # 3205 1955 Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead Coupe, Body by Mulliner; S/N LML829; Engine # VB6J/384; Blue Haze/Red leather; Navy Blue top; Estimate $425,000 – $525,000; Older restoration 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $350,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $385,000. – LHD. 2,922/142hp with twin SU carbs, 4-speed, wire wheels, Vredestein tires, Marchal driving lights, cloth top boot cover. – Matching numbers. Delivered new in Washington, DC. Good older paint with a large chip at the back of the driver’s door, which doesn’t quite fit right. The gaps on the trunk aren’t quite even, either, and there is a paint crack above the top left corner. Beautiful interior with only very slightly loose upholstery on the driver’s side. A mostly beautiful, US-spec early Aston. – This rare drophead Aston was a $490,000 no-sale at Bonhams Scottsdale in 2015. Its restoration was fresher, but it was also represented with a later Vantage-spec engine at that sale. This result in 2022 is appropriate to the car’s condition assuming it has been put back with its original engine, which appears to be the case but isn’t mentioned in the listing. Both catalogs list the same V6J/384 engine number and some Aston fan might clarify the discrepancy. Under the circumstances this result is reasonable, even conservative and if it is the original engine a good value for the new owner.
Lot # 3212 1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Super Speedster, Body by Reutter; S/N 82741; Engine # 704074; Ruby Red/Tan piped in Red; Tan cloth top; Estimate $325,000 – $400,000; Modified restoration 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $325,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $357,500. – 1,582/75hp Super engine, 1960-1961 full synchro gearbox. front disc brakes added, Borrani centerlock wheels, Michelin tires, luggage rack, fitted front compartment luggage, headlight stoneguards, Gustav Petri steering wheel, modern Alpine head unit mounted under the dash, tonneau cover, two (!) tool rolls. – Originally white over red and built with the 60-hp Normal engine. Unknown early history but currently set up for rallies, and has done both the California Mille and the Colorado Grand. Good older paint. The side trim pieces don’t quite fit flush with the body. Clean interior. Tidy underneath. Not a show car but looks clean for a Porsche that has done long distances at speed. The mild modifications are also tasteful and add to the usability. – Modifications? It is likely that the original Normal engine was beaten into a pile of splinters, leaving a sound and restorable 356A Speedster shell. Why not make into a sound Super engined, front disc braked road car with a few personal upgrades to the driver’s experience like the steering wheel and suspension upgrades? There was no reason not to and the result there is modest enough money for a correct Normal engined 356A Speedster; the upgrades are free and have had little effect on the car’s value.
Lot # 3214 1959 Arnolt-Bristol Deluxe Roadster, Body by Bertone; S/N 404X3133; Engine # BS1/MKII/334; Blue/Blue piped in White; Dark Blue cloth top; Estimate $350,000 – $400,000; Older restoration 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $300,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $330,000. – 1,971/132hp, 4-speed, Borrani centerlock chrome alloy wheels, engine-turned dash, Smiths gauges. – One of 142 built. This is a DeLuxe model, which came with such lavish accoutrements as a convertible top, windows, and a glove box. Represented as matching numbers. Good older paint with a crack at the front of the hood and a tiny dent on the trunk lid. The driver’s seat leather is very slightly stretched but the interior mostly looks great. Very clean underneath. A solidly restored example of this unusual but quick Anglo-Italo-American collaboration. Fun to drive, cool to look at, and eligible for a lot of great events. – This auction had three different Arnolts, and between this Arnolt-Bristol, an AC Ace and three BMW 327s, there were five different cars powered by the famous BMW/Bristol six. That’s a lot. This car was the highlight of the bunch. Arnolt-Bristols were expensive when new, nearly $5,000 for a DeLuxe, largely because the Bristol-supplied chassis and body had to go from England to Bertone in Italy to have the bodywork fitted, and then to Arnolt’s facility in Indiana for final assembly. So it didn’t sell well and is quite rare. It was also a top notch sports car, winning its class three times at Sebring. And yet it’s another one of those multinational ’50s sports cars that isn’t worth as much as it probably would be if the whole thing came from the Italian peninsula or the British Isles. This price is about right for an Arnolt-Bristol Deluxe with no race history.
Lot # 3215 1967 Ferrari 330 GTC SI Coupe, Body by Pininfarina; S/N 9487; Engine # 9487; Rosso Rubino/Tan leather; Estimate $650,000 – $725,000; Older restoration 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $725,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $797,500. – 3,967/300hp, triple Webers, 5-speed, Borrani wire wheels, Michelin X tires, Ansa exhaust, Talbot Yorck mirror, Becker Europa radio, power windows, correct-type (but not factory-fitted) air conditioning, woodrim steering wheel. – Represented as matching-numbers. Originally sold in Italy in Metallic Silver over black. Regularly driven by its American owner in the 1980s and 1990s, then received significant mechanical work and a cosmetic restoration in the 2000s. Bought by Ponder in 2018. Mostly good older paint but there is a huge crack in the left headlight scoop running from the light forward. Good interior with very lightly wrinkled leather on the driver’s side. Clean underneath and good engine compartment with some paint loss. Shame about that huge paint crack, otherwise this is a solid car. – Within the past few years, it’s been on the private market asking $795,000, which is a fairly high ask for a much-driven car wearing different colors than it left Maranello with. With the buyer’s premium here, though, that’s almost exactly what it got.
Lot # 3217 1960 Austin-Healey Sprite Mk I Bugeye Roadster; S/N AN5L31345; Engine # 9C-U-H/31125; Old English White/Red piped in White; Tan cloth top; Estimate $25,000 – $35,000; Modified restoration 3+ condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $31,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $34,100. – 948cc inline four with Judson supercharger, 4-speed, aluminum radiator, red steel wheels, hub caps and trim rings, Vredestein tires, AutoMeter boost gauge for the blower, BMIHT certificate documented. – Very good, shiny paint. The door gaps are uneven and there is a small chip in front of the passenger’s door. Visible wear and age on the steering wheel, dash and gauges which are probably original, but the seats and carpets look brand new. A cool Bugeye with period performance upgrades. – While not exactly “fast,” this supercharged Sprite will nevertheless feel like it is, especially for those brave enough to mix it up with the SUVs on the highway. It’s a solid example, too, even by the standards of a Bugeye, which are generally much higher than later Sprites/Midgets given their greater value. The attractive condition and the Judson blower make this a very appealing car, and the new owner paid full retail for it.
Lot # 3227 1953 MG TD Roadster; S/N TDC24488; Engine # XPAG/TD2/23282; Red, Black side stripes/Red leather piped in Black; Tan cloth top; Estimate $45,000 – $65,000; Modified restoration 2 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $25,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $27,500. – 1250 engine with Judson supercharger, 4-speed, hub caps and trim rings, one badge bar behind the bumper and another across the grille, wind wings, Marchal headlights, woodrim steering wheel, K3 Magnette-style bucket seats, pressure gauge for the supercharger. – Very good paint with a handful of blemishes. Clean underneath. Lightly worn leather on the driver’s seat and a rubbed through spot on the outer bolster, but the rest of the interior looks great. For anyone into T-Series MGs, this is a very cool car and it stands out even among all the other clean, tastefully modified T-Series cars in this collection. – This car is already a relatively rare, racy “Competition model” Mk II TD (higher compression and improved handling) then given extra oomph by the period correct Judson blower as well as some other period goodies. There is a lot to like here and this is no ordinary MG, but there were also 16 other T-Series cars of various kinds vying for bidders’ attention at this sale. Surprisingly, despite being one of the more interesting examples, this TD was the cheapest of them by several thousand dollars and brought little more than half its low estimate. It’s a head-scratcher for us, but for the new owner, it is so much car and so much back road fun for the money.
Lot # 3230 1968 MG MGC Roadster; S/N GCN1U3083G; Engine # 29GA/U/H719; Red, Gold side stripes/Black leather piped in Red; Tan cloth top; Estimate $45,000 – $55,000; Older restoration 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $32,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $35,750. – 2,912/145hp inline six, 4-speed, chrome wire wheels, luggage rack, BMIHT certificate documented. – Represented as the numbers-matching engine. Rebuilt engine. Very good paint and chrome. The fit on the trunk lid is a little uneven. The body looks straight. A few smudges in the top that would probably wash out. Good interior. The seats look brand new but the dash and switchgear look older, possibly original. A rather clean example of MG’s largely unloved six-cylinder model. – The newest and arguably least interesting MG out of the Ponder collection, this is nevertheless a very nice C and the knowledgeable group of folks bidding on the older stuff recognized that. This result is on the high side of the price spectrum, but the car deserved it.