Records Fall at Bonhams Classic Auto Auction

1936 Lagonda LG45R Rapide Sports-Racing Two-Seater 'EPE 97' Photo: Bonhams

Bonhams has reported their most successful auto auction to date following the Goodwood Revival sale. According to Art Daily, 106 cars sold for a total of £15.4 million ($25 million).

The sale included a new world record for the two-seater Lagonda LG45R Rapide otherwise known as EPE 97. The automobile achieved £1,569,500 (approximately $2,552,000). The EPE 97 is one of the most famous sports cars in history, having won several prestigious international races including the 1937 Le Mans 24-hour race.

A 1930 OM 665 SS MM Superba also broke a world record, selling for £1,255,900 ($2,042,000). An intense bidding war broke out for the lot, leading to a finish well above its high estimate. The OM is famous for taking first place at the 1930 Mille Miglia 1000 mile race.

Classic Italian sports cars were especially popular with collectors at the auction. The Maranello Rosso Collection, consisting of 10 Ferraris and 10 Abarths, sold for £3,510,190 ($5,708,000). A 1937 Maserati Tipo 6CM Racing Vetturetta sold for £606,300 ($986,000), and a 1933 Maserati Tipo 4CM racing Vetturetta sold for £427,100 ($695,000).

James Knight, director of Bonhams motoring department expressed his satisfaction: “The auction received attention from all around the globe, with bids coming in from the United States, the far East, and all over Europe. A great sale to end the summer season.”

The strong sale reinforces an emerging trend that has seen investments in vintage luxury automobiles outperforming more conventional asset classes. Classic cars have even outperformed art, according to the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index (KFLII), which tracks luxury spending across different collectibles classes. (See “Vintage Cars Overtake Art on Luxury Asset Racetrack“.)


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