Category archives: Auctions

Eva Peron’s Cadillac limousine on the block at Silverstone’s Salon Prive

Eva Peron’s 1951 Cadillac limousine will be among the cars offered at Silverstone Auction’s Salon Prive’ sale, scheduled for September 4 in England.

“It’s rare that a car with connections to some of the most important figures in history is offered on the market and so it’s a privilege to offer it for sale,” said Nick Wale, founder and managing director of the auction company.

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Bonhams Big 10: Nine other historic Ferraris join the GTO for sale at The Quail

Ex- Devin, Phil Hill 250 Mille Miglia joins a GTO and other Ferraris at Bonhams sale at The Quail | Bonhams photos
Ex- Devin, Phil Hill Ferrari 250 Mille Miglia joins a GTO at Bonhams sale at The Quail | Bonhams photos

Early this month, Bonhams announced that it would offer — and at no reserve — a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO at its classic car auction in August at The Quail Lodge on the Monterey Peninsula. At that time, it also said the GTO would be joined by nine other historic Ferraris going to that sale from the Maranello Rosso Collection.

This week, Bonhams has revealed the full list of the additional cars coming from the Italian museum. In addition to the 1962 GTO Berlinetta, they are, with their pre-auction estimates:

  • 1953 Ferrari 250 MM Berlinetta ($9 to $12 million)
  • 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Series 1 Pinin Farina Cabriolet ($6.5 to $8.5 million)
  • 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Speciale Aerodinamica ($4 to $7 million)
  • 1968 Ferrari Dino 166/246T Formula 2/Tasman single-seater ($1.2 to $1.8 million)
  • 1969 Ferrari 365 GTC coupe ($750,000 to $1 million)
  • 1969 Ferrari Dino 206 GT coupe ($500,000 to $700,000)
  • 1969 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, upgraded to Competizione specification ($650,000 to $800,000)
  • 1978 Ferrari 312 T3 Formula 1 Grand Prix single-seater ($1.5 to $2 million)
  • 1981 Ferrari 512 BB/LM endurance racing coupe ($1.2 to $1.8 million)
246 Dino F2 Tasman
246 Dino F2 Tasman

Chris Amon and Brian Redman were among those who drove the F2/Tasman racer. Carlos Reutemann and Gilles Villeneuve were among the drivers of the ’78 F1 car. The ’81 512 BB/LM raced at Le Mans in 1981 and again in 1984.

“At Bonhams, we’ve had the privilege to present our clients with some very special motor cars and collections,” said Robert Brooks, Bonhams co-chairman, “but this is without doubt our most astounding collection.

It’s set to be a very exciting sale for Bonhams – and for the entire collector car market.”

— Robert Brooks


“Fresh from the halls of the Maranello Rosso Museum we offer our select cross-section of 10 cars from this renowned, long-established family of Ferrari’s finest, spanning the marque’s entire great classic period from the early 1950s to the early 1980s. The selection can be appreciated across the broad spectrum of Ferrari fans, and we’re delighted to have the opportunity to offer them.

“It’s set to be a very exciting sale for Bonhams – and for the entire collector car market.”

Bonhams’ news release included details on the ’53 250 Mille Miglia Berlinetta.

250 GT PF S1 is a convertible but also has a hard top
250 GT PF S1 is a convertible but also has a hard top

“Never before have I accelerated so rapidly, traveled so fast, or decelerated so suddenly,” the editor of Road & Track wrote in the magazine’s May 1954 issue after testing another 250 MM Berlinetta. That car was owned by future World Driving Champion Phil Hill.

The car being offered at Bonhams sale made its competitive debut in the hands of Bill Devin in California in September 1953 at the SCCA San Francisco Region’s third annual Members’ Madera races. Devin finished third in a novice race, then handed the car to Hill, who won the feature.

Devin dressed the car in the same white-and-blue American racing colors it wears today. The month after Hill’s victory in the car, Devin raced it at Stead Air Force Base and then a month later, Devin’s brother Gene drove it in races at March AFB.

Reutemann, Gilles Villeneuve raced this Ferrari
Reutemann, Gilles Villeneuve raced this Ferrari

In June 1954, the car was sold to Ken Heavlin, who ran a luxury car garage in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. The car then went through a few owners before it joined Count Vittorio Zanon di Valgiuata’s collection in Italy in 1986. The Count drove the car in the Mille Miglia Storica that year and again in 1987.

He sold the car to Rudi Pas/Classic Car Associates in Holland. After a brief stay with an owner in Japan, the car was returned to Pas in the winter of 1987-88 and very quickly became part of the Maranello Rosso Collection.

“Evert is a shrewd businessman and certainly a GTO buyer…. If the bidding at Quail doesn’t satisfy him it’s not a problem, he already owns it, he can outbid any offers he deems ‘inadequate’…

— Michael Sheehan,


Turns out, according to Ferrari expert Michael Sheehan, that all of the Marnello Rosso Collection cars now have a Dutch connection. Sheehan is a well-known Ferrari expert (he also is the Ferrari consultant to Rick Cole’s upcoming Monterey auction). In his most recent article, Sheehan wrote:

“By May-June the rumor mill proclaimed that two major auction houses were in protracted bidding (for the museum’s cars). In late June the Violati collection had finally sold (after one auction house dropped out) to Evert Louwman, the major backer of Bonhams for a number approaching $135 million. Included were all 33 Ferraris and 40 Abarths.

“Adding to the politics of the auction world, in June it also became public that Bonhams had enlisted London bankers to prepare debt financing packages of up to 200 million £’s Sterling or $335 million USD to back a potential sale of Bonhams. Adding further to the auction world news, on 03 July, Bonhams announced they were jumping into the Amelia Island scene in 2015 with a sale in Fernandina Beach, FL, the small town at the north end of Amelia Island, a few days before the Amelia Island Concours d′Elegance. The remaining Violati cars will be offered at Bonhams Goodwood sale in September, so Bonhams is clearly upping the auction house playing field.

“Evert Louwman is no stranger to major collection purchases, having bought the Rosso Bianco collection of three hundred Ferrari, Alfa and Maserati sports and race cars in 2006, selling many off at Monaco in May, 2006… He is also the owner of the Louwman museum, over two-hundred cars in the planet’s oldest private museum (also open to the public.)

“Evert is a shrewd businessman and certainly a GTO buyer…. If the bidding at Quail doesn’t satisfy him it’s not a problem, he already owns it, he can outbid any offers he deems ‘inadequate’ and we can bet that he does not pay a seller’s commission!!”

Editor’s note: Bonhams subsequently released information about more of the cars:

The Ferrari 250 GT Pinin Farina cabriolet was the eighth of some 40 units built.

Having spent its life in Italy and Venezuela, it now travels to California for the highly anticipated auction, with an estimate of $6.5 million to $8.5 million (£3.8 million – £5 million). It will be offered without reserve.

The chassis frame was delivered to Pinin Farina in September 1957 and the finished car was shown at the 39th Turin salon. In Janaury 1958 the car was shipped to Venezuelan Ferrari importer Carlos Kauffman, who drove it until selling it to Luis and Carmen Perez Dupuy. They sold the car to Gustavo Guttierez who kept it until 1986, by which time it had been painted bright red instead of its original white.

The car went to the Maranello Rosso Collection in 1991.



‘Reborn’ 1963 Corvette Z06 race coupe going to Mecum auction in Monterey

The 1963 Corvette Z06 has been restored as Paul Reinhart raced it | Mecum Auctions
The 1963 Corvette Z06 has been restored as Paul Reinhart raced it | Mecum Auctions

A 1963 Corvette Sting Ray Z06 race car with a storybook tale of loss and rebirth will be up for auction during Mecum Auctions’ Monterey sale in August.

The Z06 was originally owned by Oakland, California, racer Paul Reinhart, who was a powerful force among Corvette competitors during the late 1950s and early 1960s. In his 1957 roadster, Reinhart won back-to-back championships in SCCA Pacific Coast B-Production racing in 1960 and 1961.

When the newly minted 1963 Corvette Z06 performance coupe – a Chevrolet factory race car project spearheaded by legendary Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus Duntov – became available in 1962, the Union 76 dealer was among the short list of proven racing stars selected for the initial batch of six cars. That impressive list included Dave McDonald, Doug Hooper, Jerry Grant, Bob Bondurant and the “Flying Dentist,” Dr. Dick Thompson.

But unlike the others who were backed by sponsors, Reinhart bought his own car to drive in competition. Reinhart ordered his Sting Ray coupe, number 0895, during the summer of ’62, but his career with the Z06 was star-crossed by circumstances out of his control.

The Sting Ray coupe is one of the first six Z06 cars | Mecum Auctions
The Sting Ray coupe is one of the first six Z06 cars | Mecum Auctions

One was the fierce competition from Carroll Shelby’s new Cobras, which were taking their toll just as the specially prepared Z06s were hitting the track. The other was Chevrolet’s unexpected announcement in February 1963 that it was pulling factory support from racing.

“Dispirited, Paul Reinhart began racing in regional events: Pomona, Riverside, Laguna Seca, Santa Barbara, Del Mar, Vaca Valley, Cotati, Stockton, and other West Coast venues,” according to the Mecum catalog description. “He put 0895 up for sale at the end of the 1964 season.

“Commenting on the period years later, he said, ‘It took years to get over the Z06 in terms of racing in form again’.”

Reinhart did decide years later that he would go at it again, this time in vintage racing. He began searching in 1982 for a suitable Corvette. And here’s where the magic comes in.

Searching the classified ads in the San Francisco Examiner, he found a 1963 Corvette race car for sale. Amazingly, when he went to examine it, he found that it was his old race car, number 0895. It was pretty worn out and in need of restoration, but it was all there, including Reinhart’s own performance tweaks to the engine, suspension and brakes, and its 36-gallon fuel tank.

The Z06 is powered by a 327/360 hp V8 race engine | Mecum Auctions
The Z06 is powered by a 327/360 hp V8 race engine | Mecum Auctions

So not only was he able to re-ignite his Corvette racing passion, he was able to do it in the very same car. He restored old 0895 and started in 1983 to compete in vintage racing events including the Monterey Historics, Wine Country Classic and Coronado Speed Festival.

He sold the car in 2000 to fellow vintage racer Susan Armstrong of Issaquah, Washington, who continued running it in the same events for years until she sold it to its current owner.

The 1963 Corvette Z06 coupe ticks some important boxes for collectors, such as being among the first batch of six factory competition cars, its ownership by an elite West Coast racer who added his own performance enhancements, and the car’s rediscovery and rebirth to become a fixture in West Coast historic racing for more than 30 years.

The Corvette has once again been completely restored, according to Mecum, and is ready to resume its place on the vintage racing circuit.

Billed as “The Daytime Auction,” Mecum’s Monterey sale happens August 14-16 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa on Del Monte Golf Course.

RM makes it the Motor City auction for event’s 20th anniversary

Waterhouse-bodied 1931 Chrysler CG Imperial Convertible Victoria in downtown Detroit | Darin Schnabel photos courtesy RM Auctions
Waterhouse-bodied 1931 Chrysler CG Imperial Convertible Victoria in downtown Detroit | Darin Schnabel photos courtesy RM Auctions

RM, the classic car auction and vehicle restoration company, is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. In many ways, the company has come a very long way since Rob Myers started restoring cars in a wooden, single-car garage, staging major auctions of marketplace significance in North America and Europe.

But while traveling far and wide, RM has not wandered very far from its roots. That single-car garage was replaced by a two-car facility and then a larger building and most recently by a compound of several buildings, but all of them have been located in or just outside Myers’ hometown of Chatham, Ontario.

RM’s first auction was held just up the road in Toronto. Just two years later, it went international, venturing across the border into Michigan for a sale in Novi, the historic community that gave birth to the famed Novi engines of Indianapolis 500 fame.

…because of the resurgence of downtown Detroit, because of the area’s automotive history, and well, because it’s just cool.”

— Alain Squindo


That Novi auction grew into the annual major sale at the former Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance held on the former Dodge estate and recently moved with that event to the Inn at St. John’s just west of Detroit in Plymouth. (Novi… Dodge… Plymouth… we sense a car-themed storyline here.)

With a preview on Friday and the auction of 79 cars and a boat on Saturday, this weekend RM will be celebrating another anniversary — it’s 20th year of classic car auctions in Michigan.

RM has had several names for its Michigan auction and for its 20th birthday it is rechristening this event as the Motor City sale.

While Meadow Brook Hall may be a historic Michigan landmark, the Inn at St. John’s, current location of the renamed Concours d’Elegance of America, isn’t nearly so well-known. Calling an auction the Plymouth event might make people think it’s a single-marque sale.

“We’re calling it the Motor City auction because of the resurgence of downtown Detroit, because of the area’s automotive history, and well, because it’s just cool,” said Alain Squindo, multi-lingual native of Switzerland, RM vice president and a daily commuter from his home in Michigan to RM HQ in Canada.

Speaking of downtown Detroit, Squindo and others from RM got up early one morning so they could photograph the auction catalog cover, featuring a Waterhouse-bodied 1931 Chrysler CG Imperial Convertible Victoria, at 6 a.m. at the corner of Fort and Shelby streets in downtown. They also put the historic 1930 Gar Wood 28-foot triple-cockpit runabout known as “Katie’s Choice” into the Detroit River so they could photograph it with the city’s skyline.

There are no million-dollar cars being offered at the Motor City sale. That happens in a few weeks on the Monterey Peninsula. Instead, this sale will, as Squindo put it, “focus on things that make the Motor City great.”

The '31 Chrysler gets some exercise before crossing the block
The ’31 Chrysler gets some exercise before crossing the block

That includes cars such as the Chrysler, even a boat with local history, as well as cars from several well-known local collectors.

The Chrysler is one of only three still in existence. It survived the World War II scrap drive in a family’s barn and has a history of single-family ownership that spans some 70 years. It recently was honored as the “most significant Chrysler” at the Concours d’Elegance of America. RM expects it to sell for somewhere between half and three-quarters of a million dollars.

Among the other domestically produced “featured” lots are a 1959 Cadillac Series 62 convertible, 1940 Packard Custom Super Eight One Eighty convertible with body by Darrin, a 1935 Packard Super Eight roadster, a 1925 Duesenberg Model A by Millspaugh & Irish, and a 1937 Cord 812 supercharged phaeton,

Other cars to cross the block include various Lincolns, Packards, Fords, Cadillacs, Pontiacs, Chevrolets, Studebakers, Nashes, Hudsons, Willys, Buicks, even a 1933 Pierce-Arrow and a 1913 Michigan Model R.

Also “featured” at the sale are a 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom II torpedo tourer, and a 1953 Rolls Silver Dawn drop head coupe by Park Ward.

“The unique cars we’re presenting this year represent very special high watermarks in Detroit’s automotive heritage,” Squindo added.

“Be it the boulevard cruiser, the exclusive coach-built Chrysler intended for a captain of Michigan industry, or even the hot Corvette racing down Woodward Avenue, these examples represent the finest automobiles the Motor City had to offer.”

Automobiles, or boat.

Gar Wood boats were made in the Detroit area, and made famous in racing.
Gar Wood boats were made in the Detroit area, and made famous in racing.

The 1930 Gar Wood is a Model 28-40 with its original 200-horsepower Scripps Model 202 six-cylinder engine. The beam is 7-feet, 2 inches and the length is 28 feet.

Much more significant is that the boat was built for Gar Wood’s brother Logan T. Woods.

Gar Woods invented the hydraulic devise that enables dump trucks to dump their loads, but his passion was powerboat racing. Woods built fast boats with Chris-Craft and won the Gold Cup racing championship every year from 1917 through 1921.

Logan Woods’ boat was built with non-standard features including a heavier-duty bottom, a one-man top, wing windows, a foot rest in the second cockpit, and a locking engine hatch and gas filler cap.

Gar Wood boat cruises the Detroit River
Gar Wood boat tours the Detroit River

The boat got its “Katie’s Choice” name from one of its later owners. The boat has a pre-auction estimate of $250,000 to $300,000.

One of world’s rarest competition Ferraris headed to RM auction in Monterey

The Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale is one of just three competition prototypes built | Darin Schnabel/RM Auctions
The Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale is one of just three competition prototypes built | Darin Schnabel/RM Auctions

An astoundingly rare and valuable 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale, one of just three prototypes built, has been announced by RM Auctions as the marquee car for its Monterey sale in August.

The competition coupe goes to the famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance week amid a flurry of auction announcements for incredible, historic Ferrari race cars, including a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO – one of the most valuable cars in the world – offered by Bonhams.

According to RM, the 275 GTB/C has the potential to equal the sale of the GTO, either of which could become the highest-priced vehicle ever sold at auction when it goes over the block. The last private sale of a 250 GTO was reportedly for an amount approaching $60 million.

The high-performance coupe was originally used as a road car | Darin Schnabel/RM Auctions
The high-performance coupe was originally used as a road car | Darin Schnabel/RM Auctions

“(Chassis) 06701’s almost unbelievable rarity and high performance are matched only by its stunning good looks,” Shelby Myers, senior specialist for RM said in a news release. “Simply put, this is one of the most important Ferraris in the world, and absolutely one of the most important motor cars ever to come to auction.

“These cars were a clear evolution of the GTO concept, one of which set a record at Le Mans that stands to this day. 06701’s two sister cars are in highly respected private collections, from which they will certainly not emerge in the near future. This sale is unquestionably an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

The 275 GTB/C Speciale was the descendant of the GTO, updated with independent rear suspension and transaxle gearbox, and designed to continue Ferrari’s reign in the GT class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which the ferocious GTO had dominated three years in a row.

Power comes from a  3.3-liter V12 with six Weber carbs | Darin Schnabel/RM Auctions
Power comes from a 3.3-liter V12 with six Weber carbs | Darin Schnabel/RM Auctions

This 275 GTB/C was the first of the three Berlinetta Competizione cars built by Ferrari specifically for FIA homologation and factory development. Each of them was a unique, hand-built car with lightweight aluminum body and powered by a 213/Comp dry-sump V12 engine topped by a six-pack of Weber carburetors.

A homologation dispute with the FIA, the Le Mans ruling body, kept the Ferraris out of the GT class for the 1965 season, although a compromise was finally reached that permitted one of the GTB/Cs to compete in the Le Mans endurance race. That car, chassis 06885, proved the tremendous potential of the 275 GTB/C, not only winning the GT class but coming in third overall, setting a record for the best finish of a front-engine car that has stood ever since.

Chassis 06701 was originally sold to Italian businessman Pietro Ferraro, who used it exclusively as a road car with full factory bumpers. It has gone through several other European owners, including one who kept it for 25 years. Repainted red, the car was owned by Brandon Wang when he loaned it to Derek Hill and his father, 1961 Formula One World Champion Phil Hill, to use in the 1997 Tour Auto.

Wang had 06701 restored after the event and returned to its original color scheme of two-tone silver and gray. The Ferrari’s current owner has displayed the car at a number of events and competed in historic racing, including the 2005 Monterey Historics at Laguna Seca.

The RM sale in downtown Monterey takes place August 15-16, with the Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale slated for offer on Saturday, August 16, as the crowning highlight of the 120-car auction.

“It is a model so attractive, so fast, so rare, and so superior in every respect that it may rightfully be considered one of the most important cars in the world,” RM said it its news release.

Bonhams’ sale at Mercedes museum totals more than $16 million

Unique-bodied 1934 Mercedes 500 K special roadster topped the auction at $4.226 million

With nearly 50 vehicles selling for more than $16 million, the inaugural Bonhams auction at the Mercedes-Benz Museum goes down as a rousing success.

“Today’s sale demonstrated the fantastic diversity and engineering excellence available from the Mercedes-Benz classic motor car range,” said Malcolm Barber, Bonhams co-chairman. “We’re delighted to have placed a marker in the history books, as the first ever auction to be held in the new Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, and Bonhams’ largest Mercedes-Benz sale ever – achieving almost €12 million.”

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Military vehicles bring more than $10 million at Auctions America’s Littlefield Collection sale

SCUD missile launcher sells for $345,000 | Auctions America
SCUD missile launcher sells for $345,000 | Auctions America

Even though special permits will be required to transport several of the lots away from the auction venue, very competitive bidding from an international group of collectors marked the Littlefield Military Collection auction staged by RM’s Auction America division.

Some 98 percent of lots sold for a total of $10.24 million. The top-dollar sale of the event was a World War II German SD.KFZ.7 8-ton half-track personnel carrier that brought $1.2 million from the winning bidder.

“We are thrilled with the results of the Littlefield Collection sale, which exceeded expectations by approximately 20 percent,” Auctions America co-founder Ed Cepuran said in a news release.

“What Jacques Littlefield managed to assemble in terms of size, diversity and scope, was beyond impressive, and it was both a privilege and an honor to bring the collection to auction and to help continue his remarkable legacy,” Cepuran added. “

“A truly unique event, collectors recognized the incredibly rare – and in many cases, once-in-a-lifetime — opportunities the sale presented.

“From the start of the sale right through to the very last lot, there was a great energy in the auction room, with numerous spirited bidding contests. It was certainly very memorable and set a new benchmark for this type of private collection sale.”

Bidders registered from 10 countries in pursuit of part of the one of the world’s largest private collections of armored vehicles, which Jacques Littlefield assembled during a more than 30-year effort.

WW2 German personnel carrier tops $1 million in bidding | Auctions America
WW2 German personnel carrier tops $1 million in bidding | Auctions America

After Littlefield’s death, the collection went to The Collings Foundation, which will keep 80 pieces from the collection to add to its own museum of military vehicles and aircraft, which will be housed in a new facility in Stow, Massachusetts.

Sold at Littlefield’s Military Vehicle Technology Foundation in California was the remaining equipment — more than 200 lots including 122 vehicles. Hammer prices benefited The Collings Foundation.

Auctions America reported the highest levels of interest were in iconic WWII equipment such as the personnel carrier, which had a gun crew of 11, special compartments for ammunition and was used to tow artillery pieces.

A Soviet 42-ton 8K11 Surface-to-Surface Missile (SCUD-A) launcher, one of only two in private ownership, sold for $345,000.

An American tank, an M5 Stuart Tank built in 1942 by Cadillac, sold for $310,500, more than double its pre-auction estimate. Another American-built tank, this one a Ford-produced 37.4-ton M4A2 HVSS Sherman Medium Tank, went for $299,000.

“There is no question that Jacques Littlefield created the world’s leading private collection of military technology,” said Rob Collings, executive director of The Colllings Foundation.

“This past weekend’s sale provided a very special opportunity for collectors from around the world to sustain Jacques’ incredible legacy and help preserve, protect and present the vehicles that defined the world we live in.

“Never before has there been a military vehicle sale of such complexity and magnitude, and the Auctions America team pulled it off with great professionalism and poise to achieve remarkable results,’ he added.

“We’re extremely pleased with the outcome of the sale and will be using the proceeds to perpetuate Littlefield’s legacy through the display of core pieces from the original collection at our Massachusetts headquarters. The new facility, which is set to open in the summer of 2015, will honor our nation’s veterans as well as provide a priceless learning and heritage resource for people of all ages.”

Top 5 sales — Auctions America Littlefield Collection 2014

1.      Sd.Kfz.7 (KM M11) 8-Ton Half-Track – $1,207,500
2.      8K11 Surface-to-Surface Missile (SCUD-A) – $345,000
3.      M4A2(76) HVSS Sherman Medium Tank – $345,000
4.      M5 Stuart Tank – $310,500
5.      M4A3 (75) Sherman Medium Tank – $299,000

Prices include buyer’s premium.

Auctions America continues its 2014 schedule July 31-August 2 with its California Collector Car auction at Burbank, where some 425 passenger cars and other vehicles will be offered.

Coys breaks pair of records in motorcycle auction

A stylish 1931 Indian four-cylinder motorcycle highlights Coys auction in Belmheim, UK | Coys
The classic four-cylinder 1931 Indian rang the bell with a $154,000 sale | Coys

Coys of Kensington celebrated its return to motorcycle auctions by breaking two world records Friday at Blenheim Palace in the United Kingdom, one for a brawny American classic and the other for a petite Italian road racer.

The 1931 Indian four-cylinder that served as the auction’s featured lot eclipsed previous records with a result of £90,000 ($154,000), which was well above the pre-auction estimate.

The 1953 Mondial 125 reached a strong $103,000 | Coys
The 1953 Mondial 125 reached a strong $103,000 | Coys

The other record-breaker was the sale of a 1953 Mondial 125 Monoabero, a lightweight 125cc single-cylinder competition bike in pristine condition, that reached £60,000 ($103,000), which also soared past the value estimate.

The Blenheim auction marked the return of Coys to motorcycle sales, with more than 90 sports and racing motorcycles including rare antiques and classic performance bikes, added to its annual collector-car sale, which happened Saturday.

“We are back in the international collector motorcycle market, setting two world records and selling motorcycles to all four corners of the world,” said Chris Routledge, managing partner at Coys.


Rare and mighty 1970 Chevelle LS6 454 convertible featured at Mecum auction in Harrisburg

The 1970 Chevelle SS LS6 convertible boasts a high-performance 454 V8 | Mecum Auctions
The 1970 Chevelle SS LS6 convertible boasts a high-performance 454 V8 | Mecum Auctions

The 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS LS6 454 is a true holy grail of the muscle-car era, a one-year-only confluence of ingredients that produced the mightiest Chevelle ever as the decade of unbridled performance drew to a close.

Powered by a race-bred 454 cid big block V8 with an advertised 450 horsepower, though contemporary test drivers pegged it closer to 500, the LS6 became a legend for those who appreciate its all-American style, power and prestige.

Mecum has a great one coming up for sale, a well-documented two-owner LS6 that is the only known red-and-white SS 454 convertible produced by the factory. This special Chevelle will be featured at Mecum’s inaugural Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, auction July 25-27.

For General Motors, 1970 was a watershed year when styling refinement and engine technology came together for a last blast of pure power before emission controls strangled much of the muscle from muscle cars, and insurance rates for performance cars soared. The Chevelle LS6 was available for just one year, and today is considered a crowning achievement for GM’s performance engineers.

The only known LS6 convertible with this factory paint scheme | Mecum Auctions
The only known LS6 convertible in factory red and white | Mecum Auctions

The LS6 at Mecum has been driven only 44,000 miles by its two owners, and it has been fastidiously restored to what the seller calls “a level far beyond concours.” Maybe just a bit of hyperbole, but you get the picture. The car has never been raced or modified, the seller states, and retains its unique, original bright-red paint with white stripes and upholstery.

The car is documented with two build sheets and its original factory Protect-O-Plate, which lists the Chevelle’s original equipment and options.

Prices for 1970 Chevelle SS LS6 454 convertibles range from $155,000 to $245,000, according to the Sports Car Market price guide, though this car’s pristine condition and one-off paint scheme could command much more. The transmission is automatic, not the desirable Rock Crusher 4-speed manual, but that shouldn’t hurt its value any.

The Harrisburg auction at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center marks Mecum’s first time on the East Coast, with around 1,000 collector cars for sale as well as 200 motorcycles, which will be sold on the third day of the auction July 27.

“People have been asking for years when we would host an auction on the East Coast,” Dana Mecum, founder and president of Mecum Auctions, said in a news release. “We’re excited to reach a great community of classic and collector car fans that have long been there. This new location is truly a Mecca for many collector car enthusiasts, and we look forward to becoming a staple in the impressive lineup of car events already held in the area.”

For more information about the Harrisburg auction and TV broadcast times on NBC Sports Network, see

Bonhams confirms Amelia Island auction in 2015 at Fernandina Beach golf course

The scene in the Bonhams auction tent this year at Scottsdale | Larry Edsall
The scene in the Bonhams auction tent this year at Scottsdale | Larry Edsall

Although it has yet to make a formal announcement, Bonhams has confirmed to that it will stage a classic car auction next year as part of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance weekend. The Fernandina Observer newspaper has reported the auction will take place March 10-12, 2015, on the grounds of the Fernandina Beach municipal golf club. Fernandina Beach is located at the northern end of Amelia Island, Florida.

“My colleagues and I have been going to Amelia Island for more than a decade,” Ruppert Banner, Bonhams vice-president for business development, told “We are great fans of Bill Warner’s event. We see a lot of our clients there.”

We are great fans of Bill Warner’s event.”

— Ruppert Banner


Banner said the addition of an Amelia Island auction is partly in response to conversations with Bonhams clients and also “part of our plan for the U.S. There’s no doubt we want to increase our presence in the States. This is a key part of our development.”

The Bonhams sale will be the fourth held during the Amelia Island concours weekend. RM and Gooding both have been fixtures. Recently, Hollywood Wheels staged a sale as part of the Festival of Speed show that takes place the same weekend as the concours.

“It just fits for us,” Banner said. “The growth in Scottsdale (where Bonhams launched a January sale in 2012) has been phenomenal. We’ve seen Greenwich continue to grow. Quail has continued to grow. Our business is growing in strong fashion.”

Banner said it also is important for Bonhams to have a presence in the growing classic car marketplace in the state of Florida, “and we feel this is the venue to be in.”

According to the Fernandina newspaper, Banner and two other representatives of the historic, British-based auction house met with the Fernandina Beach city commission earlier this month.

Bonhams also uses two tents at its Scottsdale venue
Bonhams also uses two tents at its Scottsdale venue

“Little did they (the council) anticipate that Bonhams, one of the world’s premier auction houses, was proposing to hold a high-end automobile auction at the city’s municipal golf course during the week of the Concours d’Elegance next spring,” the newspaper reported. “Commissioners listened to a 45-minute presentation by three Bonhams representatives, explaining both their company goals and their plans to make Fernandina Beach the third of three premier automobile auction sites in the United States, joining those in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Monterey, California.  Bonhams appeared before the FBCC seeking a permit to hold the event and to lease a portion of the golf course property.  Commissioners gave a unanimous thumbs up to the project.”

Bonhams said it would not interfere with play on the golf course but would set up two tents on the property for its sale.

According to the newspaper, Bonhams will open its venue for vehicle viewing on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 10 and 11, with its auction on Thursday, the same day RM and Gooding open their previews. The Gooding & Company auction takes place March 13 and the RM sale is March 14. The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for Sunday, March 15.