‘Les Grandes Marques à Monaco’, Bonhams’ 19th consecutive sale in Monte Carlo on May 10th, achieved a sale total of €8.2-million, making it one of the most successful sales ever held in the principality. The saleroom was packed with collectors from around the world who came to bid on the hand-picked selection of historic sports and competition cars offered in the spacious halls of SAS Prince Rainier’s Motor Museum.
The star of the sale, a stunning 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Super Sport that raced at Le Mans in 1934, sold for €2,097,500, to a private European collector.
The Type 55 Bugatti was the ultimate supercar of the early 1930s. Built as a road-going version of the Type 54 Grand Prix car, only 38 examples were built. The car was owned originally by French amateur racing driver Charles Brunet who entered it into the 1934 Le Mans 24-Hour race, sharing the drive with Freddie Zehender. In more recent times, this important Bugatti has been part of two prestigious collections – the Bill Serri Collection and since 2003, the ‘Mas du Clos’ Collection.
Other highlights and records achieved include:
— 1969 Ferrari 365 GTS – one of only 20 built and offered in pristine condition, the car sold to a private US collector for €799,500 – a world record auction price for this model.
— 1938 BMW 328 – this fully race prepared BMW, complete with all original parts, sold for €442,000.
— 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL ‘Gullwing’ Coupe sold for €359,500.
— 1931 Delage D8 Four-Seater Sports Tourer sold for €310,000.
— 1958 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Saloon, ex-1959 New York Motor Show, sold for €293,500.
— 1966 Mistral 4000 Spyder sold for €238,500.
One of the more unusual lots in the sale was the extraordinary 1944 Volkswagen Schwimmwagen amphibious vehicle, a rare restored example that had been in the same family ownership since 1947. It sold to the Donington Collection for €149,500.
James Knight, International Head of Bonhams’ Motoring Department, said, “Demand was strong across the whole spectrum of cars offered, with very good depth of bidding. This was amply illustrated by the three collectors who fought hard to secure the Ferrari 365 GTS, and also for more modest vehicles such as the 1953 Lancia Aurelia B20 which sold for €140,300 against an estimate of €85,000 – 100,000, and the 1982 Maserati Khamsin Coupe which sold for €103,500, double the pre-sale estimate.”