The Bonhams & Goodman auction of the six-strong Dawson-Damer racing car collection realized over $2 million USD in Sydney on November 16th.
Top lot was the 1963 Lotus-Climax 25 Formula 1 car as driven by legendary double-World Champion Driver Jim Clark to win seven Grand Prix races that season. It sold for a new Lotus World record price of $988,524 USD to an Australian Lotus enthusiast who outlasted bidders from European, US and Japan.
The sister 1966 Lotus-Climax 39 – as driven by Jim Clark in that year’s International Tasman Championship race series and later campaigned by Leo Geoghegan to become the most successful local contender in later Tasman series – sold to a Tasmanian Lotus enthusiast for $233,280 USD.
Two other Dawson-Damer Collection racing cars – the 1959 Lotus-Climax Type 16 and 1969 4-wheel drive Lotus-Ford 63 – are bound for an American museum, achieving $226,800 USD and $146,448 USD, respectively.
The 1978-79 Lotus-Ford 79 – as driven by American Formula 1 World Champion Driver Mario Andretti – sold for an impressive $372,600 USD to a Japanese Lotus enthusiast.
Other special cars sold at the Bonham & Goodman sale were the first Bentley in Australia – a 1922 3-litre model which had been in the same family ownership since 1942. It sold for $135,464 USD.
Of huge significance to Australia was Lex Davison’s ‘Little Alfa’. Offered for the first time since new, it sold for $252,720 USD to an Australian buyer, located just one hour from Lex’s widow – Diana Davison-Gaze.
Other highlights from the sale include two cars from the collection of legendary raconteur and collector Peter Briggs with a Lotus Eleven Sports Racer and a Grand Prix Alta selling over their top estimates for $88,128 USD and $146,448, respectively.
Robert Glover, Bonham & Goodman’s National Head of Collector Cars, said, “We were understandably delighted to have achieved such strong results for our clients and the result clearly demonstrates that the collectors motor car market remains healthy for the right motor cars.” He further commented, “What is even more encouraging was a sale rate of over 80% by lot and over 90% by value. This further illustrates that when scarce items come to market, collectors are tenacious with regard to acquiring the motor car irrespective of present economic climate.”
Bonhams & Goodman offered 25 automobiles for sale, with 20 finding a new owner, reflecting an 80% sales rate. The total sales volume was $3,288,000, inclusive of buyer’s premiums, and the average price per car sold was $164,400.