Bonhams held a fast-paced auction in Scottsdale at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa on January 27. There were 89 lots available – 88 of them were cars and there was one motorcycle on offer. The auctioneers drew some heated bidding from the crowd as well as phone and internet bidders with many prices well in excess of their original estimate.
Bonhams achieved an impressive 95% sell-through rate with 47% of the sales reaching six-figures. One car was withdrawn from the sale prior to the start of the auction, which is a shame because we wanted to see how that Lamborghini Diablo would do on the block, but there was enough excitement for our tastes without the Diablo.
Most Expensive Cars Sold
The most expensive car sold by Bonhams was a 1958 AC Ace Roadster which went for $516,500 after commission. The AC Ace was the foundation on which Carroll Shelby built his storied Cobras, but there had to be something to them in the first place for Shelby to pick them as a starting point. This particular Ace was the subject of a $400,000 restoration performed by Kevin Kay Restorations, leaving no stone unturned when it came to perfecting the car. Out of the 266 AC Ace Roadsters built, it would be very difficult to find one that could compete with the fit and finish of AEX221 – the Ace sold at Bonhams. A factory left-hand drive car, it retains its original engine and passed through just four owners prior to crossing the auction block. It includes a manual and a handwritten production record from the factory. It really shouldn’t surprise anyone that it blew past the estimate of $325,000 – $375,000, but it is, by far the most expensive AC Ace Roadster we’ve seen at auction for at least four years.
One of the most exciting cars to hit the block at Bonhams Scottsdale was a 1989 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary Edition. It’s finished in Rosso Siviglia with beige leather interior along with red piping. It originally entered the US in Miami and subsequently made its way to a collection in Reno, Nevada while remaining relatively low mileage with only 10,662 kilometers showing on the odometer – that’s about 6,600 miles. With such low mileage – not too low, as this car has gotten some use – the bids came fast from all corners of the room. In virtually no time the estimate of $300,000 – $350,000 was passed and the car finally sold for an amazing $445,000. The last time we saw a 25th Anniversary Countach sell in that range was back in 2016 when another red example sold for just over $460,000, but that one had an extra 24,000 kilometers under its belt so we will call this Countach well-bought as the prices seem to be rising on the 235 25th Anniversary Edition Countachs built by Lamborghini.
Two of a Kind at Bonhams Scottsdale 2022
An interesting pair of Aston Martin DB4s landed in the top ten most expensive lots sold by Bonhams, but not in the order expected when the auction began. Both were 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloons – one in black and the other in Goodwood Green. The example finished in black with a Fawn Connolly interior was estimated to sell for $300,000 – $350,000 while the estimate for the Goodwood Green DB4 was $250,000 – $300,000. Interestingly, the one with the lower estimate sold for more, but not by much. The black and green DB4s sold for $379,000 and $381,750 respectively. Not a huge difference at the end of the day, but a bit surprising considering the estimates on the cars. The main reason for the difference in price between them, compared with Bonhams’ pre-sale estimates comes down to the documentation included. The DB4 painted Goodwood Green simply has more original documentation, whereas the other example relies on a copy of the original factory build record.
Another exciting car that Bonhams offered for sale was the 1970 Chevrolet Nova LT/1 Yenko Deuce Coupe. Although it didn’t make it into the ten most expensive cars sold that day, it’s still worth a closer look. While most people don’t think of a Nova when hearing the Yenko name, these are very slick little muscle cars. Equipped with a 350ci V8 producing 360 horsepower paired with a four-speed manual transmission, the “Yenko Deuce” was impressive in its day and only 175 were built. This example is finished in a great Fathom Blue, complemented by the white stripes and Yenko lettering. The black vinyl interior certainly feels like a car circa 1970, but the highlight may just be the hood-mounted tachometer that really ties the whole thing together. The estimate of $135,000 – $165,000 seems to have been just right, with the car selling near the higher end of that range at $154,000. The last time we saw a Yenko Deuce sell around this price was in 2019 at a Mecum auction – prior to that, we must look all the way back to 2017 to see another one reach $154,000 at auction. We’re not quite to going to say this was well-bought, but it isn’t outrageous considering the quality of the restoration and what appears to be an upwards correction in the market right now. Our hats off to the new owner – make use of that hood-mounted tach!