January / February Auctions Arizona Sunshine and Parisian Crowds


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With news full of storms both political and meteorological, it is great to have our agenda focussed back into the business and January / February gets our marketplace moving with auctions on both sides of “The Pond”.

 And the sunshine of Arizona was a great way to see in the new season - Goodings had a slight edge in that they could focus on home ground while RM Sothebys and Bonhams had to conserve some energy (and maybe a little inventory) for the following week in Paris.

Going by the sales rates of 84%,85% and 86% for Bonhams, RM & Goodings respectively, the market remains vibrant and inevitably, all trumpeted their sales values in millions of dollars – again in order, $18+ million, $62.8 million and $43+ million.

But when you look into the auction houses’ own media reports, it is a little like watching track athletics and the commentator excitedly applauding an athlete’s “Personal Best” as they trail in fifth.  We had Bonhams with a world auction record for a McLaren P1 countered strongly by RM’s 1937 Mercedes 540K setting a new record for the most expensive automobile sold in Arizona auction week history.  Goodings had their own world auction record with a Ferrari 166 MM/195 S Berlinetta Le Mans  - they note that there were only 6 built – but a record is a record!  It could be summarised as not a lot to shout about!

Aston Martin was represented in all auction inventories and their sale values are noted in the accompanying table.  A welcoming high sales rate and UK buyers will look jealously at the value offered by the 2005 Vanquish S sold for charity.  Similarly, the expert predictions of a rise in Virage values were not borne out in the example in the Bonhams sale.

But, like all the cars on offer across all the auctions, the issue of realised values against estimates remains for all classic cars.  Aston Martin is definitely in the upper quartile of such comparisons but it seems that sellers still have to moderate their expectations to achieve a sale.

The story was very much the same when Paris opened for business the following week – the popularity of the Retromobile Week seemingly unaffected by recent events in that great City.  But crowds did not change the prevailing market conditions with the feedback that there has, in reality, been an adjustment in the market – rare, unusual or exceptional cars make very good money – average cars undershoot estimates and where cars are poor or plentiful, they are not selling.

RM Sothebys lead off on 3rd February and had a sell through rate of 79% - slightly down on Arizona and no world records to report – their star car was a Porsche 550 Spyder, one of seven cars on the night breaking the €1 million mark.  But it was a little disappointing for Newport Pagnell’s finest with an original left hand drive DB5 failing to find a new home and a  DB6 converted from right to left hand drive making just €392,00.

Bonhams followed up on 4th February and reportedly had some good results with their Ferraris but had a mixed story with Aston Martin.  An original left hand drive DB4 served up a creditable €609,500 but a beautiful pre-war 1½ litre didn’t sell.  Then a pair of V8’s brought some respectability – an original left hand drive Volante made €140,400 while a Series II restoration project expectedly blew its estimate apart with €126,500.  Bonhams say their sights are now set upon Mercedes at Stuttgart but we are sure that AMOC members are already being sweet talked into Newport Pagnell for May!

The Parisian Finale was, as always, the entertainment that is the chaos of Artcurial at Retromobile.  And the French theatricals did not disappoint with a Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti producing a world record auction price of €31.1 million.  And we are pleased to report that their Aston Martin inventory delivered good sales with a DB2/4 Mark III delivering a creditable €274,000, an original left hand drive DB4 selling for €536,400 and the cherry on the top – an original left hand drive DB4 Convertible with a cracking €1,473,200.

So the year is underway – crowds of buyers but the sellers will need to moderate their price ambitions.

If you are selling one of the more plentiful classics or a car that needs a more considered approach and you don’t want to join in the current frenzy of too many auctions with huge inventories, please talk to us.  As well as brokering Aston Martins, clients will ask us to help with other cars in their collection. 

Through our parallel website, www.byroninternational.com, we can offer the same level of professional marketing for other makes and perhaps make an important difference in the returns you enjoy.

Please talk to Philip Jones on +44(0)1737 244567.

Aston Martin Results Summary



Bonhams 28th January 2016

Lot No:

Lot Description/Chassis

Sale Price


Lagonda Series IV (13601)



1955 DB2/4 Drophead – LHD (LML/1003)



2005 Vanquish S 2+2 LHD (501606)



1982 V8 Volante Manual LHD (15261)



1991 Virage Saloon LHD Manual (50222)



1964 DB5 full restoration and conversion to LHD (DB5/1759/R)


RM Sothebys 28th/29th January 2016

Lot No:

Lot Description/Chassis

Sale Price


1966 DB6 Saloon original LHD (DB6/2398/L)



1962 DB4 Series IV Saloon converted to LHD (DB4/904/R)



1987 V8 Vantage X Pack LHD (12564)


Goodings 29th/30th January 2016

Lot No:

Lot Description/Chassis

Sale Price


2003 DBAR1 (800051)



1934 1 ½ litre RHD (C4/406/S)


RM Sothebys 3rd February 2016

Lot No:

Lot Description/Chassis

Sale Price


1966 DB6 converted to LHD (DB6/2590/R)



1963 DB5 Saloon original LHD (DB5 1301/L


Bonhams 4th February 2016

Lot No:

Lot Description/Chassis

Sale Price


1974 V8 Series II Manual original LHD (11149)



1961 DB4 Series II original LHD (DB4/829/L)



1933 1½ litre Series II RHD (L3/328/L)



1984 V8 Volante original LHD (15343)


Artcurial 5th February 2016

Lot No:

Lot Description/Chassis

Sale Price


1957 DB2/4 Mark III original LHD (1358)



1961 DB4 Series II original LHD (DB4/679/L)



1963 DB4 Series V Convertible original LHD ((1100/L_



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