Bonhams Auction at the Festival of Speed 2022


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Don't caall the numbers - sell the car

There have always been three landmark auctions at Goodwood events – the Members Meeting, the Festival of Speed and the Goodwood Revival. 

But whereas Lord March and his team refresh and work at the host events to maintain their relevance and appeal in an ever changing market, the same cannot be said about the auctions.

Long gone are the days of Robert Brooks sharing the platform with Simon Kidston and Jamie Knight focussing on multi-million pound star cars enthusing the audience with exciting details of the lots. 

Today it all seems to be so routine – twenty five of the 77 lots were No Reserve, guaranteed sales and, as we have seen over recent sales with mass disposals of Aston Martins, you wonder if anyone is really bothered with the outcomes.

And that impacts onto the rest of the cars – an Aston Martin DB4 Drophead with a bottom estimate of £650,000 seeing the hammer come down at £512,000 (£588,440 incl premium) – is there any surprise when the lot immediately preceding the DB4 was a No Reserve Long Wheelbase V8 Volante that saw a hammer price of £42,000 (£48,300 incl premium) and that against a bottom estimate of £70,000!

There was good news for Aston Martin elsewhere – a fine Series V V8 Saloon made a realistic £100,000 (£115,000 incl premium) and a good-looking DB Mark III sold for £155,000 (£178,250 incl premium).  But to balance that result, a fine DB2/4 Mark II got to £100,000 but remained unsold.

And that was the story of the day for Aston Martin swinging from distress selling DB6 Saloons to seeing a DBS from Bond’s “No Time to Die” breaking the bank with £360,000 (£414,000 incl premium)

We have included a link to the full results, but we would summarise the position that if these headline auction events are to survive, the organisers need to up their game.  It is no longer reasonable to keep taking the high commissions without putting something back to the market and re-create a real sense of occasion.

Give people a reason to get away from their computers and attend the event, get the star cars back, if necessary smaller inventories – staying the course last Friday was hard work and it doesn’t have to be.

And finally, properly research and sell the product – that was not just a DB4 Competition Coupe at £130,000 (£149,500 incl premium) – that was originally in the style of a DB4GT Zagato, enthuse the audience, build the value and earn that commission!

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