Rare race cars sold for extraordinary prices at Bonhams, led by the rare, highly original Le Mans Jaguar C-Type, sold for €7,245,000 (£5,715,580)
The 1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix Two-Seater sold for €1,058,000 (£834,656), and the ex-Michael Schumacher/Nelson Piquet 1991-1992 Benetton B191/191B F1 Single seater soared to more than three-times estimate, achieving an unprecedented €1,058,000 (£834,656)
An incredible €15.3 million (£12 million) of motor cars sold upon Bonhams return to the French Riviera
The unique, unrestored, ex-Le Mans 24-Hour race Jaguar C-Type sports car, ‘POV 114’ sold for €7,245,000 (£5,715,580) at Bonhams Monaco Sale, leading the British auction house’s outstanding return to the French Riviera.
James Knight, International Group Director, Bonhams Motoring, said: “Bonhams’ return to Monaco featured a refined and elegant selection of magnificent collectors’ motor cars, achieving a total €15.3 million.
“Following months of painstaking research, working with the best historians and notable marque specialists, Bonhams unraveled an intriguing mystery involving the unrestored Jaguar C-Type offered, correcting more than 60 years of accepted Jaguar history. Today after 53 years in private ownership, it has sold for the superb price of €7,245,000 (£5,715,580). It is wonderful to see our team’s groundbreaking work help achieve such a result.”
Bonhams’ verification began with the accepted Jaguar belief that this was the works team car which substituted at the last moment as a Belgian Ecurie Francorchamps entry in the 1954 Le Mans 24-Hour race, combining that chassis with the bodywork from an earlier Belgian entry which finished at Le Mans the previous year. However, Bonhams’ specialist research confirmed otherwise.
“The Jaguar was not at all a combination of the chassis from one car, the body from another,” said James Knight. “On further inspection, we established that the it really is the 1953 Belgian-entered Le Mans car in toto, chassis number ‘XKC 047’ - still bearing its original, complete ‘K 1047’ body – but with its chassis number merely re-stamped ‘XKC 011’ by the factory before sale in January 1955.”
Chasing the Jaguar for top honours, the 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO Coupé - a model so desirable that before production had even begun, every single one had been sold - achieved €1,817,000 (£1,433,431).
A further highlight of the day’s auction was the magnificent, light and powerful straight-8 engined 1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix Two-Seater, first owned by ‘Bentley Boy’ Glen Kidston. Chassis No '4450' offered was the nineteenth such Grand Prix Bugatti to be manufactured by the Molsheim factory, and boasts a racing heritage that includes notable drivers George Duller, Vivian Selby and Lyndon Duckett. After intense bidding, the Bugatti sold for €1,058,000 (£834,656) to an auction room bidder.
Meanwhile - raced by two Formula 1 World Champions, Michael Schumacher and Nelson Piquet - the 1991-1992 Benetton-Ford B191/191B Formula 1 Racing Single Seater sold for an incredible four-times the estimate, achieving €1,058,000 (£834,656) to a telephone bidder.
Further highlights include a 2006 Porsche Carrera GT Roadster, sold for €713,000 (£562,485), a 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster, sold for €304,750 (£240,417), and a 1963 Ferrari 330 America sold for €431,250 (£340,213).