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Carmel, Calif., 27 August 2018

Bonhams’ annual auction, held Friday at Quail Lodge during the largest collector car week in the world, was a thundering success. With 135 cars on offer, the garden party atmosphere in sunny Carmel Valley was the perfect setting for a sale that achieved a highly respectable sell-through rate of 82% with the collections of Walter & Emily Mead and Robert Koons being 100% sold, and a total of $37.7-million.

A brisk pace set by auctioneers Malcolm Barber, James Knight and Rupert Banner resulted in a spirited event as bids were placed from around the globe – from the energetic audience, on the telephones and online.

European sportscars dominated the sale and led to the smashing of several existing world auction records. New model benchmarks were set by the striking 1953 SIATA 208 S Spider – 1 of only 37 built – that sold for $1,655,000; the exquisite 1928 Bentley 6½-Liter Open Sports Tourer by Barker – the sole surviving example – that was bought by an American collector for $1,655,000; and the elegant 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Coupe de Ville – with one-off coachwork by Saoutchik – that achieved $962,000, to name but a few examples.

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Multiple world auction records were set for Porsche models as well. The 1996 911 GT2 Clubsport made $1,105,000; the 1997 993 Turbo S sold for $489,000; 1989 930 Turbo “Slantnose” Cabriolet was bought for $456,000; and the 1991 964 Carrera 4 achieved $516,800, among others.

The incredible 1921 Stutz Series K Bearcat – a motorcar that’s been in the same family since new – was hotly contested among several bidders in the room and found a home with an American collector for $478,000, setting a new record. Perhaps most fun of all was the bidding match for the sprightly 1948 MG TC Midget. With a determined buyer in the audience and one on the telephone, the bids were lobbed as if it were a tennis match and quickly climbed into record territory. With a final sales price of $112,000, the audience erupted into applause.

Many more impressive results were achieved, particularly with the illustrious 1948 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Competizione Berlinetta, which was bought by a private European collector for $3,525,000, the rare 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Sports Roadster that sold for $3,277,500, and the beautiful 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Series II Cabriolet that achieved $1,682,500.

“Our strength as an international business brought a carefully curated selection of cars together which was appreciated by an equally broad cross-section of buyers,” said Rupert Banner, Bonhams Group Motoring Director. Added Jakob Greisen, VP of US Motoring, “Fresh to market cars and especially cars with documented provenance were a key focus, and collectors responded enthusiastically.”

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