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Scottsdale, 30th January, 2022

A 1958 AC Ace Roadster, first owned by a a USAF pilot who brought it from France to the USA, was the top lot, soaring above its top estimate of $375,000 to sell for $516,500 in yesterday’s (January 27) Bonhams Scottsdale Auction, which had an impressive sell-through rate of 95%.

Offered from a prominent US-based collection of show winners, the impeccably restored left-hand drive Ace, which had retained its original aluminum bodywork and matching numbers engine, had itself won many trophies at major Concours d’Elegances.

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In its slipstream was a very special ‘barn find’ Mercedes-Benz, surely one of the last unrestored 300S Roadsters, of which only 141 were produced. This largely original motorcar had spent many decades of its later life off the road and was offered as an exciting restoration project and a rare opportunity to restore one of the finest post-war high performance luxury automobiles to its former glory.

Nine of the top ten-selling collector motorcars at the Bonhams sale had crossed the Atlantic, representing the greatest European and British automotive names.

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Two particularly strong performers were more contemporary classics: a 1997 Porsche 911 ‘Type 993’ Turbo S Coupé, which had covered just 14,000 miles since new, achieved $467,000, far exceeding its top estimate.

The other, an even lower mileage 1989 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary, which had driven fewer than 11,000kms, also accelerated past its estimate achieving $445,000.

However, the Stars and Stripes were flown by an American automotive icon: a 1949 Buick Roadmaster Convertible, the ‘third character’ in the 1988 multi-award-winning road drama motion picture Rain Man, offered direct from the ownership of Dustin Hoffman. The 'best supporting car' of the Bonhams Scottsdale Auction sold for $335,000 to a telephone bidder, setting a new world record for a Roadmaster convertible, following a spirited bidding against rivals online and in the Arizona saleroom.

Jakob Greisen, Bonhams Vice President - Head of US Motoring, said: “We are so pleased to have started the year on such a high note, with a near perfect sell-through rate and strong prizes realized across the board. Bidders attended from all over the world, both in person, over phone, or online via the Bonhams app."

Other highlights include:

1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon, Coachwork by Touring, estimate $300,000 – 350,000.
Another No Reserve car, this original left-hand drive example was delivered new to California where it remained for more than 40 years. The Series II remains one of the most desirable variants of the DB4, featuring its distinctive ‘cathedral style’ taillights, tall bonnet scoop and original front grill design.

1997 Porsche 911 ‘Type 993’ Turbo S Coupé, estimate $260,000 – 320,000 without reserve.
One of the most powerful Porsches, with an output of 424bhp and an example of the desirable final air-cooled 911 variants, this 993 is one of only 183 Turbo S examples produced for the US market. The Porsche has covered just over 14,000 miles since new.

1961 Porsche 356B 1600 Super T5 Cabriolet, estimate $135,000 – 165,000.
A highly collectible matching-numbers example of the classic 356 Cabriolet in the desirable Reutter T5 body style. Offered with a copy of the original factory Kardex and Porsche Certificate of Authenticity it has also been the subject of a Concours d'Elegance winning restoration.

Bonhams Motoring’s next sale takes place in Paris on February 3, at the Grand Palais Ephémère set against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower.

Meanwhile the Bonhams US motors team is actively consigning for The Amelia Island Auction on March 3.

Images ... Peter Singhof

The eleventh edition of the Bonhams auction presented 90 collectors’ automobiles, spanning all eras. Other highlights of the sale included:

1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon, Coachwork by Touring, sold for above estimate for $381,750. This left-hand drive example, with original, matching numbers engine, was delivered new to Los Angeles socialite William Winans and remained in California for more than 40 years.

1961 Porsche 356B 1600 Super T5 Cabriolet, sold for $226,240. A highly collectible matching-numbers example of the classic 356 Cabriolet in the desirable Reutter T5 body style, also been subject of a Concours d'Elegance winning restoration.

1995 Ferrari F355 Spider, sold for $224,000. With its odometer reading less than 900 miles from new, this 6-speed manual F355 Spider must be among the lowest mileage examples left of the Pininfarina-designed convertible.