August is the month for the world’s premier motorcar auction – and this year is no exception. Monterey week may be on hold, but Bonhams is still making it happen in a groundbreaking way, giving classic car collectors a virtual – but live – experience streamed directly from Bonhams’ Los Angeles saleroom on August 14.
As Rupert Banner, Bonhams Group Motoring Director, says, “Our platinum-grade auction will have all the components of a traditional sale with an auctioneer taking bids from around the world, on the phone, online – courtesy of Bonhams state-of-the-art bidding platform – and by commission bid. The added advantage is that Bonhams’ international clientele can follow all the action as it unfolds from anywhere around the world.”
Other elements of the auction will be familiar. There will be a superb, curated selection of exceptional collectors’ motorcars, all of which will feature in a print and online auction catalogue. Full condition reports will be available. As well as ‘virtual viewings’, in which clients from around the globe can schedule a videocall with one of our specialists to examine a specific car in detail from front to back, there will be an opportunity to see the motorcars in person by appointment at preview venues around the US.
One of the motorcars leading the sale is a 1959 Porsche 718 RSK Spyder. Giant killers come in all shapes and sizes, but none more elegant perhaps than the stunning 1959 Porsche 718 RSK Spyder. The lithe and quick German car earned its nickname in endurance road racing events in Europe and America where it went head-to-head with its bigger-engined Italian rivals, and beat them. The 718 RSK won or was placed at Le Mans, Sebring in Florida and Targa Florio in Sicily, (Porsche taking a 1-2-3 clean sweep at the latter in 1959 with the RSK in the lead.) An evolutionary successor to the legendary 550A Spyder, the purpose-built 718 RSK featured more power, enhanced bodywork, superior braking and improved suspension. Only 34 of these beautiful machines were built which makes the example very rare indeed. The motorcar – chassis no. 718-031– was ordered new by noted New Jersey motorsport enthusiast, Bernie Vihl and extensively campaigned by legendary driver Bob Holbert at numerous SCCA and international events, including the 1959 Bahamas Speed Week, and has been in the same ownership since 1974.
Bonhams has opened consignments for this exceptional sale. As Jakob Greisen, Head of US Motoring, says, “The motoring hobby is driven by passionate collectors who are always looking to refine their collections or explore new genres of cars. Bonhams’ 23rd annual Quail Auction will offer the ease of bidding the way collectors want, while giving them confidence and a full scope insight in the car they are interested in, right there on their screen.”
Report by bonhams.com