A 1959 BMW 507 Series II, estimate US$1,900,00 – 2,300,000), arguably the most collectible and coveted BMW to date, will lead a Teutonic trio of newly consigned collectors’ convertibles crossing the block at the forthcoming 10th anniversary Bonhams Scottsdale Auction on 21 January.
The 507 will assemble at the Westin Kierland Resort with the pinnacle of pre-war Mercedes-Benz motor cars, a 1939 540K Special Cabriolet A with coachwork by Sindelfingen, (estimate on request) and a 1956 300 Sc Roadster, (estimate US$775,000 – 875,000) considered the most desirable post-war Mercedes-Benz model.
1959 BMW 507 Series II Roadster
Designed to rival Mercedes’ 300SL, the 507 was BMW’s flagship sportscar of the 1950s and, at the time, the most expensive produced by the Bavarian firm – a reality which kept production numbers to a low total of just 253. Its exclusivity and price tag appealed to celebrities and car aficionados with Elvis Presley, Ursula Andress and the Aga Khan among its owners.
The example offered, fitted with an extremely rare and original Becker Mexico Radio, has been in the USA since new, with previous owners including the grandson of RKO studios founder Shane O’Neil. It has been kept by its vendor, a prominent private collector, for more than 30 years. Estimate US$1,900,000 – 2,300,000.
1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Cabriolet A
Lauded by car connoisseurs of its day for its high-performance delivered by its 5.4-litre Rootes supercharged engine, its high-quality coachwork and superlative comfort offered, the 540K has been coveted by leading collectors ever since.
The 540K offered was one of only 69 Cabriolet As built in 1939 and one of two fitted with a raked vee’d windshield, as ordered new by its original Parisian owner. Imported to the USA after the war, it was owned by a series of pioneer car collectors, the first being the American operatic tenor James Melton. The 540K was the cornerstone of his renowned collection and was sold only shortly before his death in 1961.
He was followed as custodian of the 540K by Otis Chandler, publisher of the Los Angeles Times, who oversaw its first restoration, which was rewarded by the car winning Best in Show at the 1973 Pebble Beach Concours. The cabriolet then joined the esteemed collections of Alex Wars and General William Lyon before forming part of the vendor’s collection for more than two decades. Estimate on request.
In many ways the successor to the 540K, the 300 series was one of the first all new post-war designs from Mercedes-Benz. The epitome of luxury, it was a more expensive model than the 300SL, with only 200 examples of the range-topping fuel-injected Sc model produced, of which 53 were in the most desirable Roadster configuration.
From launch, the 300Sc was popular with the American market – notable owners included film stars Gary Cooper and Cary Grant – and this matching numbers example was newly delivered to New York. Extensively restored 25 years ago, this elegant Mercedes has covered a mere 500 miles since.
Another 1950s German sportscar aimed at the US market was Porsche’s limited production 356 Speedster. With its low raked windshield, lightweight bucket seats and 100 mph performance, it was an instant success in the growing American sports car racing scene.
The exceptional 1958 356A example offered has the desirable T2 specification with mechanical and cosmetic upgrades and coachwork by Reutter. It is also the subject of an award-winning six-figure, 54-month restoration by marque specialists completed in 2019. It is presented in its factory-delivered livery of Ruby Red paintwork and tan leatherette interior, offset by period correct Rudge wheels. Estimate US$475,000 – 550,000.
The Scottsdale Auction will offer 37 carefully curated collectors’ cars, representing more than a century of European and American automotive history. Leading the more contemporary fare is an as new 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Volante, estimate US$500,000 – 700,000, which would enhance any modern supercar collection.
This car is the very first of the 99 Volantes produced in the most recent collaboration between the British manufacturer and the Italian Carrozzeria Zagato. Following the tradition of high performance first seen in the DB4GT Zagato, the Vanquish is powered by a 6-litre, 580bhp V12 engine. Offered by its original owner, who selected several exclusive optional features such as the limited edition Q option walnut facia and bespoke seats, the Vanquish has only covered 1,400 miles.
Also lining up at Scottsdale is another modern classic – a 1992 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione 1 with desirable Martini 6 livery paying tribute to the marque’s winning its sixth consecutive Constructors’ World Rally Championship title. This well-preserved, low-mileage example is number 145 of the 310 Giugiaro-designed cars produced. Estimate US$160,000 – 190,000.
The Scottsdale Auction 2021
Bonhams will conduct the 10thScottsdale Auction on Thursday, January 21 as a Live & Online Sale, which provides registered bidders the opportunity to bid in real time online via Bonhams.com while watching the auctioneer at the rostrum and videos of cars on offer. Absentee and telephone bids are also encouraged.
Pre-sale viewing will take place, by appointment only, at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa on Tuesday January 19 and Wednesday January 20 from 9am to 6pm and Thursday 21 January from 9am to 1pm. The Bonhams ‘virtual viewing’ platform will be available by appointment for condition reports and one-to-one walkaround inspections with a specialist to examine a specific motor car in real time. Contact email@example.com to register to bid or to book a viewing. The Scottsdale Auction catalogue is online: https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/26617/.
Report by bonhams.com