Ferrari Fever At Bonhams Goodwood SpeedWeek Sale

A 4-litre 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS – one of only 100 spiders produced – was the hit of the Bonhams Goodwood SpeedWeek Sale, selling for £1,269,400, after a tense bidding battle.

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Second only to the GTS in the 17 October auction was another rare example of its successor, a 4.4-litre 1969 Ferrari 365 GTC, one of only 22 right-hand drive variants, which sold for £531,300.

The 330 GTS was subject to lengthy “tactical and strategic” bidding by two determined bidders, one online and the other linked by telephone. Their battle was likened to a boxing match, as the increments rose and fell, by the sale’s auctioneer, James Knight, Bonhams Motoring Group Chairman.

Claimed in the period by Ferrari to be the ‘world’s finest convertible two-seater’, the 330 GTS remains one of the Maranello-marque’s rarest soft-top V12 models. This example was luxuriously appointed with leather seats, electric windows and optional Borrani wheels.

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The 365 GTC offered yet more power and performance, yet attained the unmistakeable Pininfarina-styling of its predecessor. This well-travelled example had been owned in Italy, Canada and the USA before arriving in the UK and professionally restored in the 1990s.

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A third Ferrari which caught the attention of the bidders was another Pininfarina-styled model, a 1974 Dino 246 GTS Coupé which sold for £300,000. This late ‘chairs and flares’ example, featuring Daytona-style seats and flared wheel arches, had been recently restored to 100-point concours-standard.

Pre-war motor cars also proved popular at the sale, including two W.O Bentley designed Lagondas, among the most sophisticated and exclusive motor cars of the period.

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A 1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupé, offered from the estate of Michael Patrick Aiken MBE and previously owned by another successful businessman, Eric B Fox of Fox’s Glacier Mints, sold for £230,000. This example was professionally restored and was a class-winner at Pebble Beach in 2007.

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A 1938 Lagonda V12 ‘Le Mans’ style Sports Tourer achieved £207,000. This example had had its chassis shortened in the 1950s for hill climbing purposes, then was further refurbished in 1994 to Le Mans specification by the vendor.

The Bonhams Sale was part of the Goodwood SpeedWeek event, a one-off weekend celebrating the best of the Festival of Speed and Revival, both of which were cancelled due to the ongoing situation regarding COVID-19.

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One figure familiar to the circuit, the late John Surtees MBE, was celebrated in the Bonhams saleroom. Offered directly from the estate of the only world champion of both Formula One and Motorcycle Grand Prix was a rare 1957 BMW 503 Cabriolet, which sold for £230,000.

Surtees was only the second owner of the 503 – one of just three right-hand drive examples, and used this BMW as his personal car for nearly 30 years.

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Another Goodwood related car that took the chequered flag was a 1961 Emeryson 1.5-Litre Formula 1 Single-seater, originally raced by the Écurie Belge team and campaigned at the circuit in period, which raced away for £161,000.

Sholto Gilbertson, Head of the Bonhams Goodwood Speedweek Sale, said: “The calibre of motor cars on offer was truly world-class and, like the Goodwood Speedweek weekend, celebrated the very best of historic and more modern automotive performance, design and engineering.

“We were pleased to get back to a live sale format and delighted to host a number of clients in the saleroom, respecting social distancing and all COVID-19 related guidelines.”

As ever, the Bonhams automobilia auction generated much interest. Notable sales included the registration number ‘RR 3’ which sold for £126,500, while a collection of seven pre-war Romeo P2 clockwork tinplate toys, modelled on the successful 1924 racing car designed by Vittorio Jano, brought out the competitive spirit in bidders, racing past their estimate to achieve £30,062.

The next auction to be staged by Bonhams Motor Cars is the Golden Age of Motoring Sale for veteran, vintage and post-vintage motor cars on Friday 30 October at the New Bond Street saleroom.

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