It was a gangbusters auction for Bonhams.
For collectors like myself who invest not only capital but also immense emotional regard into the world of automotive classics, the recent Quail Auction hosted by Bonhams in California marked a significant point in the annals of car auction history. A 1967 Ferrari 412P Berlinetta, a true masterpiece from Maranello, commanded an awe-inspiring $30.25 million. This sale elevates the vehicle to an esteemed position as the fourth most valuable Ferrari ever sold at auction—a monumental achievement that underlines the cultural and financial significance of car collecting.
Learn why law enforcement is so prevalent during Monterey Car Week here.
The Ferrari 412P Berlinetta is not just any car; it's an automotive legend. A mere duo of these models exist, making it a unicorn even among Ferraris. As if this scarcity weren’t enough to establish its value, the 412P at auction had undergone a painstaking, nine-year restoration. This wasn't just a return to form; it was an elevation. Moreover, the restoration effort had been so thorough that the car was deemed roadworthy, a rarity for a vehicle of this provenance.
Its racing lineage, which began under the auspices of Colonel Ronnie Hoare and his British Ferrari agency Maranello Concessionaires Ltd., lends it an air of authentic gravitas. With competitive outings in esteemed races like the Le Mans 24-Hours and Belgian Spa 1,000 Kilometers, the 412P is as much a storied veteran as it is an exquisite machine.
Rupert Banner, the Global Head of Specialists at Bonhams|Cars, could not have articulated it better when he called this 412P an "enduring piece of art that honors the Ferrari legacy." In the world of classic car collecting, the terms 'art' and 'legacy' carry immeasurable weight, and this sale profoundly respects both.
The auction was not merely a one-hit wonder. It also saw the record-breaking sale of a 1966 Porsche 906 'Carrera Six' Two-Seat Endurance Racing Coupe, which changed hands for over $2 million. Driven by legendary racers like Shintaro Taki and Kenjiro Tanaka, this Porsche had a decorated history, including multiple endurance race wins.
Among other stars of the auction were a 1909 Lorraine-Dietrich 16.4-Liter Grand Prix Two-Seater, which surprisingly doubled its low estimate to fetch $1.27 million, and a 1949 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Cabriolet that also broke the $2 million mark.
This auction, with a total of $51 million in sales spread across 109 lots, wasn't just an event; it was a statement. It emphasized the investment-worthy nature of classic cars and, above all, demonstrated the timeless allure of impeccably crafted, historically significant vehicles.
In summary, as a car collector observing these remarkable transactions, one can't help but feel exhilarated and optimistic about the future of automotive collecting. When such astounding sums are willingly parted with for these mechanical masterpieces, we are reminded that the classic car market is not merely about investment; it's also a rich, ever-expanding tapestry of history, engineering, and unadulterated passion.