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Geared for the Automotive Life

Five to Watch at Bonhams Goodwood Members’ Meeting Sale

Image: Courtesy of Bonhams

Bonhams will return to Goodwood this weekend, Sunday, April 10, for its annual Members’ Meeting auction. After large, headlining auctions in Scottsdale, Paris and Amelia Island, the sale in Goodwood will shed some light on the strength of the UK collector car market in 2022.

Here are five lots I will be keeping an eye on in at the Members’ Meeting sale:

Image: Courtesy of Bonhams

Lot 54, 1971 Aston Martin DB6 Mk 2 sports saloon

Matching numbers engine and chassis. Finished in original colors of Pale Primrose over black leather. Features an automatic transmission and is selling without reserve.

There was an onslaught of DB6s showing up at UK auctions in 2021. Many of those cars returned home after having been sold and exported the previous decade, and a good number showed evidence of having been on static display — meaning some service work and maintenance would be necessary before they were roadworthy again. These needy cars and their depressed prices took a toll on the market for DB6 coupes.

There are three such DB6s up for grabs at this year’s Members’ Meeting sale. All were sold more than a decade ago and have been sitting since. Each is also being sold sans reserve.

This Pale Primrose car appears to be the nicest of the trio. It retains its matching-numbers components and is finished in its original color scheme. It also has the highest pre-sale estimate of £120k to £160k. The silver example in this sale has a few more holes in its history, hence the high estimate of £150k. The green 5-speed car has been fitted with a replacement engine and is the cheapest, with an estimate of £100k-ְ£140k.

Based on those numbers, Bonhams expects them to sell at around $200k or less, which is in line with the sales of the many needy examples sold last year. We will have a better idea if that rings true and DB6 prices remain soft after Sunday.

Image: Courtesy of Bonhams

Lot 8, 2011 Force India-Mercedes VJM-04 Formula 1 Racing Singe-Seater

Competed in all 19 World Championship Grand Prix races of the 2011 season with 8 top ten finishes. Sold in show car configuration without its Mercedes-Benz V8 engine and 7-speed transmission.

It takes a race car specialist to really understand the market for competition vehicles. Since getting behind the wheel is often out of the question, the value comes down to the car’s history and level of success in competition. Of course, having been produced by the McLaren, Mercedes-Benz or Ferrari factory teams is also a good start.

This Force India car is unfortunately not one of them — though the sale of the team and its subsequent iterations does lead to the current Aston Martin F1 team. VJM04-02 did see plenty of action in the 2011 season and achieved several top ten finishes, but since it’s lacking any victories or massive name recognition like that of McLaren, its prospects could be limited. Keep in mind the fact it will have to be purchased as a display piece and nothing more.

Of course, it only takes two determined Formula 1 aficionados in the room to send the price well beyond expectations. We have all seen it before.

Image: Courtesy of Bonhams

Lot 41, 1967 Maserati Mistral 4000 Spyder

4.0-L I6, 5-speed manual, LHD. Original U.S.-spec Spyder. 1980s restoration in current white over black.

The Mistral is not terribly common, with 828 coupes and 123 Spyders built. This example has all the features collectors covet: It is the rarer open-top spyder, has the largest 4.0-L engine and a 5-speed manual transmission.

As you would expect with such a low production number, Mistral Spyders don’t often show up at auction. The few that did in 2019 and 2020 were not immune from softening prices, dropping out of the $500k-plus range and landing closer to $300k or $400k.

Values did rebound a bit last year with the rest of the market, however. Gooding & Company sold a 1965 Mistral 3500 Spyder in Pebble Beach for $522k, while Bonhams snagged €391k — about $452k — at the 2021 Zoute Sale for a 1968 4.0-L Spyder.

This car still appears fresh despite being restored some four decades ago, and has been cared for by just one owner for 42 years. That together with its premium spec could lead to a big sale price. The one question mark is the numbers-matching status of the drivetrain. The Bonhams catalog makes not mention of it, and it’s an important detail to some collectors.

Image: Courtesy of Bonhams

Lot 34, 1975 Aston Martin Lagonda Series 1 7.0-L saloon

One of seven Aston Martin V8-based Lagondas produced in-period. Restored and upgraded by R S Williams circa 2006. Offered without reserve.

Resto-mods are hot in the current market. Everything from brutish American muscle cars to Germany’s iconic 356s are being modernized for driving pleasure, and buyers have noticed. Based on the selling prices, those buyers appreciate the old-school look combined with modern technology.

This 1975 Aston Lagonda fits neatly into that category, having been overhauled by R S Williams. At the heart of this Aston is an enlarged 7.0-L engine. To accommodate the extra power, up-rated springs, brakes, and steering components were also fitted. Comfort and convenience modifications included extensive sound proofing of the cabin, upgrading the air conditioning and installing hands-free phone capabilities.

The unfortunate news is that the Lagonda has remained static since last purchased from Bonhams in 2012. Some money will need to be spent before the new owner can enjoy the 550 ft-lbs of torque and 480bhp out on the road. But as a rare Series 1 Lagonda with a host of upgrades improving usability, potential buyers might not be too discouraged by the work needed. Who knows, maybe this could be the start of a resto-mod Lagonda trend.

Lot 53, 2008 Land Rover Defender SVX Edition 60th Anniversary

2.4-L diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Odometer reads just over 12,000 miles. One of 200 produced for the UK market.

Coming from the standpoint of a car enthusiasts in the States, this 2008 Defender seems like it could be quite the deal. Even if it sells for the high pre-auction estimate of £50k — or about $65,000 — that is about $50k less than one of Land Rovers higher-end sporty new Defenders.

The legendary model has an equally rabid fan base in its home country, and that makes me wonder if the estimate might be a little light — especially considering its limited production status and low mileage.

Big money has been spent on these iconic off-roaders before, namely the “SPECTRE” Defenders used in the 2015 James Bond movie of the same name. Bonhams sold one of those back in 2018 for almost $500k in today’s dollars. Another, Defender “2,000,000”, was sold at a Bonhams charity auction in 2015 for £400k — or $523k today. Both are extreme examples involving special cars, but late-gen Defenders have major appeal. Between the current booming market and huge interest in next-gen vehicles, the stars just might be aligning for the Defender.