Bonhams’ annual Festival of Speed auction has become a tradition for the finer-heeled of Goodwood’s attendees. This year, though, several of the top billers didn’t generate the usual interest, and the overall sell-through rate was low: Deals were struck for just 41 of the 83 cars offered. What’s to blame? A down market such as we’re in demands the best quality to achieve the best prices, and several unsold cars at this auction had questionable histories and modifications. Add the notion that many would-be buyers were likely keeping their powder dry for auctions later in the year, and you wind up with slow sales. Despite all that, many fine cars did sell. Here are a few of our favorites.
1993 Jaguar XJ220 | Sold: $517,366
When Jaguar launched its XJ220 in 1991, the supercar was at once a revelation and a disappointment. Although it looked futuristic, had a 217-mph top speed, and played off of Jaguar’s success with its Le Mans prototype race cars, the promised V-8 engine was subsequently substituted with a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 in the name of cleaner emissions, leading many enthusiasts to cancel orders before taking delivery. Moreover, the car was never officially sold in the U.S., costing the XJ220 a large chunk of its customer base. Values dipped to around $100,000 in the XJ220’s worst days, but interest has returned strongly in recent years. The well-serviced, sub-10,000-mile car pictured above shows it.
1995 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evo II | Sold: $103,473
Yet another car American buyers were never afforded, the Lancia Delta Integrale was the Italian brand’s seminal all-wheel-drive rally machine, racking up six World Rally championships between 1987 and 1992. The Lancia’s three-box, blister-flared design speaks to a generation that grew up watching the rally versions handbrake-turn their way through the switchbacks of the Monte Carlo Rally, and prices have increased accordingly; a decade ago, these weren’t worth half as much. This is a limited-production (one of 180) Evo II version—check out our recent European road trip in one—with face-lifted cosmetics and a turbocharged four-cylinder engine uprated to 210 horsepower.
1992 Williams-Renault FW14B | Sold: $3,377,878
The star of the sale, which we also covered separately, this Williams FW14B with a red No. 5 on the nose is the car Formula 1 driver Nigel Mansell drove to win each of the first five races of the 1992 F1 season. Chassis No. 08 was driven by Mansell for two more races after that before being handed to teammate Ricardo Patrese for much of the remainder of the season. Mansell went on to win the 1992 F1 title, and the car’s blue and yellow livery became a symbol of the era. This is also the first car designed by Adrian Newey to win a championship. The price set a new world record for a Williams F1 car sold at auction.
1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series IV 4.2-Litre Vantage | Sold: $582,037
The DB4 series of Aston Martins really brought the marque to the forefront under David Brown’s ownership. The DB4 was a better-looking, sportier car than the DB MkIII that preceded it, though it borrowed heavily from the former’s chassis. It was also the car that led the way to the DB5, which went down in history as James Bond’s car of choice. This Series IV Vantage-spec car has a number of improvements over earlier models, including dash design from the DB4 GT race cars, an uprated 266-hp straight-six engine with triple carburetors, and faired-in headlights. This was a strong sale, which might signify an uptick in Aston Martin interest in what has lately been a difficult market for the cars.
1985 Audi Quattro Coupe | Sold: $35,928
You didn’t need a half-million dollars or more to be a player at Bonhams this year; a mere $36,000 would have bought you this original Audi Quattro Coupe, which was aimed squarely at homologating the brand’s well-known all-wheel-drive Group B rally machines. This was a fine example that won the Goodwood House Concours just a year before and was described as being very well taken care of by a Quattro specialist in the U.K. Its turbocharged five-cylinder engine makes about 200 horsepower, giving it a zero-to-60-mph time of approximately 7.2 seconds—an ideal sweet spot for quick backroad blasts.
1979 Ferrari 400 GT | Sold: $28,742
Want to buy a Ferrari but only have Camry money? That wasn’t a problem at Bonhams, where you could have driven away with this 400 GT 2+2 (two front seats, two tiny rear seats) for less than 30 grand. The Pininfarina styling is elegant but intentionally a bit bland, having been penned at a time when Italy’s elites were under constant threat of ransom kidnappings and preferred to keep a low(er) profile. Although your neighbors won’t likely recognize your new 400 GT as a Ferrari, they’ll definitely respect the sound from its 4.8-liter V-12 when you fire it up on a weekend morning.
2004 Toyota TF104B | Sold: $86,227
Toyota failed to win a race in the eight years it spent in Formula 1 (2002–09), but is it still possible that you can buy a 15-year-old Grand Prix car for this little money? As you might have guessed, there’s a catch. This car, chassis No. 08, was one of 11 cars built for 2004 but one of just two designated as test cars and never raced. Oh yeah, and Toyota pulled out the engine, transmission, and all the electronics before the car went to its first home outside of the team. We’d still like one of these in the office to turn into the ultimate racing simulator seat.
2011 Land Rover Defender SVX “Spectre” | Sold: $395,210
In an age of big-dollar resto-mod classic SUVs, this Defender still seems like it sold very, very well. Its claim to fame is having been driven by 007’s companion Eve in the 2012 film Skyfall, then again as a villain’s ride of choice in the 2015 follow-up movie, Spectre. Modified by U.K. specialist Bowler, it has more power, a full roll cage, and 37-inch tires. It certainly looks the part, if not the price.
Top Five Sales
1. 1992 Williams-Renault FW14B, $3,377,878
2. 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster, $746,682
3. 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Vantage, $582,037
4. 2001 Lister Storm GT1 Prototype, $582,037
5. 1928 Bentley 4½-Litre Tourer, $574,851
The post Eight Lustworthy Classics from Bonhams’ Goodwood Sale appeared first on Automobile Magazine.