START YOUR ENGINES!
GREAT RACE AND SPORTSCARS ON THE BONHAMS STARTLINE AT QUAIL LODGE
One of the greatest race cars ever produced, a 1967 Ford GT40, will line up with a host of world-class racers and sports cars at the forthcoming Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction on Friday August 13.
Dating from the year a Shelby/Ford GT40 Mark IV picked up Ford’s second of four consecutive overall victories at Le Mans, the GT40 offered is one of only 10 fully evolved Mark IV 7-liter ‘J-car’ variants. Assembled as a Group 7 Can-Am open-cockpit car, this GT40, known as J-9, was powered by a special all-alloy 427 V8 engine, originally destined for the 1968 Le Mans.
J-9 became the test car for a possible Ford campaign in the Can-Am G7A series and was driven that year at the Dearborn factory test track by Mario Andretti. However, with Ford’s attention turned to the new 5-liter versions required for Le Mans, J-9 was sold to brothers Charlie and Kerry Agapiou, ex-Shelby American Team members. They kept it until 2012 when it was acquired by Cobra Automotive of Connecticut who converted its body from its original open-cockpit Spider guise to a traditional Mark IV coupe.
J-9 was subsequently sold to the vendor who has participated in classic races around the world including in prominent events at Indianapolis and Goodwood. Offered with its original test body, the GT40 has an estimate of $3,000,000 – 3,500,000.
Another Carroll Shelby car is of course the Cobra. A trio of 1960s incarnations are offered at the Bonhams sale, led by a desirable left-hand drive export model 1964 AC Cobra 289, one of just 17. Delivered new to Canada and kept by its first owner for 45 years, the AC retains its original engine, transmission, chassis and aluminium bodywork. Its estimate is $900,000 – 1,100,000.
A brace of blue ‘big-block’ Cobras completes the threesome: both produced in 1966, the first Shelby 427 Cobra (estimate $1,000,000 – 1,200,000) was previously owned by Didier Peroni, winner of the 1978 24 Hours of Le Mans. In its present ownership, a fully digitised version of itself has had a starring role in the Forza Motorsport 4 Xbox game. The second is offered from the collection of the late Judge DiLoreto, a friend of Carroll Shelby who owned it for more than 37 years. Its estimate is $900,000 – 1,200,000.
If Ford (and Ferrari) dominated Le Mans in the 1960s, Bentley was the name synonymous with the French circuit in the pre-war ‘golden age’. Bonhams is offering a 1928 Bentley 4 ½ Liter Le Mans-Style Tourer . With matching engine, chassis and drivetrain, it received its tourer body with Le Mans detailing in 2006 when it was also extensively restored. Considered one of the best vintage Bentleys, its estimate is $750,000 – 900,000.
139 examples of the finest collector motorcars, representing more than a century of the automobile, are offered at the sale, which marks Bonhams’ welcome return to Quail Lodge after last year’s live and online Quail Auction. Further highlights include:
1930 Bucciali Tav 30 Torpédo Sport Type Cannes ‘La Marie’, estimate on request. From the same era as Bentley but a far less familiar name, the Bucciali was a one-off chassis produced to showcase the Bucciali brothers’ technical innovations, including Paul-Albert’s ground-breaking front-wheel drive patent.
Displayed at the Salon de Paris and the New York Motor Show, Tav 30 was presented to executives at major US manufacturers including Duesenberg, Chrysler, Willys and General Motors. No licence was taken up but the technology was later used on more than 5 million Willys military vehicles, resulting in two decades of lawsuits which Bucciali ultimately lost. However, Paul-Albert is recognised as the inventor of modern front-wheel drive.
1992 Ferrari F40, estimate $1,500,000 – 1,800,000. No fewer than 15 Ferraris are offered at Quail Lodge, including the modern classic F40, the final car personally overseen by Enzo Ferrari, produced to celebrate the firm’s 40thanniversary. This 1992 end of the line edition is Classiche Red Book Certified and is one of the rare US market examples.
1974 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 TT 12, estimate $1,700,000 – 2,200,000. Leading the exceptional collection of Gentleman Racing Driver, the late Judge DiLoreto, is this ex-Derek Bell/Henri Pascaloro Tipo 33. Part of the 1975 World Sportscar Championship-winning Alfa Romeo Autodelta works team, this car was driven to victory at Spa, Zeltweg and Watkins Glen. It was acquired by Judge DiLoreto direct from the Autodelta team.
1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7, estimate $700,000 – 900,000. An exceptional example of one of the most collectible Porsches. One of only 100 Right-hand drive variants and the sole example delivered new to South Africa. Exceedingly well-preserved it is offered by its original owner.
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, estimate $1,250,000 – 1,500,000. Instantly recognisable, the Gullwing is one of the world’s most valued and collectable performance car. A California car for most of its life this SL has long-term pedigree ownership, with only three custodians from new.
An earlier flagship from the Teutonic titan, a 1928 Mercedes-Benz 26/120/180 S-Type Supercharged Sports Tourer, estimate $3,000,000 – 4,000,000, and a beautiful Art Deco styled 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet Décapotable, estimate $1,800,000 – 2,300,000, one of only two surviving Figoni et Falaschi-designed convertibles, also feature.
Flying the Italian flag are a 1952 Ferrari 212 Europa Cabriolet, coachwork by Carrozzeria Ghia, estimate $1,700,000 – 2,100,000. The 1952 Geneva and Torino Auto Show car lines up with a 1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America, with coachwork by Pinin Farina, estimate $1,100,000 – 1,300,000.
A final star is an All-American 1992 33ft Airstream Model 34 Limited Excella Travel Trailer, estimate $150,000 – 200,000, offered from the collection of Tom Hanks, which was the actor’s ‘home from home’ on location for a dozen movies.
Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction returns to its regular venue at the Quail Lodge and Golf Club in Carmel for a traditional live sale on Friday August 13, starting at 11:00 PDT.
All lots will be available to view on Wednesday August 11, 9am – 6pm; Thursday August 12, 9am – 6pm and Friday morning (8.30 – 11am).
*Bids will be accepted from clients in the room (respecting social distancing and all local COVID-related guidelines), and the sale will also be streamed and available on the Bonhams App, and Bonhams.com providing registered bidders the opportunity to bid in real time online while watching the auctioneer and videos of cars on offer.
Quail Lodge Golf & Country Club
Carmel, CA. USA
August 13, 2021