Sydney, Australia (November, 16, 2008) — The Bonhams & Goodman auction of the six-strong Dawson-Damer racing car collection realised a startling $2m in Sydney last Sunday evening. The great news for Australian enthusiasts is that home bidders beat global competition to keep the Collection’s two most important Lotus racing cars in Australian ownership.
Top Lot was the 1963 Lotus-Climax 25 Formula 1 car as driven by legendary double-World Champion Driver Jim Clark to win seven Grand Prix races that season. It sold for a new Lotus World record price of $991,250 – and has gone to an Australian Lotus enthusiast who outbid International interest from European, US and Japanese opposition.
The sister 1966 Lotus-Climax 39 – as driven by Jim Clark in that year’s International Tasman Championship race series and later campaigned by Sydneysider Leo Geoghegan to become the most successful local contender in later Tasman series – sold to a Tasmanian Lotus enthusiast for $234,000.
Two other Dawson-Damer Collection racing cars – the 1959 Lotus-Climax Type 16 and 1969 4-wheel drive Lotus-Ford 63 – are bound for an American museum, achieving $227,500 and $146,900, respectively.
The Collections’ 1978-79 Lotus-Ford 79 – as driven by American Formula 1 World Champion Driver Mario Andretti – sold for an impressive $373,750 to a Japanese Lotus enthusiast.
Other mouth-watering collectors’ cars sold at the Bonham & Goodman sale were the first Bentley in Australia – a 1922 3-litre model which, incredibly, had been in the same family ownership since 1942 – which sold for $135,850.
Of huge significance to Australia was Lex Davison’s ‘Little Alfa’. Offered for the first time since new, it sold for $253,500 to an Australian buyer, located just one hour from Lex’s widow – Diana Davison-Gaze.
Other highlights from the sale include two cars from the collection of legendary raconteur and collector Peter Briggs with a Lotus Eleven Sports Racer and a Grand Prix Alta selling over their top estimates for $88,400 and $146,900, respectively.
‘We were understandably delighted to have achieved such strong results for our clients and the result clearly demonstrates that the collectors’ motor car market remains healthy for the right motor cars’, said Robert Glover National Head of Collectors’ Cars. He further commented: ‘What is even more encouraging was a sale rate of over 80% by lot and over 90% by value. This further illustrates that when scarce items come to market, collectors’ are tenacious with regard to acquiring the motor car irrespective of present economic climate.’