Keno Brothers Partners With U.K. Auctioneer Simon Hope


Simon Hope, founder and managing director of H&H Classics — a long-established U.K. classic car auction house — will headline a new concept in classic and luxury car auctions in a landmark partnership with the Keno Brothers in New York.

“We needed to assemble a world class team,” said Keno Brothers COO Bradley Farrell. “I was put in charge of assembling that team and there was no question in my mind that Simon Hope should be the auctioneer.”

Rolling Sculpture is the title of the first auction under the Keno Brothers Fine Automobile Auctions banner. The sale takes place November 18–19 at Skylight Clarkson Square in SoHo, a 60,000-square foot venue in Manhattan already well established as a center for fashion shows and art exhibitions.

The auction concept approaches the car as a work of art, creating “a multi-sensory experience… highlighting the beauty and history of dozens of fantastic, limited-edition automobiles.”

Mr. Farrell, who identified Simon Hope as the man to convey this experience to bidders, said: “His ability to command a room is exceptional. His knowledge of automobiles is unsurpassed and his ability to make you smile and laugh is something I look for in a leader. In my opinion to get someone with all of these qualities is a hard thing to find. We feel honored that Simon would want to be a part of a team that will not only help shape the future of our industry, but allow the public to help shape where the market of these cars should be.”

A partnership in the real sense, it brings together decades of American and European specialist knowledge and expertise, combining the best in vintage, classic and luxury automobile knowhow from both sides of the Atlantic.

Simon Hope will be working with Leslie and Leigh Keno, two of the best-known and respected art and antiques appraisers in the United States. They were introduced to the classic car world at a very young age by their father, an avid collector of American and European marques. Since then they have collected, judged, auctioned and raced vintage automobiles, while gaining an international reputation for their comprehensive knowledge of historic cars.

For more than a decade the Keno Brothers have been judges in the Preservation Class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance.

“We want to bring our experience and passion into the automotive space,” commented Co-CEO and Founder Leslie Keno. “We have a great respect for all experts and specialists who are involved in historic automobiles, and we are honored to serve as stewards of these spectacular ‘rolling works of art,’ which demonstrate the extraordinary heights reached when art and science converge. The very best automobiles showcase the masterworks of some of the greatest artists and visionaries of the 20th century.”

Simon Hope, who has been auctioning some of the world’s greatest cars and motorcycles for over 30 years, has set a slew of records in that time, including the highest auction price for a motorcycle in 2012 (£291,200/$470,580 for a 1922 Brough Superior) and, on October 14 this year, a world auction record for a steel-bodied SWB when the late Richard Colton’s 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB (chassis 1995GT) made £7.5m/$11.5m at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford.

A keen collector himself, he also races with the many clubs and associations around the world.

Simon is excited by the Keno Brothers’ new auction concept: “As fine a marque, in auction terms, as the cars they will be presenting in this first sale, Leslie and Leigh have a unique understanding of how to bring together all the key elements of luxury, inspiration and superb craftsmanship to create the perfect setting for collectors to enjoy today,” he said.

“I have built an internationally successful business over more than 20 years by refusing to compromise when it comes to quality and ensuring that no one can beat us on client service. I value that reputation above all things and have no hesitation in partnering an operation that insists on the same outstanding all-round performance — the Keno Brothers’ Rolling Sculpture concept auction does just that.”


Tony Piff

SCM Auctions Editor and Photographer

Tony has long trumpeted the virtues of collecting Japanese cars. His daily driver is a 1970 Toyota Hilux — the one with the turn signals on top of the fenders. His popular “Rising Sun” column keeps a pulse on the J-tin market.

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