Bonhams hit a home run on Saturday, February 23, at its inaugural motorcar auction held in conjunction with the Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance on the grounds of the luxurious, seaside Boca Raton Resort & Club north of Miami.
A diverse selection of American and European motorcars, along with several contemporary models, attracted a full house of on-site bidders and numerous telephone, absentee and live online bidders. With participation from around the world, and buyers from as far afield as mainland Europe and the Middle East, the competition was brisk, particularly for the most desirable offerings.
The former Mrs. E.L. Cord 1930 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton stayed in the U.S., realizing $698,500 after spirited bidding.
$390,500 was the price achieved for the original “Plexi”-nose, European-delivered 1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spyder conversion, while the 1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III, later adapted to Drophead Coupe guise, sold for $264,000.
An immaculate, concours-condition 1962 Jaguar XKE Series I 3.8-litre coupe was deservedly bought for $165,000 by an East Coast enthusiast, and the 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale made $143,000.
Perhaps most fun of all, however, was the ping-pong style of telephone bidding that ensued over the 1962 Citroen 2CV Sahara 4×4. With a brisk and lengthy volley between multiple phone bidders and auctioneer Rupert Banner doing his best to referee the bidding frenzy at the rostrum, the audience in the filled-to-capacity tent was treated to a humorous battle for the rare French two-engined car. Ultimately, a collector from the Middle East clinched the winning bid at $80,300.
Said Rupert Banner, Bonhams VP of Business Development in New York, “This was a busy, successful and fun debut auction, supported by a large local crowd. It delivered results beyond our expectations including a handful of records and continues an already strong 2013 season for Bonhams U.S. Motoring department.”
Bonhams’ next U.S. motoring auctions take place in Greenwich, Connecticut in June and Carmel, California in August. For more information on these upcoming sales, please visit

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