Bonhams announced today (Sept. 7, 2007) that Christie’s two most senior motoring directors and one of its most respected motoring consultants will join the Bonhams’ Global Motor Car Department on November 1st 2007.
Having just held their sale at Monterey during California’s Pebble Beach Concours last month, the Head of Christie’s International Car Dept. Rupert Banner and Philip Kantor, Head of Christie’s European Car Department, will join the Bonhams team on both sides of the Atlantic.
Rupert Banner will join Malcolm Barber, Bonhams’ CEO, and Mark Osborne, Vice President of the US Car Department, in the United States. Based in New York, Rupert will take on the new role of Vice President of Business Development, US.
Philip Kantor will become Bonhams’ International Director of Business Development. He will continue to be based in mainland Europe.
A third member of Christie’s motoring team – California-based Consultant Gordon McCall – will also join Bonhams’ US motoring department on November 1st. He will continue in a similar role, as a senior consultant to the Bonhams worldwide motoring network. He will remain based in Carmel, California.
James Knight, Managing Director of Bonhams’ Motoring Department, said, “We are delighted to welcome Rupert, Philip and Gordon, who have been respected rivals for many years. Their expertise and professionalism will add significant strengths to our global car team, with specific focus in the US and Europe where they will respectively be based.”
Malcolm Barber added, “It gives me particular pleasure to have Rupert and Gordon join me here in the US. Their expertise will substantially add to our ability to grow and develop the various services we offer our motoring clients.”
Philip Kantor made the following statement: “Joining Bonhams in this capacity represents an irresistible opportunity to focus on our main passion of auctioning cars and winning business, and further developing the growth of a company that uniquely understands our product with cars at its core.”
Rupert Banner: Rupert Banner has had an active interest in the car auction market from an early age, attending his first motorcar auction at the age of six, leading him to move into the business in 1994, when he joined Bonhams’ CEO Malcolm Barber, who was then heading up the Sotheby’s Motor Car Department. Four years later he moved to Christie’s, where he rose from Specialist to Regional Head. Since the end of 2003, he has been the International Head of the Motor Car Department and a Director of the company. In this role, and as auctioneer, he has been instrumental in the success of the department, making key consignments to all international sales. In recent years he has been actively involved in all of Christie’s US auctions.
With a broad knowledge and interest in many eras of cars Rupert has handled notable sales over the course of the last decade including cars from the collections of Sir Elton John, the late Alfred Heineken, and US West Coast collector Harris Laskey, the ‘M’ collection of Ferraris, as well as the Sharpe Collection, which comprised more than 200 cars.
Individual highlights have ranged from the sale of the 1908 Isle of Man T. T. – winning Hutton to Prince Michael of Kent’s Rolls-Royce Phantom VI, from an Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar C Type to a ‘Tear-Drop’ Talbot-Lago, and projects as diverse as caches of ‘barn discoveries’ and the sale of concours-winning Ferraris; the pinnacle of this being the recording of the world record price for any Bentley motor car, with the Works No. 2 Speed Six at £2.8-million.
Rupert is a member of the Bugatti Owners Club, Bentley Drivers Club, Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts and Owners Clubs, Vintage Sports Car Club, Veteran Car Club, and the Society of Automotive Historians, while being a regular competitor in the Tour Auto and annual entrant on the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.
Philip Kantor: Philip Kantor has had a lifelong passion for cars, developing this from his car collecting enthusiast father.
A British national, who has lived in Belgium for several years, Philip, as European Director, has pioneered Christie’s development in Europe and specifically France, using his multi-linguistic skills and contacts to secure top quality consignments and sale venues on the Continent. He ensured the success of Christie’s first sale in the newly opened French market with the sale of the Lüscher Collection in 2002 and has since been responsible for the sale of many highlight lots in Europe, the U.K. and America. These include the first customer delivered Ferrari, a highly original Mille Miglia winning Tour de France Ferrari, Dan Gurney’s Eagle Westlake Single Seater, a ‘one owner from new’ Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet, and within the last few months, Philip has fought off strong competition to secure the privately owned museum collection, which led his Monterey sale this year.
A well-known and formidable presence with a keen eye for quality and detail, Philip is a regular competitor in numerous rallies annually, including the Tour Auto. He attends events ranging from Le Mans Classic and Goodwood to modern Le Mans and Formula One Grand Prix. He has supervised preparation of his own cars to concours winning, but practical standards.
Gordon McCall: Gordon McCall is a popular and well-known personality on the Monterey Peninsula who has been at the centre of the Monterey week for more that 30 years. A true enthusiast of cars, motorcycles, and cycles, he actively competes on road and track.
Formerly serving as a field director and class judge at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance for several decades, his current involvement in the world’s largest annual collector car event has been as host of his own exclusive welcome ‘Motorworks’ party at the Monterey Jet Center and as co-founder of the extremely popular ‘The Quail – A Motorsports Gathering’ which he developed with The Honorable Sir Michael Kadoorie and the Peninsula Hotels Group.
Gordon McCall had been with Christie’s since 1999 during which time he had been invaluable in the development of the company’s sales, winning key consignments, including, just days ago, the sale of the Steve McQueen Ferrari Lusso for a world record price.
He also has three decades of automotive experience as a restorer and car historian, as well as being a keen motorsport photographer and writer, and is an active supporter of his interests as a member of the Sports Car Club of America, US Cycling Federation and Lifetime Member of the California Highway Patrol 11-99 Foundation.
Gordon’s contribution to Monterey week has been tremendous and he looks forward to developing the natural synergies with the Bonhams team in his car and motorcycle interests, specifically with Bonhams’ annual US auction at ‘The Quail’ during the Pebble Beach Concours.