Bonhams’ foray into the Scottsdale auto auction week proved to be a strong success where, amidst the grounds of the beautiful and conveniently accessible AAA Four Diamond Westin Kierland Resort, an impressive and diverse line-up of cars offered buyers an unparalleled array of pedigree machinery from which to choose.

The top seller of Thursday’s sale was a well-documented 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet C, which brought $667,000 after a fierce bidding battle between home markets, the UK, eastern Europe and the Far East.  Offered from a New York collection where it had resided for more than 40 years, the car will return to continental Europe for the first time since it was built.

The true star of the auction, however, was the cover lot – the impeccable Marlene Dietrich 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Transformable Phaeton, which made its top estimate at $524,000 to the acclaim of the audience.

These were just a couple of many bidding wars in the afternoon’s events which resulted in the top three lots, among others, reaching their highest estimate. A beautiful 1947 Delahaye 135M 3-Position Drophead Coupe, which had drawn much interest when displayed on the viewing lawn of the Bonhams Pavilion, also drew feverish bidding from the room and the phones as bids crept up in $5,000 increments before the hammer fell at $472,500. A sporting Stutz “Bearcat” Special made $137,000 against and estimate of $45,000-55,000 and 1923 Rolls-Royce 20hp sold for $71,370 over its high estimate of $60,000.

In the best tradition of Bonhams’ international motorcar auctions, automobiles were sourced from across America and Europe to present a carefully chosen offering with a variety of vintages and values to an appreciative crowd.

A busy room saw over 93% of automobilia lots selling with 100% of the David E. Davis Jr. Collection sold. Outstanding prices were paid for many Davis lots including a world auction record for a 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Pennant at $10,625 and $5,250 for a fine futuristic painting by Bruce McCall entitled Modern Times. Notable lots from other vendors included a rare Eight Trumpet Horn at $5,625 and a “Chrysis” nude mascot in glass by Rene Lalique that sold at $10,445.

Says Malcolm Barber, CEO of Bonhams Group, “We are delighted with the results of this multi-million-dollar auction and the reception we received in Scottsdale. There was universal praise for the venue and the selection on offer, and we will definitely be back next January.”

For a full list of sales results for the Scottsdale Sale, please go to

Comments are closed.