A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing in spectacular condition led the bidding during Bonham’s inaugural Audrain Concours Auction in Newport, Rhode Island, which achieved total sales of $9,262,800, including auction fees.
Just 41 cars were offered during the boutique collector car auction, with 34 of them finding new owners for a sell-through rate of 83 percent. The sale was held at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
The Gullwing coupe, with its original engine and body panels and standing on its factory Rudge knockoff wheels, reached a resounding $1,556,000. The Mercedes was offered at auction by the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where it had been shown for the past decade in the school’s Classic Automobile Museum.
Other highlights of the auction included:
The second-most-valuable vehicle in the auction, an early 1963 Shelby Cobra 260, which achieved $728,250, is the 47th Shelby Cobra produced and powered by its original 260cid V8 from before Ford introduced its iconic 289.
A 1913 Alco Five-Passenger Touring Car, a rare antique built in Rhode Island and offered publicly for the first time, sold for $373,500.
A 2009 Spyker C8 Laviolette Coupé, driven just 700 miles from new, sold for $370,750.
A 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series III saloon, which sold for $307,500, was the 1962 New York Auto Show car. The Aston is an original left-hand drive example of the Touring Superleggera sports car.
Rupert Banner, Bonhams Group Motoring director, said in a news release that the first Audrain auction had gone well and the company plans to bring it back next year.
“We are delighted with this successful debut,” Banner said. “The International Tennis Hall of Fame served up a perfect setting for the Bonhams saleroom which was busy both in the preview and during the auction.”
The top-10 highest sellers during the Audrain auction were:
1. 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, sold for $1,556,000.
2. 1963 Shelby Cobra 260, sold for $728,250.
3. 1929 Bentley 4½ Liter Tourer, $651,250.
4. 1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I drophead coupe, $392,750.
5. 1913 Alco Five-Passenger Touring Car, sold for $373,500.
6. 2009 Spyker C8 Laviolette Coupé, sold for $370,750.
7. 1933 Marmon Sixteen Convertible Sedan, $368,000.
8. 2008 Alfa Romeo 8C Competition Coupe, $364,000.
9. 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren coupe, $324,000.
10. 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series III Saloon, $307,500.
Bonhams next live collector car auction, the Zoute Sale, will be held October 10 in Belgium. For more information, visit the Bonhams Motorcar website.