MILLION EURO CASTLE-FIND MERCEDES LEADS THE PACK AT BONHAMS SPA CLASSIC SALE Bonhams triumph once again at its fourth Spa Classic Sale, held at the legendary Circuit de Spa Francorchamps, Belgium. The deafening roar of 250 GTOs, McLaren F1s and 300SLs at full throttle around the track provided the perfect background for the sale, which saw an impressive 80% of lots sold. German motor cars proved particularly popular, with half of the top ten lots coming from the Mercedes and Porsche marques. The star of the show was the perennially popular 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster, which achieved an astonishing €1,127,000 against a pre-sale estimate of €600,000- 800,000. After a lengthy duel between two keen bidders, the hammer finally fell to an international buyer on the phone to a tremendous round of applause. No Bonhams sale would be complete without a barn find, but the Spa Classic auction offered an even more exciting opportunity – a ‘castle find’ collection of twelve of the most iconic motor cars ever created, all of which were offered at no reserve. The temptation of such a unique offering was too strong for the crowd, and all 12 cars found new owners. The 1969 Maserati Ghibli SS 4.9-Litre Coupé sold to a telephone bidder for €174,800 against a pre-sale estimate of €100,000-150,000. 30 | The Gentleman Magazine The 1980 Aston Martin V8 Volante Convertible achieved €172,500 against €90,000-140,000 and the 1933 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Phantom II Roadster realised €111,550. The collection achieved a total of €2,026,300. Bidding throughout the sale was keen and exchanges prolonged, as was the case with the 1958 Porsche 356A Super Speedster, which eventually achieved €322,000 after auctioneer Rupert Banner presided over a lengthy three-way bidding war with aplomb. Indeed, Porsches were popular throughout the sale: the 1989 Porsche 911 3.2-Litre ‘Narrow-body’ Speedster realised €280,000 and the 1993 911 Turbo 3.6-Litre Type 964 Coupé sold for €195,500.