20 July 2021

Bonhams' £6.5m 2021 Goodwood Festival Sale

The 9th of July marked the first proper ‘live’ Goodwood auction for the Bond St firm since the pandemic began.  

The Goodwood auction star lots consisted of Lord Snowdon/Peter Sellers DB5 Convertible and a 1972 Alfa Romeo TT3 sports racer once owned by Martin Morris, Steve O’Rourke and Peter Read – which both failed to receive meaningful bids. The royal connections of the Aston Martin were not enough to spark interest in such a weak market at its price point. Although the Alfa Romeo was once owned by ‘royalty’ of the car collecting breed, it may have been better off sold by a specialist rather than at an auction.  


Top selling cars of the auction included a 1928 Maserati Tipo 26B £967k gross, £850k net (est. £900k - £1.3m) and a Ferrari Dino 246/60 Formula £967k gross, £850k net (est. £900k - £1.3m), a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 Edition Coupé with the engine not starting and liable to UK import tax sold way over its estimate of £180k - 240k for £287,500. As well as a DB4 series IV Special Series Vantage with one owner since 1970 and maintained by marque experts RS Williams but with a restamped engine, purchased well under its estimate for £327,750.  

Another car that sold on the day was a manual DB6 Mk2 Vantage for restoration estimated to be sold for £110k which triggered a battle between specialists and hammered at £225k (£258,750 gross). In addition to this, a non-running automatic DB6 Vantage also sold for £89,000 net (£120,350 gross). 

Of the Ferraris on auction, the ex-Pail Vestey F40 sold for £883,000 and the rare 575 M Superamerica for £379,500 (both prices include premium). The 250 GT Elena was unfortunately not sold on the day but sold two days later for £514,166 gross along with a DB6 which traded post-event for £124k all in.  


  • Gross, motor cars: £7,181,907 (2019 - £7,936,033) 
  • Percentage sold by number: 61% (2019 – 49%) 
  • Number of cars not sold: 27 (2019 - 42) 
  • Number of cars withdrawn 2 (2019 – 1) 
  • Total number of cars: 61 (2019 – 83) 
  • Number sold 34 (2019 – 41) 
  • Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 35% (2019 - 20%) 
  • Percentage of cars sold below low estimate: 82% (2019 - 44%) 
  • Percentage of cars sold not met average of estimates: 88% (2019 - 78%) 
  • Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 9% (2019 - 10%)  
  • Average year of cars offered: 1970 (2019 - 1968) 
  • Average price of cars sold: £192,458 (2019 - £193,562)  
  • Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 11% (2019 - 6%) 

Looking at these pre and post-pandemic figures show that auctions still have a place in the market for traders and car enthusiasts. Although there were fewer cars available for auction, auctioneers were ready to spend with a number of cars being hammered over the estimated auction price. Compared to 2019's figures the sell-through was better however the gross was the lowest recorded since at least 2013. The recent pandemic, tax implications of Brexit, the lack of big-hitting sure to sell lots and the absence of well-estimated, more modern cars such as GT Porsches could be just a few of the reasons why.

Have you attended any auctions online or in-person throughout the pandemic? If so let us know your experiences and how you think they performed compared to auctions pre-pandemic.