Bonham’s Monaco auction results highlights

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

Monaco Bonhams LEAD Monaco Bonhams LEAD

Headlined by the sale of Senna’s Monaco-winning McLaren, to Bernie Ecclestone

May 11th saw Bonham’sLes Grandes Marques à Monaco’ auction take place, with some hugely significant cars go under the hammer for equally huge sums of money.

The headline was lot #119, and none other than the 1993 McLaren-Cosworth MP4/8A piloted by Aryton Senna to the top of the podium at the Monaco Grand Prix. Senna’s record-breaking sixth and final Monaco GP win.

McLaren F1 cars rarely leave the stable, those few that have are mostly cars gifted to Honda.

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This car has reportedly been sold to none other than Bernie Ecclestone, the former head honcho of the Formula 1.

Including Buyer’s Premium, Senna’s car sold for an eye-watering AUD$6,655,975.

Another Senna F1 car was on offer at the auction in Lot #124, the 1984 Toleman-Hart TG184, the first car Senna piloted in his F1 career.

Famously at the 1984 Monaco GP, Senna started from ninth place under torrential wet conditions, climbing and closing the gap to race-leader Alain Prost with a delta margin of 7.446 seconds, and closing the gap at around 3 seconds per lap. Controversially due to the conditions, the chequered flag was swung after just 31 laps – ending the race and handing the victory to Prost.

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The Toleman car sold for AUD$2,552,977.

Other lots that caught our eye included Lot #117, a 1993 Bugatti EB110 GT Coupe. One of 139 believed to have been produced, and with only 16,500 kilometres on the odo. Good for 418kW from a 3.5lt V12, the EB110 recorded a top speed of 212mph (341kph) at the Nardi test track – equal to that of the then "World’s fastest car", the Jaguar XJ220.

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The EB110 sold for AUD$957,366.

Lot #128 was another blue-chip piece for the elite international collector, a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster. Matching numbers and restored in 2007 by 300 SL-specialist HK Engineering, a Berlin firm who are believed to be the only company dedicated solely to the restoration of the 300 SL.

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It sold for AUD$1,932,968.

Bonus spotlight – Lot #111

Lot #111 was not a car, but you could have bought a few at the same auction for the selling price of AUD$155,002. Yes, that’s a wristwatch with a six-figure price tag.

Unless you’re also a vintage watch nerd like myself, the collectible watch market often stuns most people, even car people. Though many car-fanatics would be surprised to know that there’s a massive intersection between the collectible car and watch world.

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This watch, a unique reproduction of an old Heuer Carrera (reference number 1158) in yellow gold was gifted to Formula 1 driver Ronnie Peterson at the 1972 German GP. The watch was gifted to Peterson for the Jo Siffert (who coincidentally also has his own name attached to old Heuer Autavias) ‘Prix Rouge et Blanc Award’, or the "Underdog" drive of the day award.

The watch is a faithful replica of Peterson’s watch, and bears the personal engraving on the caseback: "Success" Ronnie Peterson from Jack. W. Heuer.

The watch is a one-of-one unique piece, and sold for more than a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible and a 1988 Ferrari Testarossa Coupe at the very same auction.

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