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Sat 17 Sep 2011 05:04 PM

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Ferrari beats Rolls-Royce to top $11.8m auctions

UK classic car auction rakes in £4.7m, with Daytona Spyder taking top price

Ferrari beats Rolls-Royce to top $11.8m auctions
Two Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts fetched £485,500 and £419,500, beaten by the Daytona Spyders £595,500 price
Ferrari beats Rolls-Royce to top $11.8m auctions
Two Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts fetched £485,500 and £419,500, beaten by the Daytona Spyders £595,500 price

A Ferrari convertible and two Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts
stole the limelight at $11.8m UK auctions as collectors competed for the finest
classic cars and passed on others. Two high-value Jaguars failed to sell.

The Ferrari 365GTS/4 Daytona Spyder last night took a top
price of £595,500 ($940,592) with fees at Bonhams’s annual auction during the
Goodwood Revival festival. The 1971 car overtook the veteran Rolls-Royces,
which fetched £485,500 and £419,500.

“There’s a good market for collectors’ cars that excite
people,” James Knight, Bonhams’s international managing director of autos, said
in an interview. “Buyers are price sensitive, though.”

The week’s sales of 230 vehicles, at Goodwood and Beaulieu,
raised £7.5m. Friday’s sale alone made £4.7m - less than an estimate of as much
as £11m, and with just 60 percent of the offered cars successful.

Last month, Gooding & Co, RM Auctions and Bonhams raised
$166.7m from their car auctions in Monterey, California. Though the total was
up from $150.2m in 2010 and some prices rose to records, demand was selective
for more routine models, said dealers.

The top-selling Ferrari yesterday, with red coachwork by
Pininfarina, was the world’s fastest production car at the time of its launch,
with a maximum speed of more than 170mph. This particular example was one of
only 25 left-hand drive examples built for the European market, said the
London-based auction house. It sold to a Far Eastern buyer in the room after
being estimated at £500,000 to £600,000.

Much of the auction’s presale publicity was focused on a
rare 1963 “Semi-Lightweight” hardtop Jaguar E-Type that was one of two road
models built as variants of the 12 competition cars the factory created to take
on Ferrari at Le Mans. Estimated to fetch as much as £2m, it failed to find a
buyer.

A similar fate befell a Lister-Jaguar racer that had
dominated the Sports Car Club of America championships of 1958 and 1959, valued
at as much as £1m.

“They were undoubtedly brilliant cars,” Knight said of the
Jaguars. “The owners’ expectations were just a bit ahead of where the market
was.”

A 1964 Aston Martin DB5 offered by singer Shane Filan, of
the Irish pop band Westlife, sold for £348,000 to a telephone bidder against a
low valuation of £250,000. The car had undergone three years of restoration for
Filan, having been found in dilapidated condition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,
several years ago by the Aston specialist dealer Desmond J. Smail, said
Bonhams.

 “I think the seller
probably made a profit,” said Knight. “You can renovate an Aston for less than £200,000
and if you’re going to spend that kind of money restoring a car, you may as
well do it with a DB5.”

An Aston Martin DB5 was the runaround of choice for James
Bond in five movies, beginning with “Goldfinger” in 1964.

The more expensive Edwardian Silver Ghost was one of only
five surviving examples from 1908, and the other dated from 1911 and was a
ceremonial car emblazoned with the coat of arms of the Maharaja of Mysore. Both
cars were in blue livery and had been formerly owned by the Ohio collector
Richard Solove, according to the Bonhams catalog.

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