Two cars contributed the most to the highest grossing car auction of all time, but neither got as much attention as the 1965 Ferrari 330GT 2+2 Berlinetta that used to be owned by John Lennon. It was the ex-Beatle’s first car and one that he completed 20,000 miles in between 1965 and 1967. The auctioneers expected it to fetch somewhere between £180,000 and £220,000 but it went for £360,000 once bidding had finalised at Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed auction on July 12th. That’s quite a hike from the £6,500 the rock star paid for it in the mid-1960s.
The car that sold for the most money on the day and the main reason for the auction’s record breaking takings was a Mercedes W196 Grand Prix car that was driven by Juan Manuel Fangio in 1954. Bonhams described it as “remarkably unspoiled” in their catalogue and Robert Brooks, the auction house’s chairman, called it “the most important historic Grand Prix racing car ever offered for sale.” More than 1,000 people were in attendance at the auction, but the 1954 Formula One Driver's World Championship winning Mercedes went to an anonymous phone bidder who paid £19.6million for a unique slice of F1 history.
The other car that went for a lot of money on the day was a Maserati 300S Sports Racing Spider from 1955. It took £4million, which contributed 11% of the record £36million raised on the day. A 1934 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Le Mans Tourer, which was originally the property of the 3rd Viscount Ridley, took nearly £2million and a beautiful 1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast Coupe took the fourth highest amount at £852,000.
Bonhams next car auction is set for August 16th during Monterey Peninsula Car Week when a 1931 Bentley 4.5 Litre Supercharged Le Mans will be the main attraction.