Sixty years ago The Fairmont was a standalone destination hotel in San Francisco known for its glamorous events, luxury accommodations, and eye-watering prices. Today it’s an international chain, but still known for glamorous events (like Bonhams Monaco auction, Les Grandes Marques á Monaco), luxury accommodations, and eye-watering prices.
Like €34 ($35.40) for a hamburger (with frites) in the lobby lounge with its gorgeous view of the entrance to Port Hercules and the Mediterranean.
Bonhams had a modest-sized ballroom for the auction, but if you stepped outside the lobby on Friday the Monaco GP circuit was alive with GP Historique cars practicing and qualifying. It was the right environment for an auction docket skewed toward competition cars, also skewed to exclusive supercars that punctuate the Principality’s narrow streets during this week.
Prices appear to be moderate, an impression heightened in these results presented in US$ by an unusually advantageous exchange rate: just $1.041/€1. Similar Euro softness hasn’t been seen since 2017 and is trending to parity between the dollar and Euro, a far cry from the $1.16/€1 exchange rate at the advent of the Euro in 1999 and the $1.58/€1 rate of April 2008. Of course, as the Fairmont burger illustrates, nothing is reasonable in Monte Carlo even at an historically modest $/€ exchange rate. Except most of the cars at Bonhams.
Four lots were bid to $1M or more and all were sold although one was closed post-block at an undisclosed amount. The total sale (crediting the undisclosed lot with its observed hammer bid on the block) was $13,764,702 with 48.1 percent of the lots selling on hammer bids under their pre-sale low estimates and 22.2 percent selling over their high estimates. The Median sale was a 2009 M-B SL65 AMG Black coupe for €301,875 ($314,252) while the top lot was the gorgeous 1927 Bugatti Type 35 that brought €2,000,000 ($2,082,000).
A selection of the most interesting and significant lots can be found in the pages below, while the rest (except the Batmobile replica) can be viewed on rickcarey.com.