You rarely hear of an automotive auction that sells every lot offered, and it is even rarer with sales containing more than 1000 lots. But this happened recently at RM Sotheby’s Gene Ponder Collection Sale when every one of the more than 1,100 lots offered found a buyer.
On the outskirts of the East Texas city of Marshall is a manicured estate, and on it is a petrol-head paradise. It is the home of the Gene Ponder collection of cars, boats, toys and motorcycles and a state-of-the-art shop and garage buildings.
Gene Ponder is a serial entrepreneur with a lifelong passion for motor vehicles. His collection is notable for its handmade recreations and extremely rare European sports cars, the type of cars rarely seen outside a museum or the finest private collections. His passion for these cars led him to commission his own automotive recreations with the help of a respected coachbuilder. Over forty or so years, the two produced some quite stunning automotive art, and each time, Ponder never questioned the cost involved.
RM Sotheby’s travelled to Marshall, Texas, to host the auction, and it was an incredible success, with 100% of the lots sold during the three-day private auction. When the final tally was calculated, the sale had realised a grand total of $24,315,416. Bidders were able to take part in person, online, and over the phone during the three days, and during this time, more than 1,100 lots crossed the block.
What happened during the three days?
On Thursday, 491 lots went under the hammer, and you now know all found buyers, achieving more than $1m in sales. The day’s highlights were a Pegasus Neon and a child’s Bugatti car. Both lots smashed their pre-sale estimates, with each being sold for $19,550.
There were 455 lots on Friday, and one of them was the running Arnolt-Bristol engine on a stand (above), which achieved $57,500. The sales for the day brought in just under $1.3m.
The big day was Saturday which saw 217 lots sell. The lots comprised 91 memorabilia lots and 126 cars, with a 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster grabbing the limelight when it sold for $1,595,000.
Thatcher Keast, Auction Coordinator, RM Sotheby’s, said, “The Gene Ponder Collection was a unique and incredible opportunity for a buyer to experience the passion of Mr Ponder first-hand at his estate. Bidders onsite could see that every aspect of this property revolves around the vehicles, the memorabilia, and Mr Ponder’s love for all things automotive. We are thrilled that Mr Ponder chose RM Sotheby’s to execute a sale of this magnitude, and as a team, RM Sotheby’s knew we would deliver the best possible results for him. The sale was extraordinary, and we are extremely happy with our results.”
Gene Ponder stated, “I am so impressed with RM Sotheby’s. They have so much pride in what they do, and they will put in as much effort into a $500 lot as a $5M lot. The RM Sotheby’s team has spent thousands of hours on site ensuring the sale would be a success, and the auction results reflect the effort and passion of everyone at RM Sotheby’s.”
The top 10 lots sold (in USD) were:
- 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (above) $1,595,000
- 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Recreation by Erik Koux $1,155,000
- 1967 Ferrari 330 GTC by Pininfarina $797,500 USD
- 1952 Ferrari 212 Barchetta in the style of Touring $792,000
- 1960 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder by Vignale $770,000
- 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead Coupe by Graber $687,500
- 1974 Ferrari 246 Dino GTS ‘Chairs & Flares’ by Scaglietti $632,500
- 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Corto Spider Recreation by Pur Sang $627,000
- 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe by Pinin Farina $489,500
- 1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport Cabriolet by Pinin Farina $440,000
Photography by Forest Casey ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.
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