My Car Quest

May 22, 2024

The Bonhams Auction In Carmel During Monterey Car Week Has A Delectable Porsche

by Wallace Wyss –

Car auctions are a little like Broadway plays. You want to see who’s familiar in the cast before you go there. Fortunately most of the auction companies having auctions during Monterey Car Week have a computer presence and you can go on the web and see what cars they have coming up.

The Quail Lodge is a golf club that was bought by old car friendly people that make it the site not only of the Quail car show but of a premium auction. When I heard Bonhams will be there, I looked up their site and saw what attracted my eye.

1959 Porsche 718 RSK Center-Seat Spyder

The first one I looked at was the Porsche 1959 Porsche 718 RSK Center-Seat Spyder with coachwork by Wendler. What caught my eye is two things—it has central steering, and it was raced in Europe.

Turns out this car was available with two abreast seating but you could get a center seat conversion. The first owner was Christian Goethals, a Belgian driver who had competed in the 1958 German Grand Prix in a Cooper T43. Its first race was in the Belgian Congo (whoever thinks purebred race cars were raced in Africa—think again, they were!) It was later raced in Belgium, Switzerland and France. One of the biggest victories was in the Monthery Coupe de Paris.

Bonhams writes,

1959 Porsche 718 RSK Center-Seat Spyder

1959 Porsche 718 RSK Center-Seat Spyder

Refer to department for estimate
Coachwork by Wendler
Chassis no. 718-028
Engine no. 90220

1,587cc DOHC Flat 4-Cylinder Engine
Dual Weber 46 IDM1 Carburetors
150+bhp at 7,200rpm
5-Speed Manual Transaxle
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes

*OA Winner GP of Leopoldville and 1000 KN Buenos Aires
*One of just a handful Center-seat RSKs produced
*Highly original example retaining original engine, gearbox and bodywork
*Eligible for the most exclusive driving and concours events globally

The car was discovered by an Ohio collector who collected prewar Mercedes. Fortunately for the car’s longevity it stayed hidden until the 1990s when it finally came out into the sun. What really makes this car valuable is not only its racing history but the original overhead cam racing engine, numbers matching, whereas many race cars have had their engines switched at one time or another.

1956 Austin-Healey 100M BN2 Le Mans

This car is the typical Austin Healey 100M BN2 but updated to 100M LeMans spec. It is a numbers matching car. If any car exemplifies the growth of Healey during this period it is this car with its fold down windshield.

The body is steel and aluminum with a steel frame. The gearbox is a three speed with a Laycock de Normanville overdrive on second and third gears.

The LeMans specs came after Healey entered two mildly modified cars in the 1953 Le Mans 24-Hour Race. They finished in 12th and 14th places, a highly praiseworthy achievement for what were recognizably production sports cars.

Bonhams writes,

1956 Austin-Healey 100M BN2 Le Mans
1956 Austin-Healey 100M BN2 Le Mans

US$ 90,000 – 120,000
£ 74,000 – 99,000
To be sold without reserve

Chassis no. BN22-L/229678
Engine no. 1B/229678

2,660cc OHV Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
2 SU Carburetors, 110bhp at 4,500 rpm
4-Speed, Manual Transmission
Independent Front Suspension, Live Rear Axle
4-Wheel Drum Brakes

*Documented ground up restoration
*Upgraded to 100M Le Mans spec
*In the Worldwide 100M Le Mans Registry
*Numbers matching example in original colors
*Eligible for the finest concours & rallies

The car was restored in recent times by BMC Classic Inc. of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where the Healey experts treated the car to an extensive ground up restoration. That cost $95,000!

So basically you’re getting a car that’s like new but with all that makes a Healey great. British sports cars and would be eligible for such world-class motoring events as the annual California Mille.

1931 Bentley 4½ Liter Supercharged Birkin Le Mans Replica

The Bentley caught my eye because they describe the 1931 Bentley 4½ Liter as a Supercharged Birkin Le Mans Replica Coachwork in the style of Vanden Plas.

Now the Bentley Boys were a group of wealthy owners that raced in the 1930s. It was popular at the time to order a regular Bentley and then, even if you didn’t race it, to have it configured to a race car style.

This one has not only the style but an Amherst Villiers Roots Type IV Supercharger (#142). It is eligible for the Mille Miglia and more.

This particular Blower 4 1/2 is one of the 50 factory blowers built by Bentley Motors in order to homologate for the Le Mans race. The chassis was completed in March of 1931. It was purchased as stock for London Bentley Dealer Jack Barclay who ordered it bodied by Vanden Plas. The particular Vanden Plas body that was ordered was a particular devastating two door design with flared wings, the same as MS3941, the Blower Bentley owned by the REVS Institute. Vanden Plas built three bodies to this pattern and many consider them to be one of the most attractive designs produced by the firm. It was also fitted with special pattern racing seats, and the larger 25-gallon gas tank. The original color as noted by Vanden Plas records was egg shell black with mottled grey leather upholstery.

It survived the war, came to the US and then went back to the UK where in the early 1980s the car was subject to a full restoration and rebuilt as a Birkin Short Chassis replica. At this time, the original body was transferred to 4 1/2 chassis Number HF3189. This body is still fitted to this 4 1/2 today.

So the word “replica” might be confusing. The car is a real Bentley with its original engine and chassis and the body style is consistent with a racing Bentley of the ‘30s. The important thing is that it is still eligible for various world class vintage events.

Bonhams writes,

1931 Bentley 4½ Liter Supercharged Birkin Le Mans Replica
1931 Bentley 4½ Liter Supercharged Birkin Le Mans Replica

US$ 2,750,000 – 3,750,000
£ 2,300,000 – 3,100,000

Coachwork in the style of Vanden Plas
Chassis no. MS 3942
Engine no. MS 3950 (see text)

4½ Liter SOHC Inline 4-Cylinder Engine – 4 Overhead Valves Per Cylinder
Amherst Villiers Roots Type IV Supercharger (#142)
182bhp with 10 lbs Boost at 3,900rpm
4-Speed ‘D’ Type Close-ratio Gearbox
4-Wheel Drum Brakes

*Brooklands Race Winner
*Ex Fred Simeone and Virgil Millett
*Continuous history, with Clare Hay Report
*Superb example of one of the most iconic cars of the twentieth century
*Eligible for Mille Miglia and more

The Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction takes place 15 Aug 15th 2019, and continues a second day Aug. 16th. You can check the Bonhams website for more details.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is the author of 18 car histories. As a fine artist, he will be exhibiting at the Concorso Italiano in the Art & Books booth.




The Bonhams Auction In Carmel During Monterey Car Week Has A Delectable Porsche
Article Name
The Bonhams Auction In Carmel During Monterey Car Week Has A Delectable Porsche
Here are some interesting cars for auction at Bonhams during Monterey Car Week.


  1. The 718 RSK Spyder has be to our Concours in Cincinnati a number of times and took Best of Class (Racing) in 2018 when we featured Porsche. Check out our gallery pages in the archived gallery tab at our website
    In the Awards section, I think you’ll find many cars you’ll like, including a DeTomaso Mangusta from Michigan.
    2019 was the 42nd consecutive year for our concours, making us the oldest show outside of California.

  2. A-H 100M only has partial aluminum body, doors, fenders hood & trunk are steel

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