Bonhams closes its MPH offshoot

| 14 Dec 2021
Classic & Sports Car – Bonhams closes its MPH offshoot

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Bonhams is shutting down its MPH arm based at Bicester Heritage, with its director, Rob Hubbard, expected to join Silverstone Auctions in early 2022 to take up the role of sales director.

MPH was launched in June 2019 as a way into the enthusiast market, with Hubbard moving from New Bond Street to lead the project.

Despite the pandemic it has hosted 12 auctions since the first in September 2019, the initial plan being to run five sales per year for cars of between £1000 and £100,000.

Classic & Sports Car – Bonhams closes its MPH offshoot
MPH was launched as a Bonhams sub-brand to cater for modern-classic and lower-value enthusiast cars

The purchase by Bonhams of The Market in April 2021 signalled the parent company’s intention to improve its online presence, which has conspired against MPH.

The Market had been expected to launch in America in November, with Caroline Cassini as its GM, but Bonhams says sales will now begin in January.  

‘The popular Beaulieu Sale will continue and will be brought back under the Bonhams brand next year,‘ a statement from Bonhams added.

Classic & Sports Car – Bonhams closes its MPH offshoot
Selling for £213,750, this Aston Martin DB6 was the top lot at the final Bonhams MPH auction

Ironically MPH’s final event, last weekend on 11 December, was its most successful, with 140 lots packing Bicester Heritage’s Hangar 113, and a strong average sell-through rate of 81%.

A host of classics beat estimate, including the top two: a 1970 Aston Martin DB6 Mk2 Vantage hit £213,750 against an estimate of £140-180k, and a no-reserve 1964 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III sold for £129,375 (£50-80k). A Plymouth SuperBird found a new home for £90,000.

Bonhams’ European calendar will get under way on 3 February 2022 in Paris, during Rétromobile week, with the ‘Le Patron’ 1936 Bugatti 57C the marquee lot so far.

Silverstone Auctions, where Hubbard is expected to take up post from around March, has meanwhile renamed its Automotive Auctions online platform as Silverstone Digital Auctions, with the seven-day sales being hosted on silverstonedigitalauctions.com.


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