Lindley Bothwell was a highly successful Citrus farmer in the San Fernando valley when he married Marion (Ann) Seale and they began to collect classic cars from the very late 1920s when even the greatest classics had little or no value. With values barely above what they were worth as scrap, Bothwell began to accumulate a selection that ranged from rather staid saloons to the sportiest of European exotics and they were stored in various sheds on the Woodland Hills orchard. The group of cars were such that by the 1950s the collection was supposedly the largest private collection in the USA although a fire in the late 1940s damaged or destroyed the contents of one of the sheds. Lindley passed away in 1986, aged 84 although Ann retained the collection and orchard in situ and while the orchard may have shrunk, it remains the sole remaining orchard in the Valley.
Recent auctions have centered around offering lot averages in the 1960s or 70s, whereas this sale has an average of 1918 and indeed just two cars and a motorcycle were made post 1945. While this may be a negative compared to other recent auctions, the sale does have all the signs of being immensely successful, notably its a single estate sale, it has all the media attention it could possibly get and affords buyers with unrepeatable opportunities. Despite pre war cars not being flavour of the month, I would not bet against it being a blockbuster in a similar vein to the Duemilla Route, Richard Paine and Otis Chandler sales. Bonhams are to be congratulated on securing the sale of the collection.
RESULTS – $13,081,420
Bonhams offered the 47 cars from the Bothwell Collection and sold 22 of them for more than their high estimates, for results that were often truly exceptional. The mighty Peugeot L45, perhaps the most authentic of the three examples of this iconic Grand Prix car to survive, was given a bullish estimate of $3 – 5 million and blew through that to sell for $7.26 million. Sure that figure is steep but where else would you get another since it was a once in a lifetime chance to get one. Both of the Mercedes-Benz could have been expected to sell very strongly, especially the 1908 Prince Heinrich 75/105HP which was raced by Barney Oldfield and Eddie Maier and while this ticked all the boxes, it may have been difficult to understand and sold for just $1.87 million against an undeclared estimate which made it the buy of the sale for me. Whether it was the lack of a truly racy look or perhaps the buyers had spent their money on the Peugeot I cannot say but this could easily have gone for $3 million and sold for an okay price. The other example was the 1908 Mercedes-Simplex 65HP Runabout with non original but ancient bodywork and unknown early provenance which sold for $1.072 million, a figure that seems pretty right for a car with those value factors.
Elsewhere the honest old ‘bangers’ that were the 1920s Hudson and Buick 2 man racers sold for 201% more than estimate at $90,200, fun cars for what is probably less than the cost of building them. The quite fantastic 1910 Pope-Hartford sold for $264k against a $80 – 100k estimate and would really suit someone that can research its origins and establish its provenance. Another car to exceed its estimate is the 1924 Ford Model T that sold for $11,550 or 131% more than estimate. Other cars to sell for far more than Bonhams estimates were the 1926 Chandler (102% above estimate), 1912 Cadillac racer (113%), 1910 Stearns Model 15/30 (120%) and 1926 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Pickup (128%), all of these were unique cars so its hard not think they were well bought regardless of the estimate. Some of the big metal was accurately estimated and sold for reasonable prices, the 1914 Packard 1-38 at $143k (20% above), unique 1902 Packard Model G at $423,500 (21% above), 1912 Austro-Daimler at $176k (26% above) and the rather formal 1912 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost at $385k (14% under), the last particular reasonable, if you like giant formal limousines.
Of the cars that sold cheaply, there were only a handful such as the 1911 Sears at $9900 (51% below estimate), 1905 Holsman 10HP at $17,600 (-50%), 1912 Ford Model Ts at $8,800 and $9,350 (-41% and -38%), 1906 Autocar Type 10 at $48,400 (-38%) and 1912 Ford Model TT Firetruck at $10,450 (-25%). Bonhams can be ecstatic that they followed up the strong results at the London to Brighton with a similarly strong sale of this collection of fine antique automobiles and the record sales are icing on the cake as it were.
Key – Lot # – Year – Make – Model – VIN/ Chassis # – Low/High estimate (US$) – Low/High estimate (EURO) – N/R = No reserve
400 1981 Honda GL1100 Goldwing Custom 1HFSC020XBA121098 Bonhams Bothwell $5,000 $8,000 N/R/ $5,500 €4,719 Mid
Grey motorcycle with sidecar. Custom motorcycle built for the 1995 film “Tall Tale: The Unbelievable Adventures of Pecos Bill,” unknown, Bothwell Collection. Requires recommissioning. Not registered.
401 1916 Excelsior Auto-Cycle V-Twin 75558 $20,000 $25,000 N/R/ $18,700 €16,046 -6%
Green Brown over Black motorcycle and sidecr. Period sidecar fitted, Bothwell collection for many decades, shown in 1997 film “Titanic”. Largely complete. Requires recommissioning. Not registered.
402 1901 Clement-Panhard 4½hp Type VCP Voiture Légère Vis-a-Vis 313 $40,000 $50,000 N/R/ $60,500 €51,913 21%
Primrose over Black. RHD. Unknown car, vis-a-vis body of unknown provenance, Lindley Bothwell collection from ’40s, very original. Dated to 1901. Not registered.
403 1926 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Pickup S248PK $50,000 $70,000 N/R/ $159,500 €136,863 128%
Red over Black leather. via E.L. Butler Inc for J.F. Dillon, sale cancelled, actually sold to Mrs. Lillian McClurg (1) with Willoughby Tilbury Sedan, unknown, Bothwell Collection ’40s, soon converted to Pickup truck body. Not registered.
404 1929 Ford Model AA Police Truck AA874782 $10,000 $15,000 N/R/ $8,250 €7,079 -18%
Black over Black. Unknown vehicle, ex. Harold Taylor, Lindley Bothwell collection from ’64. Built up as a replica Police Truck. Shown in several films and commercials. Ideal for carrying criminals or friends.
405 1923 Ford Model TT Stake Bed Truck 7492003 $10,000 $15,000 N/R/ $17,050 €14,630 14%
Black and pale green “Rancho Rinconada” over Black. Ruckstell two-speed rear end, Warford 3-speed auxiliary transmission, electric starter, a Boyce MotoMeter radiator cap. Featured in TV and movies incl. Roots, the Aviator and the Titanic. Stored for many years.
406 1925 Ford Model T Speedster 12233544 $3,000 $4,000 N/R/ $6,600 €5,663 65%
Red and Black over Black. Genova and Sam Perericone collection before joining the Bothwell collection in ’98. Lightweight Speedster example.
407 1924 Ford Model T Coupe 9936669 $4,000 $5,000 N/R/ $11,550 €9,911 131%
Black over Black. Bothwell Collection for many decades, featured in several movies. Rare survivor.
408 1914 Peugeot L45 Grand Prix 1 $3,000,000 $5,000,000/ $7,260,000 €6,229,617 45%
Blue over Red leather. RHD. Believed to be the Lyon GP ’14 spare car, supplied to Lutcher Brown, USA (1) for the ’15 Indy 500 Mulford 3rd, Ralph de Palma ’17 (2), Frank Book (3), Indy ’19 Klein DNF, Elgin ’19 Klein, Uniontown ’19 Klein, Sheepshead By ’19 Klein 4th, Cincinnati 2 mile ’19 2nd, Beverly Hills ’20 Klein, stored, loaned to Joe Boyer and raced ’23, 2nd in championship, Art Klein (4), Lindley Bothwell ’40s (5), paid $2500!, Indy ’49 DNS. Mechanically rebuilt ’00. Totally original. 1 of 2 surviving Peugeot Grand Prix of the period.
409 1913 Fiat Model 56 7 pass Touring S1601 $70,000 $90,000 N/R/ $60,500 €51,913 -14%
Red and Black over Black leather. RHD. ex. Auguste Lawrence Pouleur, Canada/ USA (1?), Linley Bothwell collection ’40s (2?). Rare US built Fiat, original. Shown in various TV shows and movies. Majestic.
410 1915 National Six Series AA Coupe 10250 $30,000 $40,000 N/R/ $41,800 €35,867 5%
Red and Black over Red leather. Art Austria collection ’50s, Orin Thorkildsen ’72, Bothwell collection, rare survivor, restored decades ago. Featured in many movies. Fine.
411 1915 Studebaker Hearse 4C-44459 $8,000 $12,000 N/R/ $15,400 €13,214 28%
Black over Black. SD-4 chassis and 30HP side valve 4. Carved wooden sided to wagon body. Lindley Bothwell collection since ’50s. Featured in various movies.
412 1912 Ford Model TT Fire Truck 6085079 $14,000 $16,000 N/R/ $10,450 €8,967 -25%
Red over Black. Ex Los Angeles Fire Department, Bothwell collection at some point.
413 1925 Locomobile 48 Series 7 Kimball Town car 18009 $50,000 $70,000 N/R/ $51,700 €44,362 Mid
Dark Blue over Blue leather and Beige fabric. C.P. Kimball Town car bodywork fitted. Ex. Walter Lindley, Bothwell collection ’50. Very regal.
414 1910 Winton 48HP Model 17A 7 pass Touring 9464 $125,000 $150,000/ $160,600 €137,807 7%
Cream over Red leather. RHD. Original Tourer bodywork, ex. Los Angeles County Museum, Bothwell collection from ’50s, cosmetic restoration ’50s, presents well. Authentic. Star of several TV shows and movies.
415 1911 Mitchell Model R Fire Chiefs 2 seat runabout R18474 $15,000 $20,000 N/R/ $27,500 €23,597 37%
Red over Black. Painted as a Los Angeles Fire Department’s Chief’s car. Unknown parentage, 2nd car in the Bothwell collection. Very rare. Featured in several movies.
416 1915 Ford Model TT Open Sided Van 8572187 $10,000 $15,000 N/R/ $11,000 €9,439 Mid
Green over Black. Covered Pickup Bed type with timber bodywork. Featured in many movies incl. Titanic. Could do with some wood work. Lovely.
417 1902 Packard Model G 4 Pass Surrey N/A $250,000 $350,000/ $423,500 €363,394 21%
Red over Black. RHD. Sole remaining Twin cylinder Packard. Ex. David Grey, Lindley Bothwell from ’40s, fire and damage, rebuilt as original by Otto Timm. Very important model. Requires recommissioning.
418 1912 Cadillac Racer 65002 $20,000 $30,000 N/R/ $63,800 €54,745 113%
Dark Green over Black. RHD. Racer replica built on a 1912 Cadillac chassis. Unknown. Great look.
419 1930 Ford Model AA Flatbed Truck A3185843 $8,000 $10,000 N/R/ $10,120 €8,684 1%
Apple Green over black. Flatbed truck. Ex. T. McHenry to Lindley Bothwell ’80s. Featured in many movies. Stellar.
420 1908 Benz 75/105HP Prince Heinrich Raceabout 5691 Estimate not given/ $1,870,000 €1,604,598 N/A
White over Black. RHD. Berna Eli “Barney” Oldfield, USA (1), used for Barnstorming and promotional runs, featured in the film “Race for Life” Eddie Maier (2?), Lindley Bothwell ’30s (3?), later modified with a bucket seat and open cockpit runabout bodywork, restored by Rick Rawlins ’05. Authentic and extremely rare, maybe 1 of 3 survivors.
421 1912 Austro-Daimler Touring Victoria 230 $120,000 $140,000/ $176,000 €151,021 26%
Red over Black. RHD. Wisconsin M-Series 11.9 litre engine. Excellent car, lovely condition. Unknown coachwork but believed to be British. Featured in Chaplin and other movies. Striking and impressive although aged.
422 1907 Mitchell Model F Touring 1550 $35,000 $50,000 N/R/ $71,500 €61,352 43%
Red over Black. RHD. California car. Very tidy and well preserved. Highly original. Wonderful.
423 1948 Ford V8 Super Deluxe Station Wagon N/A $30,000 $50,000/ $50,600 €43,419 1%
Pheasant Red and Saddle Wood over Red. Bothwell collection from ’80s, older restoration, still presents beautifully.
No image available – 424 2005 Cadillac DeVille 1G6KD54Y45U122342 $5,000 $7,000 N/R/ $5,500 €4,719 Mid
Light Cashmere and Shale over Nuance leather. via Casa de Cadillac. Well specced. 30,000 miles from new.
425 1913 Ford Model T C-Cab Delivery N/A $8,000 $12,000 N/R/ $10,450 €8,967 Mid
White over Red. Wooden Truck with delivery style body. Shown in several movies. Delightful.
426 1914 Packard 1-38 Dominant Six Runabout 39054 $80,000 $120,000/ $143,000 €122,705 20%
White over Red. 115 inch chassis. Gentlemans roadster bodywork. Ex. Fred Duesenberry ’40s, Lindley Bothwell ’40s. Original except for a ’50s cosmetic restoration. Very desirable and authentic.
427 1908 Mercedes-Simplex 65HP 2 seat Raceabout 9367 Estimate not given/ $1,072,500 €920,284 N/A
Yellow over Black. RHD. via Daimler-Benz Paris and Mercedes Direct Agency and believed bodied by J.M. Quinby & Company (body #2790) to Vanderbilt family, USA (1), Raceabout bodywork fitted 1920s or 30s, Lindley Bothwell ’40s, raced and driven widely. Very well preserved. Legendary.
428 1921 Ford Model T Scorpion 4907449 $10,000 $15,000 N/R/ $18,700 €16,046 25%
Yellow over Black. Speedster bodywork. Frontenac head.
429 1931 Ford Model A Roadster A3825789 $5,000 $10,000 N/R/ $17,600 €15,102 76%
Cigarette Cream and Manilla Brown over Saddle. Honest old example. Very handsome. 3 decades in the collection.
430 1926 Chandler Six 2 man Indycar N/A $20,000 $30,000 N/R/ $60,500 €51,913 102%
Yellow Indy car. Well built. Unknown but genuine racing car from the 20s/30s. Lovely.
431 1920s Hudson Super Six 2 man Racer N/A $20,000 $30,000 N/R/ $90,200 €77,398 201%
Cream Gilmore Red Lion racing car. Believed built up by 20th Century Fox to look like a Junk Formula. Looks right and great fun.
432 1912 Buick Model 43 2 seat Racer 1299 $20,000 $30,000 N/R/ $90,200 €77,398 201%
Red racing car. RHD. 50HP engine. 3 speed manual. Pebble Beach Road Races ’55. Raced 1950s, featured in several movies. Might require some recommissioning. Rebodied at some point.
433 1910 Pope-Hartford Model W 50HP Racer 8098 $80,000 $100,000 N/R/ $264,000 €226,532 164%
Green racing car. RHD. Believed to be a rebodied road car. Highly authentic. Raced in 1950s or earlier.
434 1905 Ford Model F 16HP Tonneau F2686 $25,000 $35,000 N/R/ $40,700 €34,924 16%
Blue over Black. Holle Auto & Manufacturing Co. (1), remained in California, requires recommissioning.
435 1923 Henderson Midget Race car N/A $15,000 $25,000 N/R/ $22,000 €18,878 Mid
White racing car. Henderson 4 cylinder powered racing car, scratch built chassis. Streamlined nose.
436 1910 Stearns Model 15/30 247170 $20,000 $30,000 N/R/ $66,000 €56,633 120%
Green racing car. Monobloc 4 cylinder engine. RHD. Believed period built Speedster. Fiat parts fitted incl. transmission. Made to a very high standard. Featured in various movies.
437 1912 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Mulbacher Open Drive Laundalette 2169 $450,000 $600,000/ $385,000 €330,358 -14%
Blue over Cream and Black. RHD. via Automobiles Rolls-Royce (France) Ltd., fitted with Muhlbacher et Fils Landaulette Limousine Coachwork to Mrs. Henry Smith, France (1), unknown, possibly exported to Russia via Richard Teague to Bothwell collection. Featured in various movies.
438 1914 Ford Model T Touring 614017 $15,000 $20,000 N/R/ $9,350 €8,023 -38%
Maroon over Black. 3 door touring bodywork. California car. Largely original. Ex. Frances Dolbear, Bothwell Collection from ’46. Featured in multiple movies. Fine shape.
439 1912 Ford Model T Roadster 122153 $15,000 $20,000 N/R/ $8,800 €7,551 -41%
Black over Black. RHD. Lots of charm and charisma. Likely rebodied at some point. Ex. Mobile Oil Company to Bothwell Collection ’60s. Featured in various movies and adverts.
440 1917 Smith Flyer N/A $8,000 $12,000 N/R/ $8,800 €7,551 Mid
Red. Ex. L. Glen Royston to Lindley Bothwell ’50s. Fine original, example .
441 1906 Reo 8HP Model B Runabout 4564 $20,000 $25,000 N/R/ $17,600 €15,102 -12%
Maroon and Black over Red leather. RHD. Ex. L.E. Kailey, Bothwell Collection since ’29. Very old restoration. Original. Used in various movies.
442 1911 Sears Model P 4 pass Wagon 3936 $20,000 $30,000 N/R/ $9,900 €8,495 -51%
Black over Black. Ex. C. Knebel, Bothwell Collection ’30. Dependable. Rugged.
443 1911 Maxwell 14HP Model AB Runabout AB14058 $20,000 $30,000 N/R/ $24,200 €20,765 Mid
Black over Gold leather. RHD. ex. Whitney Collection, Bothwell collection since ’43. Very old restoration.
444 1905 Holsman 10HP 2 cylinder Surrey N/A $35,000 $50,000 N/R/ $17,600 €15,102 -50%
Black over Brown. Ex. Whitney Collection, Bothwell collection for many years, requires refurbishment. Popular type.
445 1901 Crestmobile Model B 3½HP Runabout 129 $30,000 $40,000 N/R/ $39,600 €33,980 Mid
Yellow over Black. ex. Whitney collection, Lindley Bothwell from ’43.
446 1913 A.C. Delivery Vehicle 1519 $15,000 $25,000 N/R/ $18,700 €16,046 Mid
Green delivery tricycle. 636cc single cylinder. 2 speed epicyclic gearbox and chain drive. Lindley collection from at least ’50s. Shown in many movies incl. Titanic.
447 1906 Autocar Type 10 Runabout 7445 $20,000 $30,000 N/R/ $48,400 €41,531 -38%
Blue over Red. Ex. E.F. O’Hara to Bothwell collection ’28. Largely authentic.
All information is copyright Auto Auctions Monthly except images which are copyright of Artcurial, Bonhams, Gooding & co., Mecum, RM/ Sothebys, Russo & Steele and Worldwide Auctioneers. All figures are US$ and gross unless specifically stated. All figures are accurate in the home currency for the sale, any figures in other currencies are calculated based on the exchange rate for the date of sale accessed from FxTop.com. Percentages as given are calculated as the % below low estimate or above estimate as noted. All information given for recreational use only and cannot be personally guaranteed for accuracy by the author.