Keno brothers, Leigh and Leslie, known to most from their many years as appraisers on the PBS Emmy Award winning ‘Antiques Roadshow’ program held their first collector car auction in New York on Thursday, November 19, 2015. This 1955 Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing in Strawberry Red Metallic was a no sale at a high bid of $1.1 million against a pre sale auction estimate of $1,275,000 – $1,575,000.
The Keno brothers should be commended by their detailed, macro level photos included in the online auction catalog. One really gets the sense that they wanted to present the cars in the sale truthfully and in an straightforward manner. Not every auction house takes close up photos of the flaws on their cars they’re selling.
The $1,100,000 seemed like enough for a driver quality car with an older, color change repaint in today’s market. Often referred to at the ‘gold standard’ of the collector car market, there is no doubt 300 SLs are desirable cars. To sell a car a seller with a realistic expectation of the market must find a buyer willing to shell out the money they’re looking for and on this particular day, those two parties had different ideas as to what this 1955 300SL was worth. Auction watchers must remember that the Keno brother’s auction charges a 12% buyer’s premium. So a $1.1 million dollar high bid translates to a final price for the buyer of $1,232,000, fair money for the car from where I’m sitting. On the other hand, time does seem to be on the side of the seller, there will always be collectors looking for 300SLs and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see this one at another high dollar collector car auction sooner than later.
Results of their first foray into the collector car auction scene surely fell short of the brother’s expectations with just under a 50% sell through rate on the day of the sale. Of course, deals will probably be put together on some cars post-block in the coming days and weeks, raising the sale rate. While the house was packed with auction watchers, it didn’t seem like there were enough real bidders interested in spending their money to make this one a huge success. Read our complete report on the Keno Brother’s NY auction by visiting this article: “Keno Brothers New York Collector Car Auction A Good First Effort, Mixed Results, Room to Grow”
The Kenos will hold their second collector car auction in June as they have been named the official auction house of “The Elegance at Hershey” Concours d’Elegance. The sale will take place Saturday, June 11, 2016 in Hershey, PA.