Bonhams moves in to moderns

New MPH auction brand to be based at Bicester Heritage

Not long ago we revealed that Brightwells had ceased holding auctions at Bicester Heritage, and that they were dropping their dedicated Modern Classics sales. Now high-end auctioneer Bonhams has stepped in, not only taking over Hangar 113 at the Bicester Heritage site, but launching a new division, Bonhams MPH, that will be dedicated to sales catering to the sub-£50k modern and affordable classics market.

Chairman of Bonhams’ Motoring Goup, James Knight, told us, ‘Until now, our sales calendar has served the higher end of the collector’s car market. We recognise the market is evolving and now covers a much broader spectrum that, until now, we have not been able to provide our service or expertise to. Bonhams MPH will allow us to offer the same Bonhams values to a wider audience, via a more streamlined service. ‘We identified Bicester Heritage as the stand-out location for our new operation and cannot wait to develop Bonhams MPH: the potential is enormous.’

Recognising the competitiveness of this sector of the classic car market, MPH has announced lower fee levels than usual at Bonhams’ automotive sales: 12.5% for buyers and just 5% for sellers. Another lesson they appear to have learned from the top operators at the affordable end of the market, like Anglia Car Auctions and South West Vehicle Auctions, is that buyers like to see a bit of action. So all MPH sales will see the cars driven through past the rostrum. The current plan is to hold four sales a year at Bicester with 100-150 entries. MPH will also have a permanent office there, headed up by Rob Hubbard. The first sale is set for Thursday September 26, and they have already consigned a trio of Renault hot hatches including a low mileage 1998 Clio V6 that has an estimate of £35,000-£50,000. For more details see


Clio / Clio V6 Renault Sport Phase 2s go for £25-£35k. First MPH sale will feature this hot Clio trio.

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