Motoring In Its Very Highest Form
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By: Bonhams

Motoring In Its Very Highest Form  OPULENT BENTLEYS AND LUXURIOUS ROLLS-ROYCES AT BONHAMS FESTIVAL OF SPEED SALE

On Friday 30 June, Bonhams will once again return to the Tapestry Lawn at Goodwood House for its annual Festival of Speed auction, which will see some of the finest luxury and collectors' motor cars offered for sale, including examples from Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar and Rolls-Royce.

Hailed by The Autocar magazine in 1930 as 'motoring in its very highest form,' the Bentley 8-Liter was the largest-engined and arguably fastest motor car made in the UK at the time of its release in 1930, capable of '100mph without noise' according to Bentley's advertising. In fact, the 8-Liter remained the fastest production model offered by the British marque until the R-Type Continental appeared more than 20 years later. The 1931 example offered by Bonhams is the 59th of its type produced, with unique and sublime Sedanca de Ville coachwork by H J Mulliner. The car is the very last word in luxury motoring, with appointments including a cocktail cabinet, vanity unit and fold-away occasional seats. This is the sole survivor of the six Sedanca-bodied 8-Liters built, and benefits from a concours quality restoration. A unique and magnificent vehicle with which to celebrate Bentley's centenary in 2019. (£750,000-900,000).

Another motor car offered is not just fit for a king, but a king of kings. 'The Rolls from Rajputana', a 1914 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Open Tourer (£300,000-400,000) was originally owned by His Highness the Maharana (meaning king of kings in Hindi) Sir Fateh Singh Bahadur of Udaipur, G.C.S.I. After leaving India, the car began its worldwide journey, with owners in Pakistan, South Africa and the UK. Approximately 4 years ago, a complete restoration of the Rolls was completed; every nut and bolt had been removed and the body was rebuilt to its original Hooper configuration. A truly exemplary motor car with a fascinating history, and reported to be running as smoothly as it first did more than a century ago.

Widely considered by connoisseurs as the prettiest of the 1950s DB cars, the Aston Martin DB MKIII was also the first production Aston Martin to sport the now instantly recognizable signature grill. The example offered by Bonhams is the very first MKIII created, and remained at the works for approximately two years, often used to ferry works drivers to and from the pub! This prototype was used by Second World War Spitfire pilot and legendary motoring broadcaster Raymond Baxter in the 1958 Monte Carlo Rally, and won the Speed Section in the Monte Carlo harbor. In single ownership for the past thirty years, this 1957 Aston Martin DB2/4 Mark II, Prototype MKIII DP193 (£300,000-500,000) is entirely unspoiled and offered in original condition – an opportunity for a keen collector to acquire the very first example of what developed into a significant Aston Martin model.

One of the most widely recognized and indeed lauded motor cars of all time is surely the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster. Launched in 1954, the production 300 SL was a supercar long before the word was first coined. Its convertible cousin, the roadster, was launched three years later to great acclaim. Capable of 130mph and a 0-60mph time of just 7 seconds, it was the fastest convertible of its time. This magnificent example is a 1962 model and thus equipped with the highly-desirable disc-brakes. It is also offered fresh from re-commissioning by a renowned 300SL specialist, and supplied with the rare factory hard-top. The 300 SL roadster has enjoyed long-term ownership and carries an estimate of £850,000-950,000.

Other highlights include:

- 1959 Aston Martin DB4 'Series 1' Sports Saloon in present ownership since 1976 (£300,000-500,000)

- 1911 Mercedes 28/50hp Tourer in single family ownership since 1965 (£300,000-400,000)


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    - 1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia (£550,000-650,000)

  • Photo credit: Bonhams
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