Sold for $214,500 at 2017 Bonhams
Like the many one-hit wonders in the music industry, the automotive marketplace has seen their fair share of one-offs from unknown manufacturers. One such example is the Godsal Sports Tourer which was built by Charles Godsal. He was the son of London barrister and inventor, Herbert Godsal. Clearly having inherited his father's interest in inventing and engineering, Charles commissioned the construction of a sporting automobile in 1935 of his own design.
The one-off Sports Tourer was given a proprietary chassis that featured a Lancia-inspired sliding pillar front suspension and a heavy-duty rear axle sourced from Bentley. A contemporary Ford V8 engine with a single Dual-throat carburetor was installed and offered 85 horsepower. The engine was backed by a 4-speed Pre-Selector transmission and braking was handled by drums at all four corners.
Corsica coachworks was commissioned to build the sleek and sporty body. The car was constructed by Research Engineers, Ltd, also of London.
A lack of funding and construction cost of over £3000 meant that only a single one-off prototype would ever be built.
Charles later became interested in hobbies such as aviation, and his Godsal Sports Roadster was sold to a friend. It then disappeared for some time, until it re-surfaced in the 1969 movie 'Mosquito Squadron', painted red with white stripes and air-raid tape over the headlamps and wearing incongruous cycle fenders up front and a crudely made bonnet sprouting outside exhausts.
It was featured in Thoroughbred & Classic Cars
Magazine of the UK in March of 1977. Its details its history from 1972 when the car appeared in an advertisement among other sports cars for sale. It was described as a 1954 Ford V8 Special. Anthony Sidgwick of Cirencester took a chance and purchased the vehicle. After in-depth research, its past was slowly uncovered. The research led to Research Engineers, Ltd., who was still in business in 1972 and whose Managing Director vaguely recalled the car. Photos were found in the company archives that showed the car fresh from Corsica coachworks. The photographs showed the car wearing its original sweeping front wings, bonnet and Marchal headlamps. With the photos as a reference, the car was restored by Ashton Keynes Vintage Restorations with new, original style front wings and bonnet.
In June of 1977, the car was purchased by Jerry Old of California. Mr. Old showed the car once or twice in the United States, and then put it into storage. Upon retiring in 1993, he moved to Kansas City, MO, and brought the Godsal with him. It remained with Mr. Old in storage until 2016.
IN 2017, the car was offered for sale at Bonhams Auction in Amelia Island where it was sold for the sum of $203,500 including buyer's premium.By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2017
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