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London, 06 December, 2015

Bonhams traditional December automobile auction was held at their headquarters building, in London’s New Bond Street on Sunday 06 December. The Bond Street Sale, to give it its correct title, comprised of 29 automobile lots, ranging from a 1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre Tourer by Vanden Plas, to a 2012 McLaren MP4-12C, with a number of interesting cars in between. There were also two none car lots, the UK licence plate R6, which was first issued in Derbyshire in 1903, which sold for £163,900, and an ex-Donald Healey Rolex Prince 9 carat gold watch that he wore during the ‘30s, and has his name engraved on the rear of the case, which sold for over twice the high estimate at £25,300. Also on display was a very original Jaguar C-Type, chassis # XKC 011, which will feature in their Monaco sale in 2016.

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Continuing the Donald Healey theme, there were also two cars bearing his name in the auction, both from the Arthur Carter Collection, and both with fascinating histories. The first was a 1953 Austin Healey 100/”100S” Coupe, one of two prototypes originally built, and which was his personal car until he sold it nearly ten years later in 1962, which sold for what must be a record for an Austin Healey at £639,300. The other was a 1959 Austin Healey 3000 Mk I ex-works rally car, which was subsequently owned by the “Racing Policeman”, the Chief Constable of Northamptonshire, John Gott. He was a works rally driver for Austin Healey, and bought the car from them at the end of the 1960 season, and club raced it until a fatal accident driving it at the Lydden Hill circuit in Kent ended his career in 1972. During his ownership he carried out various modifications to keep it competitive, and the car as presented at the auction has been restored to its final incarnation as raced by him. This sold for a close to the high estimate at £191,900.

Another car in the auction was the property of another well known British racing and rally driver, John Young. This was the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing” Coupe, which he has owned since 1973, and apart from a repaint is in largely original condition, with a marvellous patina to the interior, which has frequently been loaned to Mercedes-Benz for display as a prime example of the model. Its most high profile display, quite literally, was as the pinnacle of the Mercedes-Benz sculpture outside Goodwood House for the 2001 Festival of Speed, which was bid up to £860,000 (without buyer’s premium) but failed to reach its reserve. Another offering with a “name” attached to it was the 1938 Frazer Nash-BMW 328, once owned by bandleader and popular UK radio and TV personality during the ‘50s and ‘60s, Billy Cotton. This sold for a within estimate figure of £617,500.

From more recent times was a Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Replica, built on a Ferrari 250 GT Ellena Coupe chassis # 0803GT, which was formerly the property of another UK radio and TV personality, Chris Evans, which was one of four Ferraris on offer, which made £527,900. The big surprise amongst the Ferraris on offer was the price achieved for the 575M Superamerica, which achieved £611,900, against a high estimate of £430,000. Another car to achieve well above the high estimate was the 1960 Jaguar XK150 Drophead Coupe, which had a high estimate of £150,000, but achieved nearly triple that figure at £427,100. Amongst the other offerings were a pair of rare 4 door Aston Martin Lagondas, a 1963 Rapide, which failed to reach its reserve, and a 1974 Series 1 7 Litre Saloon, which sold for £427,100, plus a 1962 AC Cobra prototype which sold for an above estimate £371,100. The development 1964 Sunbeam Tiger Le Mans Coupe was also on offer, but this and a rare Super 95 example of the Lotus Elite, which looked very elegant in pale yellow with a silver roof, both failed to reach their reserve figures. The top sale of the day was Lot 21, a 1937 Lagonda 4.5 Litre LG45 Rapide Tourer, which achieved £785,500 after some spirited bidding.

All figures quoted include Buyer’s Premium unless stated.

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