1927 Bentley coachworked by Vanden Plas
The top sales of old cars are held every year in August in California and in January in Arizona.
In August last year, I introduced in this group a beautiful Bentley whose estimate was not published and which had notbeen sold. It is now in Arizona, after changing the auction house. There is no doubt : the registration plate is the same.
According to my practice, I paste herebelow my previous article by only changing the information related to the sale.
Four wheels, lights, seats, chassis, windshield and a cylindrical or rectangular lid housing the engine. There is no place for nonsense in the automobile art of the 1920s.
The 1927 Bentley for sale on January 21 in Scottsdale by Gooding, estimated $ 2M, still meets the descriptionabove, but also reminds us that the British brand was a pioneer of elegance. Here is the link to the catalogue.
Bentley had a special relationship with Vanden Plas, a coachworking company of Belgian origin whose creation dates back to horse-drawn time. Between 1924 and 1931, Vanden Plas equipped about 700 Bentley chassis.
The car for sale is a Sports Tourer, actually an open sports car (for use in fine weather!). The 6.5 liter version was specifically designed to compete in the 24 hours of Le Mans.
Its demanding customer made created by Vanden Plas a particularly sporty body. The fact that it remained in its original condition makes it a remarkable reminder of this period of transition.
The independence of Bentley did not survive the financial crisis. In 1931, the company was bought by Rolls-Royce.
POST SALE COMMENT
This car is one of very few unsold lots in this sale. Yet the day before, a 4.5-liter Bentley Sports Tourer of 1929, also bodied by Vanden Plas, had been sold $ 2.15 million including premium at the same auction house.
1928 Sports Tourers by Bentley
2013 SOLD 2.75 M$ including premium
Facing the huge 6 1/2 litre chassis, the 4 1/2 quickly won the favor of the fans of speed on the road, thanks to its lightweight body that compensates for the difference in power.
A good example of 4 1/2 made in 1928 is estimated $ 2M, for sale by Gooding in Amelia Island on March 8. This car which is still with its original Vanden Plas body had been equipped with competition accessories bringing it close to the configurations of endurance racing and allowing a Semi-Le Mans label.
It is illustrated by five photographs on the article shared by Sports Car Digest.
On 20 January 2012, a Bentley 4 1/2 made in 1929 with a Vanden Plas body in Sports Tourer configuration was sold for $ 2.15M including premium, also by Gooding. This car had matching numbers and the unusual feature of a second windshield protecting the rear passengers.
The 4 1/2 chassis was also used for the race. A Bentley Blower of 1929 with supercharged engine was sold £ 5M including premium by Bonhams on 29 June 2012.
POST SALE COMMENT
Pushed by its Semi-Le Mans classification, this interesting Bentley 4 1/2 has exceeded its estimate. It was sold for $ 2.75 million including premium.
1928 From Le Mans to Brooklands
2019 Sold for £ 460k including premium
In 1927 for Le Mans, a 4.5-liter engine is undoubtedly a good compromise. Bentley had won in 1924 with a 3-liter. More powerful, the 4.5-liter remains reliable. For its first engagement at Le Mans, Mother Gun broke the circuit record in the second lap but was stopped a little later in an accident.
Barnato was right : it was unbeatable and victorious in August 1927 at the Grand Prix de Paris, a 24-hour race on the Circuit de la Sarthe. Driven by Barnato and Rubin, it won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1928 despite a broken chassis frame.
Bentley continues its development. The 24 Hours of Le Mans are won in 1929 and 1930 by a Speed Six. Despite a meritorious second place in 1929, Mother Gun changes ownership and target : it will be one of the top stars of the Brooklands meetings until the final closure of the circuit in 1939.
Brooklands offered a prestigious badge for a circuit timing at over 120 mph and later 130 mph. To stay the best in Brooklands, Mother Gun is equipped with a 6.5-liter engine in 1936 and undergoes its biggest transformation in 1936-1937, made by Brooklands based Jackson with a single-seater body entirely in aluminum on a highly modified chassis. Its best lap in Brooklands is made in 1938 at 135 mph (217 km/h). It is timed in a straight line at 238 km/h in 1939.
Restored in the 1980s this Bentley Jackson Special is currently equipped with an 8-liter engine. It will be sold by Bonhams at Goodwood on July 5, lot 358. Its image in 2017 is shared by Wikimedia with attribution Palauenc05 [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons .
It would be tedious to list all the transformations of Mother Gun, sometimes also named Old Mother Gun, from 1927 to the present day. Note however that a replacement chassis installed after the technical issues of Le Mans 1928 was transferred a few months later on a then recently damaged 4.5-liter. This chassis is still on this other car. Bodied as a tourer by Vanden Plas in 1933, it is available in the same sale as above, lot 332 estimated £ 600K.
Mother Gun : unsold
1928 Tourer : SOLD for £ 460K including premium
1929 Bentley Speed Six
2013 SOLD for 2.86M by Gooding
The choice of W.O. Bentley was to use very large engines along with the maximum length of the mechanical transmission. His 6 1/2 litre model with front engine and rear wheel drive was the perfect support for the oversized front covers of limousines, berlines and sedans.
W.O. upheld this conviction against his own officers who preferred supercharging smaller engines. He introduced in 1928 the Speed Six as the sport model of the 6 1/2 chassis. Events proved him right when the 24 hours of Le Mans were won by a Speed Six in 1929 and 1930.
On August 18, 2013, Gooding sold for $ 2.86M a Speed Six Grafton made in 1929, coachworked in London by one of the best specialists in luxury cars, Freestone and Webb. The Grafton coupe is probably a designation specific to the catalog of this workshop. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
Despite a history with significant use, this car has been carefully maintained. Far from being a time capsule, it comes with a wonderful original configuration which makes it one of the best authentic survivors of the English automobile refinement in the late 1920s.
1929 Bentley Blower
For sport and specially to win at Le Mans, two concepts were clashing. The founder W.O. Bentley is in favor of huge engines like his 6 1/2 liter model to get more power by an extension of the mechanical movements.
Pushed by the flamboyant team of the Bentley Boys, Barnato prefers supercharging the engine of the 4 1/2 liter model. This new model is known as the Blower Bentley. It had to overcome the reliability problems rightly predicted by W.O. The single seater version nevertheless met some racing success.
In addition to five works prototypes, fifty supercharged cars had been commissioned for complying with Le Mans homologation requirement. The first of them is originally bodied by Vanden Plas and exhibited by Bentley in October 1929 at the Olympia Motor Show. It is then re-bodied as a four seater tourer by Vanden Plas and retained for two years by Bentley as a demonstrator.
This first production version Blower is estimated £ 3.8M for sale by RM Sotheby's in London on November 6, 2021, lot 133. It had been reunited in the 1980s with its engine as identified in the Bentley service records.
1930 Bentley 4 1/2 Blower Sports Tourer by Vanden Plas
This new model is known as the Bentley Blower. In addition to five works prototypes, fifty supercharged units are commissioned for complying with Le Mans homologation requirement.
The Bentley brand had a special relationship with Vanden Plas, an English coach maker of Belgian origin whose creation dates back to horse-drawn time. Between 1924 and 1931, Vanden Plas equipped about 700 Bentley chassis. That co-operation between a maker and a coachbuilder provides some homogeneity, rare at that time, between the different models of the brand.
A supercharged Bentley 4 1/2 assembled in July 1930 was fitted as a four seater sports tourer by Vanden Plas. Retaining its original chassis, fabric-covered body, engine and gearbox, it is estimated $ 7M for sale by Gooding on August 19, 2022, lot 42. It is illustrated in second position in the pre sale press release.
After a careful restoration, this car went first in class in the 2019 Pebble Beach concours d'elegance. It still wears much of its original fabric and leather upholstery and is presented in its original dark blue livery.
1931 The Unconquered
2011 SOLD 535 K€ including premium
Mass or custom? Invicta, an English brand located in Surrey, has chosen from its inception in 1925 to produce rare and prestigious vehicles.
The wealthy young gentlemen expect from a car the pleasure of driving and the speed. On their requirements, Invicta provides vehicles with a powerful start, reaching 145 km / h with their 4.5 liter engines introduced in 1928.
Pretentious, the brand name means "unconquered". On the sport circuits, they never grew to compte seriously against Mercedes. The manufacturer was attentive to the needs of its customers, which did not make the prices attractive. Heavy and expensive, the Invictas did not adapt to the new social deal born of the crisis of 1929.
The LS 4.5-litre cars, climax of the brand, are characterized by a low chassis that make them the best English sport car of their time. A copy of 1931 bodyworked as a two-seater coupe is estimated € 550K, for sale by Artcurial inParis on February 4.
POST SALE COMMENT
This sale was not easy, because the prestige of the brand was so forgotten. The Invicta was sold for € 535K including premium, below the lower estimate.
1931 Bentley Eight Litre
Returned to its original configuration, it won first in class at the 2009 Pebble Beach concours d'elegance. Keeping its 6 cylinder inline engine in matching numbers and its original Vanden Plas body, it passed at Gooding on August 20, 2022, lot 142. It is illustrated in third position in the pre sale press release. It is presented with original instruction manual and tools plus documentation files.
1931 British Touring Green
The Blower Bentley 4-1/2 litre could have monopolized the wins in competition. The difference of technical opinion between Barnato and W.O. unfortunately required compromises. W.O. accepted the supercharger on the sole condition that the engine was not modified. This requirement shifted the position of the supercharger forward, giving the front cover an easily recognizable shape.
Fifty 4-1/2 have been factory assembled as Blowers. Vanden Plas makes most of the bodyworks and the British Racing Green color marks the national pride for these exceptional machines. Blowers with a known history and a good level of originality are highly sought after, and often very well documented.
On February 13 in Paris, RM Sotheby's sells at lot 136 a Blower Bentley 4-1/2 released from factory in September 1931, two months after the company was put into mortgage. The press release of December 22 announces an estimate in excess of € 4.1M.
This car was originally fitted with an open body by Mayfair, replaced around 1960 by a Vanden Plas taken from another 4-1/2. Some other elements have been changed to maintain the Bentley in working order, but its successive owners have taken great care to keep them alongside the car, re-bodied as a green Tourer with its original Mayfair bonnet.
1931 a monumental coupe by bentley
The volume of the engine increases : the 4.5 litre and 6.5 litre appear in 1926, the huge 8 litre in 1930. The Bentley 8 litre is designed to compete with the Rolls-Royce Phantom II whose power is comparable. It is most often bodied in limousine or saloon.
At that time, the client chose the coachworker. A wealthy amateur of Bentley was extremely happy with his Speed Six, the sports version of the 6.5 litre, which was coachworked by Barker as a coupe cabriolet. He ordered in 1931 to Bentley and Barker a 8 litre with an identical shape.
This two-seater open-top coupe is the only Bentley 8 litre of its type. This car almost 6 meters long pushed its huge mass to 170 Km/h guaranteed by the manufacturer. Like many prewar luxury cars, it was later modified before being restored to its original configuration.
Developments are expensive and the financial crisis is ruthless. As early as 10 July 1931, Bentley Motors is in bankruptcy. Rolls-Royce bought the company to eliminate this competitor of which they immediately stopped the product lines before resurrecting the brand two years later.
This rapid sequence of events explains the extreme rarity of this Bentley car. It is estimated $ 3.75 million for sale by RM Auctions at Monterey on August 16, lot 233.
I invite you to play the video shared on YouTube by RM Auctions.
1934 The Star of India
2010 SOLD 644 K€ including premium
In the beginning of August 2009, an information spreads on the web : the collection of Rolls-Royce cars of Hans-Günther Zach, including the Star of India, will be auctioned.
In the 1930s, each luxury car is unique. Rolls-Royce sell the chassis, and their wealthy clients fit it with the bodywork of their desire, custom made by independent workshops.
Technically, the Star of India is a Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Phantom II Continental convertible, provided in 1934 to the Maharajah of Rajkot to be used in his state ceremonies. The body is signed by Thrupp and Maberley. The luxury of this car is princely.
On January 15 the release of RM Auctions is issued: the sale is now entrusted to this international group. The collection will be sold on May 1 in another principality: Monaco.
POST SALE COMMENT
This car whose origin was a dream was not one of the top lots of the sale. The auction house had estimated it wisely at 450 K €. It was sold 644 K € including premium.
1934 An English Single-Seat Car
2008 SOLD 360 K£ including premium
When seeing it installed in the midst of a modern road, this machine seems incredibly fragile and outmoded. Fragile is a qualifier that one gives instead to cars made before 1914, but this one, born in 1934, has another reason for glory: it is the first single-seater English racing car which has been built.
Its brand was ERA ( 'English Racing Automobiles Limited'), and its ambition was to compete with the Maserati then all-powerful in the circuits. The very first copy, R1A, participated in many competitions.
Estimated 400 K£, it is at number 560 in the sale of F1 memorabilia organized by Bonhams in Goodwood (Sussex) on July 11 at the Festival of Speed. This price may seem expensive, but as it is sold without reserve price we will know exactly at the sale how much it is really worth.
POST SALE COMMENT
This voiturette (the term used by Bonhams) was sold at a price more reasonable than the estimate: 325 K £ excluding fees (£ 360K including premium). That is what I expected.
1935 Aston Martin tempted by Le Mans
2017 SOLD for € 2M including premium
Effective and robust, this model is named Ulster in reference to the very good participation of three cars of the brand at the Ulster Tourist Trophy in 1934. Within two years 31 Ulster cars are built by Aston Martin including 10 team cars entrusted to the official drivers of the factory.
In 1935 all efforts are focused on Le Mans where no less than seven Aston Martin are entered. One of them finished 10th in the race and 5th in her class, and no longer appeared in competition until the following year. Having retained its original chassis and engine as well as its registration number CML 719 from 1935, it is estimated € 1,6M for sale by Bonhams in Paris on February 9, lot 339.
Also prepared for Le Mans in 1935, CML 721 is one of only four Ulster equipped in a specific LM (Le Mans) configuration which are considered as the culmination of the Aston Martin cars of the 1930s. Also kept in matching numbers, it was sold for £ 2.9M including premium by Bonhams on June 26, 2015.
This experience for the prestige did not clear the financial problems of the brand which will refocus from the following year on the production of its road models.
Please watch the video shared by Bonhams before the next Paris sale.
1936 Lagonda at the time of WO Bentley
2014 SOLD 1.57 M£ including premium
This evolution in the automotive industry excited the ambition of another English manufacturer, Lagonda, whose progress culminated in their victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a M45R Rapide in 1935.
The history of Bentley was about to have a remake with Lagonda, on the verge of bankruptcy at the time of the victory of Le Mans, and for sure also ambushed by Rolls-Royce. The entrepreneur Alan Good saved Lagonda in extremis.
W.O. Bentley, founder of Bentley Motors, had such a prestige that Rolls-Royce had obtained from the court that he will contract with them for three years. Rolls-Royce neutralized W.O. all along that term in obscure occupations, but he again became free in May 1935. The decision of Good to acquire Lagonda was certainly related to his ability to hire W.O. as chief designer.
Upon his arrival at Lagonda, W.O. worked on a new luxury model, the LG45. In 1936, four LG45R Rapide are built for competition, for the use of the private race team Fox and Nicholl.
On September 13 at Goodwood, Bonhams sells one of the two surviving cars of this model, lot 240 estimated £ 1.4M. This car with an interesting history in competition is in very good working condition, with its matching number frame and engine.
1938 One-off Coachworks for Bentley
The late 1930s was a golden age for luxury cars. In this category, we are still in the pre-industrial time and each vehicle is somewhat unique.
Precisely Bentley, which has become a trademark of Rolls-Royce in 1931, released the model 4 1/4 liter, more powerful than its predecessors and therefore able to withstand heavier bodywork. In these circumstances, the creativity of professionals has no limits.
On 14 and 15 August in Monterey CA, Russo and Steele sell a convertible Bentley Derby 4 1/4 coupe coachworked by Vanden Plas. This copy delivered out of factory in 1938 had the same owner for forty years. In 1991, the car has undergone a dismounting in which it was found that no part of the engine needed to be changed. It was repainted and re-chromed and the interior has been redone.
The auction house does not provide an estimate, but compare it to two Bentley cars sold by them in 2008: a 1938 fixed head Derby coupe at $ 1.7 million, and a 1948 drophead coupe at $ 1.2 million.
1939 The Team of the Lords
2012 SOLD 1.3 M£ including premium
Lagonda, British manufacturer of luxury automobiles, rivaled Rolls-Royce and Bentley. Its history in the 1930s wastypical of the crisis years, with the search for new solutions to maintain the high end.
Like many other brands throughout the history of the automobile, Lagonda is tempted by the prestige of Le Mans 24 Hours. In 1939, while W.O. Bentley is technical director of Lagonda, the company is preparing a 4.5-liter V12 car for Le Mans.
Lord Selsdon was 26 years old. He already had an experience in competition, and just received a comfortable inheritance. He wants the same car. Lagonda accepts. There will be as a whole two units of the 1939 Lagonda V12 Le Mans Team Car. Lord Selsdon invites Lord Waleran to be his teammate.
On 18 June 1939, the result is convincing. Both cars are in third and fourth places at Le Mans behind a Bugatti and aDelage but ahead of the BMWs and Delahayes. The official Lagonda car (number 5) achieved 239 laps, the Lords' car was only one lap behind.
The old No. 5 was afterwards the star of a remarkable collection of Lagonda cars dispersed by Bonhams in Goodwoodon 6 September 2002. It was sold £ 780K including premium.
The Lagonda of the Lords wild be sold by the same auction house in the same venue on September 15. The press release of June 25 announced an estimate in excess of £ 1M, but this information is not in the catalog. This situation is generally a sign of growing interest. Here is the link to the catalog.
POST SALE COMMENT
The Lagonda of the Lords was sold £ 1.3M including premium.
1940 Atom in Wartime
With its carefully functional saloon, this aerodynamic berlinetta looks a bit like the French teardrop coupés of its time. It is powerful despite its light weight, with a tubular chassis structure. Its aluminum panels are easy to remove and change. The model was named Atom in an allusion to its compactness.
Gordon Sutherland himself used extensively this car. His idea, as Ettore Bugatti had done before him with the "voiture du patron", was to gradually equip it with the new equipment developed by the brand. The war did not favor this project, but the unique Atom was later the first to receive the 2-liter Aston Martin engine.
Carefully preserved in a configuration similar as when used by Sutherland, the Atom is for sale by Bonhams at Goodwood on June 27, lot 357.
Presented to the specialized press upon its release, this car was much admired. It is told that it was the Atom which decided David Brown to buy Aston Martin in addition to Lagonda in 1947 and to start the highly successful Aston Martin DB series.
However, this Atom that promised to the British a revolution in the design of their cars had serious competitors in Europe. Alfa Romeo was also preparing the new decade with extremely innovative sport berlinettas. Their 8C 2900 and 6C 2500 bodied by Touring were already in production in 1939.
The image is shared by Wikimedia with attribution : dave_7 [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]
1949 Between Atom and DB2
2017 SOLD for $ 1.54M including premium
The Atom continues to carry the hopes of Aston Martin. The son of the owner of the brand uses it intensively and shows it with complacency to his friends. In 1945 it was the first car equipped with the new 2-liter engine patented by Aston Martin. The story that the tractor businessman David Brown was appealed by this car to the point of deciding to start his own line of sports cars is quite plausible. This unique coupe passed at auction at Bonhams in 2014.
The end of the war changed the industrial situation considerably. David Brown buys Lagonda and Aston Martin one after the other. The first model of the joint Aston Martin Lagonda company is the 2-Liter Sports released in 1948 with the 2-liter engine. The immediate and unexpected victory of one of these cars in the 24 hours of Spa encourages the development of a more ambitious model.
In 1949 Aston Martin builds four prototypes on the new DB Mk II chassis, a denomination using the initials of the new boss. The aerodynamic shape is again inspired by the Italian cars. Two prototypes are equipped with the 2-liter engine and the other two with a 2.6-liter engine designed in 1943 by Lagonda.
The two 2-liter and one of the 2.6-liter are equipped in competition configuration and entered in the 24 hours of Le Mans. The last 2.6-liter is made as a road car for the personal use of David Brown who uses it for demonstrations. The specialized press is much praising the performance, endurance and comfort of this specific car.
Brown has won : the success of his product line is now assured. In 1950 he sells his car to a factory driver of his brand and starts the production of the DB2. The 2-Litre Sports is then renamed DB1.
The DB Mk II ex David Brown is in the footsteps of the Atom one of the most important cars of the modernization phase of Aston Martin. It is valued $ 1.5M for sale by Gooding at Amelia Island on March 10, lot 031. Here is the link to the press release.
1952 Jaguar XKC014
It passed at Bonhams on March 5, 2020, lot 142. Please watch the video prepared by the auction house. It is estimated £ 4M for sale by RM Sotheby's in London on November 6, 2021, lot 120.
It is still equipped with its original chassis, body, engine and gearbox. In 1960 its owner preferred a Chrysler Plymouth engine before entering the car in SCCA racing. He carefully kept the original engine and gearbox which were reinstalled for another enthusiast in the late 1980s.
1953 Aston Martin challenging Jaguar
Brown decides to engage Aston Martin more seriously in competition, with the DB3 released in 1951. The results are disappointing : the car is heavy and sluggish, despite an increase in engine displacement from 2.6 to 2.9 liters in 1952.
Stakes are increasing. In 1953 Aston Martin releases the DB3S, a lighter version of the DB3 with the 2.9-liter engine. It is not sufficient. Jaguar had produced specifically for Le Mans three C-Type lightweight which are ranked 1st, 2nd and 4th and ensure the transition with the D-Type of 1954. The three DB3S did not finish.
DB3S is however a good car, with a graceful bodywork that rivals the beauty of the Jaguars. 31 units are manufactured including 11 for the factory team. The conditions of the competitions are very hard and a large proportion of the works cars will have to undergo important repairs including the change of the chassis or of the bodywork.
DB3S/2, made in 1953, is one of the cars that failed in the first Le Mans outing. Rebuilt in 1954, it retains the chassis, engine and gearbox assembled by Aston Martin for that operation. It had belonged to Peter Collins. Remaining one of the finest DB3S in the works configuration, it is estimated $ 8.75M for sale by RM Sotheby's in Monterey on August 15, lot 129.
Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
1953 the romances of a db3s
The brand has nevertheless no choice : two cars crashed at Le Mans in 1953. Brown restitutes his DB3S which receives a more conventional aluminum body for maintaining the presence of Aston Martin in the competitions.
DB3S-5 achieves a great racing success alternatively for Aston Martin and for private teams. It will be driven by Stirling Moss and Graham Hill among others. At Silverstone in 1956, Moss requests the car but can not use it because it belongs to Roy Salvadori. Salvadori wins the race and Moss is upset.
In 1958, a new owner entrusts DB3S-5 to a mechanic for the Gosport Speed Trials. Meanwhile the owner flirts with the girlfriend of the driver. The young man makes a very good performance but does not lift off the throttle and throws the car into the sea in a perhaps unique case of an achieved suicide in car competition.
The chassis is saved but the bodywork must be changed. DB3S-5 continues its romantic adventures by playing a star role in 1960 in the comedy film significantly titled School for Scoundrels.
DB3S-5 has been carefully restored but can no longer claim for a high level of authenticity. This car with a prestigious and eventful history is estimated £ 6M for sale by Bonhams on May 21 in the Aston Martin works at Newport Pagnell, lot 244.
1954 rolls-royce in the royal mews
The operation is prestigious but the post war market is not buoyant : this Phantom IV is originally designed to be unique. It is delivered to Princess Elizabeth in 1950 and becomes a state car on her accession to the throne in 1952.
Meanwhile Rolls-Royce changed its decision. The total amount of cars built on the chassis of the Phantom IV is 18, from 1950 to 1956. The model, most often bodied by Mulliner or Hooper, is intended for heads of state and their close family in a low speed use during official ceremonies.
The British royal family has further needs. In 1954 a Phantom IV limousine by Mulliner is delivered to Princess Margaret. Another one from the same year, bodied by Hooper as an enclosed landaulette, is kept for about one year by Rolls-Royce before being made available to the Queen in October 1955. It is bought by the Royal Household in 1959.
This car is the only Phantom IV landaulette, a body with wide and high windows offering the crowd a very good visibility on the passengers. For its last royal use in 1986, it conveys bridesmaids and page boys during the wedding of Prince Andrew.
The landaulette was kept at the Royal Mews until 2002 and then returned to Rolls-Royce. It participated in the exhibition of Her Majesty's Vehicles at Goodwood in 2012. It returns to Goodwood for sale by Bonhams on September 8, lot 300 estimated £ 1M.
The image below taken at Goodwood in 2012 is shared by Wikimedia with attribution : By PSParrot [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
1954 first laps for the D-Type
The public was eagerly awaiting the 1954 event for which the first-ever television broadcast of that race added a further appeal. Jaguar and Ferrari are the favorites, symbolizing a competition between technology and power.
The Jaguar D-Type model is ready just in time to enter three prototypes. It has been developed in the wind tunnel to improve the stiffness and reduce the drag. It is spectacular with its unprecedented stabilizer fin. The cockpit is monocoque and it is made lighter by the use of an aluminum alloy. The 3.4-liter engine is unchanged from the C-Type.
The D-Type driven by Stirling Moss records the highest top speed at 278 km/h but the over-powered Ferrari 375 Plus with its 4.9-liter engine is the best on the full lap and wins the race.
The Moss-Walker team must give up after a brake failure. For one year that D-Type continues in competition but is mostly used as a development and training car to prepare the 1955 season.
In 1958 the engine and the gearbox are changed. This D-Type which otherwise remains highly original despite its intensive use in competition is estimated $ 12M for sale by RM Sotheby's in Phoenix on January 19, lot 250.
1955 The Long Nose of the Jaguar D-Type
The extreme success of Fangio's Mercedes-Benz at auction highlighted this period of the 1950s when engineering isbecoming the dominant factor for victory in motor racing. Aston Martin, Ferrari, Jaguar, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz andPorsche use the best engineers in mechanics, thermics and aerodynamics.
The Jaguar D-Type, released in 1954, provides several significant improvements including the monocoque structureand the stabilizer on the back cover.
In 1955, the model is modified with the "long nose", an extension of about 20 cm of the front cover which improvesthe speed through a better cooling and optimizes the wind resistance. The material of the frame is also lighter.
On September 9 in London, RM Auctions sells the first D-type with long nose, which was also a prototype of the newfuel injection system. It is estimated £ 5.5 M.
It belonged to Jaguar official competition team and was similar to the Jaguar cars competing in the 24 hours of Le Mans of 1955 where the disaster occurred. It then had an interesting competition history.
Made later in the same year, another Jaguar D recently discussed in this section has been sold for $ 3.9 million including premium by RM Auctions on August 16, 2013. Used by a private owner, it was less prestigious.
I invite you to play the video shared by RM Auctions, introducing the car for sale in London.
1957 a jaguar for the north american roads
The brand decides to modify them with a target on the North American market including all the characteristics necessary for road homologation. In this approach Jaguar follows a market logic similar to that of Ferrari. The new XKSS however appears as a unique opportunity in the history of Jaguar.
The transformation began in January 1957. On the following month a fire in the factory destroyed 9 cars. The population of the XKSS was thus limited to 16 units.
With no technological innovation in comparison with the D-Type, the XKSS is improved in the comfort of its two-seater cockpit and of the windscreen, and the stabilizing fin is removed. With its aerodynamical body similar to the D-Type, it is the most beautiful road car of its time.
On March 10 in Amelia Island, Gooding sells one of these XKD transformed into XKSS that were not involved in the fire. Sold new to a Canadian driver, it has accumulated the wins in local competitions. It never had a major accident and remains in an excellent original condition. This XKSS is estimated $ 16M, lot 061. Here is the link to the press release.
This splendid road-going Jaguar model deserves to be compared to the masterpiece of the following decade, the Ferrari 250 GTO. Both are dual for competition and road, in limited series. Their owners keep them jealously and they are extremely rare at auction.
For the 75th anniversary of Jaguar in 2010, the XKSS model was the theme of a special class in the Pebble Beach concours d'elegance, reuniting 12 of the 16 cars including the one that is now coming on sale.
Please watch the video shared by Gooding.
1958 the obsolescence of the d-type
The unfinished D-Types are converted to the XKSS model for road use. The destruction of 9 chassis in February 1957 in the fire of the Coventry production line further increases the difficulties of Jaguar to position itself. However the private teams Ecurie Ecosse and Cunningham continue to win important competitions with their D-Type cars.
Lister was created in Cambridge in 1954 with the specialty of lightening the chassis and improving the aerodynamics of existing models from other brands. A first Lister-Jaguar series is made in 1957. In 1958 a new Lister-Jaguar now prepared with the participation of Jaguar receives the nickname Knobbly for the shape of its body exaggerating the bulging of the D-Type.
The D-Type obsolescence is not acceptable to Cunningham because the US rules had not followed the volume limitations applied in Europe.
Cunningham manages to buy the first two Knobbly that Lister originally wanted to supply to Ecurie Ecosse. These two cars will win many competitions from the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America). Seven other Lister-Jaguar Knobbly will complete this series. The unreliability of the Jaguar 3-liter engine causes Lister to develop a new 3.8-liter engine for the Knobbly.
The first Knobbly of the Cunningham team was sold for € 1,18M including premium by RM Sotheby's on May 10, 2014. The second Knobbly ex Cunningham is for sale by Mecum in Monterey on August 18, lot F75. Please watch the video shared by Mecum.
1959 DB4 GT Lightweight
2021 SOLD for $ 3.9M by RM Sotheby's
The DB4 GT Lightweight refers to an acknowledgement by the factory that some equipment were lighter than standard, including an aluminum bodywork. These improvements saving 150 pounds were made on the request of dealers or of private teams desiring a better performance in Grand Touring against the Ferrari 250 berlinettas.
These cars are not specifically referred by the factory. The suffix L or R of the chassis number indeed does not mean Lightweight or Racing but Left hand drive or Right hand drive.
A DB4 GT is estimated $ 4M for sale by RM Sotheby's in Monterey on August 12, 2021, lot 113. This car made in 1959 is the only Left hand drive from the original five lightweight examples built.
1961 Aston Martin Zagato
Ferrari is also moving forward, with the new SWB chassis of the 250 GT and the preparation of the 250 GTO. To maintain the competitiveness of its DB4 GT, Aston Martin is entering into cooperation with Carrozzeria Zagato, the specialist of lightweight bodywork.
Zagato reworks the aerodynamics and eliminates unnecessary equipment. His achievement all in harmonious curves is a beauty. The DB4 GT Zagato is unveiled at the London Motor Show at the end of 1960. It weighs 1,225 kg, which is 44 kg less than the basic DB4 GT.
One of the first DB4 GT Zagato, made in 1961, is estimated £ 7M for sale by Gooding at Hampton Court on September 5, lot 7. It has retained its original engine. Here is the link to the press release of January 22 (the sale, which was scheduled for April 1, was postponed due to the health alert). Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
Another car from the same year, with a competition history in Australia, was sold for $ 14.3M including premium by RM Sotheby's on December 10, 2015.
The model is superb but it is not competitive in the face of the new developments from Ferrari. The last hope is a further lightening, also entrusted to Zagato. Three DB4 GT Zagato are modified in 1962 under the specification reference MP209. Once again the results are not enough. A DB4 GT Zagato MP209 was sold for £ 10M including premium by Bonhams on July 13, 2018. Overall the superb British coupe will have been built in just 19 units in period.
1961 gt for english crooks
By increasing the number of passengers, Rudd improves the diversity of comic situations. The car is a star of the movie The Wrong Arm of the Law, centered on the character of a gang leader played by Peter Sellers. The Aston is chased by the police in a Wolseley. In quiet scenes the car is driven by Sellers. For the speedy actions including an aerial jump over a humpback railway bridge, Rudd is the stuntman.
Released in 1963, The Wrong Arm of the Law is not a major film but the public enjoys everything done by Sellers who is omnipresent in that scenario tailored for him.
The engine block had exploded during the shooting, finished with another Aston. The DB4GT is returned for repair in early 1963 at the Newport Pagnell factory. At that time Aston Martin completes the development of the DB5 in which the 3.7-liter engine of the DB4 is replaced by the 4-liter engine of the Lagonda Rapide saloon. Taking advantage of this opportunity, the DB4GT is also equipped with the Lagonda engine block.
Fortunately the rest of the engine was intact and has been preserved. This star of a single film remains in an excellent original condition while being the only one from all the 75 DB4GTs to have been equipped in period with the engine of the DB5. It is estimated £ 3M for sale by RM Sotheby's in London on September 5, lot 165. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
1964 lotus in pole position
Ford is engaged in a similar analysis : the cooperation between Chapman and Ford generates three successive models tailored for Indy based on the Lotus 25 of the Formula 1 : Lotus 29 in 1963, Lotus 34 in 1964 and Lotus 38 in 1965.
The factory drivers of Lotus are the best : Gurney, Jim Clark, A.J. Foyt, and their pole positions are numerous in the USAC competitions. The voluntarily unbalanced suspension to approach the left turns of the American ovals is however a weak point and it was not until 1965 that Clark won at Indy with a Lotus 38. Also the fuel circuit surrounding the cockpit indeed frightened the drivers.
Three Lotus 34 were built. 34/2 has a good history of pole positions, mostly with Foyt who modified it for the 1965 season. Foyt withdrew it after the 1966 season and kept it in his garage until 1992. It was recently restored. It is estimated $ 1.8M for sale by Bonhams at Quail Lodge - Carmel on August 18, lot 82.
1972 McLaren M20
2014 SOLD for $ 2.16M by Mecum
Even more than Formula 1, Group 7 offered the showcase of the technological improvements. In 1972, the competition opposed the Porsche 917/10 and 917/20 and the McLaren M20 succeeding the M8.
The M20 innovated especially in its cooling system by installing two side equipment instead of a central fan. This trick had two incentives. The flat nose was favorable for aerodynamics and the driving comfort was improved by the lowered heat in the cockpit.
These races involved prototypes that could not be applied to production models. McLaren only produced three M20 cars. This model was their ultimate in that category as the brand decided to stop its direct involvement in the Can-Am after the 1972 season. Porsche will continue for one year with the unrivaled 917/30.
The M20-1 was driven by Peter Revson throughout the 1972 season, then by private pilots after the withdrawal of the McLaren Group 7 team. It won the very last official Can-Am race in Group 7 at Road America in Wisconsin in 1974.
This car was sold for $ 2.16M by Mecum on August 16, 2014, lot S170. It is introduced in the article shared by Sports Car Digest.
1972 Rolls-Royce for Heads of State
Made in 1972 under the name Rolls Royce Phantom VI Landaulet four-door, this car was the most expensive that the British firm has ever produced. Catalog price at the time was 700 K £. The auction house Kruse has calculated that if such a vehicle was built today it would be $ 15 million.
Designed specifically for use by heads of state, it was built in five copies, including three for left drive. This is one of them, that belonged to President Bongo (Gabon), which comes in the auction sale held by Kruse International from 1 to Jan. 4 in Boca Raton, South Florida.
As a whole, the Phantom VI was produced in 374 copies from 1968 to 1991. Its look was the most typical of a Rolls-Royce car, but it was huge: 6 meters long, 3.7 meters of wheel base, 2.5 tons.
Our Landaulet is estimated $ 2 million, lot 796, introduced on January 3. This price is ambitious: the release of the auction house said that the last transaction on this model, conducted about two years ago in London, was $ 1.5 million.
1975 Back to Silverstone
In 1972, Lord Hesketh created Hesketh Racing to build race cars for Formula 3. His purpose was clearly stated to have fun. In 1974, he felt that Formula 1 was within his reach and trusted a much gifted driver, still unknown, JamesHunt.
The team was installed near Silverstone, where Hunt won the Silverstone International Trophy which did not count forthe world championship. On June 22, 1975, Hunt won the Grand Prix of Zandvoort on a Hesketh car.
The victory of a team that steadfastly refused sponsorship astonished the regulars of the circuits, also shaken or shocked by the lavish lifestyle of these very young Englishmen.
The competition is very expensive, and Lord Hesketh had to suspend his participation in Formula 1. In 1976, driving aMcLaren, Hunt materialized his talents by becoming world champion in Formula 1.
The winning car of Zandvoort comes back to Silverstone, to be sold on July 23 by the new auction house SilverstoneAuctions. It is illustrated on the catalog page shared by the auction house, and is estimated £ 400K.
POST SALE COMMENT
This lot has been sold by private treaty before the bidding.
1977 Victory for McLaren and James Hunt
2013 SOLD 1.2 M$ before fees
From behind the scene, the great winner is now Ford whose Cosworth DFV V8 engine is fitting no less than 75 % of the involved cars including McLaren, Tyrrell and Lotus.
For McLaren, it is a year of transition. The M23 model is prestigious but the British brand rightly fears the technological developments of its competitors and prepares the M26.
Driven by James Hunt, the M26 continues its development throughout the year until the consecration when it wins the last grand prix of the season in Japan. This was the last victory of Hunt in Formula 1. The following year was dominated by Lotus.
The victorious M26 is estimated beyond $ 1.2 million, for sale by RK Motors (RKMCCA) in Charlotte NC on November 2 in simulcast in Abu Dhabi. It is illustrated on the article shared by Sports Car Digest.
1988 Jaguar XJR-9
2015 SOLD for $ 2.15M by RM Auctions
2022 for sale on May 14 by RM Sotheby's
Jaguar takes this opportunity to come back to racing, with its XJR series of prototypes including no less than 17 variants from 1984 to 1993. In competition with Nissan and Toyota, the new Big Cats will end the overwhelming supremacy of Porsche.
Success comes with the XJR-9, unveiled in January 1988 at the 24 Hours of Daytona which is with Le Mans the most prestigious competition of that time. One of the three built XJR-9 wins the race.
Less successful, another XJR-9 is ranked in 26th position. It will afterward enjoy a good podium history in many prestigious competitions, including 2nd in 1989 Daytona and Sebring. Upgraded to the XJR-12 standard for the 1990 season, it won the 24 Hours of Daytona ahead of another XJR.
This winning Jaguar maintained in a stunning condition was sold for $ 2.15M by RM Auctions on March 14, 2015, lot 160. Please watch the video shared in 2015 by the auction house. It passed at RM Sotheby's on May 14, 2022, lot 168.
The third of just three cars constructed for the 1988 IMSA GT Championship, run by Tom Walkinshaw Racing, this 1988 Jaguar XJR-9 is the only remaining example of just two XJR-9 chassis ever manufactured as purpose-built IMSA-specification cars.— rmsothebys (@rmsothebys) April 11, 2022
#RMSothebys #RMMonaco #jaguar pic.twitter.com/QPRh88HnDj
1992 Red 5 and White 6
2019 SOLD for £ 2.7M including premium
Williams had been using Renault engines since 1989. This alliance was promising. For the 1991 season, Williams hired the engineer Adrian Newey to develop the FW14 model. In the following year the FW14B corrects the weaknesses of the FW14 gearbox and adds the computer-assisted active suspension.
The numerals in the race are permanently assigned to the teams. Williams had 5 and 6. For better differentiating them on the circuits, 5 is red and 6 is white.
The car for sale was Red 5 during its first seven Grand Prix, ensuring to Nigel Mansell a considerable lead for the title of 1992 world champion. Mansell then changed his car while keeping the number 5. His former Red 5 then became a White 6 for his teammate Riccardo Patrese who used it in six Grand Prix.
This Williams is a remarkable example of consistency between its technology and the driving style of a champion : its automatic suspension was perfect for Mansell but less for Patrese. It was withdrawn from competition after a spectacular but fortunately not so serious crash at the Grand Prix of Portugal.
It is now equipped with the engine used in its very first Grand Prix in South Africa, a Renault RS3 V10 3.5 litre. It is in running order. Please watch the video embedded in the tweet.
1995 1000 miles from new for a mclaren f1
The first prototype was unveiled in Monaco in 1992, starting the era of the supercars. Until the end of production in 1998, it was a complete technical success. McLaren had built the world's fastest production car only rivaled still now by the supercars of most recent time.
The F1 is the first production car with a carbon fiber monocoque chassis. The cockpit offers an exceptional visibility in the driving position with a central pilote seat and two lateral seats slightly behind for the passengers. As for the great berlinettas and coupes made by Ferrari and Ford in the 1960s, the shape of the bodywork is superb.
For the first time probably in the history of the automobile, some of the first owners maintained their car as if it were a work of art, anticipating the passion for supercars led ten years later by the Bugatti Veyron.
An F1 produced in 1997 was sold for $ 8.5 million including premium by Gooding on August 17, 2013. With only 14,000 miles on the odometer, it had its original paint in magnesium silver color along with its original toolbox and documentation.
On August 16 at Pebble Beach, Gooding sells an F1 made in 1995. It is painted in Marlboro white, another favorite color of the brand also used for their Formula 1. Its condition is perfect. It has been very little used, with only 1,617 km (1004 miles) from new.
This exceptional unit of the most important modern car is estimated $ 12M, lot 44.
1995 McLaren in the Grand Prix of Art
A newcomer to the automotive construction, McLaren made a sensation in the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1995. Designed to be both a road car and a racing car, the F1 GTR with BMW engine seemed specially designed for this endurance event, where it won the first, third, fourth, fifth and thirteenth places.
It was a real festival, where art took its share.
Since 1975, Hervé Poulain, both an auctioneer and a racing driver, had mixed his two passions by introducing the concept of Car Art: his cars for Le Mans were painted by one of the top names in contemporary art, different each year. The tradition continues: a 2010 BMW is painted by Jeff Koons.
The McLaren that finished thirteenth in 1995 was driven by Poulain (with Maury-Laribière and Sourd) and painted by César. For the first time the artist from Marseilles, known for his humor and for his pressed vehicles, admitted that a car was made to roll.
In Le Mans (indeed), Artcurial sells this specimen, estimated 2 M€, on July 9. The hammer will be held by Hervé Poulain, who became one of the normal auctioneers of this auction house. The photos are shared by Paul Fraser Collectibles.
2014 An Aston Martin Supercar for 007
2016 SOLD for £ 2.43M including premium
In the latest film of the series, Spectre, the indestructible DB5 is still there but for a minor role. At the end of the story, Bond retrieves his old car friend just rebuilt after the hardship suffered in Skyfall.
At the time of the supercars, a new car is necessary for the super feats of Bond. Aston Martin specially designed the DB10 for Spectre. Unveiled in December 2014, the DB10 is a concept car that has not been tested for public road use. Only ten cars were built but it is likely that the brand will give some following to this beautiful and already iconic coupe.
The automobile acrobatics of the DB10 are astonishing, including its handling in complete circles of very small diameter. The car does not omit to jump into the river, a sequence spectacular enough to be repeated throughout the Bond filmography. Eight units were destroyed for the purpose of filming.
Christie's is managing on February 18 in London a charity sale made of souvenirs from Spectre. The DB10 number 10 of 10 will be sold to benefit Médecins Sans Frontières. It is estimated £ 1M, lot 10. 10 of 10 had been preserved as a show car and was not equipped with the gadgets used in the film: machine gun, flamethrower, ejector seat.
2015 McLaren P1
2016 SOLD for $ 2.1M by Bonhams
The overpowered cars of our time have to offer the best speed, best acceleration and best braking while preserving comfort and stability and reducing the energy consumption.
The solution developed by McLaren is a hybrid with a petrol engine and an electric engine which can be activated separately or combined. The electric motor is supplied by a battery of 324 lithium ion cells loaded by the engine or by an external plug-in in two hours. The cockpit centered in the middle of the chassis for improving the stability is also a new feature.
The P1 concept car was exhibited at the Auto Show in Paris in 2012 and McLaren began accepting orders. Production started in October 2013 for a quantity of 375 cars mostly covered by the sales already in the book at that time. This total was achieved and the last car left the factory in 2015. The cars were hand built with many options.
The 371st is the last P1 made for the US market. It will be sold by Bonhams in Scottsdale on January 28, lot 12. The estimate at $ 1.9M is well above the 2013 commercial price but it should be considered that McLaren did not take new orders during the production phase. It is in near mint condition like almost all the supercars coming to auction.
McLaren is now working on a hybrid P1 GTR for the track for which a population of 45 cars is scheduled.
2016 reconversion of the P1 gtr
The P1 GTR is the track racing model. Stripped of all its useless weights it was built in 58 units. Its production began in 2015 after the completion of the P1. The GTR was originally reserved for P1 owners who would be interested in its sensational track performance.
Customers preferred to request a road legal car benefiting from the additional performance of the GTR. Since 2016 almost half of the P1 GTRs have been converted for the road by a McLaren subcontractor, Lanzante Motorsport.
On May 27 in Villa Erba, RM Sotheby's sells a P1 GTR built in 2016 and transformed by Lanzante. This hypercar with 360 Km from new is estimated € 3,2M, lot 157.
As a result of this successful reconversion of their GTR, McLaren has entrusted Lanzante with the realization of a new prototype followed by a series limited to five cars under the reference P1 LM.
2016 vulcan waiting for the valkyrie
The technological challenge is increasingly fierce between automakers, like in the most prolific post war years. The most exciting cars of current days are perhaps no more than transition models.
Unveiled in February 2015, the Aston Martin Vulcan is positioned as a competitor to the McLaren P1 GTR and to the Ferrari FXX K. It is only approved for track but the company lets appreciate that a road legal adaptation could have been studied without major difficulty.
The track cars are often now made in exclusive realizations for which the manufacturer chooses the customers. The Vulcan was limited to 24 units completed in 2016. The sale price announced before its launch was $ 2.3M including the training of the owner to its driving but the overall cost including import taxes and options can grow much higher.
The eleventh Vulcan is already coming at auction, which certainly means that its owner gave up his training. The manufacturer did not comment, except by recognizing that the customer does what he wants with his car. It is one of only three Vulcan cars that were delivered in the United States.
Despite its advances in terms of stability, essential for the credibility of a supercar, the Vulcan still has classic features such as the front-mid position of the engine. With its V 12 block of 7 liter and 820 hp, it reaches about 320 km/h.
The choice of making it as a limited series is correlated with the fact that Aston Martin is also developing a mid-engine hypercar in cooperation with Red Bull Technologies, with a delivery target of the first cars in the beginning of 2018. The Vulcan owners will have priority. Referred in 2016 under the AM-RB 001 code (and now in 2017 as the Valkyrie), this model will be offered in two variants, for road and for track. The performance of this sensational hypercar will be similar as a Formula 1.
Please watch the video shared in 2016 by Mecum.