With the 2015 Festival of Speed starting tomorrow, we were as eager as ever to be let loose on Bonhams’ auction room to see up-close for ourselves some of the delectable wares we’ve hitherto seen only on Bonhams’ website. This afternoon, with almost all of the lots in place, that time finally came …
We were met by Group Director James Knight who revealed an unusually high number of entrants for this year’s sale. ‘We’re usually like to keep it to around 80 cars at the Festival of Speed sale, but this year we’re at 90. We like to keep all the bases covered at Goodwood and there’s a good selection of old, modern, road and racing cars. We’ve tried to avoid too much repetition and even though there are several E-Types, we’ve been careful to offer a broad selection.’
Taking pride of place in the hall is the ex-Stirling Moss Porsche RS-61 Spyder of which the great man said: ‘Just super cars. Beautifully balanced and simply tailor-made for such races as the mighty Targa Florio around 440 miles of Sicilian mountain roads. That was one morning when I woke up and really could say to myself, @For today’s race you have got the ideal car… “‘
Sitting next to the Porsche is the ex-Mille Miglia, RAC TT, French Grand Prix and Le Mans 24 Hour Aston Martin Ulster. Bonhams is becoming the go-to place for this highly specialised Aston Martin – it’s the third one they’ve sold in the last two years, although this one is a ‘full works’ car and as such carries a high estimate of £2.2m. The car’s history is a rich and fascinating one which can be read here.
Normally in an auction such as this one such a car as a Ferrari Enzo would stop the average car fanatic in their tracks, and Bonhams’ immaculate 2004 example did just that. It’s gorgeous. Mind you, it only held our attention until we clapped eyes on the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster. One of just six built, this is the only one finished in black and has covered – get this – eight kilometres since new. Mercedes-Benz owned the car until 2014 and, despite the mileage, kept it fully serviced and ‘on the button’. You’ll likely need the best part of £2m to make yours the next name on the registration document, which is a lot if you’re not planning on adding to its distance covered …
Elsewhere there were some rather splendid Aston Martins, in particular an extremely pretty Aston Martin DB4 Convertible with a Vantage-specification engine, the ex-Bill Wyman Citroen SM, a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, a very cool Audi Quattro Sport Coupe and, for those with a particular bent for vintage style our pick would have to be a gleaming Isotta Fraschini Roadster, sat right by the entrance to the hall.
As ever there’s far more to cover than we have space for here, so please do the line up justice and take a browse for yourself. You can see a full list of lots here.
Results will be published once final prices have been released.
Photography: Tom Shaxson