£1.3m Shelby Cobra heads the Bonhams sale

09th September 2018
Bob Murray

What price the UK numberplate RR1? After the Bonhams Revival auction at Goodwood on Saturday (8 September) now we know. The price is £460,000. 

That’s what the UK registration number went for, including the premium, and which now will shortly be adorning the new owner’s Rolls-Royce. For money like that you could buy a whole new Phantom and still have £140,000 left over.  But it doesn’t get the record for most expensive UK registration plate: that was 25 O at just over half a million. 
The sale of RR1 was a highlight of a sale that saw an AC Cobra take top billing among the cars up for grabs, as other big-ticket rarities – none more so than the pair of LaFerraris and the Queen’s Rolls-Royce Phantom IV – failed to find buyers. 
The 1964 Cobra, one of the 32 works competition versions prepared by Carroll Shelby, sold for £1,359,000 including the premium. For 25 years the car has been on display in the Shelby American Collection in the States. Now perhaps it will be put to work…another Cobra to join the pack at Goodwood Revivals of the future maybe?
The only other multi-million pound sale this year was a Jaguar, and rather a special one. This was the 1990 ex-TWR JaguarSport XJR-11 Group C sports prototype. The last and most successful of the three XJR-11 chassis made, it was driven in the World Sportscar Championship in 1990 by  Martin Brundle/Alain Ferté/Jan Lammers, winning at Silverstone. The ideal historic Group C race car? It’s all ready to hit the track after a recently completed full restoration by JD Classics. 
Other headlines from the sale? Both the race car transporters (see our story on those here) went to new owners. The 1959 BMC 5-tonner sold for £64,400 while the 1956 Fiat-Bartoletti Tipo 642 – as used by Maserati and featured in the Le Mans film – sold for £402,500. 
Among a wealth of automobilia a Ferrari Daytona owner’s  handbook made £6250 while an original grille from the Ferrari 250 GT berlinetta that Stirling Moss and Graham Hill raced made half that. Donald Healey’s Rolex made £11k while most valuable item was a huge 1920s Louis Vuitton steamer trunk that raised £20,000. 
And for all the kids watching the Settrington Cup at Revival: start  saving now, an Austin J40 pedal car sold for £6500. 
Here are the other top lots among the cars: 
1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster, £754,200
1937 Jaguar SS100 3½-litre roadster, £631,000
1960 Aston Martin DB4  to GT specification, £563,500
1924 Bugatti Type 30, £540,500
1968 Ford P68 F3L Group 6 endurance racer, £511,750
1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GT ex Keith Richards, £442,750
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