Record‑breaking Jaguar XJ220 headlines Bonhams Revival sale
A tax disc for £25,000, a registration plate for almost £200,000 and a record-breaking Jaguar – just three of the headlines from the £11 million Bonhams sale at the Goodwood Revival at the weekend.
Bonhams’ first Revival sale in two years, the auction was hailed a big success with almost three quarters of all the lots selling – including every one of the all-British classics that made up the Stan West collection.
As we predicted, the big price on the day went to Revival racer Valentine Lindsay’s Jaguar D-type, among the most well known and most campaigned D-types around. A 1956 short nose whose components parts were disassembled in period and then brought back together again in the 1980s, it sold for £799,000 including the premium.
That’s a relative bargain by D-type standards and far from a record for cars that can sell in the tens of millions. It was left to another Coventry cat to set a record. That was the D’s spiritual successor from four decades later: the mighty XJ220. As imposingly huge and sleek as ever, the 1993 car in the Bonhams sale had covered just over 400 miles from new. Going to a new home for £460,000 made it the world’s most expensive XJ220 to have ever sold at auction.
British businessman Stan West evidently loved British cars and put together a collection of 24 classic machines spanning 80 years. They all sold, with a 1955 Bentley R-Type Continental making £642,200 to be the second most valuable lot of the entire auction. Not far behind was another Bentley, a 1931 4/8-Litre which doubled its low estimate by selling for £603,000.
The sale wasn’t all about British cars and one of the most spectacular of the Continental machines in the sale was snapped up – for £100,000 over its estimated price. As exotic as they come, the yellow 7.4-litre Iso Grifo coupe from 1971 sold for £345,000. The car had had just one owner who had put it away in a garage three years after buying it. The first time it came out of that garage was to come to Goodwood for the auction.
At the more affordable end of the sale, some of the road-racing machines that took our fancy before the sale proved popular. We can’t help but feel envious of the person who picked up the race-ready 1951 Renault 4CV Grand Luxe saloon – 41st out of a field of 315 starters in the 1989 Mille Miglia retrospective and potentially eligible to run in it again – for just £15k. Who said historic race cars were always mega money?
Other cars we looked at prior to the sale sold, including a ‘66 Ford Lotus Cortina MkI which made £47,150 and the delightful 1934 Riley 12/4 TT Sprite replica which went for £51,750. Less of a road racer but interesting nonetheless was the 1945 DUKW 6x6 amphibious truck. How to make a (very big!) splash for £32,000….
So what car do you think would be so special that its tax disc, which expired in October 1970, would be worth precisely 1000 times the £25 that the owner paid for it half a century ago? James Bond’s car of course. Yup, the tax disc from the Aston Martin DB5 used in Goldfinger – complete with a letter of authentication from David Brown – sold for an incredible £25,000. It had been thought it would make £2500.
There again, the registration number 8X came with a presale estimate of £120,000 – and after a bidding war that was smashed by almost £80,000! The plate sold for £197,800. What car would you put 8X on, we wonder?
Top 10 lots at Bonhams Revival sale 2021 (prices include premium)