One of the highlights of this Bonhams Members’ Meeting sale will be a highly diverse single-owner collection of classic cars, gathered together by the pioneering chairman of refrigeration company, HRP, the late Kingsley Curtis.
The Kingsley Curtis Collection will comprise of 14 motor cars, one carriage and a Victorian hearse, including a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, estimated at £800,000-1,000,000.
‘The model featured is a highly sought after, early 1955 example of a Mercedes-Benz Gullwing – chassis number 37,’ says Tim Schofield, Bonhams UK Head of Motoring. ‘The majority of Gullwings were delivered to the US. To see one in Europe was incredibly rare, making this particular model, only the third delivered to the UK, quite the trailblazer. With its unusual upright wing-like doors, and exceptional German engineering, it would have been quite a rare sight to see.’
Kingsley purchased his first classic car in 1963, following a chance sighting at the White Cross pub in Richmond. It was here that he saw a 1924 Bean 11.9 parked outside and, so profound was his admiration for it, he swiftly purchased the car on the spot, instigating a lifelong passion for classic motor cars.
After taking over HRP from his father, the company founder, Kingsley then moved to Suffolk where he continued to excel in business and his enthusiasm for classic cars grew.
‘The collection is incredibly diverse, featuring high quality examples of each model, most of which have been in Mr. Curtis’s collection for many years,’ says Tim Schofield. ‘Each car in the collection had a purpose; the 1923 Bentley 3-Litre TT Replica, his favourite car, was used for local touring, the Maserati for long drives, and the Aston Martin as a summer car. We’re delighted to now offer these at auction for the first time.’
Highlights of the Kingsley Curtis Collection include:
- 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, estimate £800,000-1,000,000
- 1923 Bentley 3-Litre TT Replica, estimate £240,000-280,000
- 1960 Maserati 3500 GT, estimate £180,000-220,000
- 1981 Aston Martin V8 Volante, estimate £60,000-80,000
- 1923 Rolls-Royce 20hp, estimate £32,000-38,000
- 1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth, estimate £28,000-35,000
- 1924 La Buire 12A, estimate £19,000-22,000
- 1920 Bean 11.9hp, estimate £9,000-12,000
- 1919 Singer Ten, estimate £9,000-12,000
- c.1880 Horse Drawn Hearse, estimate £2,000-4,000
Another Bonhams sale highlight at the 74th Members’ Meeting will be another mode of transport rarely seen at Goodwood, a boat!
Built by legendary driver and sports car maker Donald Healey, his Donald Healey Motor Company were also expert boat builders. One of the last boats produced by Healey Marine, was a boat called the Sprite, named after the popular 1950s ‘Frog Eye Sprite’ roadster.
The Healey Marine Sprite was designed as a high-performance pleasure boat, perfect for towing water skiers, or simply cruising along the river or inshore waters. During the 1950s and early 1960s around Healy 1,400 boats in various designs were produced.
Powered by an outboard Mercury 80hp engine, Healy Sprit boat ‘Mimi’ is 13ft long, with a top speed of around 50mph. In beautiful condition, the vessel was fully restored in 2010, finished in its period colours. ‘Mimi’ will carry an auction estimate of £7,000-10,000 and is thought to have been constructed towards the end of production in 1961.
‘What a fantastic example we have in “Mimi”. She’s in great condition, fully equipped – with skis, bespoke trailer etc. – and ready to go. And, at £7,000 – 10,000, she’s very attractively priced,’ added James Knight, Bonhams Group Motoring Director. ‘Having offered and successfully sold a number of historic Austin-Healey motor cars as well as Donald Healey’s personal Rolex, the one gap remaining was a boat – we’re looking forward to making waves with ‘Mimi’ at the Goodwood Members’ Meeting.’