The Bentley, a 1926 Bentley 3-Litre Red Label Speed tourer, sold for the equivalent of £613,903 including the premium, a record for the model at auction. The perfect car with which to mark Bentley’s centenary next year? Definitely.
One of 513 Speed models, and with a rare aluminium Vanden Plas body, the beautifully proportioned 3-Litre is said to be exceptionally original and in superb condition – as you might expect after a three-year ground-up restoration. There are bills for that that total £500,000…
From an archetypal British vintage tourer to… what was billed as the most famous Bugatti in the Southern Hemisphere. The 1935 Type 57 Tourist Trophy Torpedo lived for 79 years down under, running in the 1957 Australian Grand Prix and going on to survive what Bonhams says was not always a sympathetic life within the Australian road racing scene.
The 120mph sports racer, with straight-eight twin-cam 3.3-litre engine giving an amazing for-the-time 160bhp, started out in life racing in Europe. Earl Howe brought it home third in the 1935 RAC Tourist Trophy at Ards in Ulster. Later it was bought by the owner-racer Pierre Bouillin who as ‘Pierre Levegh’ drove the works Mercedes SLR into the history books for the worst motorsport accident ever at Le Mans in 1955.
At the Bonhams Retromobile sale, the Bugatti sold for €713,000, or £623,967, which was exactly what the other star of the show went for. This was one of the many veteran cars in the sale that were in demand: a 1904 Fiat Type 24/32 Rear Entrance Tonneau model. It is one of just five known survivors, which is a miracle in itself because at one stage in its life it was lowered into a large hole in the ground and buried…
Delivered new to the US after the American owners fell in love with it while on their honeymoon in Italy, this exclusive and powerful car (32bhp from its 6.9-litre engine!) was also super-expensive. At $9000 it cost the same as 10 new Cadillac Model B Runabouts in 1904.
Until the 1930s the Fiat was regularly used by the couple at their home in Cape Cod but when the husband died his wife had the Fiat interred on the family estate. It was discovered 10 years later by one of the founders of the Vintage Sports Car Club of America. He disinterred it and bought it for $50. Now fully restored condition, the Fiat has competed in every London to Brighton Run since 2007 without missing a beat.
Showing just how strongly the veteran market is right now, a 1907 Minerva Type K 40HP Limousine/torpedo convertible sold for €603,750 against an estimate of €350,000—450,000.
But it wasn’t all veteran and vintage cars at the Bonhams sale. Striking a complete contrast, but right up there in the value department, was a 1974 Lamborghini Countach LP400 ‘Periscopo’ which sold for €638,250.
In total the Retromobile sale achieved almost €15 million. The Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato 2VEV is expected to beat that Paris total at the Goodwood Festival of Speed sale in July.