You can rely on the Bonhams auction at the Goodwood Members’ Meeting for a top-drawer selection of rare and beautiful cars, and this spring’s event would have been no different. Would have been? As you will know, the 78th Members’ Meeting has moved from spring to autumn this year (16th-17th October) which begs a question: what happened to all those lovely cars for sale?
Seven stunning classics up for grabs with Bonhams
The answer is they are being auctioned in Bonhams Bond Street sale on Wednesday 19th May, just a few days after 78MM was originally scheduled to take place. The venue may be different but the cars are the same and there are some real beauties among them.
Here are our seven favourites – competition and concours stars with evocative names like Mangusta, Khamsin, Ace, Speed Model, Vantage, Z8 and Flaminia, they are among the fastest and most desirable cars of their day…
1976 Maserati Khamsin, £120–150,000
If you must have a Khamsin (and who wouldn’t?) make sure it’s the best and the one you see here just might be. The wild looking front-engined GT has been subjected to a three-year restoration to concours standard by marque specialists McGrath Maserati, completed in 2012. Since then it has won awards and even earned the admiration of its designer, Marcello Gandini, who was so impressed he signed the sun visor. How cool is that?
Khamsins haven’t always been sought-after but they are now and for all the right reasons. It’s pretty rare – this original UK car is one of only 73 right-hand-drive Khamsins – and thanks to Citroën hydraulics for steering, brakes and clutch it’s both user-friendly in traffic and comfortable long distance. The much-lauded ride and handling was thanks to double-wishbone rear suspension – the Khamsin was the first front-engined Maser with an independent rear end.
Then there’s just the small matter of a 4.9-litre, four-cam, dry-sump, alloy V8 with 316PS (232kW) nestling inside that dramatically glassy and angular wedge shape. No wonder in its day this 175mph luxury GT tourer was Maserati’s flagship model. And today? Bonhams’ view is that it is one of the finest grand touring cars ever built.
1961 AC Ace 2.6, £240–280,000
You have to take your hat off to someone who takes their AC Ace on a marathon Arctic Circle trip through Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway via the Netherlands and Germany. And that’s on top of years of enthusiastic campaigning on road rallies around Europe. Such a person is the owner of this gorgeous little Ace. It’s covered 27,600 hard and fast miles since its professional restoration in 2006.
In the 1960s, this version of the Ace powered by the 2.6-litre overhead-valve straight-six from the Ford Zephyr was the fastest car AC had ever made at 125mph – this was before the Cobra of course. And this particular car only got quicker with go-faster bits galore: Ruddspeed head, triple Webers, Arias forged pistons, Carillo con-rods, stiffened main bearings, lightweight pushrods, fast-road cam and period factory options like overdrive, 15-inch wheels and alloy fuel tank. In other words, a fast road car made for hard driving and long distances.
This Ace is rare not just for being a 2.6 – only 36 Ford-powered Aces were ever made – but also for being left-hand-drive. It’s been in the same, obviously enthusiastic, ownership since 1971.
1927 Bentley 3.0-Litre Speed Model Sports, £280–340,000
It's everyone’s idea of a vintage Bentley: classical radiator design, leather-strapped bonnet and British Racing Green livery. This Bentley has all that, and a lot more besides including plenty of competition history stretching back to the 1930s in the hands of owner-drivers like Bentley legend Forrest Lycett.
However, with a bespoke two-seat Corsica body, in place of the original Vanden Plas four-seat touring coachwork, and a 4.5-litre engine instead of the 3.0-litre – enhancements made in the 1930s and ’50s respectively – this Bentley is far from archetypal. Bonhams calls it “a highly developed competition 3.0-Litre”, adding that “it goes like the proverbial rocket!”
Its development was the work not just of Lycett, the gentleman racing driver and joint founder of the Bentley Drivers' Club, but also by subsequent owners one of whom drove it to Monza and Montlhéry in his quest to demonstrate its 100mph performance.
2000 BMW Z8, £150–180,000
BMW 507s are silly money, and have been for a long time, but not so the Z8 which took the BMW roadster format and reprised it five decades later for drivers who wanted a bit of classic appeal with a lot of modern performance and features like stability control, airbags and sat-nav.
That doesn’t make Z8s particularly affordable but then the car never was a bargain. As a largely hand-assembled machine built in limited (5,703) numbers with the M5’s 395PS (290kW) engine under the bonnet (0-62mph in 4.7 seconds), the Z8 was always top of the range. And such was demand for it at the turn of the millennium that they changed hands for a lot more than list.
The Z8 in the sale is a UK supplied right-hand drive car with a hardtop and 47,000 miles up, all documented by a complete service and MOT history.
1969 De Tomaso Mangusta, £200–250,000
The first car Alessandro de Tomaso made when he arrived in Italy after fleeing Argentina was the Vallelunga but it was the Mangusta that put the name De Tomaso on the supercar map – not least with Carroll Shelby whose Cobra the Mangusta (mongoose) was meant to devour…
It is a mind-blowingly good looking car. The design came from Giorgetto Giugiaro when he worked at Ghia. It hadn’t originally been intended to be a de Tomaso, but after de Tomaso bought Ghia it must have seemed like an obvious starting point for a full-blown GT with which to move the fledgling de Tomaso range on from the Vallelunga.
Four hundred and one were made, all with the spine chassis, mid-mounted Ford V8 and unique gullwing engine covers for which the Mangusta is known, but not all with single headlights like this one (most have twin lights). The ex-California car arrived in the UK in 2008 and from then until 2015 underwent a restoration to concours standard – with receipts totalling £250,000 to prove it. Bonhams’ view? “Any Mangusta is a rarity nowadays, but a properly restored one is rarer than hen's teeth.”
1962 Lancia Flaminia Sport Zagato, £280–340,000
Here’s another concours restoration where the money, and lots of it, has already been spent. Add up the receipts for the transformative work on this Zagato-bodied Lancia coupe from the 1960s and you’d find they total £322,000…
Mind you, when discovered in France in 1979 this Flaminia Sport was in barn-find condition. The owner took a brave pill and commissioned renowned Lancia specialist Thornley Kelham to commence a nut and bolt restoration – it took four years and was completed in 2019, since when the car has covered just 4,000km. As Bonhams says it is now probably better than new.
It is one of 174 Flaminia 3C 2.5-litre Zagatos made, made even rarer by having its 2.5-litre 60-degree V6 fitted with triple Weber carburettors (the 3C in its name), making around 140PS (103kW). Typically for Lancia and for its flagship GT of the period, the Flaminia was advanced: double-wishbone front suspension, de Dion rear transaxle and inboard disc brakes. And that sexy body? That’s the work of Ercole Spada, and it clothes the shortened wheelbase Flaminia Sport chassis in what for many is the perfect marriage of engineering and design.
1971 Aston Martin DB6 Mk2 Vantage, £200–300,000
Bonhams Bond St. sale is an absolute Aston-fest, with models for sale from the 1930s to the 1970s and some no-reserve guide prices (we were intrigued to see) starting from around £40,000 (for a DBS six-cylinder in case you were interested). This late-model DB6 is at the other end of the price scale.
Longer of wheelbase and more spacious of cabin than previous DBs, the Kamm-tailed 6 might not be the prettiest of all the DBs but it hit its brief as a fast luxury GT, in Mk2 guise previewing the wide wheels and flared guards that would be used by the DBS which took over from it. Most important for owners who don’t want to arm-wrestle their classic Aston into parking spaces, all Mk2s came with standard power steering, while the Vantage spec of this one brought 321PS (236kW).
This car, one of only 71 Mk2 Vantages, is said to be substantially original with a re-Connollised interior, but which will need recommissioning after being in storage.
Images courtesy of Bonhams.
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