"The driving position is confined, with the detachable steering wheel above your lap, elbows at maximum bend.
"Visibility is fine. You feel as if you're sitting forward in the car rather than centrally. You don't have the distraction of an enormous bonnet up front and youre barely aware of the length of the engine bay behind you, until you look in the mirror.
"The gearchange is down by your right thigh...smooth, direct and not particularly heavy. But really, the AU engines supply so much torque the gear change is irrelevant. At the kind of speeds done at the Nurburgring, you can go everywhere in top. The engine is smooth, vibration barely noticeable. But it's obvious the two-stage car has 100 horsepower more than its sister. To make it go faster you just select a higher gear. The ratios are nicely spaced and it just zips on most of the noise is behind you.
"One saving grace of the driving position is that the steering is light. Brake pedal pressure is not too bad though I can't be sure what it would be like if the brakes were really hot.
"The cars ride very smoothly they're long wheelbase and they feel quite stable. But, if you do get out of shape and the back tires let go, it seems there is so much mass let loose that the car will spin, regardless of what you do. You just sit there feeling a twit, then gather it all up and press on.
"The two-stage car feels like a real racer. I'd love to see a proper racing driver use one of these cars competitively; their true potential was perhaps never realized because the war came along, but just picture one of these V12s in amongst an Historic race field. That would be a sight to see and a sound to hear!"
Like the vast majority of auctioneers Bonhams charge what is known as a Buyer's Premium. Buyer's Premium on all Automobilia lots will adhere to Bonhams group policy:
25% up to £50,000 of hammer price,
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 of hammer price,
and 12% on the balance thereafter. This applies to each lot purchased and is subject to VAT.
For Motor Cars and Motorcycles a 15% Buyer's Premium is payable on the first £50,000 of the final Hammer Price of each Lot, and 12% on any amount by which the Hammer Price exceeds £50,000. VAT at the standard rate is payable on the Premium by all Buyers, unless otherwise stated.
Some lots may be subject to VAT on the Hammer Price. These lots will be clearly marked with the relevant symbol printed beside the lot number in the catalogue.
Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card. A processing fee will be assessed on any returned checks. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.
Custom's duty, calculated at 2.5% of the purchase price, and associated import fees are payable on all lot marked with this symbol. However, if the purchased lot is exported within certain criteria, the duty can be refundable.