"Lost" Mercedes finds a home for £2.8m at £13.6m Bonhams Goodwood Revival Sale

Collectors' Motor Cars and Automobilia
15 Sep 2012
Chichester, Goodwood

The Bonhams series of Goodwood sales in 2012
realise a combined £35.6 million.

An extraordinary unrestored supercharged 'S' Type Mercedes-Benz that lay hidden in a garage for six decades led the pack at the Bonhams Goodwood Revival Sale at the Goodwood Motor Circuit in Chichester, UK, on Saturday 15th September, selling for more than £2.8 million. The Sale achieved a selling rate of 84 per cent in front of a huge and enthusiastic crowd.

The "lost" 1928 Mercedes-Benz 26/120/180 'S' Type Sports Tourer, described as one of the most important motor car finds of the past decade, achieved £2,801,500 to an anonymous bidder in the room, against the telephone underbidder and four others attending the Sale.

Almost without precedent for motor cars of its age and type, the dark battleship grey 'S' Type was owned by the same family from new and had never been restored, retaining its original blue leather upholstery in its entirety.

Meanwhile an important collection of Maseratis owned by the Hartley family, from the Home Counties, sold for a collective £2.88 million. Leading the way was a unique 1929 Maserati Tipo 26M four-seater sports racing car with Brooklands Double Twelve, Irish Grand Prix and RAC Tourist Trophy racing pedigree, which realised £1,681,500.

Another strong performance came from the Lagonda V12 Team Car borne out of the desire of a pair of enthusiastic Lords – Lords Selsdon and Waleran – to go racing at the 1939 Le Mans 24-Hour Endurance Race. It realised in excess of £1 million, selling for a new world auction record for the marque at £1,289,500.

Top Alfa Romeo in this sale was the ex-Leonard Headlam, Tourist Trophy and Irish Grand Prix Team Car, a 1929 Alfa Romeo 1750 SS Competition Tourer which sold for ££1,099,100.

Other highlights in the £13.6 million auction included the sale of 'ARX 91B', the 1964 Austrian Alpine-winning, 1965 Targa Florio 1964 Austin-Healey 3000 MkIII Works Rally/Race Car, which beat its pre-sale estimate to go for £242,300 – an auction record for a rally Healey 3000.

The sale saw Bonhams continue with its success selling Ferraris, getting the 1965 275 GTS Spyder away for £400,000 over the weekend. Whilst a Ferrari 330GTC achieved £230,000.

A Lot that generated much interest was a unique piece of art modelled on the 'Airfix' kits lovingly built by generations of children. The life-sized model of the Aston Martin DBR1 that won the 1959 Le Mans 24-Hour Endurance Race, measuring 6.35m wide by 3.3m tall, sold for £27,500 to a telephone bidder.

James Knight, Group Motoring Director, who took the Sale with CEO Malcolm Barber, commented after the Sale: "Once again Bonhams has shown its ability to successfully market and sell every kind of marque. Today we saw the wonderful unrestored Mercedes 6.8-litre S-Type make £2.8m. This was followed by strong prices and a number of world records for Alfa Romeo, Lagonda, Maserati, Ferrari, AC Cobra and Bentley. With the previous world records achieved for Bentley and Rolls- Royce at the earlier Goodwood Festival of Speed – and a marathon Sale at the Beaulieu International Autojumble the previous weekend - it has been a very good summer for Bonhams and our clients.


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com

  1. Sholto Gilbertson
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