19 Oct 2012
The 1903 two-seater motor car, originally built for the car firm's managing director, has been in the same family ownership for more than a century.
The oldest surviving Vauxhall motor car is to be offered for sale at the Bonhams auction in New Bond Street, London, on Friday 2nd November.
The 1903 two-seater 5hp veteran (estimate £60,000 - £80,000), modeled in cream with brown leather upholstery, will be one of several important entries in the auction of Veteran Motor Cars and Related Automobilia at the auction house's flagship saleroom ahead of this year's London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, which is sponsored by Bonhams.
Ordered new for Vauxhall managing director Percy Kidner on 6th November 1903, the car passed to its second owner in April the following year, in whose family ownership it has remained ever since.
It remained in use as regular transport until about 1920 and then was laid up until 1948, when it was used again by the family before being loaned to The London Science Museum in 1955. In 1956 the car completed the London to Brighton Run in a sprightly 3 ¾ hours.
The two-seater returned to the family's care in later years, underwent a major refurbishment between 2001 and 2002, and has seen minimal use since that time.
Tim Schofield, Director of the Bonhams UK Motor Car department, said: "This is the first time in 108 years this historic landmark vehicle has been offered on the open market.
"We believe it is the oldest surviving Vauxhall, which makes it a very important motor car and a great addition to what is shaping up to be a fantastic auction at our flagship saleroom in early November."
Among other consignments for the 2nd November sale are a 1904 Richard Brasier 16hp Four-Seat Side-Entrance Tonneau (estimate £220,000 - £300,000), a 1904 Wolseley 12hp Twin-Cylinder Tonneau (estimate £100,000 - £150,000), and a 1904 Wilson-Pilcher 12/16hp Four-Seater (estimate £180,000 - £220,000) that was built by the inventor of the tank.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
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 appraisal services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com