With a brace of coach-built Bentleys leading the sale, a fully representative line-up of vintage, classic and rare motor cars go under the hammer on April 28th at Bonhams Collector's Motor Cars and Automobilia Sale, at London's RAF Museum, Hendon.
The Bentleys are a 1927 Bentley 3-Litre Speed Model Tourer, £100,000-150,000 and a 1956 Bentley S-Series Continental Sports Saloon, estimated at £280,000-340,000.
W. O. Bentley proudly unveiled the new 3-Litre car bearing his name on Stand 126 at the 1919 Olympia Motor Exhibition. In only mildly developed form, this was the model that was to become a legend in motor racing history and which has become the archetypal Vintage sports car.
The post-war Bentley, the magnificent Continental sports saloon with aerodynamic 'fast-back' styling has been synonymous with effortless high speed cruising in the grand manner since its introduction in 1952. 'The Bentley is a modern magic carpet which annihilates great distances and delivers the occupants well-nigh as fresh as when they started,' declared Autocar upon its unveiling.
Built for export only at first, the Continental was, once delivery charges and local taxes had been paid, almost certainly the most expensive car in the world at the time.
Also in the sale, with an estimate of £80,000-120,000, is a rare 1987 Lamborghini LM 002 '4x4', one of the most exciting and exclusive off-road vehicles ever conceived. The ultimate expression of the excess of the 1980s, the LM 002 resulted from a series of stillborn off-road prototypes originally conceived with military use in mind, and was first announced to the commercial market in the autumn of 1985. Customers could specify their own level of equipment, ranging from luxurious opulence at one end of the scale to Spartan functionality at the other.
It was only natural that such an 'over the top' vehicle would attract wealthy high-profile customers, and the first LM 002 is reputed to have been sold to HRH King Hassan of Morocco. The late Formula 1 World Champion Ayrton Senna was another high-profile owner. In the USA the vehicle became known as the 'Rambo Lambo' for obvious reasons.
One of only 328 LM 002s produced between 1986 and 1992, this example first belonged to Italian racing driver Mario Ricci.
Other highlights include a 1966 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage Sports Saloon, estimated £90,000-120,000, and the ex-'Lofty' England 1967 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 4.2-Litre 2+2 Coupé, £45,000-65,000.
Taking place on April 28th, the sale commences at 11 am, with selection of various items of Automobilia. A large part of this section consists of vintage car mascots, including a number by famed French glass designer Renè Lalique. The sale of the Motor Cars begins later that day at 2 pm.
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 valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com