Start Your Engines for 2021

Rally and Race Cars Offered at Bonhams Autoworld Sale

The classic car calendar may be on hold, but Bonhams is looking ahead to 2021 with a tempting selection of classic and vintage racing and rally cars on offer at the forthcoming Autoworld Autumn Sale in Brussels on Sunday 6 September. This is the first time Bonhams has held a sale at this venue.

Leading the pack is a 1928 Mercedes-Benz Model 630K Sports Tourer, estimate €600,000 – 900,000, one of the finest sports cars of the vintage era which is eligible for the 'most beautiful race in the world', the Mille Miglia Storica.

Originally developed by renowned engineer Ferdinand Porsche, who later founded the eponymous sports car manufacturer, the 630K could claim to be the world's fastest production touring car of the era, its 6.3-litre engine with Roots supercharger producing 138bhp and achieving a top speed of over 90mph (145kph).

Affordable to only the wealthiest motor car connoisseurs, a mere 150 examples of the 630K were produced over four years. This motor car was originally a Daimler-Benz demonstrator used in concours events and competitions, including the 1928 International Alpenfahrt rally, a challenging four-day rally through Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. With Dr Robert Krailsheimer at the wheel, the 630K won a gold medal, and this winning combination would repeat this success in the 1929 edition.

Following an accident in Finland, the car remained in an unrepaired state for 60 years. In 1989 it was discovered by a German collector, Hans Schaeffer, who fully restored the 630K over a number of years and then entered it into various classic car events. The current owner picked up the baton, competing in the 2007 Mille Miglia Storica and the Internationale Osterreichische Alpenfahrt where it was well received as an original competitor.

Another historic challenger is a 1958 Peerless GT Sports Saloon (estimate €40,000 – 60,000) four-seater (2+2) Italianate GT, a rare left-hand drive example with a race-prepared Triumph TR3 engine, which is eligible for the Goodwood Revival and Le Mans Classic, scene of where a solitary Peerless finished 16th overall in the 1958 Le Mans 24 Hours Race.

A 1933 MG J2 Supercharged Sports Roadster (estimate €60,000 – 70,000), one of the most sought-after pre-war MG sports cars and a lightweight, narrow and rapid car for its time, is also a contender for rallying or touring. This example was fully restored in 1999, with a new ash frame and re-trimmed green leather interior, complementing the traditional motor sport livery of British Racing Green.

For those who prefer the concours lawn to the rally course, the 1938 Peugeot 402 Légère 'Darl'Mat' Roadster (estimate €170,000 – 200,000) would be the perfect option. This elegant convertible was rebodied in the style of the exclusive series of streamlined Peugeots created by designer Paulin for the Darl'Mat coachbuilders and was recently professionally restored to the highest standard.

The Autoworld Autumn Sale, a new date on the Bonhams' European motoring calendar, will offer a curated selection of 70 collectors' motor cars, many fresh from Belgian collections, representing a diverse representation of automotive eras and fashions, with other highlights including:

Jaguar XK SS 3.8-litre XK SS Re-creation, estimate €250,000 – 350,000
The first of nine highly esteemed alloy XK SS re-creations produced by the Lynx engineering company in the 1980s as an homage to one of Jaguar's rarest models, the road-version of the legendary D-type, of which only 16 examples were built. Finished in British Racing Green, offset by competition wheels, the Lynx was completely overhauled in the early/mid-2000s.

1956 Facel Vega FV2 Coupé, estimate €125,000 – 155,000
Rival only to the Rolls-Royce, in terms of cost, devotees of the Franco-American Facel Vega grand routières included Sir Stirling Moss and Ava Gardner. This FV2, one of only 30 made, features the marque's famous handpainted faux-burr walnut dashboard, a wrap-around windscreen and a period-look RetroSound Model Two radio.

1959 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible, estimate €70,000 – 100,000
This magnificent example representing the zenith of Cadillac's 'tail fin' era is offered with its original red leather interior and period 'juke box' dashboard and chrome trim. A Belgian car from new, the Cadillac has had only three owners, including Thierry Culliford, Belgian comic writer and son of 'Peyo', creator of 'The Smurfs', who has continued his father's legacy since the 1980s.

A mini collection of mid-century mini and micro-cars which found favour from the late 50s for their practicality and frugality, including a restored 1959 Fiat 600 Multipla, one of the first ever 'people carriers' designed to accommodate a driver and five passengers (estimate €30,000 – 50,000); an even more diminutive 1958 BMW Isetta 300 Microcar, (€25,000 – 30,000) and a c.1968 Fiat 500 TV Giannini, a performance-enhanced version of the Italian people's car, (estimate €25,000 – 35,000).

Staged in partnership with Autoworld Brussels, the internationally renowned motoring museum, the Bonhams sale has been designed to accommodate social distancing requirements. The auction will be held in accordance with government guidance at the time, with limited public admission by prior appointment. The auction itself will take place as a live behind- closed-doors sale using Bonhams state-of-the-art online bidding platform, assisted by telephone bidding, with as close as possible an experience to a traditional Bonhams motor car auction. Viewing in person will be available by appointment at the museum.

Contact: [email protected] to register to bid or to arrange a viewing.

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