Bentleys top classic lots

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 July, 2012, 12:00am


Classic car buyers continue to shell out for the best collectibles, and summer auctions highlight buoyant prices for Bentleys.

At the Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 29, Bonhams auctioned Sir Henry 'Tim' Birkin's 41/2 Litre Supercharged 'Blower' single-seat racing Bentley for GBP4.5 million (HK$54.58 million).

The 240bhp supercharged red racer clocked an amazing 137.96 miles per hour (220km/h) at Brooklands in 1932, and is now the most expensive Bentley sold at auction.

Until last week, that record belonged to the 'Old No 2' Speed Six that won the 1930 Brooklands 24-hour race, and was sold for GBP2.8 million at the Le Mans Classic in 2004.

A pair of vintage Bentleys also topped the June 16 'Excellence in Engineering' auction held by H&H Classics at Rockingham Castle, in Leicestershire, England.

A 1926 61/2-Litre spent 10 of its early years configured as a breakdown truck, but sold for GBP369,600, the auctioneers say. A 1927 3-Litre Speed Model Tourer with Vanden Plas once owned by Sir Malcolm Campbell sold 'above estimate' at GBP212,800.

A coffee bean brown over ivory 1937 Bentley 4?-Litre with Vanden Plas coachwork went for GBP48,160.

Three 'barn find' Lagondas sold well: a 1934 M45 competition car made GBP29,120, while a 1937 LG45 Saloon De Ville with only 78,000 miles on the clock fetched GBP26,880, and a 1952 2.6-Litre Drophead Coupe was sold for GBP17,920.

Such prices might encourage collectors to look at Lagondas, which are rare in Hong Kong.

Britain's biggest car auction of the year will be held by Coys, at Blenheim Palace on July 14.

The sale of 120 cars will include micro cars, a 1965 Morris Mini Cooper S recreated to Italian Job specifications (sale estimate GBP17,000-GBP22,000) and the Jaguar Legend collection, with several E-Types, a SS100, an SS Tourer and a 1956 Jaguar XK140 Fixedhead Coupe, 'The Flying Vicar', driven by Reverend John Fellingham is estimated at GBP58,000 to GBP70,000.

Celebrity lots will include a 1954 Rolls-Royce that belonged to Dirk Bogarde and a 1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Playboy Roadster - sale estimate GBP110,000-GBP130,000 - first owned by silent-movie cowboy star Tom Mix, who modified it, then Bette Davies followed by Warner Brothers, who used it in Giant.

H&H Classics holds its Coupes & Cabriolets sale at Donnington Priory, Newbury on August 8.