Thursday, April 25, 2024

A week of spectacular cars

The mainstay of the week: car displays and auctions


London has been the backdrop for some of the world’s finest cars this week.


1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom 1 Tourer
1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom 1 Tourer

Salon Privé at Syon Park was a particular highlight and amongst the best cars on display was a 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom 1 Tourer owned by an American named Roger Willbanks. The car won first prize in the event’s “Graceful Pre-War Motoring” class but was beaten to “Best in Show” by a 1959 Ferrari 250 California Spyder.


1939 Bugatti 57C Roadster Voll Ruhrbeck
1939 Bugatti 57C Roadster Voll Ruhrbeck

At Marlborough House in St James’s, the Concours of Elegance was a slightly smaller showcase but with the presence of HRH Prince Michael of Kent on Thursday, it was a stately affair. Though the event’s PR suggested that “all cars were winner”, a highlight was a 1939 Bugatti 57C Roadster Voll Ruhrbeck.


John Entwistle commissioned 1980 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II shooting brake
John Entwistle commissioned 1980 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II shooting brake
1961 Rolls-Royce Phantom V Limousine
1961 Rolls-Royce Phantom V limousine

Today, Bonhams auction a Rolls-Royce shooting brake that was originally commissioned by The Who’s John Entwistle at the National Motor Museum in Hampshire. A guide of just £12,000 to £16,000 has been set but with “a lot of interest”, a spokesman for the auctioneer confirmed the car “is very likely to sell above the top estimate”. Other vehicles in the sale include a 1961 Rolls-Royce Phantom V limousine formerly owned by Harrods. The car is finished in Harrods Green and has the department store’s logo screen printed to the headlining. Features number an analogue fax machine and video player and a estimate of £50,000 to £60,000 is quoted.


007 Lotus Esprit Submarine Car
007 Lotus Esprit Submarine Car

Back in the city, tomorrow, the annual RM Auctions London sale goes on display in Battersea Park. As well as 71 Mercedes-Benz vehicles from one private collection, the auction will include racing cars from Lord Laidlaw’s garage and one of the “Wet Nelly” Lotus Esprit’s used in The Spy Who Loved Me. Offered without reserve, the one and only fully functional submarine car is expected to sell for between £650,000 and £950,000.



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