“Barn find” 1934 Bentley owned by press magnate Esmond Harmsworth (later 2nd Viscount Rothermere) to be sold at Silverstone Auctions sale at Salon Privé 2015
Esmond Harmsworth – later 2nd Viscount Rothermere – led a remarkable life. Eton educated, an MP at the tender age of 21 and subsequently chairman of Associated Newspapers from 1932 to 1971 and of Daily Mail & General Trust Ltd from 1938 to 1978, Harmsworth purchased a ‘Derby’ Bentley 3½ litre three-position drophead coupé by Thrupp & Maberly new in 1934. That car, now in “barn find” condition is to be sold this week at the Salon Privé sale at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.
Harmsworth’s car – which cost him £1,100 as a bare chassis and a further £500 for its coachwork (the equivalent of a total of £102,000 today) – remained in his ownership through the war but then was not heard of again until 1952 when it was sold for £800 to the works director of the Standard Telephone Company, Alfred Mason, for £800 (the equivalent of £22,000 today). His widow sold it to the athletics administrator and anti-drugs campaigner Sir Arthur Gold CBE (1917 – 2002) in 1965 for £180 (the equivalent of £3,200 today).
Now described as an “unmolested relic”, the car has been untouched since the 1950s and is offered with a guide price of £60,000 to £80,000. It will be sold this Friday, 4th September 2015.
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