Off-the-wall 24-carat gold 1958 Austin Healey that would appeal to Liberace to be sold at auction in New York with an estimate of £420,000
A truly bonkers one-off 1958 Austin-Healey 100-Six that was given the monikers ‘Goldie’ and ‘The Golden Child’ is to be sold at auction in December.
For sale for 165% less than it was offered for in 2013 but 781% more than it was valued at in 1958, ‘Goldie’ is capable of speeds of upto 120 miles per hour but what makes her unique is that all brightwork – including the trimming washers and screws, wire wheels, disc brakes, bumpers and instruments – are plated in 24-carat gold.
The car’s interior is trimmed in champagne Connolly kid leather and champagne diadem mink by London furrier Lorna Doon Snow adorn the inserts and back squabs of the bucket seats and the key ring comes complete with a solid-gold scale replica of the car itself.
The brainchild of Donald Healey’s then PR manager, Ken Gregory, in association with the Daily Express’s then motoring correspondent, Basil Cardew, ‘Goldie’ was the show-stopping car exhibited at the entrance to the 1958 London Motor Show at Earl’s Court. She reportedly wowed audiences and no doubt would have been dubbed a ‘dream machine’ by the motoring world’s most extravagant doyenne, Lady Docker.
Sold immediately to the paper the Daily Express dedicated a page to the promotion of a reader competition to win ‘Goldie’ on 22nd October 1958. Of her, they remarked:
“[This is] the world’s most flirtatious car… The Daily Express has bought it… You can win it. She’s elegant… she wears mink… and she adores champagne. No, not the girl… the car!”
“The real stuff… The most sumptuous… A vintage squirt… The biggest sensation of the [Motor Show at Earl’s Court]… Yes, you could call it the car that was born with a golden spoon in its mouth!”
“In the whole of the land there isn’t anything to match it.”
Surprisingly, the winner of the competition decided to sell the vehicle immediately. She was first road-registered in February 1959 and then passed through various owners until being completely restored by Bruce and Inan Phillips of Healey Surgeons of Washington, D.C. between 1983 and 1986.
Speaking of what the current marketing catalogue entry describes as “the most spectacular Austin Healey ever produced,” Inan Phillips is said to have remarked: “[‘Goldie’ was] one fantastic running and driving car… The smoothest driving Austin Healey we’ve ever owned.”
In time sold to a wealthy businessman and Jeep restorer named Dennis Collins from Wylie, Texas, ‘Goldie’ was offered for sale first on eBay and then at auction in Houston, Texas for £758,000 in 2013 and 2014. It appears no sale went through and now an estimate of £265,000 to £417,000 has been set for this striking creation.
RM Sotheby’s will sell ‘Goldie’ at their annual New York ‘Icons’ sale on 6th December. They list the vehicle as being “without reserve.” If only Liberace were still around to put in a bid.
‘Goldie’ – The Numbers
December 2017 – Offered for sale at auction with no reserve and an estimate of £265,000 to £417,000 ($350,000 to $550,000, €300,000 to €471,000 or درهم1.3 million to درهم2 million) in New York.
January 2014 – Offered for sale with a ‘buy-it-now’ price of £758,000 ($1 million, €857,000 or درهم3.7 million) on eBay.
March 2013 – Offered for sale for £758,000 ($1 million, €857,000 or درهم3.7 million) in Houston, Texas by Collins Brothers Jeep owner Dennis Collins.
October 1958 – Valued at £4,000 (the equivalent of £86,000, $113,000, €97,000 or درهم417,000 today) prior to being sold to the Daily Express and offered in a reader competition in London.