Bonhams, New Bond Street, London, December 16, 2020

Missing from Bonhams annual season-ending London auction at its New Bond Street headquarters was one single crucial element: a seven-figure car.

They had an Aston Martin DB5 and its successor, a DB6 Vantage Volante. They had a Bentley R-Type Continental H.J. Mulliner fastback, all bid to strong six-figure amounts but all also failed to find the favor of bidders … or the consideration of consignors … and going back where they came from unsold.

Only two lots among the rather paltry 19-lot consignment brought bids under six-figures in [weakening] US$. But with only 47.4% selling it proved difficult to mount an impressive sale total.

And the star of the sale, at least in absolute value, was a stock American 1969 Mercury Cougar XR-7 convertible, a car that might, even thoroughly equipped including factory leather upholstery, be expected to bring $100,000 in exquisitely and correctly restored condition. But there are not many American cars playing high profile roles in James Bond epics, and this one did. That it figured in far-and-away the worst-ever Bond flick, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, made no difference and it brought over double its pre-sale high estimate.

The Cougar may have been the best actor in that film which featured George Lazenby as 007, Diana Rigg (who was much better in “The Avengers”) as Tracy di Vicenzo and Telly Savalas as S.P.E.C.T.R.E.’s evil genius Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the latter a performance which could have been better portrayed by a cigar store indian.

Logistics were difficult. The cars were displayed at Classic Car Storage (Petersfield), a 1 1/2-hour drive on the A3 from central London.

Automobilia was at Bonhams in Guildford, a little over half distance on the drive. The auction itself took place at Bonhams headquarters on New Bond Street in London. Chris Sharpe attended and, bless his heart, wrote up every lot in the sale.

It will soon be 2021, and all’s the better for it. Until the dawning, stay safe.

Year Cars Sold/ Offered Sale % Sold < Low Est Sold > High Est Average Sale Median Sale Total $ Exchange Rate
2020 9/19 47.4% 66.7% 11.1% $260,920 $201,870


$2,348,284 $1.3503
2019 13/35 37.1% 69.2% 0% $544,428 $259,652


$7,077,564 $1.3127
2018 10/29 34.5% 50% 0% $647,636 $323,132


$6,476,362 $1.2772
2017 21/35 60% 38.1% 9.5% $577,176 $222,833


$12,120,690 $1.3505

Lots are sorted in lot number order. Photos are by Chris Sharpe.

Lot # 101 1985 Ferrari 328 GTB Coupe, Body by Pininfarina-Scaglietti; S/N ZFFWA19B000060743; Rosso Corsa/Black leather; Estimate $108,024 – $162,036; Unrestored original 2- condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $91,820. – 3185/270hp, 5-speed, Koni shock absorbers, Veglia Moretti clocks, cigar lighter, leather-wrapped steering wheel, Pirelli tires, Ferrari Classiche certified, tool kit including scissor jack. – Left-hand drive 328 sold new in Milan and showing 5,618 believable km that are represented as original. Last major reported service was in 2016. Currently MoT’d and road registered in the UK. The paint is original on most of the car and is in good order with only minor swirl lines but no chips. The Ferrari badge on the nose is corroded slightly on the chromed edges. The front grille and lights are a little dull. The wheels are immaculate, even the bolts areas are mint with perfect chromed nuts. Once inside there is a slightly musty aroma. The black seat leather looks original and in good order with no marks or tears, only fine graining. The steering wheel and pedals are in good order. The fiberglass engine cover lifts easily and reveals a clean engine bay with no obvious deterioration. A good presentation with minor points easily rectified. Having the expensive Ferrari Classiche helps. There isn’t much service history, but the car has barely been used and at this point the odometer is so low that future owners won’t want to drive it much, anyway. – It’s not uncommon to find a left-hand drive car in the UK but it’s still a knock on this 328’s desirability. The consignor was surely hoping to score big with its four-digit mileage and there is likely a collector out there who would covet it, but they weren’t at Bond St. The reported high bid was driver money and insufficient for this level of mileage and preservation.

Lot # 102 1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL Convertible; S/N 11304222015489; Green, Green hardtop/Tan leather; Green top; Estimate $108,024 – $135,030; Older restoration 2+ condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $94,521. – RHD. 2,308/150hp six, automatic, hub caps and trim rings, Becker Europa radio, “pagoda” hardtop roof, walnut veneered wood dash trim. Comes with hardtop stand. – Restored in 1988 and was a concours winner. Generally good paint finish on the body and hardtop. Good chrome, although slightly uneven. Superb tan leather with perfect perforations on the center bars. The ivory plastic steering wheel and dash are in excellent order. The dash top walnut wood trim is in good order and is of particular note, as the steam shaped wood is incredibly tough to replicate well. New tough pile carpets look good. Recent service receipts but no definite service records. A good showing for an attractive car wearing a restoration that looks much fresher than 30 years old. – This is a gorgeous, still showable early Pagoda SL and it deserves a top tier price. That’s exactly what the reported high bid was, however, despite being under Bonhams’ low estimate. This one should have sold.

Lot # 103 1928 Aston Martin 1 1/2-Litre Standard Sports Roadster; S/N TS10; Engine # ST18; Yellow, Black fenders/Black leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $135,030 – $162,036; Older restoration 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $135,030 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $155,285. – RHD. 1495/56hp SOHC four, twin SU HV4 carburetors, 4-speed transmission, all wheel cable drum brakes, solid front axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs and friction dampers, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs and friction dampers, black painted wire wheels, single sidemount spare. – One of three cars displayed on the Aston Martin stand at the 1928 London Motor Show at Olympia, finished in brown. Then sold to the Maharajah of Patiala in India and got a new wood body frame. Found years later in pieces, sans original engine and rear axle. Then restored in the mid-2000s by Ecurie Bertelli with a correct type wet sump engine. Represented as the first Standard Sports Model built. Crisp modern paint with fine only lines from polishing, no chips or marks. A modern wood has been used for the running board steps which doesn’t look period correct. The headlamps and radiator surround are nickel-plated and not overly polished. The headlamp reflector bowls are corroded. The chassis is painted black and looks well-preserved, straight and true. The top is black cloth and is not new but well made with acceptable fold marks. The windshield chrome surround has fine pitting. The leaf springs and friction dampers look old. The black painted wire wheels look well-preserved. The tires have good tread depth. The steering wheel and controls all look original. The pedals are superb with AM cast in. There are lots of Aston insignias here and there which are wonderful. A good condition little used car. The color choice is debatable and there are big gaps in its history, but it isn’t trying to present itself as something it isn’t. – Offered by Bonhams at the Grand Palais in 2017 where it was a $245,134 no-sale, this is one of the oldest running Aston Martins and is a car that will always occupy pride of place in any array of early British sports cars. It is a solid value in this transaction

Lot # 104 1969 Mercury Cougar XR-7 Convertible; S/N 9F94R549292; Candy Apple Red/Dark Red leather; Black vinyl top; Estimate $135,030 – $202,545; Recent restoration 2- condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $418,593 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $481,382. – 428/335hp Cobra Jet, Crane camshaft, automatic transmission, added Traction-Lok axle, power top, Ram Air hood, console, power front disc brakes, tilt steering column, power steering, hood pins, AM radio, ski rack and skis. – One of four Cougars used as the Contessa Teresa ‘Tracy’ di Vincenzo’s car in 1969’s “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” and one of three surviving. It was a thoroughly forgettable Bond movie starring George Lazenby as James Bond and Diana Rigg (Emma Peel in “The Avengers”). This one was reportedly used in the scene in the barn, which saved it from the usual Bond antics and resulting damage. With the current owner for the last 30 years and fully restored in 2020, with only 20 miles on it since completion. Good resprayed paintwork with fine polish swirls. The hood has uneven gaps and is sticking up proud on the driver’s side. The exterior chrome is very good. The driver’s door bottom edge is protruding but all other panels fit well. The wheels are well presented with new paint, refreshed trims, and fresh lettered and red-banded tires. The engine bay is clean and tidy in every area. The trunk rack Kneissl skis are freshly painted and look cool, a wonderful looking film set addition. There’s also a new top, and the interior is smart and crisp. A big American boat maybe isn’t to European tastes, but it certainly stands out on this side of the pond and it’s an impressive car with a known history. – This is a well-optioned and beautifully restored Cougar even without the Bond connection, but even though George Lazenby is everybody’s least favorite 007, a Bond car sold in England (and on Bond Street, no less) is always going to excite. And Bond is where the vast majority of the money is in this result (lest anybody think their uncle’s Cougar is suddenly a half-million-dollar car). It’s double the estimate and enough to make this a record price for a Cougar, eclipsing the $228,800 brought by a 4-speed XR-7 GTE Cobra Jet at the Owls Head Museum sale five years ago. This is an astounding price, even with the history of featuring in a [pathetic] movie. [“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” is available on Amazon Prime (for free). I watched it. Then I had to watch Sean Connery in “Doctor No” as an antidote to this terrible flick.]

Lot # 105 1995 Aston Martin Vantage Coupe; S/N SCFDAM2S0RBR70065; Engine # 59070027M; Buckinghamshire Green/Fawn Cream leather; Estimate $202,545 – $270,060; Unrestored original 2- condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $155,285. – 5,341/550hp, twin-supercharged V-8, 6-speed ZF transmission, alloy wheels, mounted fire extinguisher, power seats, Pioneer CD player head unit with satellite navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, and a reversing camera. – Five owners and 33,021 miles from new. Serviced fewer than 100 miles ago. The paint finish appears to be original with minor polishing swirls. The wheels look fresh with Goodyear Eagle tires. The interior looks correct and original too, and the outer bolster on the driver’s seat shows slight wear. Only the carpets, pedals and controls show some acceptable use wear from the mileage covered. Minor niggles include a rear quarter glass slightly delaminating and the boot hinges that don’t hold the boot open. A very attractive car that would look better for me if it had darker carpets. – At over two tons the ’90s Vantage is no lightweight, but its mighty twin-supercharged V-8 pumped out 550 horsepower and 555 lb-ft of torque back when most supercars made do with 400-something. And with only about 240 built it’s rare even by Aston Martin standards, but like most modern Astons it still isn’t worth close to what it cost new. The reported high bid here isn’t much more than half of what it probably cost to take this car home from the dealership, but isn’t far off from a fair number. Bonhams sold another Vantage in similar condition at the Goodwood Revival last year for £138,000 ($171,976).

Lot # 106 1955 Jaguar XK 140 Drophead Coupe; S/N 807214; Black/Brown leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $155,285 – $195,794; Older restoration 2- condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $128,279. – RHD. 3,442/190hp, 4-speed with overdrive, chrome wire wheels, modern electric radiator fan, aluminum radiator, AM pushbutton radio. – Restored way back in 1996 by Lynx Engineering in original colors. This XK must have lived a charmed life since then. The crisp paintwork along with great panel fit looks very smart in black. Good chrome with only fine swirls, though the chromed grille is aged and the headlamps are dull and yellowing. Clean wheels with good tread on the Vredestein tires. The black canvas top is of good quality with minor creases from stowage. The interior is a delight with quality brown leather seats and door cards. The dash and door cappings are walnut veneer in excellent condition. The carpets look recent and great. The steering wheel is of the correct four-spoke type but has a too-thick modern-looking leather wrapping around the rim. A pampered older restoration that still needs nothing major. – At current exchange rates, an XK 140 is worth about the same in the US as it is in the UK, so the reported high bid here was sufficient for this lovely but imperfect car with its well-preserved older restoration.

Lot # 107 1953 Alvis TC21 3-Litre Cabriolet, Body by Graber; S/N 25255; Light Turquoise Green/Cream leather; Cream top; Estimate $162,036 – $189,042; Older restoration 3 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $162,036 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $186,341. – RHD. 2,993/100hp six with twin SU carburetors, 4-speed, independent suspension, white steel wheels with chromed hub caps, walnut veneered dash insert, pushbutton AM radio and aerial, Smiths instrumentation. – One of 11 TC21s bodied for Alvis by Graber of Switzerland, and only six convertibles. Appeared on the Graber stand at the Geneva Motor Show. Originally registered in Switzerland. With the current owner for 35 years and has participated in historic rallies and tours. Older paint with fine swirls and an uneven surface, but no chips or touch-ups. The number plate looks old. The chrome is good but with polishing lines. The windshield frame is the original alloy. It’s dull and not buffed at all. The steel wheels are painted cream but chipped on the edges, and the chrome hub caps have minor pitting. The top cover in cream leather is aging nicely and the rest of the seat leather is, too, creased but not worn through or marked. The carpets look aged. The dash button black paint has worn through on the edges. The original steering wheel is a delight. An enjoyable, usable and rare four-seater convertible. – Vintage Alvises don’t have the name recognition of the equivalent Rolls-Royce or Bentley, but they offer a similar level of style and sophistication in a smaller and sportier (and significantly cheaper) package. Like the equivalent Rolls-Royce or Bentley, though, a rare coachbuilt body like this elegant if not exactly striking piece by Graber translates to a much higher price. This result, for example, is about twice what other, better condition standard cars have brought.

Lot # 108 1966 Aston Martin DB6 Mk I Coupe; S/N DB62726R; Blue metallic/Gray leather; Estimate $243,054 – $297,066; Older restoration 3+ condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $229,551. – RHD. 4,196-cc, 5-speed ZF automatic gearbox, chromed wire wheels, Motorola radio, Webasto folding sunroof, heated rear screen, power operated aerial, woodrim steering wheel. – Originally sold in the UK, finished in Oystershell over red and equipped with the optional Borg Warner automatic. Shipped to the US in the 1970s and repatriated in 1995. The engine was refreshed in 2005 and enlarged to 4.2 liters. A ZF auto box was fitted in ’06, too. The metallic blue paint is generally good but with lots of chips and touch-ups on the frontal area. The hood edge has lots of abrasions. The grille is very aged with an Aston Owners Club badge that looks misplaced. The Lucas H4 headlamps are yellowing. The bumpers have more recently been refreshed but still have fine swirls. Newish-looking full-length Webasto pull back sunroof fitted. The chrome wire wheels and three-eared knock-ons are in good order with recent tires. Good gray leather with some wear to the driver’s seat, and the driver’s door card is very scuffed. The Motorola radio and speaker grille look superb. A smart and tidy engine that looks original, though the air filters need replacement. A used, driver quality and not totally correct DB6. – This car sold for $227,542 at Bonhams’ Goodwood Festival of Speed sale in 2017 and more recently for $183,454 at Bonhams’ Online Motoring in May 2020. It has 93 more miles on it and is in essentially the same condition, so refusing the reported high bid (which is plenty of money for a driver automatic DB6 whether it’s in the US or the UK) is unreasonable.

Lot # 109 1973 Ferrari 246 GTS Dino Spider, Body by Pininfarina-Scaglietti; S/N 06590; White, Black roof panel/Black leather; Estimate $364,581 – $445,599; Withdrawn – Freshly restored.

Lot # 110 1924 Vauxhall 30-98 OE-Type Velox Tourer; S/N OE188; Engine # OE182; Green, Black fenders/Red leather; Estimate $202,545 – $243,054; Rebodied or re-created 3 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $175,539 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $201,870. – RHD. 4,224/112hp OHV four, dual SU carburetors, four-wheel drum brakes, black painted wire wheels, dual sidemount spares, split windshield, fender mounted horn, Velox style body, Bakelite steering wheel with center brass ignition timing adjustment ring, Griffin radiator mascot. – Delivered new to Australia, then led a varied life followed including a new Velox body fitted in the 1970s. The folding hood panels are not painted and not polished for a long while, either. The scuttle paint is of a very average finish and an unattractive color. The wheels have older paint that has road dust, and the tires are aged but have good tread depth. The exterior trim continues the theme with general dullness and no recent attention. The seat leather is worn through and the carpet trim is faded. A working steed that can be used and enjoyed. – Offered by Bonhams at Goodwood two months ago where it was reported bid to $219,827 (GBP 170,000). This is a major adjustment and a terrific value for the new owner. This is the fourth time a Vauxhall 30-98 has crossed an auction block in 2020 (counting this car’s two appearances).

Lot # 111 1964 Aston Martin DB5 Coupe; S/N DB51614R; Sierra Blue/Fawn Cream Connolly leather; Estimate $810,180 – $877,695; Recent restoration 2- condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $729,162. – RHD. 4,199cc, 5-speed ZF gearbox, chrome wire wheels, power steering, air conditioning, tool roll, Becker Mexico radio with manual. – This beautiful DB5 has had three owners and is a well-known car to the UK AMOC. Re-sprayed with modern paint in Sierra Blue metallic some time ago. The paint is to a good standard but has fine swirls on all surfaces except the trunk, which is a different shade of blue to the main body. There are touched up stone chips to the frontal area. The headlamps are cloudy. The grille is in superb condition, and the exterior chrome is good with the tiniest amount of pitting. The exterior window trim looks original and in good order. A very tidy and well-maintained engine bay with no obvious problems. The chrome wire wheels are bright and have well-treaded Michelin tires. The interior was re-trimmed five years ago, but the seat coverings look saggy, not taut, perhaps needing new cushion sponges. The dash top vinyl is slightly peeling up at the corners. The catalog notes say re-sprayed “somewhere between 60-70,000 miles” but the current mileage reads 56,358. A few things to nitpick, but it’s an attractive and usable DB5. – The reported high bid is driver DB5 money for a car that is better than that, although Bonhams didn’t expect much more for it given the 600,000 GBP low estimate; the high bid here is GBP 540,000.

Lot # 112 1933 Rolls-Royce 20/25hp Owen Sedanca 3-Position Drophead Coupe, Body by Gurney Nutting; S/N GEX28; Embassy Black/Light Caramel leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $148,533 – $189,042; Older restoration 3 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $128,279 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $147,520. – RHD. 3,680/61hp OHV six with separate cast iron block and aluminum crankcase with detachable cast iron 6-plug head, single Rolls-Royce 2-jet type with starting carburetor, automatic air valve and steering column control, 18 gallon rear petrol tank, Autovac fuel pump and an electric fuel gauge, 4-speed gearbox, with silent 2nd gear, synchromesh in 3rd and top, right hand gearchange, “One-Shot” Bijur centralized chassis lubrication system, worm and nut steering, polished wheel discs, enclosed rear-mounted spare, luggage trunk with top-mounted rack. – This Owen Sedanca drophead coupe spent most of its life in the USA, but since returning to the UK has received significant cosmetic restoration work. Even so, the paint shows lots of fine polish lines. The chrome is good but uneven. The Lucas headlamps are in good order. The large hub caps are dull and need re-polishing. The tires are aged but show good tread depth. The exhaust tailpipes are dented. The chassis looks very black and old but looks protected. The leaf springs are also well protected with old leather gaiters. The duck material black canvas top is in good condition but the landau bars are pitted. The door hinges are strong with no hint of drop. The excellent Light Caramel seat leather is of a high-quality grade and is maturing nicely with only light creases. The carpets are slightly soiled. The central dash clock faces appear to be silver paint onto matte black card, perhaps a modern attempt to reprint the clocks to save finding originals? An elegant coachbuilt Rolls that is several details short of the show field. – Sold for GBP 138,000 at Bonhams’ auction at the RAF Museum Nov 21, 2019, the bid here is GBP 95,000 which would have been GBP 109,500 with commission, a material but not unreasonable discount in current conditions. No matter the diminutive engine, this is a handsome, elegant Gurney Nutting drophead coupe and the new owner has something of a prize.

Lot # 114 1967 Aston Martin DB6 Mk I Vantage Volante; S/N DBVC3650R; Blue metallic/Blue leather, blue carpets; Blue cloth top; Estimate $742,665 – $877,695; Older restoration 3+ condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $648,144. – RHD. 3,995/325hp Vantage spec engine with triple Webers, ZF 5-speed gearbox, power steering, chrome wire wheels, Motorola pushbutton radio, woodrim steering wheel, blue tonneau cover, power windows, electric lift up aerial. – Represented as one of the 29 Mk I DB6 Volantes built to Vantage specifications, originally finished in Mink. Restored in the late 1980s by DK Engineering. The paint is quite aged with lots of swirl lines and chipping to the hood scoop and hood edge. The front valance lower engine air scoop is full of road dust. There is a paint crack from the corner of the fuel filler aperture. The engine bay looks clean and maintained, and the chassis plates look correct. The fuel hoses have been upgraded to braided coverings. The manifold headers have surface rust. The bumper chrome is recent but very uneven. The front number plate and grille look old. The chrome wire wheels are well presented and clean but have very large balance weights on the outer rim. The blue top is of a good quality canvas material with acceptable fold creases. The mid-blue Connolly seat leather is of good quality with slight creases, but the tonneau cover is very creased. There are some scratches to the dash black paint. The carpets are of good quality and look recent. Ready for a cosmetic refresh, but consistently maintained and a very rare configuration. – An attractive and desirable Aston Martin, but hardly more attractive and desirable than the reported high bid here with an old color change repaint and abundant evidence of use and mediocre attention. It’s not a primo Aston and the bidders judged it accordingly with this reticent bid.

Lot # 115 1967 Ferrari 330 GTC Coupe, Body by Pininfarina; S/N 9613; Red/Beige leather; Estimate $573,878 – $708,908; Older restoration 3+ condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $405,090. – 3,967/300hp, triple Webers, Ansa exhaust, 5-speed transaxle, electric power windows, inertia reel seatbelts, air conditioning, Borrani wire wheels, reproduction tool roll and jack. – Originally finished in Grigio Scuro Speciale Silverstone, this 330 sold new in Italy, then went to the US, then back to Italy in the 1990s and was restored there. Then sold in Monaco in 2005, and came to the UK in 2015. Engine overhauled in 2016. The older paintwork has lots of swirls and looks slightly dull. Very good panel fit. There are Ferrari shields on the front fenders but they are stickers and they’re peeling back at the edges. The bumpers and headlight surrounds have been re-chromed. The window and door trims appear to original and aged. The engine looks correct and smart with good inner wings in matte black. The chassis plates look correct. The engine crackle finish looks great. The Borrani wire wheels are curb grazed on the outer edges which is a shame as they were new only a few years ago. The exhaust tips have surface rust and the chromed rear silencers need a good polish. The interior presents well with perfect leather and clean carpets. The dash and controls all look original and untouched and they’re delightful because of that. A good but not great 330 GTC with forgivable flaws for someone who wants one of these gran turismos to drive and enjoy. – Bonhams claims to have sold this car in Monaco in 2005, but it was reported as a no-sale at the time at a high bid of $119,919, a result that is mostly irrelevant fifteen years later. It’s a sound and recently serviced GTC with a 2016 rebuilt engine but only in “driver” condition for which the reported high bid is insufficient.

Lot # 116 1937 Atalanta 2-Litre Sports Roadster; S/N 1101; Engine # 1009; Dark Blue/Red leather; Estimate $405,090 – $540,120; Older restoration 2 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $337,575 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $388,211. – RHD. 1,996/98hp 4-cylinder Gough engine, twin SU carburetors, 4-speed transmission, all-independent coil-sprung suspension, Hiduminium alloy suspension links and Elektron magnesium alloy Lockheed hydraulically operated brake drums, rear-mounted spare, twin Le Mans fuel filler caps, wind wings, Jaeger instrumentation, chrome exhaust manifold pipe flexi covers. – This interesting short wheelbase Atalanta was restored in 2006. In 2007 it won the Cartier Style et Luxe at Goodwood and was then displayed and sold at Pebble Beach. One of only (approximately) 20 known examples. The modern two-pack paint has a good finish but with lots of swirl lines. The exterior chrome is to a high standard but has polishing lines. The headlamp bowls are bright. The grille still looks superb. The large chromed wire wheels are clean and reveal the huge alloy drum brakes, similar to Alfa Romeo 8C drums. The windshield frame has slight pitting. The superbly crafted rear number plate body surround is magnificent. The engine bay is mostly clean but shows some surface rust on the manifold and behind the firewall area. The leather seat covering is of high quality and only slightly creased. The carpets are used looking and could use a thorough clean. The dash panel has been replaced with incorrect low-grade wood. It has seen better days but it’s rare, cool, attractive and eligible for the Le Mans Classic. – Having gone through a checkered history including a variety of engines including a Ford V8-60 with many gaps in its history the appeal of this car is in its rarity, nearly spectacular appearance and carefully restored authenticity. Little used, it needs attention to function but is a gorgeous example of late-30’s British design and is a handsome value at this result.

Lot # 117 1959 Aston Martin DB4 Coupe; S/N DB4179R; Engine # 370158; Brown metallic/Red leather; Estimate $567,126 – $621,138; Recent restoration 1- condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $445,599. – RHD. Engine enlarged to 4.2 liters and fitted with triple Webers, 4-speed transmission, chrome wire wheels, woodrim steering wheel, Motorola radio. – This early DB4 has been subject to an exceptional four-year restoration. The wealthy owner employs a team of restorers to work without compromise. Presented in deep brown metallic with a large flake content. The finish on all panels is faultless. The exterior chrome and trim are restored to perfection. The chromed wire wheels are as new with unmarked two eared knock-ons. The engine bay and chassis are better than new, with every surface polished and painted. The interior is a wonder. The seat leather is of the highest quality and looks unused. The dash clocks and controls are faultless, with no dust in the dials at all. The pedal rubbers are new and clean. The passenger’s door leading edge protrudes slightly, and that is the only imperfection. The best presented by car here by miles. – A seriously stunning car, restored to impeccable standards that left the bidders wondering what to do about it. In the end they were mystified and failed to comprehend the restoration’s standards with this modest (no, that’s too restrained, “addled” is better) bid.

Lot # 118 1953 Bentley R-Type Continental 4.9L 2-Dr. Sedan, Body by H.J. Mulliner; S/N BC22A; Black/Beige leather; Estimate $742,665 – $945,210; Older restoration 3+ condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $634,641. – RHD. 4,887/178hp, uprated with an ‘OPWAS’ high compression cylinder head, 4-speed manual transmission, steel wheels with hub caps, rear wheel spat covers, lightweight seats, air conditioning, tool kit, fog lights, Harvey Bailey handling kit, alternator, electric fan. – Delivered new to Switzerland, then a further eight owners in the USA before coming home to the UK in 2003. Restored in 1996. The modern paint has stood up well but needs the polishing swirl buffing out. There are large stone chips to the frontal area that have been touched in and there are paint bubbles in places. The exterior chrome is excellent. The large steel wheels with Avon tires have lovely original hub caps that are well polished. The engine bay is smart, clean and functional. The majority of engine surfaces are painted black and look good. The driver’s door push button chrome has worn through to the nickel but once inside it’s like you’ve entered a private gentlemen’s club, the classy kind. The leather is superb and the clean carpets are tough wool. The walnut veneer is all in perfect condition. The lambswool roof lining is exceptional. This Bentley has an elegant body design, particularly the rear swoop. Unfortunately, the car is not as good in the flesh as it looks in the catalog. – At the reported high bid this would have been a superlative buy. Its several modifications and upgrades detract from its “collector” status but add value to it as a tour and event car, which is what classic Bentleys are about. It would not have been expensive at the pre-sale low estimate.

Lot # 119 1965 Lola T70 Mk 2 Spyder; S/N SL7119; Deep Green metallic/Black; Estimate $216,048 – $297,066; Incomplete restoration 3 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $155,285 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $178,577. – RHD. No engine, gearbox or differential fitted although they are included without further description, space frame chassis, alloy dash panel, Le Mans fuel fillers, double roll hoop, high set rear view mirror, Perspex windshield, 5 spoke magnesium wheels, Goodyear Eagle tires, covered headlamps, coilover dampers, independent upper and lower wishbone arms, Mountney 3-spoke steering wheel, racing seats and harnesses. – Campaigned by the Racing Partnership team in period in the UK and North America. Crashed in Canada, damaging the chassis, and went to Florida. Then restored years later with a replacement chassis, later repurchased by the original owner, Tony Sargeant from whom it was bought in 2012. More recently displayed in the current owner’s music room with drivetrain removed. It’s hard to say how much Lola we are looking at. The deep green metallic paint has a few deep scratches but is generally good. There’s a fair amount of dirt under the headlamp cowls. All the exposed alloy panels look original with scuff marks. The chromed roll hoop is scuffed from use. The awesome magnesium race wheels have been well repainted in gold. The Goodyear Eagle tires look older. The seats and harnesses are aged but useable. The drivers’ door edge is chipped somewhat. The dash clocks and steering wheel look newer. The gear shifter is chipped too. The hood has one of the quick release fixings missing. Still, a great looking desirable shell eligible for some classic races. – If looks won races the Lola T70 would be a consistent Can-Am and USRRC winner, but looks don’t count. This car needs everything to get back to a vintage Can-Am or USRRC grid but is a sound basis upon which to start a competition restoration. It’s amply valued, however, at this result.

Lot # 120 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Pf Coupe, Body by Pininfarina; S/N 1533GT; Engine # 1815GT; Blu Notte metallic/Mid Tan leather; Estimate $405,090 – $540,120; Older restoration 2- condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $270,060 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $310,569. – 2,953/240hp, triple Webers, Ansa exhaust, woodrim steering wheel, Blaupunkt pushbutton AM radio, Borrani wire wheels, Pirelli tires. – The seventh second-series 250 GT produced and delivered new to Modena. Then on to the US and then the UK in 2012. Superb paint finish in a wonderful deep Blu Notte. The drivers’ door protrudes at the rear and the trunk lid is a very poor fit. The exterior chrome and glass trim are excellent. The engine is clean with no apparent leaks. The black crackle finish looks aged. The driver’s door capping appears to have been rattle can sprayed. The seat leather is recent and high quality. Ferrari Classiche Certified. A good showing just a shame it let down by panel fitment. – This car was a no-sale at the RM Sotheby’s Paris sale back in February at a hammer bid of $374,204 (GBP 287,800 at the time). This result is GBP 230,000 all-in (GBP 200,000 hammer). This post-block result is a good bit less but the seller decided not to go chasing bids and just let the car go, which made a serious bargain for the new owner who got a handsome 250-series Ferrari at a rock-bottom price.

Lot # 121 1966 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage Coupe; S/N DB62650R; Silver Birch/Black leather; Estimate $297,066 – $351,078; Recent restoration 2- condition; With Reserve; Post-block sale at $259,590 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $298,528. – RHD. Enlarged 4.2-liter Vantage-spec engine with triple Webers, 5-speed ZF gearbox, upgraded brakes, handling kit, chrome wire wheels with three eared knock-ons, Becker Eclipse II radio front with modern Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay, original toolbox and an owner’s manual. – Originally a Sage Green car ordered with Vantage-spec engine but fitted with the optional Borg Warner automatic. Spent its first decade in the UK touring and covering 52,000 miles, then sailed to the USA. Returned in 2018 after a four-year restoration including a bare metal respray from Sage Green to Silver Birch. The engine was also expanded to 4.2 liters. The recent paintwork has rather too much clear lacquer and has some tiny pits from bubbling in the surface. The grille and exterior brightwork are very good. The engine bay is tidy. The carburetor fuel lines are in modern black rubber. Once inside the interior seems very original with a slightly fusty aroma and creasing to the leather. The dash and controls show signs of good use. – Bonhams sold this car at the Simeone Museum in 2013 for $198,000 still with its original automatic gearbox, but that was before the car’s recent and expensive refurbishment, and DB6s are more valuable than they were then. It came to this sale last year in its current condition with the ZF 5-speed but remained unsold at a high bid equivalent to $275,667. Its innate appeal and promise of a great driving experience offset the color change and upgrades and brought this post-block result, an outcome that’s fair to both parties and the auction company.

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  1. Reply

    Write-ups like this are the ones I always wished I had the space to write. A delight.

      • rickcarey1
      • December 23, 2020

      Yes, indeed. The internet has changed many things and not all of them for the better but one of the real boons is that it largely frees up content length, limited however by the ever-decreasing attention spans of internet-trained readers. I’m contrary enough to ignore attention-challenged readers.
      Thanks for the note, David, and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    • Mark R>
    • January 2, 2021

    OHMSS – As far as this movie goes (film sounds so “fussy”) I find it to be a little comic-book perhaps but better that what Moore and some served-up for us later. I’d like to visit that ski-lodge (Blofeld’s lair) location some day. My positive opinion also extends to the green DBS Lazenby is seen driving during the opening shots. William Towns finest hour? As usual, thanks for the auction coverage and HNY, kind Sir.

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