17/11/2011 Bonhams at Mercedes-Benz World, Weybridge, 1 December 2011: Preview
1955 AC Ace: £100,000 - 130,000
It’s a selection of quality British classic cars that leads the way at Bonhams’ end-of-season Home Counties sale.
The years spanned range from a 1913 Rolls-Royce 'Silver Ghost' 40/50hp Roi-de-Belges Tourer (£450,000 - 500,000) to the ex-Sid Taylor, 1969-70 Lola-Chevrolet T70GT Mk IIIB, a nigh-on 200mph sports-racer estimated at £500,000 - 600,000.
In between, there’s the supremely elegant 1929 Bentley 4½-Litre Drophead Coupé with Dickey (£400,000 - 450,000) and the 1953-55 Austin-Healey Special Test Car/100S Prototype – the very car at the centre of the sequence of events that led to the infamous 1955 Le Mans disaster.
'Barn Find' fresh from 42 years in single ownership, The Ex-Works, Le Mans 24-Hours, Sebring 12-Hours, Carrera PanAmericana and Bahamas Speed Week, Nassau, 1953-55 Austin-Healey Special Test Car/100S Prototype: 'Refer Dept.'
Catalogued as ‘barn fresh’, the ‘Refer Dept.’ Healey has an extensive history in period that includes two Le Mans 24 Hours outings and runs at the Sebring 12-Hours, the Carrera PanAmericana, and the Bahamas Speed Week, Nassau. While quite obviously requiring a full restoration, history apart (Bonhams believes it could well have its original, ’55 Le Mans engine installed) don’t forget that it’s also in the state-of-the-art tune of the very fastest works 100Ss and capable of mixing it with contemporary Ferraris and C-type Jaguars at the Le Mans Classic or Goodwood Revival.
The pre-War Bentley is one of eight Bentleys in the sale, joined by two other Cricklewood cars (1926 3-Litre Speed Model Tourer at £300,000 - 320,000, 1922 3-Litre Tourer for £120,000 - 150,000) and two ‘Derbys’ (1937 4¼-Litre All Weather Tourer, £140,000 - 160,000 and 1938 4¼-Litre Coupé, £80,000 - 100,000). There’s also an Abbott-bodied 1954 R-Type Coupé for £80,000 - 100,000.
Finally, for a bit of fun, why not bid on the 2011 Triumph 865cc Bonneville T100 ‘Great Escape Replica’? Sold in aid of the worthy Help For Heroes & The Royal British Legion charities, the matt-green motorbike (appropriately registered ‘WW11 POW’) is estimated at £9,000 - 12,000. Just the thing for Christmas: instead of watching ‘The Great Escape’ on the box, you could be re-enacting the famous fence-jumping scene in the garden.
Prior to the motor cars, Bonhams will sell a selection of automobilia that includes books, paintings, models, trophies and other collectors' items.
The 2011 Bonhams December Sale will take place at Mercedes-Benz World, Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 0SL on Thursday, 1 December. Motor cars will commence at 14:00.