19/05/2010 Historics at Brooklands Auction, 2 June 2010 - Preview
1930 Bentley 4½-litre Supercharged Vanden Plas Open Tourer by Harrisons - £580,000 - 660,000
A new company, Historics at Brooklands, will hold its first-ever sale on June 2. The 64-car entry includes a broad range of classics from Aston Martin, Jaguar, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes and Ferrari.
Prime real estate in the ‘stockbroker belt’, the famous Brooklands track is now mainly a complex of modern business parks. Many original buildings exist, however, and under the careful guidance of the Brooklands Museum Trust the site is a flourishing one. The new sale is being held in conjunction with the Trust and will also be the ‘starting gun’ for the following weekend’s Brooklands Double Twelve event.
Given the location, let’s start with a quintessential Brooklands marque: Bentley. Seven cars are catalogued and the 1930 Bentley 4½-litre Supercharged Vanden Plas Open Tourer by Harrisons (£580,000 - 660,000) stands out. A veteran of the Japanese Mille Miglia and the Le Mans Classic Japan, the pugnacious lines of a ‘blower’ are recognisable worldwide.
Another interesting Bentley is the 1935 3½-litre Saloon by Freestone & Webb. For £75,000 - £90,000 you not only get a well-proportioned, Derby-built sporting saloon, you also become the owner of the illustrious Freestone & Webb name. You get ‘more than you bargained for’ in the very best sense of the expression.
1968 Ford Escort AVO Rally - £40,000 - 50,000
1989 Aston Martin V8 Zagato Volante - £50,000 - 60,000
More modern, Crewe-built cars include the in-vogue 1999 Continental R Mulliner (£38,000 - 46,000) and a stylish Caribbean Blue 1973 TI for a reasonable £7000 - 10,000.
The Rolls-Royce marque is represented by four cars (two pre-, two post-War) and if the T1 escapes you there’s always the equally stylish, black/tan 1973 Shadow I Series 1 (£6000 - 10,000). Gold, or white? At Brooklands? No thank you.
1972 Ferrari 'Dino' 246 GTS - £55,000 - 70,000
Moving away from British thoroughbreds (we’ll return to Aston Martin and Jaguar later), the sale includes four Ferraris (such as the 1972 Dino 246 GTS for £55,000 - 70,000) and a couple of Porsches. The 1963 356 B 1600S Cabriolet would make summer motoring a pleasure for £50,000 - 60,000, while we’ve always had a hankering for an early, ‘rubber-bumper’ 911; how about the 1976 3-litre Carrera, a ‘light restoration project’ for £7000 - 10,000?
Swiftly retracting my remark about gold-painted cars, I think the left-hand-drive 1970 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 can carry the 1970s colour scheme off. £18,000 - 25,000 is the estimate for the German road-burner, originally registered in Italy. There’s also a black/red leather, RHD 1959 190 SL for £25,000 - 32,000 and a 2005 CLK DTM (£165,000 - 205,000) among the eight Mercedes in the sale.
On the ‘fun’ front, the rally-prepared 1965 Renault 8 Gordini (£18,000 - 25,000) makes a nice alternative to a Cooper S while, also from a competition angle, the catalogue includes ‘BRX 854B’, the ex-Works 1964 MGB. A veteran of the 1964 Spa-Sofia-Liège and 1965 RAC rallies in factory ownership, the car competed at the last Le Mans Classic (2008) and would make a fine Goodwood Revival/Tour Auto entry at £90,000 - 130,000.
Looking at the five Aston Martins entered, headlining 1955 DB2/4 Mark 1 Drophead Coupé (£110,000 - 130,000) apart, the 1989 V8 Zagato Volante, for £50,000 - 60,000, represents a lot of bespoke car for the money. And, by the way, this very car was advertised in 1989 - with just 500 miles on the clock - in the Sunday Times motoring section for £500,000. Although there's no record of it having sold at this price.
The Jaguar boxes are well and truly ticked with examples of XK, E-type (straight-six and V12), Mk 2 and even an XJ220 in the catalogue. Compared with Astons, early E-types look increasingly good value. Their prices have certainly risen, but the immaculate Carmen Red/ Black leather 1962 SI 3.8 Roadster, at £70,000 - 80,000, is at least £250k shy of an equivalent DB6 Volante.
1962 Jaguar E-Type SI 3.8 Series 1 Roadster - £70,000 - 80,000
Finishing off with an affordable, ‘Classic Driver’ car, take a look at the 1973 BMW 3.0 CSL. Yes, it will need further re-commissioning but, at £8000 - 15,000, you could be the owner of what was a near-equivalent to the Carrera RS at the time, both on the track and in the showroom.
Prior to the motor cars, Historics at Brooklands will sell a selection of automobilia including a set of five 7x14 Campagnola alloy wheels suitable for Ferrari 275 GTB/275 GTS/330 GTC/365 GTC (complete with Michelin XWXs) estimated at £2200 – 3300 and a collection of Gamy-Montaut hand-coloured pochoir lithographs.
The Wednesday, June 2 sale will be held at the Brooklands Museum, Weybridge. Sale times: Automobilia 17:00; Cars 19:00. Viewings: 31 May - 2 June, 10:00 - 18:00. Admission by catalogue (£20) only, admits two.The auction will be located in a marquee on the lawn behind the Campbell sheds. Entrance is via Mercedes-Benz World, where parking is available.