Fittingly, at one of the country’s most patriotic events, Bonhams has assembled a predominantly British selection of cars for its 2011 Revival sale.
As the sound of Rolls-Royce Merlin engines fades into the sunset, auctioneer Jamie Knight will kick off the motor car sale with Lot 201, a 1958 Jaguar XK150 3.8-Litre Fixed-head Coupé (£15,000 - 20,000). From then onwards, down to the final entry (Lot 290, the 1953 Aston Martin DB2/4 Sports Saloon at £60,000 - 80,000), it’s a festival (all right, ‘Revival’) of all things Made in Britain.
Even the imported cars, such as the 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7-Litre 'Lightweight' (£200,000 - 250,000, ‘RGO 4L’ – a significant car in a series of lightweights sold and raced in the UK), or the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL 'Gullwing' (£340,000 - 380,000, a nice opportunity for someone at this price) are ones bought in period by the Right Sort of Chap.
Granted, the 1931 Avions Voisin C14 ‘Chartre’ (£250,000 - 300,000) and the 1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost ‘Ceremonial Victoria’ (‘Refer Dept.’) are a little ‘theatrical’, shall we say – but interesting, nonetheless.
Bonhams rightly headlines the sale in its pre-event publicity with the two significant Jaguars (the ex-Sir Robert Ropner, 1964 'Semi-Lightweight' Jaguar E-type and the ex-Cunningham, 1958 Lister-Jaguar 'Knobbly') we profiled recently. Joining them in the sportier side of the catalogue are another Lister, this time a Chevrolet-powered, 1959 ‘Knobbly’ at £280,000 - 320,000, a 1972 Alpine A110 1600S to 'Group IV' specification (£30,000 - 40,000) and a 1972 Lola T290 3.0-Litre (a genuine ex-Bonnier car, searingly quick and perfect for the 2012 Le Mans Classic at £300,000 - 350,000).
1971 Ferrari 365GTS/4 'Daytona' Spyder: £500,000 - 600,000
There’s also a pretty – and very ‘Revival-able’ – 1960 Lotus-Ford Type 18 Formula Junior for £40,000 - 50,000, a single-seater which even your Editor might be persuaded to have a go in, a car beautifully restored by Peter Denty Racing.
Away from matters racing, the road cars include a typical Goodwood-type, woodie, shooting brake special, the 1959 Jaguar XK150 3.4-Litre 'Foxbat' Sports Estate (£30,000 - 35,000), several E-types and Astons and the 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental (£320,000 - 360,000) once owned by two legends of 1950s/60s English cricket, Godfrey Evans and Ted Dexter.
Other Bentleys (there are 12 in total) include a stylish, ex-Paris Motor Show 1938 4¼-Litre Coupé with coachwork by De Villars (£110,000 - 150,000) and a not-unattractive 1952 Bentley R-Type 4.6-Litre Two-Door Coupé bodied by Abbott, at £80,000 - 100,000.
An A.C. Ace is a quintessentially British, summer’s-day sports car and the Revival sale lists two, a RHD 1956 Ace-Bristol for £80,000 - 100,000 and a LHD A.C.-engined, 1958 Ace, £90,000 - 110,000 and looking in very good, original-but-well-prepared condition. Just how we like them.
Finally, do have a look at the couple of XK120 Fixed-head Coupés, a perennial favourite in the Classic Driver office and a model we believe offers genuine, blue-chip collectors’ car cachet at still-reasonable prices. The 1954 example comes complete with period-correct bucket seats, modern 4-pot Girling calipers, a 5-speed gearbox and a twin-SU, 3.4-litre engine. Finished in Ecurie Ecosse metallic blue, it was once owned by Jaguar racing privateer Peter Sargent and – even better – registered new to Ninian Sanderson, a regular driver for the Edinburgh-based racing team.
It’s estimated at £80,000 - 100,000, while the other FHC, an Old English White/Burgundy hide 1953 example (£55,000 - 65,000) is similarly improved and even comes with iPod connection.
I’m not sure what legendary Jaguar team manager Lofty England would say about that, but there’s no denying the thought of an early morning blast to the West Sussex circuit in either of these cars is an enticing one. Perhaps with a Geoffrey Boycott podcast as a soundtrack.
1958 A.C. Ace: £90,000 - 110,000
To see the complete lotlisting of the Bonhams 16 September Goodwood Revival sale, please click HERE.
The 2011 Bonhams Revival sale will be held at the company's familiar marquee just outside the main entrance to the Goodwood circuit on Friday, 16 September. Collectors' Automobilia will start at 15:30 and Motor Cars at 17:00. For further information, visit www.bonhams.com/cars.