08/06/2011 Bonhams Collectors' Motor Cars & Motorcycles, Sydney 25 June 2011 - Preview
Ex-1955 Geneva motor show and in the current ownership for 40 years, the 1955 Bentley R-Type Continental Chassis no. BC72D: AU$530,000 - 600,000
Bonhams' forthcoming Sydney, Australia sale has as its headlining car the ex-1955 Geneva motor show 1955 Bentley R-Type Continental.
Swiss-delivered when new, to a Mr Alphonse Orsat, chassis BC72D was specified with kilometre-calibrated speedometer, HF horns (with muting switch), a high-speed fan and what the build sheet quaintly describes as ‘German electric aerial’. The R-Type Conti’ is truly one of the greats, a classic car which has seen a tremendous rise in value in recent years.
The estimate of AU$530,000 - 600,000 (that’s £345k – 389k, or $US563k – 638k) is par for the course, particularly considering the Geneva Salon connection and its current long-term (40 years) ownership.
Another Bentley in the sale is the 1961 S2 Continental Drophead Coupé (AU$200,000 - 250,000); and this is joined by two pre-War Rolls-Royces. The 1923 40/50hp Silver Ghost Tourer (AU$375,000 - 475,000) is a Barker-bodied car and was first delivered through South Australian agent Motors, Ltd to George Milne of Adelaide on January 10, 1924. The following lot is another Rolls (a 1925 40/50hp Phantom I Saloon, for AU$85,000 - 100,000) which is catalogued as “the earliest example delivered to Australia and one of the oldest Phantoms extant”.
In the current ownership since 1952, 1916 Stutz Model 4C Bearcat Roadster: AU$400,000 - 475,000
Although these cars were unlikely to have been driven across the bush, it’s still proof, were it needed, of the robust construction of what was then a real contender for the ‘finest car in the world’ title.
Other interesting cars from the earlier days of motoring include the 1902 Baker Electric Runabout (AU$36,000 - 44,000) and the 1928 Ford Model A Tourer (AU$28,000 - 34,000).
An undoubted highlight of this section, however, is the imposing 1916 Stutz Model 4C Bearcat Roadster. In the current ownership since 1952, the massive 6.4-litre, four-cylinder-powered roadster must have been quite something in its day – and just as exhilarating in modern times, on one of the many events for which it’s eligible. Estimate: AU$400,000 - 475,000.
Moving more up-to-date, the catalogue lists several younger classics such as the 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 Coupé (AU$100,000 - 120,000), the 1958 MGA Mark I (AU$18,000 - 24,000) and “believed to be the earliest surviving Australian” 1965 Morris Mini Cooper S Mark 1, a great little car for AU$25,000 - 30,000.
Joining the Stutz and the R-Type in the highest echelons of the 25 June event is the factory-RHD 1957 Porsche 356A Speedster, estimated at AU$200,000 - 250,000. Having spent many years off the road, the little black (original colour) roadster was restored over a period of eight years - at a cost of $366,000 - to the condition it is in today, “the ideal candidate for concours d'elegance events”, as Bonhams puts it.
In addition to the motor cars, there are several motorcycles ranging in age from the 1924 Triumph 3½hp Model R 'Ricardo' Racer (AU$16,000 - 24,000) to the last entry in the catalogue, the 1995 Triumph Daytona 1200cc, a lot of British Beef for AU$4000 - 6000.