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1st August 2003 Bonhams Sale of Rolls-Royce and Bentleys at Newport RI, USA

With a location at Newport, Rhode Island where better to hold a sale of ‘Fine Rolls-Royce and Bentley Motor Cars and Related Automobilia, Fine Ship Models, Nautical Works of Art and Collectibles’? Bonhams & Butterfields are combining the enthusiasm for things four-wheeled with those multi-sailed and preceding the motor-car sale with an exquisite selection of ship models, paintings and automobilia aplenty. As far as the cars are concerned the highlight must be the 1927 Bentley Speed Six Two-seater and Dickey

Estimated at $300 – 330,000 the car was created in 1936 by combining the chassis of a standard 12 ft wheelbase Weymann fabric saloon by Gurney Nutting, shortened to a very non-standard 10 ft wheelbase, with the engine from a 1930 Speed Six saloon. A lowered bonnet and radiator, together with 18” wheels completes the racy, almost Bugatti looks. Potent performance such as 75-90 mph at under 2000rpm is the result of the light weight and big torquey motor combination.

Another unusual car is the 1938 Bentley 4 ¼ litre Cabriolet with unique coachwork by Worblaufen in Switzerland. Finished in silver, with original blue interior, the ‘Derby’ car has never been offered on the open market before and is estimated at $140 – 170,000. A likely pairing would be the 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II 40/50hp cabriolet, this time bodied by French carrossier Henri Chapron of Paris. Once owned by the magnificently named Surgeon Commander C Adamson Fido of London SW2, the car has spent much of its life in the ‘states and is superbly finished in red and black. $370 – 390,000.

Springfield Rolls-Royces abound, as you would expect and some very nice examples feature including a 1929 Phantom I Convertible Sedan, $200 – 250,000, once the property of Jacquelyn de Rothschild. A much decorated car in stateside concours the car is finished in dark blue/grey with dark blue leather interior.

The auction is held at the Hyatt Regency Newport, South Lawn, Goat Island, Rhode Island, USA. Nautical items commence at 11.00am, Automobilia at 2.00pm and Motor Cars at 4.00pm.