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9th August 2003 Bonhams at Nurburgring 'Oldtimer GP' - Preview

Bonhams Europe’s annual Sale at the Oldtimer Grand Prix meeting has traditionally had a competition-car feel to it, and this year is no exception. With significant single seaters from Lotus and Alfa Romeo, and a Bugatti T37A, the quality of the sale is further enhanced by a late entry Porsche 906. Star of the show of course would have to be the 1997 Mercedes CLK GTR 7.3 litre, number two of twenty five built; the official press car.

At a list price of £1,000,000 plus VAT in 1997, this homologation special was intended to give some sort of ‘road’ credence to the AMG race cars competing with McLaren-BMW F1s on European race tracks. Quickly snapped up by investors and well-heeled performance enthusiasts worldwide, CLK GTRs are rarely for sale and Bonhams are justifiably proud of this coup. Not only is this particular car the one used by the world press but it has also been owned by a personal friend of Herr Aufrecht (the founder and owner of AMG prior to its sale to Mercedes), and has also been improved – to an estimated 700bhp specification with an engine upgrade to 7.3 litres. Estimate – €800,000 – 1,100,000.

On a slightly less stratospheric level Simon Kidston and the Geneva team have assembled some 60 odd cars with prices for all budgets. The 1984 Lotus 95 T1 F1 Renault Turbo, estimate €160,000 – 180,000, is an ex-Mansell and de Angelis car in the classic JPS black/gold livery and is described as ‘crying out to be returned to full racing trim’. €130,000 – 200,000 is the estimate for the 1966 Porsche 906. A late entry the car is ready to compete in a variety of events - and an extra bonus is its road-registration.

Removed from power in his native Egypt in 1952, King Farouk lived the playboy lifestyle in Monaco until his death in Rome in 1965. Receiving his weight in diamonds as a gift on his birthday every year helped finance an extraordinary life of excess which included extravagant spending on women, homes and of course; cars. The 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Seville Custom, estimate €80,000 – 100,000, in the sale is from the King’s former ownership and has featured at the Villa d’Este Concours in April this year.

Over thirty years have passed since its original registration yet this 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 ‘Daytona’ Spyder, is only now leaving its first owner. Believed to be almost unique for this reason, the car, German registered and LHD, comes complete with duplicate keys, brown leather wallet, toolkit etc and, never suffering the hardships of ownership change, is an opportunity to buy a completely original, unspoilt car. The estimate of €350,000 – 380,000 reflects this, as well as the model’s inherent rarity.

Other cars in the sale include a 1960 Jaguar MK II 3.8 by Vicarage, €55,000 – 60,000, a 1967 Maserati Mistral 4000 Coupé €30,000 – 35,000 and a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster €195,000 – 230,000. Interestingly Bonhams are also offering a factory hardtop for the latter car, in black, as a separate lot - €8,000 – 10,000. This will of course fit any 300SL Roadster in any colour.

9th August  2003 Bonhams at Nurburgring 'Oldtimer GP' - Preview Finally one of the most attractive cars in the auction is the 1928 Bugatti Type 37A, €350,000 – 450,000. In German ownership since its delivery in 1928 and resplendent in that country’s racing colours of white, the car had originally been driven in European competitions by Countess Margot d’Einsiedel. FIA Papered and race-ready, courtesy of marque specialist Ivan Dutton, this is a jewel of a car exhibiting just the right patina of age.

CLICK HERE to see the complete entry of cars, with photographs, in the Classic Driver Cars for Sale Database.

For a full lot listing, see the Provisional Auction Entry

Text - Steve Wakefield