Gooding & Company is coming to London and it means business

Rumours have been circulating as to what Gooding & Company would be offering at its first auction in London on 1 April, but now it’s official: ‘Passion of a Lifetime’ comprises 16 cars from what is undeniably among the world’s most exquisite single-owner collections…

Taking place on 1 April at Somerset House in London, ‘Passion of a Lifetime’ is Gooding & Company’s very first auction on British soil, and it’s touching down with an almighty bang. The catalogue comprises 16 of the bluest blue-chip classic cars from a revered private collection, meticulously curated over the course of many decades. “I have often been asked about conducting an auction outside the United States,” comments company president and founder David Gooding, “and I have always said that it would have to be for an exceptional group of cars.” Suffice to say, the journey across the Atlantic from sunny Santa Monica will no doubt be worth it judging by the list of cars offered. 

Vive La Marque!

Spearheading the way is the ex-King Leopold 1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports, the ultimate expression of Ettore Bugatti’s jewellike Grand Prix cars. Born as a Works racer and predominantly driven by René Dreyfus (including to victory in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa), the car was subsequently converted into a sports-racing car by the factory and enjoyed great success in myriad events and in the hands of such motorsport legends as Piero Taruffi, Achille Varzi and Louis Chiron. Presented largely in the same condition as it was when purchased by King Leopold III of Belgium in 1938, the wonderfully original Bugatti is estimated to sell for in excess of £10m. There are two other Bugattis listed: a 57S Atalante from 1937 (est. in excess of £7m) and a magical unrestored Type 35C Grand Prix (in excess of £3m). 

Passion of a Lifetime 

Elsewhere, there are three ultra-significant Aston Martins: a 1935 Ulster, one of just 21 customer cars, delivered to Prince Bira and Chula of Siam (£1.6–2.2m); a painstakingly restored 1955 DB3S (£3–4m); and a 1961 DB4GT Zagato (£7–9m). ‘Peony Red’ is a desperately beautiful shade for the voluptuous Anglo-Italo Grand Tourer. Other cars in the collection include two Lamborghinis (one of which is a 1971 Miura P400 SV Speciale), three Lancias, three Bentleys, one Rolls-Royce and a Vauxhall. Keep an eye on Classic Driver in the coming weeks to view the mouth-watering ‘Passion of a Lifetime’ catalogue in its entirety. For those who can’t wait, Gooding will exhibit the Bugatti Type 59, Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato and Lamborghini Miura at Rétromobile in Paris. 

Photos: Gooding & Company