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Christie's at Jack Barclay Showroom, London 29th March 2004 - Preview

Photo; Courtesy DaimlerChrysler, of a similar car.

Fresh from their success with the 1939 Bentley 4 1/4 Litre Van Vooren selling for EURO 382,250 at Rétromobile, the Christie’s team will be holding another sale of Exceptional Motor Cars and Automobilia in London on 29th March. The big draw is the Galaxite Black with Black leather interior Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren for April 2004 delivery - one of the very first 10 production cars.

Enough has been written about Mercedes’ new missile, but suffice it to say it has re-invented the supercar concept, being front/mid-engined and its mighty AMG motor produces 626bhp at a relatively low (for a supercar) 6,500 rpm. The SLR Christie’s are offering was won in a competition in 2001 and due to the car's imminent completion (scheduled for April 2004) the vendor has decided to offer the car by auction before delivery so that this prime allocation can be taken by another party. Such has the response been to the announcement of the SLR that even if an order was placed now (March 2004), delivery could not be guaranteed for another three years due to sheer demand and the fact that production has been limited to just 500 units per year. Christie’s are offering someone (bidding to an estimated £310,000 - 400,000) an enviable chance to beat the agonising wait.

The other big lot, the 1964 Ferrari 250GT Lusso, in just its third ownership from new, was originally delivered in dark metallic blue with blue leather but is now (having been restored in the 1980s) finished in British Racing Green with cream interior. For years in the shadow of its similarly titled (250GT) brethren, Lusso values are now really taking off and let’s not forget, the model was raced and rallied in the 1960s and, if lacking the brutality of an SWB, the car is eligible for the big racing events. Being RHD it is a much rarer beast; in fact of the 350 cars built only 22 were in this form, of which only 19 survive. It’s estimated at £200,000 - 240,000.

The Bentleys display outwardly similar bodywork to the uninitiated, however the blue 1928 4 1/2 Litre 2/4 Seater Tourer, at £140,000 - 160,000 is a true ‘W.O.’ Cricklewood car, originally fabric-bodied but receiving more modern chassis-enveloping coachwork by Van den Plas in 1935, and the 1935 3 1/2 Litre Tourer, also by Van den Plas (£70,000 - 100,000), is a ‘genuine’ Derby-built car, once the property of American actor Robert Montgomery. Both cars are elegant sporting tourers and given the excellent price achieved by Christie’s in Paris, for admittedly a very special car, it will be interesting to see if this tend continues. Other British-built pre-war cars include two Roesch-Talbots, a 1933 90 Van den Plas Tourer at £30,000 - 40,000 and a pretty 1935 T110 Van den Plas Tourer at £50,000 - 60,000.

TT at Ards 1928 Photo; Geoff Goddard Collection

Going further back, the 1927 Austro Daimler AD ADM 19/100 3-Litre, £70,000 - 90,000, is an opportunity for someone to restore an ex-1928 Ards TT Team Prize-winning car- eminently suitable for the many burgeoning pre-war racing series. In need of complete restoration - but described as basically sound and complete - the car is fundamentally a Bentley or Alfa Romeo alternative, with connections with Ferdinand Porsche and Alfred Neubauer (Mercedes’ legendary team manager who ran a lightened two-seater Austro Daimler in the period) - at a considerable discount. The two Maserati lots, a 4C S Restoration project (£30,000 - 50,000) and a 4C S two-seater sports (£70,000 - 90,000) offer provenance of a certain complexity that only a visit to Christie’s excellent website will do justice.

Of the more modern classics entered, the two Alfas, a 1964 Giulia Spider at £15,000 - 18,000 and 1965 Giulia Sprint Speciale £14,000 - 17,000 look particularly nice, as does the fine 1962 LHD Aston Martin DB4 Series IV £40,000 - 60,000.

As usual, proceedings will open with a fine selection of Automobilia, many of which relate to two of the finest-ever GP drivers, Ayrton Senna and Jim Clark. Worthy of particular mention are a pair of light blue, two-part ‘Dunlop’ racing overalls given by Jim Clark to the son of the vendor’s family as a personal memento. Estimate; £6,000 - 10,000.

All lots can be seen in detail, with colour photographs on the Classic Driver Car Database. Please CLICK HERE for full details.

For a full lotlist, please CLICK HERE.

Christie's International Motor Cars Ltd
The Jack Barclay Showroom
2-4 Ponton Rd
Nine Elms
London SW8 5BA

Tel: + 44(0)20 7389 2851
Fax: + 44(0)20 7627 8917
[email protected]

Text - Steve Wakefield
Photos - Christie's/James Mann