Bonhams recently held sale at Mercedes-Benz World in Weybridge, Surrey (on the 1st of December, 2011), featured a few interesting sales. Foremost among them was the 1953 Austin-Healey 100S Prototype that was involved in the infamous wreck at the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans. The car was being driven by Lance Macklin who swerved to avoid a Mike Hawthorn’s Jaguar D-Type that was entering the pits. Pierre Levegh in a Mercedes-Benz 300SLR struck the rear of this Healey and was launched into the crowd, killing 83, including Levegh. The car’s infamy definitely played a part in it reaching a hammer price of $1.3 million – especially as it was sold in “barn find” condition seen here:
Other highlights include the red Maserati Quattroporte we featured a few weeks ago, selling for $80,000, falling right in the middle of the pre-sale estimate. Also sold was this super unusual 1912 Lanchester 38hp Detachable Open Drive Limousine for just over $130,000.
The car was owned by a Maharajah – as it seems more and more early British motorcars are – especially those with outlandish or highly unusual bodywork. The fixed roof over the rear passengers is completely removable on this car. The wheelbase is ridiculous and the whole front of the car looks like it was smashed backwards by about five feet. Unusual indeed.
I’ve decided that we’re going to give special mention to the final lot in every sale, as that lot usually tends to not be the most valuable or unusual car sold. It’s kind of overlooked. Like Mr. Irrelevant (the last pick in the annual NFL draft). For this sale it was a 2001 Aston Martin DB7 Vantage Volante very similar (but not exact) to the one below.
As far as I’m concerned, this is one of the most beautiful cars of all time. It’s an extraordinarily pretty car and this one was dark blue with tan interior and had 63,000 miles on the odometer. It sold for almost $47,000 with buyer’s premium.
For complete results, check Bonhams’ website here.
Even odder than the appearance of the Lanchester is the engineering – twin contra-rotating cranks, twin con rod per cylinder and ONE valve per cylinder – check it out: http://autoneuroticfixation.blogspot.com/2012/03/odd-engineering-lanchester-twin.html