Bentley Empress II

1991 Bentley Turbo RL Empress II Coupe by Hooper

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17-18, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Before we get into the coachbuilt rareness of this car, let’s start with a little model background. The Bentley Turbo R was a sedan introduced in 1985 and was produced in several iterations through 1999. It was sold in two wheelbases initially, long and short. An updated model went on sale in 1995, and the limited-edition Turbo S was sold in 1995.

In 1996, the short-wheelbase cars ended production. Prior to that, long-wheelbase cars were sold as the Bentley Turbo RL. After 1996, they were all long-wheelbase and the “L” was dropped. That’s a long-winded way to tell you that the car presented here is a long-wheelbase Turbo R. But (intrigue!) it’s a coupe. Bentley ever only sold it as a sedan.

That’s where Hooper comes in. The coachbuilder, with a longtime association with Bentley and favored car-crafting masters of the British Royal family, built this two-door aluminum-bodied coupe. Still powered by a 296 horsepower, 6.75-liter turbocharged V8, the car features streamlined coachwork and a bespoke interior. Only five were built, and this car – the fourth built – was used in Hooper’s advertising. It’s one of two left-hand-drive examples and is being sold from the Calumet Collection. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

October 2018 Auction Highlights, Pt. II

We’re starting off our second October auction rundown with one of Bonhams’ most interesting sales of the year: their sale at the Simeone Foundation Museum in Philadelphia. Even with a bunch of weird old classics on hand, the top sale was still a 1970 Ferrari 365 GT 2+2 for $215,040.

Photo – Bonhams

The Paige Daytona Speedster we featured sold for $84,000 and the Breese Paris Roadster $78,400. Click here for more results.

H&H Classics held a sale in October, and the Honda S800 we featured sold for $17,615. The overall top seller – by a very wide margin – was this 1929 Bentley 4.5-Litre Le Mans-style Tourer for $1,115,638. Click here for final results.

Photo – H&H Classics

Next up, Leclere-MDV in Paris. We featured an Alpine A110 1300 S that sold for a strong $105,158. The overall top sale was $286,795 for this 1990 Lancia Delta HF rally car and full results can be found here.

Photo – Leclere-MDV

Onward to Osenat’s Automobiles de Collection sale where the Matra Murena we featured failed to find a new home. The catalog here was on the smaller side and the top sale was this 1972 Land Rover Range Rover for $45,067. Click here for more results.

Photo – Osenat

Finally, we stay in Europe for Brightwells’ Bicester Classic & Vintage sale. The Frazer Nash we featured ended up being the top seller, bringing $265,436. That means we get to award Most Interesting. We’d like to hand that to a Soviet SA-6 SAM missile that was included for some reason but will stick with cars, particularly this 1934 Humber Sniper 80 Golfer’s Coupe that brought $41,609. Click here for all of the results from this sale.

Photo – Brightwells

Blower Bentley

1931 Bentley 4½-Litre Supercharged Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | July 13, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The first Bentley was the 3-Litre model. In 1927, W.O. Bentley increased the displacement of the car and it became the 4½-Litre (the larger 6½-Litre was already on sale). These cars competed at Le Mans with the legendary “Bentley Boys” at the helm. One of them won it in 1928.

Then in 1929, Bentley and one of his engineers, Amherst Villiers, strapped a supercharger to the 4.4-liter straight-four. The Blower Bentley was born and it was an instant legend, setting several speed records. Horsepower jumped to 175 compared to the 110 from the normal car. Speeds of 100 mph were easily achieved, even on open roads.

This car originally carried a sedan body – one of three such cars delivered. Bentley had to homologate this model for racing, so 50 had to be built (and they were). This was the last of the first batch of 25 cars. The second owner wrecked it in 1935 and when Bentley rebuilt it, the engine was split from the car and fitted to a 3-Litre chassis. In 1984, the owners of the car decided to put it back the way it was supposed to be.

They sourced as many of the original parts as they could including the correct engine. It was re-bodied in Vanden Plas Tourer form and the project wrapped up in 1993. With two owners since, this rare and highly desirable Blower Bentley should bring between $2,700,000-$3,300,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ lineup.

Update: Sold $2,654,569.

June 2018 Auction Results

Bonhams leads off our June results rundown with their Aston Martin sale, held in Reading, England, this year. The top sale was this 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible for $1,179,543.

Photo – Bonhams

Another convertible, the DB MK III we featured, sold for $523,694. Click here for more results.

Next up, H&H Classics at the Motor Sport Hall of Fame. The overall top sale was this 1960 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe that brought $146,421. The GSM Delta we featured failed to meet its reserve. Click here for complete results.

Photo – H&H Classics

Onward to Mecum in Denver. The VW Samba Bus was the third top seller, bringing $118,250. The #1 sale was this resto-mod 1970 Plymouth Barracuda Convertible (in Plum Crazy!) for $181,500.

Photo – Mecum

The Asquith Shetland brought $13,200. Click here for more results.

Osenat held back-to-back sales, one of which appeared to be a collection of old cars recently pulled out of a large warehouse. There was some interesting stuff here and the largest sale was this 1931 Renault Type TG1 Nervastella Sport Sedan by Million-Guiet. It went for $148,031. Click here for more results.

Photo – Osenat

Finally, Brightwells’ Modern Classics sale. We didn’t feature anything, but this 2012 Mercedes-Benz SL350 was the top sale at $25,209. Click here for all of the results.

Photo – Brightwells

August 2017 Auction Results

We start off August with a leftover from July, Silverstone Auctions’ Silverstone Classic Sale. The top sale was a 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona that previously belonged to Elton John. It sold for $723,956.

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Both of our feature cars sold with the low-mileage Lotus Carlton selling for $94,557 and the Renault 5 Turbo $97,512. More results can be found here.

Brightwells held a Modern Classic sale in August on the eve of everything that happened half a world away in California. The Marlin Makaira failed to sell but this 2013 Audi RS6 Avant was the top sale at $61,540. Click here for everything else.

Photo – Brightwells

Moving to California we have Mecum’s Monterey sale. We’ll start by saying that this previously-featured Duesenberg failed to sell. The overall top seller of this auction was this 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari for $3,450,000. The Koenigsegg we featured still brought a lot, but not quite as much, at $2,600,000. And the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse was third at $2,350,000. The regular Veyron failed to sell.

Photo – Mecum

The Maserati MC12 Corsa (like a previously-featured Aston Martin Vulcan) could’ve been a million dollar sale, but it failed to meet its reserve. To round out our feature cars, the Shelby Series II Prototype also failed to sell. You can see Mecum’s complete result list here.

Now on to Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach sale. The Porsche 917K we featured sold for $14,080,000 – and, remarkably, it just missed being the top sale, which went to this 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C that brought $14,520,000.

Photo – Gooding & Company

There were a couple of no-sales among our feature cars, including the Ferrari wagon, the Arnott-Climax, the Mercedes-Benz S-Type and the Alfa 33 TT 12. The Maserati A6G/54 sold for $4,400,000. A previously-featured Fiat 8V Elaborata sold here for $1,485,000.

Other sales included the Gardner Roadster for $132,000, the OSCA 1600 GT for $341,000, the Wolfe Touring for $49,500. You can see more results here.

We’ll have more Pebble Beach results in a few weeks, but for now we’ll wrap it up with RM Sotheby’s sale in Monterey. The top sale here was the Aston Martin DBR1 for a record $22,550,000. Two other Astons that we’ve featured sold here as well, a DB4GT (for $6,765,000) and a Group C AMR1 (for $616,000).

Just like at Gooding’s sale, a Mercedes S-Type failed to sell, as did the Voisin C28. For Most Interesting, we’re going with this mean looking 1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Speed Six Sportsman’s Saloon by Corsica that brought $3,410,000.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Other million dollar sales included the Maserati 5000 GT by Michelotti for $1,017,500 (the other Maserati, the 3500 GT, brought $605,000). There were at least four million-dollar Ferraris: the 121 LM sold for $5,720,000, the 342 America $2,255,000, the 500/735 Mondial $3,850,000, and the 212 Export $4,500,000.

Other big money Italian cars included the Lamborghini Concept S ($1,320,000) and the Abarth 1100 Sport ($891,000).

There were three previously-featured cars that sold here, including this Duesenberg for $1,430,000, this Oldsmobile Autocrat for $605,000, and this four-door Rolls-Royce convertible $385,000. Whew. Check out everything else here.

Bentley Woodie Wagon

2003 Bentley Arnage T 4WD Station Wagon by Pininfarina & Genaddi Design

Offered by Artcurial | Monaco | July 2, 2017

Photo – Artcurial

The Bentley Arnage, Bentley’s big sedan that they built from 1998 to 2009, was, and still is, a great-looking car. It was a front-engine, rear-wheel drive, four-door sedan. But what happens when your giant luxo-barge doesn’t have enough room from the groceries, the dog, and a sheet of plywood? Well you go spend $900,000 at a few posh design shops and transform that big British boat into a wagon. And then you put wood paneling on the side, Ford Country Squire-style.

I love it when people with too much money don’t know what to spend it on so they build a ridiculous car (pro-tip, you can always just send that spare change my way). The Arnage T was introduced in 2002 and is powered by a 459 horsepower, twin-turbocharged 6.8-liter V-8. Top speed was 170 mph and 60 arrived in 5.5 seconds. Pretty stout for a 15-year old sedan weighing over 5,000 pounds.

This one owner car was sent to Genaddi Design in the U.S. to be turned into a wagon, something Bentley didn’t build. He also needed it converted to four-wheel drive because this was to be his exclusive transport at his house in the Alpine village of St. Moritz, Switzerland. The 4WD system has a Cadillac Escalade to thank for its engineering (and some parts).

When completed it was shipped to the owners home in Monaco, but they weren’t happy and sent it to Pininfarina to add some final touches (and re-do the interior). This is the kind of car that draws strong opinions one way or the other and for the record, as big fans of wagons and the Arnage, we love it. If you’re the kind of person who needs his or her Bentley to be rarer than your neighbors Bentley, then here’s your ride. It should bring between $90,000-$180,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

December 2016 Auction Highlights

First up in December is one of two Bonhams sales, this one is the Bond Street Sale where we featured two Zagato-bodied Aston Martins. The DB7 Zagato brought $390,262 but the V12 failed to sell. Bonhams published most of their results, but they appear to have skipped the top two sellers. The highest dollar price currently reported was $821,000 for this 1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante “Prince of Wales”. Click here for complete results.

Photo – Bonhams

Mecum’s Kansas City sale was this month and the #1 sale was $130,000 for this 1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427/400 Coupe.

Photo – Mecum

The Phillips Berlina neo-classic we featured went for a reasonable $17,500. Click here for all results.

Remember those earthquakes in Italy over the past few months? Well the head of Fiat decided that Ferrari would build one more LaFerrari and then auction it off for charity to benefit the victims of those earthquakes. RM Sotheby’s sold the car in Daytona Beach this month and it brought $7,000,000.

The top sale at H&H Classics’ Chateau Impney sale was this 2012 Ferrari F430 Spider that brought $179,669.

Photo – H&H Classics

A previously-featured Phebus failed to sell and the Bristol 407 brought $38,047. Click here for complete results.

And finally, Brightwells’ Modern Classic Cars sale. We didn’t get to feature anything from it, but this 2007 Bentley Continental GT was the top sale at $35,529, which seems like a remarkably good deal. Click here for the rest of the results.

Photo – Brightwells

September 2016 Auction Highlights, Pt. II

First up: Bonhams, and their Goodwood Revival sale. The only one of our feature cars that sold was the Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica that went for $785,031. The top sale was this 1956 Porsche 550/1500 RS Spyder that went for $5,976,862.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

That leaves the Daimler Dart, Renwick & Bertelli, and Aston-Butterworth all as no-sales. Click here for all of the results.

Another quick one from Bonhams, the sale of the Robert White Collection. We didn’t feature anything, but of the handful of cars (and larger selection of motorcycles), the top seller was this 1930 Bentley 4½-Litre Tourer for $409,994. Click here for full results.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

On to Brightwells’ September sale. The one and only Murad Sedan that we featured brought $1,557 – quite a price for a one-off automobile. The top sale was this 1978 Aston Martin V8 Series 3 that brought $97,367. Click here for complete results.

Photo - Brightwells

Photo – Brightwells

The Finest had a sale in Aspen, Colorado, and this 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series was the top sale, selling for $220,000. Click here for all of their results.

Photo - The Finest

Photo – The Finest

How about one more from Bonhams? This one is the always-interesting Preserving the Automobile Sale held in Philadelphia. The Willys we featured beat its estimate, selling for $45,100. The Locomobile we featured failed to sell, but the top seller was a different, much rougher (although original) car from the same brand: it’s a 1901 Locomobile Style 5 that brought $121,000 after 80 years of ownership by the same people.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Galloway truck we featured sold for $26,400. Click here for complete results.

August 2016 Auction Highlights, Pt. II

We’re back with more from Monterey with Russo & Steele. The top sale was this 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL for $1,155,000.

Photo - Russo & Steele

Photo – Russo & Steele

Our featured Tojeiro California failed to sell and you can find complete results here.

While Monterey may have been the center of the car world in August, it wasn’t the only place where cars could be had. Historics at Brooklands held a sale during Monterey week. We weren’t able to feature anything from it, but the top seller was this 1934 Bentley 3½-Litre Roadster Special for about $187,000. More results can be found here.

Photo - Historics at Brooklands

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Next up is Bonhams Beaulieu sale where this 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Coupe was the top seller at $390,392.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Among our feature cars, the Brasier brought the most, at $79,679. The Chalmers was next with a price of $39,879 and then the Rochet-Schneider at $23,007. The Clyde, Briton, and Garrard all failed to sell. Complete results can be found here.

Silverstone’s Salon Prive sale was held in early September and we weren’t able to feature anything from it, but this 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 brought the most money, by just a few hundred dollars, selling for $277,019. Click here for all the results.

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

And finally, we jump to Auburn, Indiana, where Worldwide Auctioneers held their annual sale there. The car we featured from this sale, the Townsend Typhoon, failed to meet its reserve and did not sell. The top sale was this 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Coupe for $572,000 – quite the premium over the car Bonhams sold above. Click here for full results.

Photo - Worldwide Auctioneers

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

December 2015 Auction Highlights

This month, we’ll start with a brand new auction, the inaugural sale by the Keno Brothers held in New York. The top sale was a 1967 Bizzarrini 5300 Strada for $1,010,800.

Photo - Keno Brothers

Photo – Keno Brothers

The “cars as art” thing isn’t anything new, but this sale really pushed it hard. Hopefully all of the new owners realize they can still use these beautiful machines. Full results can be found here.

Next up, Bonhams’ December sale. We featured one car here, a 4¼-Litre Bentley that brought $144,019. The top sale was another Bentley, a 1926 3-Litre Light Tourer by Vanden Plas for $419,251. Complete results are here.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Auctionata’s Mercedes-Benz-only sale saw a few sellers, with this 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Coupe topping them all at $91,775. Click here for more.

Photo - Auctionata

Photo – Auctionata

RM Sotheby’s “Driven by Disruption” sale was a headline-grabber with our featured ex-Fangio 290 MM selling for $28,050,000. The other mega-dollar car was the Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato that went for $14,300,000. But among all of the million dollar cars were a parade of no-sales, including: the Lambo Concept S, the 300SL Race Car, the 500 Mondial, and the Ferrari 212 Inter. Interesting sales included an ever-increasing-in-value Countach – a 1981 Lamborghini Countach LP400 S for a crazy $962,500.

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The Siata 208S sold for $1,650,000 and the Delage $1,430,000. The Pegaso was a relative bargain at $742,500. And a previously-featured Ferrari 250 Europa sold for $3,300,000. Check out full results here.

And finally, Mecum’s Austin sale. The top sale was a 2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition with 573 miles on the clock for $440,000.

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Our featured Aston Martin Virage sold for $97,500. Click here for full results.