Railton F29 Claremont

1989 Railton F29 Claremont

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Enstone, U.K. | May 11, 2019

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Noel Macklin was a British entrepreneur who founded Invicta and ultimately sold it in 1933. Looking for something to do, he borrowed the last name of Reid Railton, who was famous for designing land speed record cars, and started a new car company.

Railtons were based on American Hudsons, and Macklin ended up selling the company to Hudson in 1939. History nerds know that a war broke out that year, and Railton was essentially DOA when Hudson took over.

In the late-1980s, William Towns (who designed this beauty, as well as the Aston Martin Lagonda) decided to try and relaunch the brand. Two models – both convertibles – were introduced and were based on Jaguar XJS mechanicals. In an effort to – well, I’m not sure what the intention was – the car was re-bodied on top of the original Jaguar body. Sure, why not.

But that XJS motor is still there – a 280 horsepower 5.3-liter V12. Only one Claremont and one example of the other car (the Fairmile) were produced. You can differentiate the two because the Claremont has rear wheel skirts. The only example produced, this car should bring between $75,000-$90,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $85,846.

Railton Woody

1935 Railton Straight Eight Estate

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | Ascot, U.K. | March 3, 2018

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Railton is an old British car maker, but not as old as you might think. Noel Macklin, who also founded Invicta, founded Railton in 1933 after selling his former company. The company was named for Reid Railton who was famous for his land speed record attempts (and for founding the Arab marque). Reid Railton had little input on these cars but was paid a little for each sold. Also, there are various Railton Specials out there that Reid built for his record attempts but those aren’t related to this company.

The first Railtons were built on modified Hudson Terraplane chassis. Then they moved on to other Hudson running gear and, ultimately, in 1939, Macklin sold the entire company to Hudson which phased it out later that year (though a few were built after the war).

This car uses a 4.2-liter Hudson straight-eight engine making 113 horsepower. It was a pretty strong car in its day: American power and European style and size. This particular example left the factory as a tourer, but during restoration in 2005 that body was found to be beyond saving and this period-style Woody Estate was built instead. It certainly looks like it could’ve come off the assembly line like this and it’s very attractive. And with that big Hudson motor it’s even more exciting. It should bring between $55,000-$63,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of this sale’s lineup.

Update: Not sold.

Update: Sold, Historics at Brooklands, March 2019, $36,371.