The most attention grabbing lot at Bonhams yesterday was the unrestored Mini, but top-selling honours went to a Bentley 1957 S-Series Continental.
The subtly stylish coachwork – by HJ Mulliner – was reason enough for this car’s sale price of £191,900, but this particular example had money lavished on it for work including a bare-metal respray, engine detailing, interior retrim and woodwork refurbishment, new fuel pumps and a full brake system rebuild.
Second place (in sales terms) went to another Bentley – this time a 1924 3 Litre Speed Model Tourer, which sold for £163,900. Equipped with a four-cylinder fixed-head engine, it is believed the car was fitted with its current Vanden Plas body in 1935. In 2010 it was given a revamp that included replacing the front springs, clutch, radiator, water pump, rear hubs, tyres, battery, and overhauling the carburettors, brakes and wheels.
Combining Italian good looks with an American V8 was the third-placed sale, a 1969 AC 428 Coupé that made £77,660 – more than £10,000 above estimate. The effortless style of the Frua coachwork matches the 7-litre Ford Galaxie engine’s lazy 345bhp, which provided 0-100mph in around 14.5 seconds and a top speed of over 140mph.
An ex-Keith Richards 1950 Pontiac Chieftain, a 1958 Austin-Healey 100/6 BN6 Roadster at £44,275 and a 1935 Talbot BA105 Tourer at £66,460 concluded the other big sales of the day.
Used by the Rolling Stone as transport during his time in Nice recording Excile on Main Street and coming complete with a picture of him in it as proof, the final sale price of £37,950 for the Chieftain – known as the ‘Silver Streak’ –smashed Bonhams’ estimate of £18-22,000.
The ‘Big Healey’ also beat its top estimate of £32,000, no doubt thanks to a comprehensive restoration and having covered only 200 dry-miles since.
Meanwhile, the six-cylinder Talbot came in under its lower estimate of £70,000, despite carrying receipts for £10,000 covering 2006-’09 and having a comprehensive history including an original brochure, an assortment of MOTs and numerous maintenance guides.
Other notable results included a 1991 Ferrari Testarossa making £33,000, an infinitely cool 1964 Mercedes-Benz 600 for £13,225 and an Aston Martin Virage that, at £14,975, looked like an interesting alternative to our default bargain Aston – the DB7.
A Hillman Minx at only £1380 seemed an ideal first step onto the classic-car ladder.