A host of significant cars from one of America’s largest and most prestigious private collections is set to cross the block in Los Angeles on 11 November, following a sneak preview of the a handful of the collection’s star turns at Bonhams’ Quail Lodge Auction earlier this month.
In total, 50 cars from the Bothwell Collection – the life’s work of Lindley and Ann Bothwell – will be actioned in California, including several significant pre-war racers such as the ex-Eddie Maier 1908 Benz 105hp Prinz Heinrich, the 1913 Indianapolis Peugeot and a 1908 Mercedes Simplex.
The 1913 Peugeot L45 represented a step-leap in engine design, with its sophisticated twin overhead camshaft design paving the way for many performance engines that followed. The car was campaigned at Indianapolis in 1916 and 1919, and Bothwell returned to the circuit in 1949, comfortably eclipsing Dario Resta’s 1916 lap record of 85mph with an exhibition lap of 103mph.
The collection also houses one of 10 Prinz Heinrich Benz’, which were built to commemorate the firm’s victory at the 1908 Prinz Heinrich Tour. As well as being campaigned in period, Bothwell raced the Benz extensively while taking a lead pioneering historic racing in America.
From the same year, a Mercedes Simplex 60hp is said to have been originally owned by prominent racing enthusiast and record setter William K Vanderbilt. (Click here to see a stunning gallery of images from the birth of Mercedes)
Dozens of other fascinating automobiles will also be crossing the block, from manufacturers as diverse as Austro-Daimler, Buick, Cadillac, Ford, Hudson, National, Packard and Pope-Hartford, plus five fully restored streetcars, which used to be run on a mile of track he had built at his property.
“Lindley and Ann Bothwell need little introduction,” said Bonhams’ Chairman Malcolm Barber. “Their contribution to historic motoring is renowned, their cars are legendary and, most important, their enthusiasm all encompassing. This is truly a monumental collection and we are extremely flattered to represent it at auction. The phrase ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ is very appropriate.”
His thoughts were echoed by Bonhams’ Vice President of Motoring, Rupert Banner, who said: “We are incredibly excited to offer these fascinating automobiles for sale, particularly the early racers. The sale of the sole surviving L45 Grand Prix Peugeot will be a generational opportunity to acquire a landmark car in the history of the development of racing in America and Europe.”
The sale will take place at the Bothwell Ranch in Woodland Hills, California. Click here for more information