While a prototype Jaguar XJ220 has proved the biggest talking point for H&H’s 17 April Imperial War Museum Sale, it’s a Mercedes-Benz 300SL that is set to top the auction.
The 1955 Gullwing was delivered new to Roger A Perry in New York and included extras such as Medium Red leather upholstery, English instruments, front and rear bumper guards and a 1kg tin of spare paint.
The car stayed in the US for a number of years where its original finish of White Grey was changed to black, before being repatriated to Germany in 1987 and registered to collector Dr Wolf Zweifler.
Zweifler had the car issued with a FISA Historic Vehicle Identity Form on 15 October 1987 and kept it until 1999, when he sold it to its current owner at Techno Classica Essen.
Chassis 5500485 currently shows 30,400 unwarranted miles to its odometer (although the true mileage is thought to be higher) including being driven to Le Mans and participating in the retrospective Mille Miglia. It is estimated to make £500-600,000.
Second to the Gullwing in terms of value is a 1965/’66 McLaren M1B that carries a guide price of £220-260,000.
Supplied new to Ken Sheppard to compete in the 1966 Guards Trophy Series, the car initially struggled because it was plagued by oil-feed problems. The following season proved more fruitful, though, and it was leading the series when it was sold to hillclimber Bob Rose.
In his hands, the racer took occasional class victories in 1967-’68, but was fighting a losing battle against four-wheel-drive single-seaters.
Having gone through a string of owners since, the McLaren was damaged two years ago, but has been professionally repaired by Classic Performance Engineering, while its 4.9-litre Ford V8 and its gearbox have also been overhauled.
Described as a ‘passport to some of the world's most exciting historic racing events’, the M1B also comes with various spares.
While there’s lots of exotica on offer in Duxford, there are plenty of rare machines that are more attainable.
One such car is a 1974 MGB GT Lenham drophead coupé (£8-9,000). One of nine, its conversion was carried out in ’86.
Another more affordable lot is a 1969 Mazda Luce R130 Coupé (£15-18,000). One of just 976 – and thought to be the only one in the UK – the Mazda was purchased in Japan by a private collector in 2008. Stored in a dehumidified garage, the car is said to be sound with no rust spots and is MoT'd until November.
Offering the potential for a bargain future classic, or unusual/frugal city transport, is a 1989 Eltrans Mini-El, which is offered at no reserve. The electric three-wheeler comes minus a battery, but is said to be in good cosmetic order.
View the full lot list on the H&H website.