One of the world’s first sports cars makes half a million pounds

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An example of one of the world’s first sports cars – the 1914 Vauxhall 25HP ‘Prince Henry’ Sports Torpedo –  sold for £516,700 at Bonhams’ Bond Street sale on 4 December. 

Opportunities to buy such a rare model are few and far between, and the excitement in the room was palpable as the Vauxhall crossed the block to rapturous applause. Among the crowd was the family of the car’s previous owner, who had sold the Vauxhall in 1945. 

“We were absolutely delighted with today’s sale,” said Bonhams’ director James Knight. “We sold cars that spanned pretty much the whole history of motoring, from the 1914 Vauxhall Prince Henry to the 2004 Porsche Carrera GT.”

A 1926 Rolls-Royce Phantom I also drew plenty of attention, its opulence proving irresistible to two committed bidders, one of whom secured the car for £561,500. 

Four Aston Martins were also included in the sale, the most significant being a 2003 DB7 Zagato. One of just 27 examples built, it eventually got away for an impressive £309,500. 

Top honours, however, belonged to a 1989 V8 Vantage Volante ‘Prince of Wales’, which achieved £651,000. The car was one of a short run of cars built to emulate HRH The Prince of Wales’ own Vantage Volante, which offered Vantage performance but with a more restrained appearance. 

Of the top 10 lots, eight hailed from British manufacturers. They included a delightful 1962 Jaguar E-type Series I 3.8 Roadster that fetched £219,900. 

James Knight concluded: “We had a wonderful afternoon and were very pleased with our results – averaging £250,000 per motor car lot was very satisfying. We look forward to enjoying similar success at our Olympia sale next week on 7 December.”

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