Rare Bentley heads strong British contingent at Rockingham sale

| 18 Jun 2013

One of just two 1937 4 ¼ -litre Bentleys treated to special-order Vanden Plas coachwork has made £144,480 at H and H’s 15 June Rockingham Castle sale.

The coupé was extensively restored between 2001 and 2007, including an engine rebuild and refurbishing the gearbox, back axle, suspension, steering, wiring, brightwork, plus installing overdrive.

Much of the bodywork’s ash frame was also replaced and the cabin was re-upholstered.

Since its restoration the Bentley has won several awards, including the Bill Cook Trophy for Best Derby and the P&A Wood Trophy for Best Privately Restored Car at the Bentley Drivers Club's 2008 Rousham House Concours.

A 1926 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Tourer and a 1954 Bentley R-Type Sports Special each made £95,200.

The Royce was subject to a six-year restoration from 1974, came complete with an unfitted supercharger and was said to be a usable classic.

The R-Type Bentley had been created as the vendor’s idea of the ultimate example of the marque.

He carried out much of the work himself – including the body and interior – and the result was a car that took multiple Bentley Drivers Club concours wins.

Other big-money classics included a 1931 Lagonda 2 Litre Supercharged Tourer (£85,680), a 1918 Le Zebre Sports (£78,400), which was a scale replica of the Land Speed Record 1904 Panhard Levassor, and a James Young 1939 Rolls-Royce Wraith (£54,880).

Away from the top-end lots were plenty of good-value cars such as a 1947 MG TC, which mustered a very reasonable £12,880 for a road-legal example.

It had been treated to a new (and period correct) engine, plus work on its water pump, floor, rear shock absorbers and carburettors. It also came with MoT until 2014.

Offering a modern alternative was a 2003 AC Ace Brooklands that made £12,320, just over its lower estimate and well below classified asking price.

The rare sports car promised nimble handling – thanks to a lightweight body and a BTR Hydratrack limited slip differential – and plenty of power courtesy of a 302cu in Ford V8.

Meanwhile, just £5264 could have bought you one of the world’s best front-wheel-drive chassis in the form of a 1991 M100 Lotus Elan SE Turbo.

MoT’d until February, it had covered just 38,600 miles and was said to be in top mechanical order.

View the full lot list on the auction house’s website.