A sensationally patinated 1928 Mercedes-Benz 36/200 S-type topped the results at the Bonhams auction at the Goodwood Revival.
Fuelled by a superb back-story, with one-family ownership for 84 years, bidding for the car rocketed to £2.8 million against pre-sale estimates of £1.5 million.
The Mercedes led a clutch of million-pound-plus sales, all for pre-war cars.
The ex-Giuseppe Campari Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 – below, in its last ownership for nearly 60 years – amassed £1.6 million, the ex-works 1939 Lagonda V12 Le Mans team car (above) £1.2 million and a 1929 Alfa Romeo 1750SS just shy of £1.1 million.
It wasn't all about the big money lots, though, and there were plenty of reasonably priced buys for the shrewd enthusiast.
Among them was a Facel Vega HK500 that made a fraction over £40,000. A 1955 AC Ace converted to Zephyr power could prove to be a good buy at £90,000, while a 1958 Jaguar Mk1 racer was under £14k.
Possible bargain of the sale was the second lot in – before bidders had warmed up – when a fully restored 20,000-mile 1972 Alfa 2000 GTV made just under £20,000, no money for a car boasting this one's history and condition.
The other cars from the Hartley collection – which provided the 8C – also made strong figures. The ex-George Eyston Maserati T26 topped half a million pounds, while Hartley's immaculate homebuilt Maserati V4 Sedici Cilindri recreation (above) made £432,000.