Timewarp Mercedes destroys estimate to make £2.8 million at Bonhams


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.


Chris Martin

Oh no James, I wondered who would be the one to let me down, surprised it was you though. What am I talking about? The use of the latest annoying buzz word; "back-story". Anything old has a history, or sometimes even just a story could be appropriate, but where and when did back-story become the correct term? I have a sneaking suspicion it sounds like the sort of mangled English one would find used in Hollywood to describe the parts of a movie plot they were too lazy to film but it may have equally have been invented at the now defunct News Of The World. I have seen this creeping in to use too often lately, and of course reading a lot about old cars I guess I am going to find new words substituted for the standard cliches, so was there a new a thesaurus published recently? I noted it's appearance recently in a magazine C&SC may consider competition, but then they do have a more contrived style anyway, so I had made a mental note to pull you up on it as soon as I saw it mentioned in your pages. Well there it is - can you maybe put a bloody great memo on the wall at C&SC Towers as a reminder before other scribes fall victim to this trendiness. And while you are at it, another older cliche that has outworn it's welcome is "penned". Every writer has just about described every car as being penned by someone in an obvious attempt to avoid saying drawn, designed or styled, can we give it a rest now? How about sketched, pencilled, or even crayonned? Of course more modern cars are never penned anyway, they are all CADded these days. Ok, sorry James, rant over. Chris M.


James Elliott

Excellent ranting Chris!

Group Editor, C&SC

Chris Martin

Thanks, I thought so too.


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