Further evidence that the rejuvenated Brighton Run has had a dramatic effect on interest in – and values of – veteran cars came when Bonhams shifted all 14 lots at its annual pre-event sale, three of them dramatically topping £200,000 apiece.
In achieving a total of £1.7million at New Bond Street, the auction house smashed its record for the sale, but the star lot went for a rather more 'affordable' £94,460.
Thought to be the oldest Vauxhall in existence, the two-seater (main image) was ordered new by company boss Percy Kidner in November 1903, quickly passed on to a second owner and has remained in that family ever since, though on-loan for much of its life to the Science Museum.
Highest price of the auction went to a 1904 Delaugère et Clayette 24hp Four-Cylinder Side-Entrance Tonneau (above) that made a mammoth £225,000 including premium.
That result just pipped the £223,260 accrued by a 1904 Richard-Brasier Four-Cylinder 16hp Side-Entrance Tonneau (below) while the third £200k-plus veteran was a 1904 Wilson-Pilcher.
Making £203,100, it was the brainchild of Irish-born Walter Wilson who is credited for the invention of the modern military tank via his 1915 creation Little Willie. Built in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the 1904 car (below) is believed to be the sole survivor of its type.
Tim Schofield, Bonhams' UK Motor Car Department director, said: "Once again our sale of veteran motor cars was a huge success, with 100% of the cars sold to realise £1.7million, our highest total for this sale to date.
"This sale remains the only opportunity for collectors to buy a London-to-Brighton-eligible car on the Friday, and take part in the annual Run on the Sunday."