At Bonhams, Bentleys beckon to British buyers

1927 Bentley 3-Litre Speed tourer | Bonhams photos
1927 Bentley 3-Litre Speed tourer | Bonhams photos

With three British-built Bentleys among the top seven sales, Bonhams classic car auction at the RAF Museum in England posted $3.55 million in sales.

Leading the sale in terms of price paid was a 1956 Bentley S-Series Continental sports saloon with coachwork by H.J. Mulliner. The car sold for $426,282 (prices include buyer’s premium).

1956 Bentley S1 Continental goes for $426,282 at Bonhams
1956 Bentley S1 Continental goes for $426,282 at Bonhams

However, the star of the auction was a bright-red, Vanden Plas-bodied 1927 Bentley 3-Litre Speed tourer that sold for $379,197, far beyond its high pre-auction estimate of $252,000.

Unveiled at the 1919 Olympia Motor Exhibition, the W.O. Bentley’s 3-Litre became legendary for its success in racing. Bentley produced 1,600 examples of the car.

Yet another Bentley, a red-and-black 1947 MKVI 4 1/4-litre saloon with coachwork by Freestone & Webb sold for $106,108.

“We are delighted with the results achieved at Hendon, particularly as the top prices achieved were for outstanding vintage Bentleys — a marque for which we hold the record price at auction,” said Tim Schofield, head of Bonhams motor car department.

“We pride ourselves on being the only UK-managed international auction house, so to be able to deliver a result like this for another great British brand is deeply satisfying.”

Other top-dollar sales at the auction included $332,113 for a for a 1966 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage, $153,192 each for a 1989 Porsche 911 Turbo SE “flat nose” convertible and a 2008 Ferrari 612 Sessanta coupe, and $141,892 for a 1987 Lamborghini LM022, the so-called Rambo Lambo 4×4.

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