Early French cars dominate docket for Bonhams ‘Brighton’ sale

1904 Renault Type N-B introduced as Louis Renault reorganized after brother's death | Bonhams photos
1904 Renault Type N-B introduced as Louis Renault reorganized after brother’s death | Bonhams

Bonhams has revealed a docket for its London to Brighton Run Sale of Veteran Motor Cars that is led by a 1904 Renault Type N-B owned by a French family for some 60 years. The sale is scheduled for November 4 in London.

The Type N-B was introduced by Louis Renault as part of the reorganization of the automaker after the death of his brother, Marcel, in 1903. The N-B was one of the first Renaults powered by a four-cylinder engine, a side-valve powerplant displaying slightly more than 3.0 liters.

The car featured Renault’s already traditional “coal scuttle” hood with a rear-mounted radiator.

The car being offered has swing-seat tonneau coachwork that provides seating for four. It was owned from the 1920s into the 1980s by a French family until it was purchased by a member of the Veteran Car Club of the UK. That owner rallied the car extensively in England and on the Continent and is offering the car with a VCC dating certificate and V5 registration document.

Bonhams has set a pre-sale estimated value of £250,000 to £280,000 ($307,000 to $344,000).

1904 Aster is London to Brighton veteran
1904 Aster is London to Brighton veteran

Another rare French car on the docket is a 1904 Aster 16/20 hp, also a four-cylinder with four-seat tonneau coachwork and a pre-sale estimated value of £230,000 to -£250,000 ($282,500 to $307,000).

The Aster has competed five times in the London to Brighton run and also completed the Paris-Vienna Rally in 2002, a Australian drive from Brisbane to Sydney in 2005 and the 1,000 Miles Trial re-enactment in 2000. It comes with a V5C registration document and a copy of 1904 Yorkshire registration records.

Even older than the French cars is an 1897 Daimler 4 hp twin-cylinder “Rougemont” wagonette. The car is one of the first British-built Daimlers and cost £370 new. The car retains its original tiller steering, has done London to Brighton several times and has Start No. 4 for the 2016 event. It’s pre-sale estimate is £200,00o to £220,000 ($245,000 to $270,000).

1903 Renault Type N-C
1903 Renault Type N-C

Another car of note is another French-built vehicle, a 1903 Renault Type N-C two-cylinder 10 horsepower Wagonette that was discovered in Kent, UK, in 1969 at the Canterbury scrapyard.

George Dorrington, a Veteran Car Club member and founding member of the Renault Freres Club, found a nearly complete vehicle, from chassis to radiator — dated water reservoir tank marked ‘4/3′ (for April 1903), bonnet, steering column, etc. all in a dismantled state. However, its original engine and bodywork were gone. Dorrington spent two decades rebuilding the car with period-correct parts and the car has been a London to Brighton regular ever since.

Pre-sale estimated value is £110,000 to £130,000 ($135,000 to $160,000).

“This year we are able to offer some real rarities from the dawn of motoring presented in wonderful condition,” Bonhams senior car specialist Rob Hubbard said in a news release. “Our top lots have proved their worth in many Veteran Car rallies all over the world and I expect a lot of interest from collectors keen to acquire a piece of motoring history.

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