Peter Ustinov’s Lagonda going to H&H auction

1954 Lagonda drophead coupe owned by Oscar-winning actor headed to auction | H&H Classics photos
1954 Lagonda drophead coupe owned by Oscar-winning actor headed to auction | H&H Classics photos

We’re not sure if actor Peter Ustinov was a “car guy,” or just someone who could afford to own what have become desirable collector vehicles. Regardless, another of his cars is headed to auction, this time his 1953 Lagonda 3-liter drophead coupe that is joining the docket for H&H Classics’ auction taking place July 26 at Duxford, UK.

Ustinov was nominated four times for Academy Awards (once as co-author of a screenplay) and won Oscars for his roles in Topkapi (1965) and Spartacus (1961). He also won a Golden Globe (Quo Vadis), three Emmys for his work on television, and even a Grammy.

Ustinov X 3 + his car | Norman Parkinson Archive
Ustinov X 3 + his car | Norman Parkinson Archive

In 2015, a 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Vantage convertible he originally owned sold for $2.3 million at Bonhams Aston Works sale.

Now, H&H is offering the Lagonda 3-liter drophead coupe. H&H speculates that it was Ustinov’s purchase of the car that led fellow Thursday Club member Prince Philip to order a nearly identical vehicle.

Ustinov owned the car for 12 years, H&H reports. The Lagonda is being offered at the auction by the family that has owned it since 1968. H&H says this is the first time the family has offered to part with the car, which is expected to sell for
£70,000 to £90,000 ($90,000 to $115,500).

H&H notes that the car was the first new car purchased by the actor/writer. The car was built with a 2.6-liter engine but upgraded to a 3.0-liter powerplant in 1954. Ustinov also had the differential upgraded as well a couple of years later.

“Last year we sold Prince Philip’s Lagonda for a world-record price of £340,000 ($436,050), so the bar is set high,” Damian Jones, head of sales at H&H, said in a news release.

“But the Ustinov car is a much-loved example that has never failed a MOT during the current 49-year custodianship. With its provenance, its history with Peter Ustinov, it will doubtless attract much international interest.”

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