‘Gentleman’ collector gets full day at RM Sotheby’s Amelia sale

The 1936 Lancia Astura Cabriolet III “Tipo Bocca” is the most-valuable car in the collection | RM Sotheby's
The 1936 Lancia Astura Cabriolet III ‘Tipo Bocca’ is the most-valuable car in the collection | Darin Schnabel/RM Sotheby’s photos

Orin Smith was known as a consummate collector of fine automobiles, a man of means with an eye for beauty and a flair for living life to the fullest. During 20 years of collecting and restoring classic cars, and compiling an enviable assortment of concours trophies, Smith gathered together a large and carefully curated group of impressive vehicles, many of them special or unique examples from the world’s greatest marques.

Smith, 81, passed away in August 2016, and his family has opted to consign his collection to RM Sotheby’s, an auction house with which he had a close connection. Fifty-eight of Smith’s cars will be offered at RM Sotheby’s upcoming auction on Amelia Island, Florida. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1998 Bentley Continental R coupe

The Bentley Continental Turbo R is capable of exceptional performance
The Bentley Continental Turbo R is capable of exceptional performance

One of my favorite things about the collector car hobby is finding a car that was once very expensive and buying it at the bottom of its depreciation cycle. I have done this quite few times, and in every case, I ended up driving a great car that increased in value over my ownership so that when I sold it, I had essentially owned it for free.

Lately, I have been looking closely at the Bentley Continental R coupe built from 1991 until 2002. Over that period, Bentley built only 1,236 of them, and when new, they cost northward of $300,000. Continue reading

Big Bentley ‘Bobtail’ racer set for RM Sotheby’s Florida auction

The 1928 Bentley 'Bobtail' wears a body designed by Vanden Plas | RM Sotheby's photos
The 1928 Bentley ‘Bobtail’ wears a body designed by Vanden Plas | RM Sotheby’s photos

One of the mammoth factory cars raced by the Bentley team as the Roaring ‘20s drew to a close, the famed 1928 Bentley 4½-Litre Le Mans Sports “Bobtail” that competed twice in the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be offered for sale during RM Sotheby’s auction at Amelia Island, Florida, in March.

The Bentley Bobtail, chassis No. KM3088, raced at Le Mans in 1928 and 1929, placing third overall in the latter race. It also finished second overall at the 1929 Brooklands Double Twelve at an average speed 81.39 mph. Continue reading

Bentley inspired by ‘Scalded Cats’ heads to auction

1952 Bentley R-Type Straight 8 Special was built as tribute to famed 'Scalded Cat' cars | H&H Classics photos
1952 Bentley R-Type Straight 8 Special was built as tribute to famed ‘Scalded Cat’ cars | H&H Classics photos

A one-off 1952 Bentley R-Type Straight 8 Special inspired by the “Scalded Cats” prototypes headlines H&H Classics’ final auction of the year, the Chateau Impney sale scheduled for December 7 at Droitwich Spa in the UK.

The auction docket includes a “brace of Bristols,” a Bentley Continental R, and even an 1899 Phebus 2.25hp that’s eligible for the London to Brighton Run. But perhaps no car in the auction has a story as intriguing as the black and light blue-colored “Fire Engine” special. Continue reading

Benjafield club carries on in the spirit of the Bentley Boys

Some of the cars that took part in the Yorkshire Buccaneer event | Benjafield’s Racing Club photos
Some of the cars that took part in the Yorkshire Buccaneer event | Benjafield’s Racing Club photos

The Benjafield’s Racing Club annually gathers for a one-off event, themed based on the home local of the club member who is that year’s host. This year the event was held at Jonathan Turner’s home at Bowcliffe Hall in West Sussex, England, where the theme was Yorkshire Buccaneer, complete with Yorkshire tea and Yorkshire Pudding.

Participants brought 41 pre-war cars — 25 of them Bentleys — and worth an estimated $45 million for a climb up Harewood Hill, a drive through Bramham Park, runs on the runways of an RAF base, and even laps around a go-kart track. Much of the rally was held on gravel roads. Continue reading

Grueling Peking to Paris rally readies 35-day adventure

A Bentley crosses an arid wasteland during the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge | Endurance Rally Association
A vintage Bentley crosses an arid wasteland during the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge | Endurance Rally Association

Competitors from around the world will line up for a grueling 8,500-mile, 35-day vintage-car rally starting June 12 as the sixth Peking to Paris Motor Challenge gets under way. The 110 crews will start at the Great Wall in Beijing and cross through 11 nations before reaching the finish line at the Place Vendôme in Paris on July 17. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1960 Bentley S2

1960 Bentley S2
1960 Bentley S2

Were this a collector car auction catalog and the description included the following: “Two owners from new,” “Every system painstakingly restored,” and “Bentley,” you’d probably expect to see an estimated valuation of well into six figures. But the seller of our Pick of the Day is asking only $44,000 for this 1960 Bentley S2.

How could that be? Continue reading

Bentley’s first Le Mans racer on display at London show

Having top up at Le Mans increased fuel consumption | William Medcalf  Vintage Bentley photos
Having top up at Le Mans increased fuel consumption | William Medcalf Vintage Bentley photos

The first Bentley to race at Le Mans will be displayed at the London Classic Car show February 18-21 before returning to the French racing circuit this summer to take part in the Le Mans Classic race competition. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1989 Bentley Turbo R

The Bentley Turbo R boasts outstanding performance despite its over-the-top size and weight
The Bentley Turbo R boasts outstanding performance despite its over-the-top size and weight

I am a bit of a fanatic for British cars. Sure I love Italian, German and many American cars, but my real love lies with the cars from Great Britain. And of all the cars from the UK, the ones I love most are the Bentley and Rolls-Royce cars from Crewe.

The Pick of the Day is a 1989 Bentley Turbo R located in Cary, Illinois, that is listed by a Bentley/Rolls-Royce specialist on ClassicCars.com at an asking price of $29,500. The price of these cars when new, depending on year, ranged between $175,000 to more than $225,000, and the fact that you can now purchase one of these cars for as little as $30,000 simply boggles the mind. But that is the current market price for a well-sorted Turbo R. Continue reading

Bandleader’s Bentley S2 stars at Barons’ auction

The 1962 Bentley Continental was owned by popular mid-century bandleader Edmundo Ros | Barons
The 1962 Bentley Continental was owned by popular mid-century bandleader Edmundo Ros | Barons

A 1962 Bentley Continental S2 custom-built for bandleader and nightclub owner Edmundo Ros, whose Latin America-tinged orchestra was a huge hit in Britain and the U.S., will be on stage October 27 for Barons’ Autumn Classic auction at Sandown Park in Surrey, England.

Continue reading