'Blower' Bentley brings $7.25 Million at Bonhams sale
By Larry Edsall
The 4 1/2-litre supercharged "Blower" Bentley that set the Brooklands lap record sold at Bonhams Goodwood auction for nearly $7.25 million, most ever for a Bentley at auction. And yet it wasn't the high-sale of the event!
In its heyday, the Bentley -- technically a 1929-31 model -- was driven by Henry "Tim" Birkin, a former fighter pilot and Le Mans winner, to a world record of 137.96 miles per hour on the Brookland's oval, which, Birkin noted, had "bumps which jolt the driver up and down in his seat and make the car leave the road and travel through the air."
"Birkin along with his Bentley racing friends like Woolf Barnato, Dudley Benjafield and Glen Kidston were true sporting superstars, renowned not only for their driving ability and courage but living life to the full and in some considerable style," said Bentley's director of VIP and royal relations, Richard Charlesworth. "They would create the enduring legend of the Bentley Boy racer at Brooklands and Le Mans and this new record price for a Bentley achieved by Bonhams reflects the enduring respect and admiration for their story and their cars."
Top sale at the auction was $7.39 million for "The Corgi," a 1912 Rolls-royce Double Pullman limousine.
Other top sales at the Bonhams auction included $4.25 million for a 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 Spyder Lungo driven at Le Mans by, among others, Tim Birkin; $2.75 million "Floretta," a 1908 Italia Grand Prix racer;
Barrett-Jackson does $14 million in Orange County
Barrett-Jackson's third Orange County Auction did sales of more than $14 million with two-thirds of bidders registering to bid for the first time.
The high-sale was $300,000 for the first 2013 SRT Viper coupe. The Viper was offered for the benefit of the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer. Three of the top-four sales at the auction were "charity" cars. A customized 1965 Ford Ranchero and a 2012 Lotus Evora S coupe each sold for $200,000, the Ranchero for the Loma Linda University Children's Hospital and the Lotus for the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund. Charity sales accounted for $1.1 million over the three-day auction.
Other top-five sales were $253,000 for a 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 and $154,000 for a 1970 Oldsmobile 442 convertible.
Leake does $8.4 million at Tulsa
The 40th annual Leake sale at Tulsa generated $8.4 million at sales, which reached a 58-percent sell-through rate. The top sale was $220,000 for a 1921 Rolls-royce Silver Ghost.
A 1953 Buick Skylark brought $137,500 and a 1954 Kaiser Darrin generated $110,000.
"It has been an amazing 40 years working with the Leake and Sevenoaks families," said Richard Sevenoaks, Leake Auction Company president. "It was delightful to see our many friends who have been with us at every auction over the last 40 years."
Mecum's doubleheader weekend
Mecum Auctions staged two events in one weekend and topped $4 million in sales at events in Illinois and Minnesota.
The top sale at the auction staged in conjunction with the Bloomington Gold Corvette festival was $115,000 for a 1967 427 'Vette convertible. Also exceeding 100 grand were a '62 LS2 convertible ($105,000), a '62 327 convertible ($105,000), and a '67 427 convertible ($102,000).
Top sale at St. Paul, Minnesota, was $85,000 for a 1941 Willys Coupe. A 2002 Rats Speedster roadster went for $54,000 and a 1980 Pontiac Trans Am with 660 horsepower brought $42,000.
Pep Boys join the Petersen Museum collection
Pep Boys has donated a 10-foot-tall Manny, Moe and Jack marquee statue to the Petersen Automobile Museum. The 80-year-old statue formerly stood over a Pep Boys store for many years before being moved into storage. The plaster and fiberglass statue underwent restoration by Rick Dale of the History channel's American Restoration series. It will be on display as part of the museum's Streetscape area on the first floor.
Panel set for Russo and Steele at Monterey
Russo and Steele has announced the lineup for its car collecting seminar August 1 in Monterey, California. The panel will include Bill Warner, founder of the Amelia Island concours d'elegance; former Petersen Museum director Richard Messer; David Kinney, publisher of the Hagerty Price Guide; Tim Suddard, publisher of Classic Motorsports and Grassroots Motorsports; wealth management advisor Roger Rodas, and Russo and Steele's Drew Alcazar.
Only three stops left on Shelby anniversary tour
Only three stops remain on the Shelby American 50 Years tour: August 1-5 at the Northern California SAAC-Mini Nationals, August 15-19 at Pebble Beach; September 19-22 at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Las Vegas.
Click here for event calendar.
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