An extremely rare Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback "barn find" restoration project is among the headline entries for Barons’ Spring Classic collectors’ car auction at Sandown Park, Surrey on April 21. It is joined at the top of the entry list by a Rolls-Royce Phantom V which was once part of the Queen Mother’s ‘stable’ of motor cars, a well-known 1965 Ford Mustang historic race car and a 1931 Chrysler CD Deluxe Eight Roadster which has been seen on the big screen.
The Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback has been described by Richard Charlesworth, Bentley’s Director of Royal and VIP Relations, as ‘Almost the Bugatti Veyron of its day’, and a model which ‘remains one of the rarest and most iconic cars of its time’*. Just 218 of these magnificent, potent and very expensive motor cars were built, most with the distinctive, flowing H. J. Mulliner body.
The example on offer at Barons on April 21 is chassis BC52C. It was commissioned in 1954 by the Welsh racing driver R D Weatherall and was originally painted in his racing colour, purple. It bears the registration number RDW 536. The next owner, a doctor from Yorkshire, had the car re-sprayed in white, the colour it remains to this day. Its third and current owner has had the car for 23 years, but used it only rarely before laying it up on blocks. The car has not been used at all for the past 15 years.
Barons’ director Tony Cavell commented, “Given the extraordinary prices that these cars can command – seven-figure sums are not unknown - for an unrestored example to come to market after years locked away is very, very exciting. It is a most unusual opportunity for a collector.”
The Bentley carries an estimate of £200,000-£400,000.
The 1963 Rolls-Royce Phantom V in the sale is believed to be the first B Series Phantom B, and to have been Rolls-Royce’s 1963 Motor Show car. It was subsequently taken into Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s stable of cars. It features all the usual Phantom options, including decanters, glasses and two-way telephone. Estimate: £60,000-£100,000.
The 1965 Ford Mustang is an ex-ICS Saloon Car series racer that was originally campaigned in the 1990s by John Young. This is the series that followed the British Saloon Car Championship around. The car was then sold to Robin North, who ran it in various series, most recently the Aston Martin Owners Club Intermarque Series. It is equipped with a zero hours, 7lt 710 bhp(!) dry-sumped engine, built by Pete Knight. It is believed that, over the time it has been racing, more than £500,000 has been spent on this car. Estimate: £65,000-75,000.
The 1931 Chrysler CD Deluxe Eight Roadster was, unusually, built as a right-hand-drive car. The present – and only its second – owner acquired the car in the 1960s, after it had remained unused in a garage for 30 years. He totally restored it, and the car has enjoyed something of a career as a screen star, appearing in the Steven Spielberg film ‘Empire of the Sun’, and the 1974 BBC production about Malcolm Campbell, ‘Speed King’. Estimate: £55,000-£75,000.
Tony Cavell said, “These are some of the most exciting sale entries we have had for many years. They are all cars which have not come to market for a very long time, so it’s a wonderful opportunity for collectors.”