Bids were flying around Barons’ Sandown Park saleroom on April 21st, when an extremely rare 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback ‘barn find’ restoration project went under the hammer. With an estimate of £200,000-£400,000, the car attracted frenzied bidding before it was finally secured by its new owner for £739,212*. This was the highest price Barons has ever achieved for a car – and other strong sales on the day brought the auction total to over £1 million, another company record for Barons.

It was not an easy bidding battle to win, with bids coming in from around the world. Barons’ staff were taking bids from 10 potential buyers over the telephone, 20 on the internet and a further 15 in the saleroom itself, as the bids began climbing in increments of £50,000 then tapering to increments of £25,000 before reaching the final, remarkable figure.

In the end the car went to a British owner, who will be adding this magnificent machine to his private collection. When restored his new acquisition – which has not been driven in 15 years – could be worth over £1,000,000.

Chassis BC52C was commissioned in 1954 by the Welsh racing driver R D Weatherall and was originally painted in his racing colour, Royal Purple. It still bears the registration number RDW 536. A subsequent owner, a doctor from Yorkshire, had the car re-sprayed in white, the colour it retains to this day.

Barons’ director Tony Cavell said, “This was an absolutely fantastic result. A ‘lost’ car always attracts collectors’ attention, and when it’s such a rare, iconic and valuable machine, that interest can lead to a frenetic bidding battle such as we saw yesterday. It will be fascinating to see the ‘journey’ the Bentley now takes, as its restoration commences.”

“This was the first sale that my fellow director Peter Gascoigne and I have fully assembled and presided over since we took the reins at Barons earlier in the year. We couldn’t have been more delighted with how things turned out, from the atmosphere in the saleroom to the final result. To top £1 million for the first time for Barons is a tremendous achievement, and it has been a privilege to play a role in finding a new home for a truly remarkable car.”

Other strong results achieved included the very beautiful 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25, which drove past top estimate to sell for just under £41,000*, and a stately Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III, which sold for £23,500*.

Year Make Model Sold @ Inc
1953 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback £739,212
1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Saloon £40,892
2001 Aston Martin DB7 GTS Coupe £25,772
1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III £23,532
1951 Chevrolet Styleline Custom £19,052
1974 Triumph Stag £14,292
1987 Mercedes 300SL Convertible £10,876
1935 Austin 7 APD/E Military Tourer £10,042
1963 Mercedes Evocation 500K £10,000
1968 Ford Escort 1100 De Luxe £9,756
2000 Rover Mini Cooper 500LE £8,132
1991 Peugeot 205 Cti £7,964
1996 Alfa Romeo V6 Spider £7,852
1989 Bentley Eight £7,852
1966 Wolseley Hornet Heinz 57 Crayford £7,852
1987 Mercedes 300SL £7,068
1987 Harley Davidson 1200 Custom £6,732
1989 Alfa Romeo Spider £6,620
1989 Land Rover Range Rover Vogue SE £6,452
1986 Bentley Eight £6,172
1989 Citroen CX 2500 Gti £5,612
1977 Mercedes 200 £4,716
1972 Fiat 500 £4,604
1961 Mercedes 180 Ponton £4,268
1998 Mercedes SL320 £4,212
1996 Daimler Six (X300) £3,988
1995 Daimler  Double Six LWB £3,752
1985 Austin Rover Mini Hot Rod £3,652
2002 Land Rover Range Rover £3,596
1979 Daihatsu F20 Taft £3,484
1991 Mercedes 300CE £3,204
2000 Mercedes CLK 320 £3,036
1974 Reliant Scimitar GTE SE5A £2,924
1999 Jaguar XJ8 4.0 V8 £2,364
1990 Mitsubishi 3000 GTO V6 £2,364
1978 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow I £2,252
1990 Mercedes 300SE £1,916
2002 Vauxhall Vectra £1,142
1950s Child’s pedal car £531
Bologna Chronograph £142
Rim Chronograph £130
SALE TOTAL £1,038,010

*all prices include buyer’s premium and VAT.

Barons’ next sale will see another great British marque brought to the fore: its Classic, Collector and Jaguar Heritage auction will be at Sandown Park on June 16th.

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