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Bentley breaks £700k at Barons April sale

A highly-original 1953 Bentley R-type Continental Fastback sold for a whopping £726,000 at Barons’ 21 April auction. That’s not far off the prices achieved by restored cars. For example, a concours 1953 example sold for £990,000 at Silverstones’ Salon Prive sale last September.

The Barons’ sale Bentley had been off the road for the past 15 years, and hardly used in the last 33, so it would require a fair amount of work to get it ready for road use. It sailed way past its estimate of £200,000-£400,000.

Another car that outstripped expectations at the Sandown Park sale was a 1987 Mercedes-Benz 300SL R107. The five-owner car had an extensive history file and was estimated at £3,500-£4,500. It more than doubled the upper estimate, selling for £10,670 including premium.

Luxury marques certainly proved popular at the sale with a 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25 saloon achieving more than £40,000. The well-travelled Rolls was originally shipped to Scotland and was then sold to a private American collector in the 1950s. It was restored around 15 years ago and sold at Pebble Beach a year later and brought back to the UK. Recent work includes a new clutch and four new tyres that had to be sent over from America.

There were some rare models on offer, including a 1935 Austin 7 APD E Military Tourer, which sold for just under £10,000. One of only 11 of this body type left, the model was produced for the British Army. The coachwork was based on the standard two-seater, but some were made with no trafficators and others had a rifle cradle and handle on the passenger-side windscreen pillar. Some also had a mounting for a Lee-Enfield rifle between the two seats. The Barons sale car was an OPAL, based on an APD chassis.

Another rarely seen vehicle was a Daihatsu F20 TAFT (apparently the name stands for Tough Almighty Four-wheel-drive Transport), an off-roader similar to the Suzuki Jimny although a bit larger. The 1979 vehicle had restored bodywork but needed retrimming. It sold for £3,410, slightly less than its lower estimate.

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By Claire Evans

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