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Important British classics to feature at Bonhams’ December sales

Bonhams has announced a tempting line-up of classic British racing cars set to go under the hammer at its two December auctions. Twelve cars, including seven Bentleys, from the multi-million-pound Gordon Willey collection will be on offer, along with three historically significant vehicles from the Arthur Carter collection.

Five cars from the Willey collection will be in the 6 December Bond Street sale, including the ex-Billy Cotton 1938 Frazer-Nash BMW 328 Roadster, estimated at £550,000-£650,000, and the 1929 Bentley 4½-litre tourer, with coachwork by Vanden Plas, that was formerly part of the Schlumpf Museum Collection, which is tipped to sell for £400,000-£500,000.

Two ex-Nigel Dawes cars will be offered: a 1934 Invicta 4½-litre S type low chassis tourer, featuring coachwork by Carbodies, at an estimate of £500,000-600,000, and a 1955 Frazer Nash Le Mans coupé, expected to sell for £380,000-£420,000.

The fifth Willey collection car in the Bond Street sale is a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 sports saloon, estimated at £400,000-£500,000. A further seven cars from the collection will be on offer at Bonhams’ 10 December Sale at the Hendon RAF Museum.

Malcolm Barber, Bonhams Co-Chairman, said: ‘This incredible collection is offered by retired businessman, Mr. Gordon Willey. An avid enthusiast with a penchant for pre-war classics, the collection features a variety of motor cars from great British marques.’

Historically significant Healeys on offer

Two important Austin-Healeys will go under the hammer at the Bond Street sale. The 1953 Austin-Healey 100 coupe, registered ONX 113, was the much-loved, everyday car of Donald Healey, who used it extensively over 10 years. Used for continuous development and fitted with 100S mechanicals, it is regarded by many as the most important Healey of all.

SMO 746 is an ex-works rally 3000 raced in period by Jack Sears, Pat Moss and Eric Gott. After leaving the works team, Gott kept the car and raced it extensively. He developed it into a Modsports model and it was this car he was competing in when he sadly died, when he crashed at Lydden Hill in 1972 after suffering a suspected heart attack. In a fitting tribute to Gott, Arthur Carter had the car restored to its Modsports configuration.  

The Arthur Carter Collection will also offer a Connaught A-Type Racing single-seater, a car that boasts a long-standing historic racing career in the hands of Ken Flint, Jack Horton and Dan Margulies in the 1960s and 1970s.

Price trends for Aston MartinAustin-Healey, Bentley and Invicta models

By Claire Evans

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