1934 Aston Martin 1½ Litre Mark II Short Chassis

Manufactured by Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin, the first Aston-Martins (the hyphen is correct for the period) rapidly established a reputation for high performance and sporting prowess in the years immediately following The Great War.

Unfortunately, the management’s concentration on motor sport, while accruing invaluable publicity, distracted it from the business of manufacturing cars for sale, the result being just 50 or so sold by 1925 when the company underwent the first of what would be many changes of ownership.

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1958 Austin-Healey Sprite Mk 1 Works Rally

First registered in November 1958, chassis no. AN57565 was prepared by Donald Healey and his team for the 1959 Monte Carlo, Sestriere and Alpine rallies. It would go on to be the only Works Rally Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite produced. Its early history was detailed in John Sprinzel and Tom Coulthard’s book Spritely Years.

The authors summarized this Sprite’s history: “Cherry red from the production line and painted Colorado Red before the car got to the Works department. Car prepared Read More

What’s Going On With Late Landies?

Quite a few Land Rovers crossed the block at Bonhams’ July 13 Goodwood Festival of Speed auction, but three Landies in particular give us an interesting glimpse at the current market.

All three of the recent Land Rovers sold way over their estimates, while the 1963 80-inch Series I was bang on the money. What is it about Landies these days?

Inspired by the U.S. Army’s wartime Jeep, developed in haste and intended for short-term, small-scale production, the Land Rover Read More

Fast Fun and Tender Care

The Lotus Esprit was launched in 1976 as a replacement for the Europa.

The Esprit had a similar backbone chassis, but it was larger and more luxurious, as Lotus founder Colin Chapman forever wanted to push the company’s output upmarket to maximize profits — which is what was largely propping up the racing team.

A memorable appearance in the 1977 James Bond film “The Spy Who Loved Me” (as the famous submarine car) helped overshadow tacky details such as British Read More

1955 Jaguar XK 140 SE by Michelotti

Chassis S814286 was built on May 25, 1955, as a left-hand-drive XK 140 SE coupe. The Jaguar was delivered new in France via the French distributor, Charles Delecroix, to its first owner, Mme. Jeanne Gaymard in Paris.

It is the 286th left-hand-drive coupé built, with body number J4457. The original colour scheme was cream with two-tone blue interior.

In 1957 the car had an accident. As the original body was beyond repair, the XK came under the eye of the Read More

1931 Bentley 8 Litre Tourer

This magnificent 8 Litre is one of only 100 such cars produced by W.O. Bentley, of which only some 80 or so survive.

Originally bodied as a limousine by Thrupp & Maberly, it was sent directly to Singapore, where its Chinese owner used the Bentley for sporting adventures with his lady friends. The Bentley was known as “the Harem Saloon.”

Returning to the U.K. in the early 1950s, it was owned by a Mr. Peter Quinn, who removed the original Read More

1968 Morgan Plus 8

Searching for new engines in the 1960s, Morgan concluded a deal with Rover for supply of its all-aluminum 3.5-liter V8, thus creating a car — the Plus 8 — that combined vintage charm with Cobra-like grunt.

Morgan’s Plus 4 chassis, strengthened and extended, formed the basis of the new car, while the existing Moss 4-speed gearbox was retained. After a successful debut at the 1968 London Motor Show, production commenced at about 15 cars per month and continues to this Read More

Tempting Turbos

Visit any of the U.K.’s regional classic-car auctions, and you’ll almost always encounter at least one big Bentley or Rolls-Royce of the 1980s and 1990s — invariably with an affordable-looking price estimate.

These imposing — if slabby-sided — automobiles are some of the last cars to be hand-built before the Rolls-Royce/Bentley split and sale into German ownership. They are all powered by Rolls-Royce’s Cadillac-like 6,750-cc pushrod V8, but that wasn’t all that was carried over from the preceding model, for Read More

1958 Triumph TR3A Works Rally Roadster

Standard-Triumph entered four Triumph TR3As for the 1958 Monte Carlo Rally. The cars carried near-sequential registration numbers: VRW 220 for Paddy Hopkirk/Jack Scott, VRW 221 for John Waddington/Mike Wood, VRW 223 for Maurice Gatsonides/Marcel Becquart and VRW 219 for Annie Soisbault/Tish Ozanne.

Poor weather delayed Waddington in VRW 221 — this car — and he was excluded from the event before reaching Lyon. However, excluded parties could continue to Monte Carlo to compete in the Driving Tests on the promenade Read More

1964 Aston Martin DB5

Chassis 1653R was completed at Newport Pagnell on July 3, 1964, and delivered on September 22, 1964, to Bryce, Hamer & Isherwood, Paul McCartney’s accountants at the time.

McCartney ordered the car prior to his departure for the Beatles’ world tour in the summer of 1964. The DB5 was subsequently registered in the musician’s name. Accompanying paperwork shows the price was £3,800 10s 0d plus purchase tax of £793 6s 8d.

The BMIHT certificate on file shows that the Aston Read More