Sydney, AUS (October 21, 2008) — The highlight of this landmark sale is the collection of the late the Hon. John Dawson-Damer. Between 1971 and 1984 John Dawson-Damer established a first-class and internationally renowned collection of Lotus single-seater racing cars. Possibly the largest privately owned collection of Lotus single-seater racing cars outside of the Chapman collection, the cars offered cover a broad spectrum of innovative design from the ultra lightweight Lotus 16, the revolutionary monocoque Lotus 25 to the ground effects Lotus 79.
The cars were raced in period by super stars such as Jim Clark and Mario Andretti all under the watchful eye of one of the most innovative designers and team principals of all time – Colin Chapman. The sale of this collection offers enthusiastic historic racers, collectors and museums alike an extremely rare opportunity to acquire significant Lotus racing cars that are rarely if ever available on the open market. The undoubted star of the collection is a 1962 Lotus-Climax Type 25. The Lotus Type 25 took both Jim Clark and Lotus to their maiden Formula 1 world driver and constructor championships respectively. A car that changed the face of Formula 1 design forever the example offered to fetch in excess of the magic $1,000,000 mark.
Other interesting Lotuses on offer are an example of the ever popular and highly effective Lotus Eleven Le-Mans Sports racing Two-Seater and a Lotus 22 Formula Junior. Both the Lotus Eleven and Lotus 22 offer a relatively affordable ticket into almost all the top historic racing events around the world, such as the Monaco Historique, the Goodwood Revival, the Le Mans Classic and the Monterey Historics at Laguna Seca.
It is not only Lotuses that will have racing car enthusiasts reaching for their cheque books. There are many marques of racing car on offer not least of which is a 1952 Alta Twin Supercharged Grand Prix Monoposto that was originally raced in Europe by WWII Spitfire Ace Robert Cowell who achieved notoriety as the first racing driver to change gender, being legally renamed Roberta Cowell in May 1951. Add to this the much advertised Lex Davison Alfa Romeo 1,500cc Racing Two-Seater that has been with this legendary Australian Racing family from new and one quickly ascertains that there is plenty on offer for motor racing fans at this auction.
Off the track and onto the roads the line-up is no less impressive. Perhaps the most important road-going car on offer is a 1922 Bentley 3-Litre Tourer that is the first Australian delivered Bentley and has been with the same family since 1942. One of W. O. Bentley’s later creations was the V12 Lagonda engine that powers the Lagonda V12 Sports Saloon also offered in this auction.
This particular V12 saloon was retained by Lagonda for promotional use and even attempted a 100mph record attempt on public roads when Laurence Pomeroy and Gordon Wilkins were returning from the launch of the VW Beetle at the 1939 Berlin Motor Show just prior to the outbreak to WWII. While Earl Howe had already achieved 100mph around Brooklands in a V12 Saloon Pomeroy and Wilkins wanted to achieve the 100mph on public roads. This car achieved 98mph but the autobahns were not yet complete and they ran out of road. As Pomeroy later commented “…It was a terrible disappointment, but the fault was Hitler’s rather than ours!”
“We are proud to be holding this auction which has brought together some of the most significant cars in Australia. Indeed the sale venue during the view will be worth visiting just to see this superb collection of cars all in one place at one time,” comments Robert Glover, National Head of Collectors’ Motor Cars at Bonhams & Goodman. “The sale promises to cap off a record year for the Australian motoring department and demonstrates our ability to hold world class auctions in Australia.”
For more information, visit www.bonhamsandgoodman.com.