1929 Alfa sold at $973k
Big prices achieved for Jim Clark Lotus and Grand Prix Alfa Last week’s H&H classic vehicle sale at The Centaur, Cheltenham grossed over $4.5 million – a house record. It also saw the highest price so far paid for a car at an H&H auction, with the 1929 Irish Grand Prix winning Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Super Sport fetching $972,600 – a mere $11,600 more than the ex-Jim Clark 1962 Lotus 25, which itself had claimed that record earlier in the same sale!

A splendid selection of cars, motorcycles, bicycles and related automobilia greeted those who travelled in sunshine to The Centaur – the outstanding events facility sited within the boundary of Cheltenham Racecourse. The event threatened to be a special occasion – and it was.

The ex-Jim Clark Lotus 25 (as reconstructed by his mechanic of 1963, Cedric Selzer) was bound to cause major interest, considering Clark’s place in the pantheon of great drivers and the fact that Chassis R5 is reputedly one of only four Lotus 25s remaining worldwide. Loud applause greeted Simon Hope’s hammer, which eventually fell at $961,500. This historic car was bought by a private collector and will remain in the UK.

The beautifully patinated 1929 Grand Prix Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Super Sport on the other hand has become part of a significant overseas collection. Boasting a wonderful provenance, it was finally knocked down for $972,500 – again, to loud applause from the floor.

Many of the other splendid cars on offer reached or surpassed their estimates. Of particular note were: the 1930 Alvis Silver Eagle Special (known as ‘The Green Car’) and the sleek 1935 Aston Martin MKII 1.5-litre Tourer, both of which made $134,000; the 1940 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe Conversion ($101,500) and the immaculate 1952 Bristol 401 ($48,600).

Motorbike bonanza

Over $715,000 worth of motorcycles was also sold in Cheltenham – another H&H house record. Topping the tables was the last ever production Vincent – a 1955 Black Prince. Of obvious historic significance, it fetched a cool £77,790. The ex-Steve Hislop factory Honda RC30, on which he won the ’89 TT and became the first rider ever to lap the Isle of Man at 120mph, made above estimate at £59,426.

Having recently set world records for both 350 and 500cc Manx Nortons, H&H attracted no less than three for this sale. The 1956 500 sold for $56,185, while the 1949 500 and the 1956/7 350 both fetched $38,901.

Automobilia achieves too
Such rally legends as Stuart Turner and Tony Mason turned out to witness the much-vaunted Mike Wood archives of assorted trophies, rally plaques, and programmes. The 8C 1500 Alfa Romeo handbooks sold well in both the English version and the Italian. As in other recent H&H sales, sales brochures and historic photographs were both in high demand.

The inaugural link to saleroom.com was a great success. The Cheltenham sale created history in being the first where classic vehicles could be accessed through the internet (courtesy of www.the-saleroom.com) thereby allowing bidders to view the catalogue and bid live from home whilst listening to the auction in real-time. Said H&H’s Simon Hope, “We were most impressed with the response to this new service, which attracted an encouraging amount of traffic. It is yet another good reason for vendors to use H&H, as several million new potential bidders were accessed.”

The next H&H car and automobilia sale is at Buxton on April 17/18, while the next motorcycle, bicycle and motobilia auction will be at Kempton Park on May 12. Further information on all H&H sales is available at www.classic-auctions.com

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