One of the most significant collections of vintage light cars and motorcycles to come to the market in years was 100% sold at Bonhams’s sale at the National Motor museum in Beaulieu on September 13.
The collection of long-retired garage owner, Stafford East, was well known but had been kept out of the public eye for some time, with many of the lots having been stored away in an ivy-covered barn for the last 20 years. These rare barn-find motor cars and bikes all required restoration and recommissioning.
Star of the collection was a historically important 1920 chain-driven GN, ‘Kim II’ which sold for $115,362. The car was the fastest under 1,100cc racing car in its day, with over 100 first places in its long racing history. ‘Kim II’ was one of three GNs in the collection, built in Wandsworth, London, which together made $326,652. The others,‘Vitesse’, a 1922 GN 1,086cc Two Seater Voiturette sold for $111,475 (double the estimate), and ‘Akela’, built by GN in 1922 as one of a team of cars prepared for the 200 Mile Race at Brooklands that year sold for $99,816.
The Collection also featured seven motorcycles, including a magnificent 1930 Brough Superior with sports sidecar, which sold for $103,701 – well above the pre-sale estimate of $35,332 – $44,157. Also included was a 1908 Swiss-built Motosacoche, a pedal assisted single-cylinder bike eligible for the prestigious Pioneer Run to Brighton, which sold for $9,143.
The annual Beaulieu Autojumble sale always attracts the crowds and this year’s results reflect strong interest across all sections of the sale, with the $2,992,691 sale total an increase on last year. An impressive 86% of all lots sold.
Top price in the sale was $116,334, for the 1931 Lagonda 2-liter Tourer, sold by Lord Berkeley. Other highlights that sold above estimate included a 1935 Riley 9hp Imp which had been in the same family ownership for the past 41 years ($105,646) and a wonderful 1916 American-LaFrance 14-Liter Roadster which sold for $94,957 (estimate $35,332 – $44,157).
James Knight, International Head of Bonhams Motoring Department, said: “This really is an enthusiast’s sale attracting interest from all over the world – ably demonstrated by the successful bidder of the 1916 American-LaFrance. On completing his purchase, the happy Czech buyer promptly donned a flying helmet, goggles and coat for his intrepid trip back to Prague. With an 18-gallon tank and a car capable of just 6mpg, he was not daunted by the prospect of stopping every 100 miles or so to visit each petrol station en route!”