British makes finished strong at the Beaulieu Sale held by Bonhams on September 9 and 10. Some 75 automotive lots and over 400 lots of automobilia were offered over two days at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu. The top three sales were cars from two of the UK’s premier automotive manufacturers: Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce.
Leading all other sales was a 1955 Aston Martin DB2/4 3.0-Liter Drophead Coupe at £172,500, about $199,600, and twice its pre-sale estimate. Offered as a project, the drophead coupe was delivered new in California and was one of 46 export-model DB2/4 drophead coupes produced.
A younger sibling of the drophead Aston landed in third on the top sales list, this one a 1959 Aston Martin DB Mark III Sports Saloon. Also delivered new in the US, the DB Mk III sold for £132,250 ($153,003). Despite needing some reconditioning after being stored since 2007, the DB Mk III too surpassed the pre-sale estimate. No doubt aided by the fact that just 551 DB Mark III examples were built.
Splitting up the two Astons in the second spot at £155,250 ($179,612) was a 1931 Rolls-Royce 20/25hp “Dreadnought Special.” Originally fitted with two-door drophead coupe coachwork by H.J. Mulliner, the 20/25hp now wears a Brooklands Bentley-style aluminum body by Bespoke Bodywork on a shortened 108-inch wheelbase. Backing up the sporty look, the Bentley is powered by a 3.7-L six-cylinder engine force-fed by a period Godfrey Marshall K300 blower. The combo is said to produce 190 bhp and 350 ft/lb.
One of the sale’s most interesting lots was the 1914 Ford Model T Motor Caravan. Thought to be the oldest known motor caravan remaining, the Model T blew past the pre-sale estimate, realizing £63,250 or $73,175. Restored back to original specs back in the 1970s, the early caravan has participated in many London-Brighton Runs and remains quite a sight to behold.