This Saturday, November 6th, RM Sotheby’s will return to the UK for its 15th Annual London auction at the Royal Automobile Club. The sale takes place one day before the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, of which RM Sotheby’s is the title partner.
The smaller auction consists of just 40 automotive lots, but what the sale lacks in size it more than makes up for in variety, with the available vehicles spanning nearly a century.
Below are four lots to keep an eye on.
A legend in the world of automobiles, the “Blower” Bentley is a highlight of the storied British car maker. With only 50 homologation examples produced, the chance to park a real-deal example in the garage doesn’t come up often.
This car, chassis number SM3903, is one of those original 50. In fact, it was the first production example and the only one completed in 1929. The “Blower” was then shown on the Bentley stand at the Olympia Motor Show that same year. As the first, chassis SM3903 was also used a demonstrator for road tests and can be seen in photos published by “The Motor” magazine in-period. This is a rare opportunity to acquire a piece of Bentley lore.
Few cars catch the eye of collectors of all ages more than the supercars from the 1980s and ‘90s. Of course, you can’t mention classic supercars without bringing up the Porsche 959. Its competitor in-period, the F40, may have captured hearts with raw Italian flair, but the 959 did it with technological innovation. This model was a stepping-stone to the advanced cars of today.
This Grand Prix White example was delivered in Germany before ending up in the UK in 1989. The consignor’s family purchased the 959 Komfort in ’92, servicing it regularly since. It has covered less than 17k miles in its lifetime.
Only 292 examples were produced during the production run, far fewer than its rivaled F40, and opportunities to purchase a 959 have been few and far between the last few years. As a well-cared for, low-mileage example, this might just be the one to have.
The C-, D-Type and XK-SS solidified Jaguar’s place in the history books of sports racing cars. First of the line, it was a C-Type that won Le Mans in 1951 and again in 1953.
XKC 014 was imported to New York and sold to its first owner, Commander John “Jack” Rutherford, in 1952. The C-Type’s new owner pulled the original drivetrain in 1960 but they remained in his possession. A Plymouth straight-six, Borg Warner gearbox and a Positraction rear end were swapped in. The original engine, transmission and differential were re-installed during the late-1980s restoration.
This C-Type last crossed the auction block at the 2020 Bonhams Amelia Island sale, but it was a no-sale at a high-bid of $5.4m. March of 2020 might as well be a lifetime ago thanks to the pandemic and the changes it has caused in the market. Will this legendary cat do better this time around?
Early Mercedes-Benz models had a moment at this year’s Monterey Car Week. A 1928 S-Type snagged the top sale spot at the Bonhams auction and a 1938 540K Special Roadster took Best of Show at The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering. To top it off, a 1938 540K Autobahn Kurier was awarded the week’s top honor as Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
The 1928 Mercedes-Benz 630 Tourer at RM Sotheby’s London auction has been owned by a single family since the early 1930s. The car is an extremely original example fitted with its current Tourenwagen body by Sindelfingen and K-series supercharged engine from new. Likewise, the original black leather interior and green and black exterior paint have a beautiful patina. This is a well-preserved and original pre-War Mercedes that needs to be kept as-is.
It may not have the sporting body of the S-Type at Bonhams or the name recognition of the best of show winning 540Ks in Monterey, but there is no denying this 1928 630 is something special. Was interest in early M-Bs stirred up by the winning cars on the Peninsula? If so, will that help this Benz bring big money?