Goodwood isn’t just a place to ogle beautiful classic cars – you can buy them, too. The Bonhams Festival of Speed auction takes place on 24 June 2016 and lots range from seven-figure Ferraris, such as the 275 GTB/6C Berlinetta seen here, to a one-off prototype MGB. We’ve picked the cars we think stand out in this year’s sale. Whether you’re a serious shopper or an armchair browser, there’s something for everyone here.
The 1978 M1 was BMW’s only true supercar until the i8 arrived in 2014. A few years ago, we remember these mid-engined, six-cylinder coupes selling for about £70,000. Now, Bonhams expects this car to fetch £280,000 – £320,000.
Designed by Giugiaro – the man behind the original Volkswagen Golf and Lotus Esprit – the M1 was originally supposed to be built by Lamborghini. Financial problems caused the Italian supercar maker to withdraw from the project, leaving BMW to finish the job in-house. Only 453 M1s were made – this example is number 413.
It might have Italian styling, but M1’s cockpit is unmistakably German. Note the period Becker radio/cassette. A 227hp power output is modest by today’s standards (a Ford Focus RS has 350hp), but the lightweight M1 could hit 60mph in just 5.4 seconds, and 100mph in 8.0 seconds.
Volkswagen Type 2 Microbus
How about this for a change of gear? The Volkswagen Microbus is synonymous with hippy culture, and the 23-window Samba version is particularly sought-after. You’ll need to be a committed capitalist to afford one, though – the estimate here is £80,000 – £120,000.
This 1957 Samba was restored in 2014 and has been repainted in its original colours: Sealing Wax Red and Chestnut Brown. With a 1.5-litre air-cooled engine derived from the VW Beetle, it’s safe to assume performance is… steady.
The interior of the Microbus has been retrimmed in its original light brown, while much of the glass was replaced (no mean feat when you have 23 windows). If you can afford the asking price, there’s no cooler place to camp at Goodwood.
1949 Aston Martin DB team car
Welcome to the world of classic cars, where a rust-ravaged wreck can be worth £600,000 – £900,000. However, this Aston Martin DB team car isn’t any old jalopy: it finished seventh at Le Mans in 1949, then fifth in the Spa 24-Hour race two weeks later. It was one of the earliest Astons to bear the ‘DB’ initials of new company owner, David Brown.
Years later, the car was bought by Aston Martin enthusiast Christopher Angell, and even featured in a Le Mans demonstration parade before the race in 1971. However, as Mr Angell’s health declined, the car fell into disrepair. It was left in his garden until 2002 – when it was stolen.
Thankfully, the car was eventually recovered via litigation, and is more-or-less intact apart from its missing 48-gallon fuel tank and modified radiator grille. It even still has the regulation Le Mans seals on the radiator cap and oil filler. If you’re brave (and wealthy) enough to take this project on, the result could be something really special.
Bentley 4¼-litre Racing two-seater
Another historic British racer comes in the shape of this Bentley 4¼-litre two-seater – estimated at £80,000 – £100,000. However, this car’s success has all been in recent years. First registered in 1936 as a four-door ‘Park Ward’ saloon, it was rebodied as a two-seat roadster in the 1980s.
The Bentley’s fate was sealed after being left in an orchard near Birmingham for 18 years. Described by Bonhams as being ‘beyond restoration’, a similar car was acquired to donate parts, with new custom bodywork made, and the engine rebuilt by Hass Motorsport. The standard drum brakes were retained, albeit with the original lever/rod mechanism replaced by a twin-circuit hydraulic system.
The car last raced in 2006, when it finished third in the Le Mans 100th Anniversary race. Apart from offering good, old-fashioned fun on the road, VSCC eligibility papers and an FIA passport make this Bentley a tempting entry-ticket for historic motorsport. Flying goggles are optional.
Bentley Continental GT V8 S convertible
From the sublime, to the… OK, we’ll admit we’re not fans of Sir Peter Blake’s ‘Pop Art’ Bentley Continental. But as the car is being auctioned for charity (with no reserve), we won’t be unduly critical. All proceeds go to Care2Save, which supports palliative and hospice care around the world.
Sir Peter Blake is most famous for co-creating the sleeve for ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ – the Beatles’ classic 1967 album. His design for the Bentley is similarly bold and bright – its most distinctive feature being a large red heart on the bonnet, said to be ‘a symbol in-keeping with the compassionate work of hospices’.
The car’s literal heart is a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8. It also boasts contrasting seat trim, with Sir Peter’s signature on all four headrests. The work was completed by Mulliner, Bentley’s specialist bespoke coachbuilding division.
Jenson Interceptor Mark III Convertible
Continuing the rock ‘n’ roll theme is this Jenson Interceptor Mark III Convertible, originally owned by John Bonham of Led Zeppelin and estimated at £45,000 – £55,000. The car has covered 50,600 miles from new and, remarkably, has avoided any swimming pools during its 40-year life. Probably for the best – we can’t imagine that hood is especially watertight.
With Italian styling, a British badge and an all-American 6.3-litre V8, the Jenson Interceptor is our kind of hybrid. Only 452 convertibles were made, making this late-model Mark III version very sought-after today.
When John Bonham bought this car, it was white with red leather trim and chromed wire wheels. Today, it looks rather more tasteful in black with a retrimmed black seats. Bonhams reports that one recent owner used it for driving holidays to Scotland with his wife and three children. Grand touring indeed!
Maserati 3500 GT coupe
After years of victories on the racetrack, Maserati wanted to establish itself as a maker of fast and luxurious road cars. Its initial salvo was the 3500 GT of 1957, a 2+2 coupe with sleek aluminium bodywork by Carozzeria Touring. This car dates from 1960 and is expected to sell for £180,000 – £220,000.
Recently restored in its original Nero (black) paintwork with Rosso (red) leather interior, this 3500 GT wears iconic Borrani wire wheels over all-round disc brakes – unusual in 1960. The car was delivered in Switzerland as a right-hand-drive model. According to Bonhams, this is ‘presumably for Swiss alpine driving, for which right-hand drive was commonly favoured at that time as it enabled the driver to view the edges of narrow mountain roads more easily.’
Total cost of the restoration was more than £120,000, which starts to make the car look comparatively good value. It’s certainly much cheaper than Ferraris of the same era. Total mileage is 56,300, with just 3,690 miles added over the course of the last eight years.
Ferrari 275 GTB/6C Berlinetta
Did we mention expensive Ferraris? This 275 GTB/6C Berlinetta has an estimate of £1.6 million – £1.9 million, but looks worth every penny. Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful Prancing Horses ever, it’s powered by a 300hp 3.3-litre V12 with no less than six carburettors.
This car was originally owned by Mark Konig, founder of the Nomad racing team. It was fully restored in 1991 – but had an engine rebuild in 2009, at a cost of (gulp!) £37,000. The car has only covered around 1,300 miles since the rebuild.
We’ll leave the final word to Jose Roskinski, writing in Sport Auto in July 1965: ‘’The 275 GTB is… a superlatively vigorous, very agile and quick automobile. Its comfort, the quality of its finish, the original lines of its bodywork all justify its exceptionally high price, for it is an exceptional automobile. It is a thoroughbred, with luxury devoid of excess, and a fiery temperament. ‘
Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA Competition
You’ve seen the hype about the new Alfa Romeo Giulia – now meet the original, valued here at £175,000 – £225,000. Introduced in 1965, the GTA was the racing version of the Giulia Sprint GT. The ‘A’ stood for Alleggerita, or ‘lightened’. It had aluminium body panels and Plexiglass windows.
The GTA enjoyed outstanding success in European Touring Car events during the late 1960s, and this car remains eligible for historic racing. Period accessories include Campagnolo magnesium wheels and a large-capacity fuel tank for endurance events. A modern gel battery provides improved reliability.
Bonhams says the GTA is ‘tremendous fun to drive’ – and we can believe it. A full 200kg lighter than the regular Giulia GT, its twin-cam 1.6-litre engine produces up to 170hp in full race trim. Bet it sounds fantastic, too.
MGB EX234 prototype
To B or not to B? Is this the car the MGB should have been? The pretty EX234 prototype was designed by Pininfarina and bears a striking resemblance to the Alfa Romeo Duetto (immortalised on film in The Graduate). It’s expected to sell for £35,000 – £45,000.
It might look mildly exotic, but underneath EX234 used BMC’s familiar 1,275cc A-Series engine and gearbox, an Austin Champ rear axle and Hydrolastic suspension. Since leaving the factory, this one-off MG has been owned by a single family, spending many of its years on display at the MG Museum in Cambridgeshire.
Sadly, EX234 never made it into production. The MGB was still selling well in 1965, and BMC was looking towards Triumph as its favoured sports car brand. A shame – even celebrated racing driver John Surtees rated EX234’s handling after driving it at Silverstone.
Jaguar E-Type 3.8-litre coupe
This one needs little introduction. The E-Type regularly tops polls as the best-looking car of all time. Its phallic bonnet, muscular haunches and sleek, tapering tail haven’t dated a day. This 1963 Series 1 Coupe has stayed within the same family since new and is estimated at £60,000 – £80,000.
Bonhams describes the 3.8-litre S1 as ‘the Jaguar E-Type in its earliest and purest form’. With 265hp from a triple-carb engine, it wasn’t just a pretty face either. A 150mph top speed was enough to grab headlines in the early 1960s.
Best of all, the E-Type was much cheaper to buy than equivalent supercars from Italy – and it remains so today, although you still need deep pockets. Reassuringly, this car is said to be: ‘cosmetically very good for its age… with transmission and electrics working properly.’
Jaguar SS100 3½-litre Roadster
We finish our Goodwood auction round-up with another Jaguar. Or do we? When the SS100 was launched in 1936, it was a product of SS Cars – only the model name was ‘Jaguar’. The subsequent rise of Nazi Germany tarnished the SS name, and William Lyons renamed his company after the big cat in 1943. This 1938 car is estimated to sell for £180,000 – £260,000.
This SS100 has been raced and rallied over the years and Bonhams says the bodywork needs some restoration. The engine block has been swapped for a later Jaguar Mark V item, but the bronze cylinder head is original. The car was resprayed British Racing Green in the late 1960s.
Only 214 cars had been made by the time SS100 production was halted by the outbreak of World War II. Today, much of the appeal of this car for prospective owners comes from its eligibility for historic motorsport. It’s surely a must-have for serious Jaguar collectors, too.