Bonhams launches new auctions for modern classics

Bonhams MPH modern classic sales

Auction house Bonhams is opening a new automotive operation dedicated to modern and affordable classic cars. It’s called Bonhams MPH, and is based at Bicester Heritage.

Bonhams will hold four drive-through sales a year at the new facility, with the first on September 26. It will also host monthly valuation and photography days on-site on the last Friday of the month. The first will be on July 26.

MPH will offer sellers an online consignment process and there are three tiers of package: Bronze, Silver and Gold.

Bronze costs £125+VAT and you get a full display ad in the online catalogue, plus half a page in the printed edition. Silver is £175+VAT and gets you a full page in the printed magazine. And Gold, for £300+VAT, includes a valet at the venue and professional photography of your car by an MPH representative. 

The appeal of modern classics

Bonhams MPH modern classic sales

The modern classic market is booming at the moment, based partly on a widespread sentiment that the 80s, 90s and early 2000s represent a golden age for cars. 

As such, the attention of nostalgic enthusiasts has turned to the very best of this era. With corresponding demand for endeavours like MPH, Bonhams hopes.

Bonhams MPH modern classic sales

“Bonhams’ motoring sales are known as the ‘Blue Riband’ of automotive auctions and until now, our sales calendar has served the higher end of the collector’s car market,” said James Knight of Bonhams.

“We recognise that the market is evolving and now covers a much broader spectrum that, until now, we have not been able to provide our service or expertise to. We are delighted that Bonhams MPH will allow us to offer the same Bonhams values to a wider audience, via a more streamlined service.

“We identified Bicester Heritage as the stand-out location for our new operation and I am delighted that Dan Geoghegan and his management team expressed the same appetite for Bonhams to take up residence. We cannot wait to develop Bonhams MPH: the potential is enormous.”

You could own Nigel Mansell’s championship-winning F1 Williams

Williams F1 FW14B for sale

Nigel Mansell’s legendary 1992 Formula 1 World Championship-winning Williams-Renault FW14B will go under the hammer at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed Bonhams sale.

Mansell won five of the seven races he contested in chassis ’08’ with the famous ‘Red Five’ number and nickname, while Riccardo Patrese raced it with a ‘White Six’ atop its snout. In total, Mansell totted up nine wins throughout the season, beating Ayrton Senna’s eight-win record.

The car was good to both drivers, with Mansell becoming world champ – the first Brit since Hunt in 1976 – and Patrese coming in second.


Aesthetically, the 14B comes from a sweet spot era in Formula 1. Sophisticated aerodynamics marry with a taut and sleek style and width that many bemoan the loss of in F1 almost to this day.

The 14B is widely renowned as one of the coolest-looking F1 cars of all time but is also celebrated as a pioneer of technological development and sophistication in the sport for its era.

Designed by Adrian Newey, it ran a sophisticated computer-controlled hydraulic active suspension system, where you can physically see the car raise and lower. The car could be ‘told’ to raise or lower at points on the circuit to help amend drivers’ complaints of under or oversteer in different corners.

Though some drivers complained of a lack of feel, it was Mansell’s ability to lean into the system and be predictive before it would react that gave him the edge.

Williams F1 FW14B for sale

In recent years, the car has been painstakingly well-preserved by Williams Grand Prix Engineering and Williams Heritage. The car ran publicly for the first time since its contemporary racing days, 25 years on, in 2017. Since then it has passed on to one private owner. Both its screaming Renault V10 engine and its computer suspension are purported to be in tested working order.

No word yet on what the car is estimated to make. When it comes to the highest echelons of motor racing and pieces of its history such as this, how long is a piece of string? Needless to say, deep pockets are required, both to buy and run it.

These are the most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

Last year was absolutely huge for record-breaking classics, including the most valuable car ever sold at auction.

That – plot spoiler – was a Ferrari, but it wasn’t all about Prancing Horses of the Swinging Sixties. Indeed, the top 12 sales of 2018 weren’t short on diversity…

1958 Porsche 550A – £4.03 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

We kick off with a very appropriate sale for 2018. In Porsche’s 70th-anniversary year, this 1958 550A made a cool $5.17 million (£4.03 million) at the Bonhams Scottsdale sale.

It was a factory-backed car in period and, unsurprisingly, has quite a provenance and race history. How does second-in-class (fifth overall) at Le Mans and a class win in the Nürburgring 1,000km in 1958 sound? Few cars are as important to the genesis of Porsche as the 550.

1955 Maserati A6GCS/53 Spider – £4.03 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

Last year was big for Maseratis, as we crown the new most expensive car to wear the trident ever sold at auction.

This one-of-three Frua-bodied 1955 A6GCS/53 Spider is a former concours winner and deserving record-holder, achieving the same $5.17 million (£4.03 million) at Pebble Beach as the Porsche. Interestingly, that was a few hundred thousand dollars short of the estimate.

1932 Alfa Romeo Tipo B Grand Prix Monoposto – £4.5 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

This Alfa Romeo Tipo B earns its place thanks, principally, to its significance as the winner of the inaugural Donington Grand Prix in 1935, plus its status as the first successful central single-seat Grand Prix car.

It’s also a veteran of Scuderia Ferrari’s formative years – that is, as a team rather than a manufacturer. What price for this unique piece of racing history? Try $5.83 million (£4.5 million) for size.

1985 Porsche 959 Paris-Dakar – £4.6million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

Perhaps the biggest surprise of this list is this comparatively modern legend: a 1985 Porsche 959 Dakar. It sold at RM Sotheby’s Porsche anniversary sale for $5.95 million (£4.6 million).

Resplendent in its Rothmans livery, this unique rally-fettled supercar campaigned at the 1985 Paris-Dakar, is an Amelia Island concours winner and has seen action at the Goodwood Festival of Speed with Jacky Ickx at the wheel.

Interestingly, unlike the road-going 959, it does without turbochargers. Perhaps natural aspiration is more reliable when charging through hot desert sands? It’s one of just seven developmental examples built, of which four remain in Porsche’s care.

1958 Ferrari 250 GT TdF Berlinetta – £5.2 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

The Tour de France name was recently applied to the fastest, most extreme version of the Ferrari F12, but its origins date back to the 1950s. The 250 GT TdF Berlinetta comes from an era when road-going GTs also competed in endurance events. The car seen here raced in both the 1958 Targa Florio and Trieste-Opicina hillclimb.

With coachwork by Scaglietti and a V12 beneath its long, voluptuous bonnet, this TdF pushed bidders up and up and it sold for $6.6 million (£5.2 million) at Pebble Beach last year. It was previously owned by a renowned Ferrari collector for 52 years.

1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Speciale – £6.4 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

Now, this is something a bit, um… ‘speciale’: the only 275 GTB built by Pininfarina and the personal car of company boss Battista Pininfarina. The Ferrari has numerous bespoke design details and was displayed at many motor shows in-period, including Frankfurt, Paris and Turin.

Its V12 engine has the desirable six-carb specification but hasn’t been started in many years. As such, vendor Gooding and Company advised it ‘will require mechanical attention prior to road use’. The car sold for $8.09 million (£6.4 million) at Scottsdale in January.

1966 Ford GT40 Mk II – £7.7 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

This is one of the three 1966 Le Mans GT40s that cemented this Ferrari-beating blue-collar legend into history. As racing provenance goes, it doesn’t get much better than that – which is why this third-placed GT40 sold for $9.8 million (£7.7 million) at RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale.

Since that famous finish at Le Mans in 1966, it’s been wheeled out at numerous historic motorsport events, including appearances at Goodwood (both for the Festival of Speed and Revival), and indeed Monterey. It received the people’s choice award at 2003’s Pebble Beach concours.

1961 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato 2 VEV – £10.08 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

One of the most famous Aston Martin racing cars ever made is a coach-built victim of a prang at Goodwood. With F1 legend Jim Clark at the wheel, driving his – and the car’s – second Goodwood TT, it spun into the path of John Surtees’ Ferrari 250 GTO at Madgwick. The result was two bent super-GTs and one of the most famous crashes in Goodwood history.

Fitting, then, that this one-of-three super lightweight Zagato was up for grabs at the 2018 Festival of Speed. It eventually crossed the block for £10.08 million. Prior to the sale, the car had been in the same family for 47 years. In 1993, a previous keeper was involved in another prang in ‘2 VEV’ on the Isle of Man. Since then, after a painstaking restoration, the car has led a somewhat more static concours-winning existence.

1963 Aston Martin DP215 – £16.9 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

A Le Mans racer that reached 198.6mph on the Mulsanne Straight in 1963, this aero-enhanced Aston Martin sold for $21.5 million (£16.9 million) at RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale. That makes it almost the most valuable British car sold at auction – beaten only by a $22.5 million (£17.7 million) Aston Martin DBR 1 in 2017.

DP215 is a true one-off and the final racing Aston of the David Brown era. It was restored with help with designer Ted Cutting, who was originally tasked with building the car in just two months – with a budget of £1,500. Sadly, although DP215 led Le Mans for two hours, it would retire with gearbox problems.

1935 Duesenberg SSJ – £17.3 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

This high-class hot rod became the most expensive American car ever sold at auction when it appeared at Pebble Beach. Dripping with raffish, jazz-age glamour, it’s one of only two SSJs built, combining a short-wheelbase chassis with a 400hp supercharged in-line 8-cylinder engine.  

Duesenberg had factories in Minnesota, New Jersey and Indiana, and rivalled Cadillac, Rolls-Royce and Bugatti in its day. Production lasted from 1913 until shortly before World War II.

This particular car was delivered new to Hollywood actor Gary Cooper, then later owned by racing driver Briggs Cunningham.

1956 Ferrari 290 MM – £17.3 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

Racing pedigree always boosts the values of classic cars – and this $22.005 million (£17.3 million) 290 MM has a suitably star-studded competition CV. It was a Scuderia Ferrari works car for the 1956 and 1957 seasons, driven by Juan Manuel Fangio, Peter Collins and Stirling Moss.

One of just three surviving 290 MMs, the car retains its original Scaglietti bodywork. It was restored by Ferrari’s in-house Classiche department in 2015, including a respray in 1957 ‘12 Hours of Sebring’ livery.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO – £38.1 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

In first place on our list, somewhat predictably, is a Ferrari 250 GTO. This 1962 example enters the record books as the most expensive car ever sold at auction – with a hammer price of $48.4 million (£38.1 million) at Monterey in August.

The 250 GTO is the third of 36 examples built and won its class in the 1963 and 1964 Targa Florio. It still has its original engine, gearbox and rear axle, while factory Series II bodywork was added in period by Scaglietti. Will its record be beaten in 2019? If so, only another 250 GTO seems likely to top it…

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Bentley S1 Continental

Elton John’s Bentley offered for sale

Sir Elton John Bentley

Whenever a classic car formerly owned by a famous rock star comes up for auction, there’s a temptation to lace the report with half-baked references to their lyrics and songs. But you won’t find any cheesy nods to Sir Elton John’s back catalogue in our preview for the sale of this Bentley S1 Continental Sport Saloon.

Instead, we’ll just say that if you have the funds required to meet the pre-auction estimate, and you’re successful in the Bonhams Bond Street Sale, you can tell everybody this is your car.

According to Bonhams, Sir Elton once described the Bentley S1 Continental as “The most beautiful car, I think, that’s ever been designed.” High praise indeed, from a ‘Rocket Man’ who has owned a succession of exotic and illustrious cars, including a Jaguar XJ220 and a number of Aston Martin, Bentley and Rolls-Royce models.

But Sir Elton wasn’t the first owner of the 1957 Continental. Instead, it was sold new to a Mr Madi in Cheshire, before being shipped to Gambia. It soon returned to the UK, changing hands a few times before ending up in the hands of the most celebrated musician ever to be born in Pinner.

The year was 1976, and with 20 years and many owners to its name, the Bentley was in need of restoration. Sir Elton sent it to Weybridge Automobiles for a bare metal respray, complete refurbishment of the interior, and mechanical tweaks.

Sir Elton sacrificed nothing in pursuit of perfection, adding power steering, air conditioning and – perhaps fittingly – a modern Alpine stereo system. The former chairman of Watford FC kept it for 25 years, before selling it to another ex-football chairman, Alan Sugar.

Paying over the odds

Lord Sugar Bentley

Not that Sir Alan (these were the days before he became Lord Sugar) was particularly enamoured with his purchase. Commenting in The Times, Mr Sugar said: “It’s not easy being a man of the people – not when you’re sat behind the wheel of a vintage Bentley.

“Elton John stitched me up with this Bentley. I bought it at auction – on the phone. Bid against myself, I reckon. Done up like a kipper, I was.”

Lord Sugar paid £196,250 for the Bentley at a Christie’s sale in 2001, after Sir Elton auctioned off 20 vehicles from his fantastic collection. It made the rock legend around £2m, with Sir Elton commenting “There’s obviously a lot of money to be made from secondhand cars.”

Six years later, the car went under the hammer again, making just £144,500 at Bonhams’ Olympia sale. Time to fire your motoring adviser, Lord Sugar?

The Bentley – which is one of just 431 S1 Continentals ever built – is expected to fetch between £400,000 and £500,000 at the Bond Street Sale on 2 December 2017. After his previous experience, we doubt Lord Sugar will be feeling the love tonight.

Gallery: Bentley S1 Continental Sport Saloon  

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Unique Swiss ‘castle-find’ car collection for sale

Unique Swiss ‘castle-find’ car collection for saleIf you’ve given up hope of ever finding a genuine ‘barn-find’, may we suggest taking a look at your nearest castle? A collection of 12 classic cars has been unearthed in a Swiss castle and will be offered for sale, without reserve, at the Bonhams Spa Classic sale in May.

We’ll bring you more details on the cars when we have the info, but for now enjoy the photos of the cars discovered in the castle.

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL RoadsterUnique Swiss ‘castle-find’ car collection for sale

Pre-auction estimate: £520,000 – £690,000

If ever a car was befitting of a Swiss castle it would be a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster. It was launched in 1957 when Mercedes-Benz decided to capitalise on the popularity of open-top two-seaters by converting the 300 SL ‘Gullwing’ to create a topless icon.

The 300 SL Roadster isn’t in concours condition, which might explain the relatively low pre-auction estimate. In 2015, an unrestored 1960 example sold for just under a million at the Mercedes-Benz sale in Stuttgart.

Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Double PhaetonUnique Swiss ‘castle-find’ car collection for sale

Pre-auction estimate: £520,000 – £690,000

Bonhams is expecting this Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost to sell for upwards of £500,000 when it goes under the hammer in Belgium. “It is the last word in motoring luxury and perhaps the most influential automobile from the early days of motoring,” said Bonhams.

Maserati Ghibli SSUnique Swiss ‘castle-find’ car collection for sale

Pre-auction estimate: £86,000 – £130,000

The owner of the Swiss castle must have had a thing for Maseratis, as this Ghibli SS is one of three such cars in the collection. First shown at the 1966 Turin Motor Show, the Ghibli was Maserati’s first genuine supercar and a credible rival to anything offered by Ferrari or Lamborghini at the time.

It was styled by Giorgetto Giugiaro during his time at Ghia, with the coupe version later joined by a stunning Spyder. The SS model benefited from a larger 4.9-litre V8 engine, up from 4.7-litre, giving it a top speed of 170mph. In 2016, a concours-winning Ghibli SS sold for £203,100 at the Bond Street sale.

Aston Martin V8 VolanteUnique Swiss ‘castle-find’ car collection for sale

Pre-auction estimate: £78,000 – £120,000

In 1978, Aston Martin finally saw sense and created a convertible version of the AMV8. It featured the new burr walnut trim, blanked-off bonnet scoop and sculpted spoiler of the ‘Oscar India’ hardtop model, but the highlight was the power-operated, fully-lined hood.

The Volante tipped the scales at 1,860kg, some 42kg heavier than the hardtop version, which only served to dilute its performance. That said, a 140mph top speed and 0-60mph time of 7.7 seconds is hardly sloth-like. This 1980 car has a mere 36,485km (22,670 miles) on the clock.

Rolls-Royce Phantom IIUnique Swiss ‘castle-find’ car collection for sale

Pre-auction estimate: £69,000 – £100,000

The Rolls-Royce Phantom II was the last of the marque’s 40/50hp models and was essentially a development of the earlier Phantom. Improvements included a new chassis design and added synchromesh on the higher gears.

Only the chassis and mechanicals were built by Rolls-Royce, with the owner free to select the coachbuilder for the body. In the case of this ‘castle-find’ Phantom II, the body was finished by Mulliner in West London, a company which, by the 1930s, worked almost entirely on Rolls-Royce and Bentley projects.

Lamborghini Espada Series IIUnique Swiss ‘castle-find’ car collection for sale

Pre-auction estimate: £60,000 – £95,000

At the time, the Espada was Lamborghini’s most successful model, with 1,227 units sold during a decade of production. The brief to Marcello Gandini was simple: design a genuine four-seater supercar in order to expand the company’s product line-up. It was unveiled at the 1968 Geneva Motor Show and proved to be incredibly popular.

This is a Series II model, distinguishable from the outside by the deletion of the grille which covered the vertical glass tail panel. More significantly, the interior was overhauled, while power from its 3.9-litre V12 engine was increased to 350hp. A total of 575 units were produced, making the Series II – or 400 GTE – the most common Espada.

Maserati Indy AmericaUnique Swiss ‘castle-find’ car collection for sale

Pre-auction estimate: £43,000 – £69,000

Practicality was clearly the order at the day at the Swiss Schloss, because here’s another four-seater GT from Italy. The Indy was first shown at the 1968 Turin Motor Show on the Vignale stand, but a year later it appeared under the Maserati banner in Geneva. The name was chosen to commemorate Maserati’s success at the Indianapolis 500.

As a 1971 car, this Indy is powered by the 4.7-litre engine, giving it a top speed of 160mph, which, at the time, made it one of the fastest four-seater cars in the world. In all forms, a total of 1,136 units were produced, making the Indy a successful if underappreciated GT car.

Jaguar E-Type Series 3 V12Unique Swiss ‘castle-find’ car collection for sale

Pre-auction estimate: £34,000 – £60,000

By 1971, the Jaguar E-Type was on borrowed time. A decade on from its sensational debut, Jaguar had one last throw of the dice by introducing the Series 3 model, complete with 5.3-litre V12 engine. The new chrome grille and flared arches did little for the E-Type’s styling, while the softer suspension only served to blunt its performance.

The E-Type was losing its lustre. The energy crisis meant that only the very rich or very foolish could afford to run a V12 sports car, while strikes hampered production. Today, the Series 3 is the most affordable E-Type you can buy and that V12 engine holds massive appeal.

Maserati QuattroporteUnique Swiss ‘castle-find’ car collection for sale

Pre-auction estimate: £34,000 – £60,000

The Maserati Quattroporte was introduced at the 1963 Turin Motor Show with coachwork designed by Pietro Frua. This 1968 car is notable for the twin headlights, which were added to the Series II model in 1965. These had already been fitted to cars exported to America.

It was never a huge seller, with production estimates ranging from 679 to 776, depending on the source. Thanks to the increased power from its 4.7-litre engine and rigid rear axle, the Series II car is the Quattroporte to own.

Jaguar E-Type 4.2Unique Swiss ‘castle-find’ car collection for sale

Pre-auction estimate: £26,000 – £34,000

The second E-Type in the collection happens to be a Series 2 model, first introduced in 1968. The second generation E-Type ushered in a number of design changes, most notably the removal of the glass headlight covers, a larger grille and revised bumpers.

Bonhams has slapped a relatively low pre-auction estimate on this 1970 car, which is probably reflective of its ‘castle-find’ condition. For some context, a dry-stored Series 2 sold for £51,750 at the Goodwood Members’ Meeting sale in March 2017.

Mercedes-Benz 500 SLCUnique Swiss ‘castle-find’ car collection for sale

Pre-auction estimate: £17,000 – £26,000

To create the SLC, Mercedes-Benz took the R107 SL, stretched the wheelbase and added a roof and two rear seats. The majority of cars were powered by V8 engines, including, in the case of the 500 SLC, a 5.0-litre variant.

As a 1981 car, this particular 500 SLC is a very late model, as the SLC bowed out in the same year, leaving the SL to soldier on until 1989, at which point it was replaced by the R129 model.

Ford MustangUnique Swiss ‘castle-find’ car collection for sale

Pre-auction estimate: £10,000 – £15,000

The final car in the Swiss collection is perhaps the most surprising: a 1973 Ford Mustang convertible. This American import is a very late first-generation model, as the much-maligned Mustang II arrived in 1974.

The convertible Mustang enjoyed a surge in popularity in 1973, with rumours circulating that Ford wouldn’t be building a drop-top version of the second generation car. Just under 12,000 were produced in 1973, nearly double the number recorded in the three previous years.

Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

This Porsche 911 is the reason Dutch kids grew up wanting to be traffic cops

Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa RijkspolitieWhat you’re looking at is the sole reason why, statistically*, more Dutch children grew up wanting to work for the highway police than in any other European country. The Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie is the coolest cop car you’ll see today and it’s going under the hammer at the Zoute Sale in Brussels.

*We made this up.

Better than a Vauxhall AstraPorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

What’s Dutch for ‘Ne Nah, Ne Nah, Ne Nah’? While you were growing up watching police-liveried Austin Maestros in Juliet Bravo, Vauxhall Astras in The Bill and Ford Anglias in Heartbeat, Dutch kids were sat in the back of their father’s Opel Asconas and Vectras watching 911s engaged in a game of kat en muis.


The boys in whitePorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

Rijkspolitie (government police) and Porsche have a history stretching back to 1962 and the formation of a special traffic format – the Algemene Verkeersdienst (AVD). The ‘boys in blue’ actually switched from blue to white uniforms, making them the ‘boys in white’.

Stoppen in de naam van de RijkspolitiePorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

These men in white suits needed a set of wheels to patrol the flat lands of the Netherlands and – resisting the temptation to drive a Ford Anglia – they looked across the border and spoke to some friends in Stuttgart. Quicker than you could say ‘stoppen in de naam van de Rijkspolitie’, 12 Porsche 356 Convertibles were delivered to the AVD.

The kings of cool?Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

This marked the beginning of a relationship spanning three decades, during which time these Porsche-driving coppers cemented their reputation as the kings of cool. If you’re going to get pulled over by a police car, make sure it’s a Porsche.

Roofless law enforcementPorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

The Rijkspolitie soon switched to the Porsche 911, favouring the Targa for its visibility and the fact that emergency officers could stand on the seat and give directions to other road users. Try doing that through the sunroof of an Austin Metro panda car.

500 cars orderedPorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

In total, the Dutch traffic cops bought over 500 different cars from Porsche, only a handful of which survive. These cars wouldn’t have come cheap, so you have to admire the negotiation skills of the AVD. Spending the cash on a fleet of 911s must have been a political hot potato.

Staying cool, staying alivePorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

According to PetrolBlog, one justification for the expense was that the rear-mounted, air-cooled engine of the 911 wouldn’t overheat when reversing at high speed on the motorway emergency lane. Such things matter when you’re guarding the tail of a traffic jam.

Box of delightsPorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

As you’d expect, these law enforcer ‘Porkas’ were treated to one or two upgrades. The rear seats were removed, with a wooden box of police equipment put in its place. Misbehaving drivers weren’t invited to discuss their misdemeanors in the back of these cop cars.

Everything a copper could ever needPorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

The wooden boxes – which had the look of something put together in a Dutch garden shed – contained gloves, an alcohol tester, instructional paperwork, handcuffs, tape measure, white markers, camera, two warning triangles, fire extinguisher, towing cable, first aid kit, set of spare bulbs, wheel wrench and a cuddly toy. Probably.

Items not found in a Porsche brochurePorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

Other modifications included two internal rear-view mirrors, additional electrical wiring for communications, flashing lights, STOP sign, extra reversing and fog lights, mobile telephone and rear-mounted loudspeaker.

Filling your rear-view mirrorPorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

Seriously, if you catch sight of this view in your rear-view mirror, one of two things is going to go through your mind: ‘floor it’ or ‘it’s a fair cop, guv’. If you opt for the former (tut tut), the ensuing chase would be quite epic. The Dutch equivalent of Police, Camera, Action! would be more thrilling than a Vectra chasing a hoodie in a stolen Nova through an Oxfordshire housing estate.

From Porsche to VolvoPorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

In 1993, the Rijkspolitie switched to Volvo, bringing to an end a highly visible 30 years of of life with Porsche. Dutch coppers cried into their Amstel beer, while the police dogs breathed a huge sigh of relief. Squeezing into the load area of a Porsche 911 can’t have been fun…

The Zoute SalPorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

Bonhams is auctioning this 1989 example at The Zoute Sale on 7 August 2016. It’s offered with a guide price of £76,000 – £130,000, which seems like a small price to pay for a 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa in full Rijkspolitie specification.

ALEX 12.24Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

It patrolled the Dutch highways between 1989 and 1991, making it one of the last Carrera 3.2s to be delivered to the Rijkspolitie. While in service, it was designated the call sign ‘ALEX 12.24’.

Politie Technische DienstPorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

The final production year model – used by the Politie Technische Dienst (PTD) – is fitted with the desirable G50 gearbox and has been restored by Porsche Centro Assistenza Pordenone.

Comical moustaches available separatelyPorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

It’s offered with no reserve and comes complete with original suits, helmets and accessories. Doughnuts and comical moustaches available separately.

Bonhams auction: 7 October 2016Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

If you fancy chasing Saab 900 Turbos at 200km/h on Dutch motorways, this is the car for you. Actually, don’t do that, but if you fancy a slice of Dutch law enforcement history, the Bonhams Zoute Sale takes place on 7 October in Brussels, Belgium.

Goodwood Festival of Speed auction

Goodwood Festival of Speed auction: the highlights

Goodwood Festival of Speed auctionGoodwood 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.

Goodwood Festival of Speed auctionBMW M1

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.

Goodwood Festival of Speed auctionVolkswagen 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.

Goodwood Festival of Speed auction1949 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.

Goodwood Festival of Speed auctionBentley 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.

Goodwood Festival of Speed auctionBentley 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.

Goodwood Festival of Speed auctionJenson 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!

Goodwood Festival of Speed auctionMaserati 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.

Goodwood Festival of Speed auctionFerrari 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. ‘

Goodwood Festival of Speed auctionAlfa 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.

Goodwood Festival of Speed auctionMGB 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.

Goodwood Festival of Speed auctionJaguar 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.’

Goodwood Festival of Speed auctionJaguar 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.