Festival of Speed Classic Car Auction: the best yet?


One of the best-ever auctions of classic cars is lined up for Goodwood this year, with five major private collections going under the hammer.

One of the largest collections comes from George Daniels CBE, one of the world's greatest watchmakers. The star of his collection is the ex-Sir Henry 'Tim' Birkin 1929-32 Bentley 4½-Litre Supercharged Single-Seater which set the Brooklands Outer Circuit Lap Record at more than 137mph in 1931. Another Birkin car at the auction is a 1932 Le Mans Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 Long Chassis Touring Spider. Other highlights include an ex-1908 French Grand Prix, a 1908 Itala 100hp Grand Prix Car, with a 12 litre, four cylinder engine, and a 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback.

Another collection to be auctioned comes from the estate of the late Sir Antony Pilkington, of Pilkington Glass fame. This collection includes an ex-RAC, Alpine and Tulip Rally 1957 AC Ace-Bristol Sports Two-Seater, a 1970 Aston Martin DB6 Mk 2 Volante, uprated to Vantage Specification with only 58,000 miles and a 1973 Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona with just 40,000 miles.

Cars from other private collections include a Bentley 3-Litre Speed Model Sports Two-Seater – the classic 1920s Bentley sports car, and a 1938 Lagonda V12 drophead coupé. However the most striking single car for sale is possibly the "Corgi Rolls Royce". The 1912 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Double Pullman Limousine or "Sliver Ghost" to the rest of us, is one of the most famous examples to survive. In the mid-1960s it was chosen by Corgi Toys to be a model in their 'Corgi Classics' series, and thereby became known to car enthusiasts simply as 'The Corgi'.

Last, but definitely not least, one of the world's best collections of historic Lotus models will be included. There are 24 cars from 1953 to the present, spanning Formula One, Le Mans and road cars up to the Esprit Turbo.

This auction is likely to be for those with Oligarch-sized pockets. Classic car prices are rocketing upwards at present and the George Daniels collection alone is estimated to be worth £8 million.