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  • – The most expensive classic Bentley cars sold at auction. The Criclewood Bentley cars.

    5-7-2019

    Few people will not have noticed it: Bentley was founded 100 years ago. Attention is paid to this at numerous events and in magazines and newspapers. So do we, but in our way. We focus at the most expensive Bentley cars sold at auctions and also address a shift in the interest of Bentley enthousiasts. But first of all a brief history of the brand, which was founded by Walter Owen Bentley.

    Walter Owen Bentley started selling cars of the French brand DFP just before the First World War. To encourage sales, his cars took part in competitions and tried to improve the performance of the cars. Shortly after the war the car trade experienced a big boom and in 1919 Bentley decided to make his own cars and founded Bentley Motors. He established his company in Cricklewood. The 3-liter appeared in the same year. Because it took time before the cars could be put into production, it took until 1921 before the 3-Liter was ready for sale. Soon Bentleys successfully participated in hill climbs and races at Brooklands. After achieving fourth place in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1923, the brand triumphed in this race in 1924. Partly due to that success, more than 400 Bentley 3-Liters were sold in that year. To cater for customers who wanted fast, comfortable cars, Bentley decided to develop the six-cylinder 6.5-liter. Other models that appeared afterwards were the four-cylinder 4.5-Liter, the 4.5-Liter “Blower”, the Speed Six and the six-cylinder 8-Liter.

    Thanks to participation in competitions and the successes achieved in them, Le Mans was written in the name of Bentley five times, Bentley’s reputation increased. The often wealthy owners who took part in competitions with their cars were called the “Bentley Boys”. The most famous are Woolf “Babe” Barnato and Sir Henry “Tim” Birkin. Barnato won the Le Mans 24 Hours three times and Birkin developed the Blower Bentley. Yet all the successes in competitions and the sale of cars could not prevent the factory from being constantly financially weak. When the global economic crisis broke out in 1929, the company got it increasingly difficult. In 1931 the factory was sold to Rolls-Royce and the period of W.O Bentley period in Cricklewood came to an end.

    Due to the success of the Bentley cars in competitions in the 1920s, enthusiasts remained interested in the old cars of W.O. Bentley. In particular, the rarest of them, the cars that had participated in Le Mans and the Blower Bentleys, were highly souhgt after throughout the years. These cars also became increasingly expensive. Below is a list of the 15 most expensive WCO. Bentley cars sold at auctions.
    A few comments must be made. Obviously, many more rare Bentley cars have been traded in recent decades that are not mentioned in this list. This is because the list could only include auctioned cars, of which the sales results are known. It can not list the cars sold by well-known dealers. We are aware that a result of that, only part of the most expensive Bentley cars could be included in the list.

    Not included, the Speed Six Blue Train

    Not included: the Speed Six “Blue Train”.

    Reserve. 4.5-Litre Blower ex-Company Demonstrater, auctioned by Coys in 1994 for £385,000

    Not included: 4.5-Litre Blower ex-Company Demonstrater, auctioned by Coys in 1994 for £385,000.

    Another point is that some cars were auctioned a long time ago, when cars were sold for less high amounts. For example, in December 1984, Sotheby’s auctioned the Gurney Nutting Bentley Speed Six “Blue Train” Coupe for £ 270,000. This was at the time a new world record for a Bentley. Adjusted for inflation, it was nearly £ 875,000. The car was not sold at auction again in later years. There for the car does not appear in the list below. However, had this Bentley been sold at an auction in recent years, it would have been in the top fifteen. This also applies to the 4.5-Liter Blower Vanden Plas Tourer that Coys auctioned for only £288,000 in May 1988 (now £771,184), the 4.5 Liter Blower Vanden Plas Tourer, ex Company Demonstrator that Sotheby’s auctioned for £385,000 in May 1994 (now £748,622) and the 4.5 Liter Blower Racing two-seater Vanden Plas, ex Tim Birkin, that Brooks auctioned in June 1999 for £285,000 (now £478,800). All these cars are missing and so the list looks like this:

    Top 15 W.O. Bentley:
    15. W.O.
    15: 1932 8-Litre Open Tourer by Vanden Plas (YX5118)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £1,369,000
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £1,303,900
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $1,705,000
    Auction: 08-2016 RM Sotheby’s
    This is one of 35 short chassis Bentley 8-Liters.  Few unsold, complete, not-yet-bodied chassis were sold to dealers, after the Rolls-Royce take over. This was one of them. The Bentley was sold to Sir Everard Talbot Scarisbrick in Lancashire, having a four-passanger Open Tourer body by Mayfair. It was later sold to Mr. J.C Babcock in London, who had a new, modern coachwork made by Vanden Plas in 1938.  To rebody a chassis in later years was not uncommon in those days. This is the reason this car looks more modern than other W.O. Bentley cars. At the time the Bentley was auctioned in 2016, it had only had five previous owners.
    14. W.O.
    14: 1931 8-Litre Open Tourer by Harrison (YR5076)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £1,456,750
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £1,103,600
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $2,200,000
    Auction: 03-2008 RM Sotheby’s
    Only one hundred copies were made of the Bentley 8-liter. And of those, only sixteen had an open body. That were six Drophead Coupes and ten Open Tourers. The coachwork of this Bentley is original and made by the British coachbuilder R. Harrison and Son. The 8-Liter was delivered to Mr. W.B. Henderson of Somerset. The car was shipped to the United States in 1953 and returned to the United Kingdom for several years in 1995. In 2006 the car was back in the United States. The Bentley was auctioned at Pebble Beach in August 2008 for more than a million pounds and is listed with this amount in this list. Two years later, in October 2010, the car was again sold by RM Sotheby’s, this time at the London auction. The car then yielded less, it was £756,000.
    13. W.O.
    13: 1929 4.5-Litre Open Tourer by Vanden Plas (KL3584)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £1,608,200
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £1,386,400
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $2,145,000
    Auction: 01-2012 Gooding & Company
    After the 3-Liter, the Bentley 4.5 Liter is the most produced model of W.O. Bentley. Equipped with a light open body, it was a formidable participant in competitions. But at the same time, the car could also be fitted with a comfortable closed body and offer passengers comfort and speed. This Bentley, with a comfortable open body by Vanden Plas, was sold to Capt. P.R. Sold Astley of Portland Place. Later this car went to the United States. In March 1995, Christie’s auctioned the Bentley for $365,500 or £215,650 (now adjusted to inflation £407,600). The car has an original bodywork by Vanden Plas, a specific model the company didn’t make much of. Both factors largely determined the value of this car. The value increased to £1,3 million at the auction in 2012. Four times more than in 1995.
    12. W.O
    12: 1931 8-Litre Coupe by Gurney Nutting (YR5088)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £1,978,800
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £1,815,400
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $2,956,00
    Auction: 02-2014 Artcurial
    Introduced to the public at the 1930 London Motor show, the Bentley 8-Litre was at that time the biggest-engine car made in the United Kingdom. Having a closed coachwork, it was capable of reaching a speed of 100 mph. This car was made for the wealthy Scotsman Mr. John Moller. The car survived having its original coachwork. After restorarion the Bentley won several Concours d’Elegance in the 80s and 90s. In the past twenty years, the Bentley has been auctioned for three times. In July 1999 Christie’s auctioned the car for £278,800. Seven year later it was sold by RM Sotheby’s at an auction in March 2006 for $ 1,485,000 (at the time £ 849,600). The car doubled in value at the auction of Artcurial in February 2014, as it was sold for more than £1.8 million.
    11. W.O.
    11: 1931 4.5-Litre Blower Open Tourer in style of Vanden Plas (SM3925)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £2,017,500
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £2,017,500
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $2,654,600
    Auction: 07-2018 Bonhams
    The Bentley 4.5-Litre Blower is one of the most sought after models. Only 50 were made. This Bentley was sold new to Mr. Terence Byron having a Saloon coachwork made by Freestone & Webb. In 1935, after an accident, the car returned to Bentley Motors for repairs. Like many other Bentley cars, in time the car later lost its original coachwork, engine and other parts. In the 80’s a project was started to return the car in it’s former glory. The Bentley now has the original engine a period chassis and an original supercharger. The coachwork is in Vanden Plas Team Car-Style and the car is accepted as one of the 50 “Blower” Bentleys. This is the most recent auctioned car in the list.
    10. W.O.
    10: 1929 Speed Six Grafton Coupe by Freestone & Webb (FR2630)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £2,050,000
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £1,830,400
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $2,860,000
    Auction: 08-2013 Gooding and Company
    To increase the winning possibilities in competitions, the Bentley Speed Six was more powerful than the 4.5-Litre (and the standard 6.5-Litre). The Speed Six took victories at Le Mans in 1929 and 1930 and many others at Brooklands. (See car number 3 in this list.) Although the Speed Six was very successful in races, most cars produced (182 in total) were fast road-going vehicles having closed coachwork. Only a few were orginally supplied having an open coachwork. After the war, many had the original body removed and were fitted with a replica Vanden Plas Open Tourer body. Therefor a Speed Six having the original closed coachwork is now very rare. This Speed Six Grafton Coupe is highly original and therefor very rare.
    9. W.O
    9: 1928 4.5-Litre Open Tourer by Vanden Plas (MF3153)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £2,064,000
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £1,842,900
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $2,750,000
    Auction: 03-2013 Gooding and Company
    This Bentley 4.5-Litre was delivered new in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It had a coachwork made by Vanden Plas, this open Sports Four-Seater. To make it light, the Weymann patent was used. After a year, the car returned to the United Kingdom and was given a significant upgrade. The 4.5-Litre was fitted with many Le Mans-specifications, including the Le Mans-type petrol tank with quick-release cap and quick-release radiator cap. But also an upgraded crankcase and crankshaft. After the year 2000 the car was restored. Althouth this Bentley did not have much racing provenance like some others, it was factory upgraded. That made it very attractive and a good alternative for those, far more expensive cars.
    8. W.O.
    8: 1931 4.5-Litre Blower sports two seater in style of Vanden Plas (MS3929)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £2,741,150
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £2,565,600
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $4,015,000
    Auction: 08-2015 RM Sotheby’s
    This 1931 Blower Bentley was delivered new having a four-passenger Tourer body made by Vanden Plas. Although the car now looks very different, the original coachwork still exists. This attractive body was made in the early 90’s. It is a copy of the sports two seater Vanden Plas made for another Blower Bentley, that participated in the 1929 500 Miles Race at Brooklands (number 1 in this list). The original Vanden Plas was auctioned together with the car. At the time the car was auctioned, it had been in the possession of the same owner for almost 30 years.  This Blower Bentley also has the original chassis, engine, gearbox and blower. For that reason and due to the presence of the original coachwork, this is a rare car. The Bentley was auctioned in 2015 for £2.5 million.
    7. W.O
    7: 1930 4.5-Litre Blower two seater by Gurney Nutting, ex Barnato (SM3909)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £2,867,700
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £1,210,000
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $2,325,500
    Auction: 12-1990 Sotheby’s
    This Bentley is one of the first 25 production Blower Bentleys. The car was delivered new to Woolf Barnato in July 1930. The sporty boattail body was made by Gurney Nutting. In a declining market and a bad year for auction houses, Sotheby’s sold this Bentley in December 1990 for 1.2 million pounds. That was then a new world record for a Bentley. It broke the old auction record that Sotheby’s had set six years earlier with the Blue Train. Reportedly, the Blower was sold to Japan. Later the car went to the United States. Based on this design, two other, simpler boattails were made by Gurney Nutting. One of them is car number five in this list. Auctioned in 1990, this is the oldest sales result in the list.
    6. W.O.
    6: 1930 Speed Six Sport Saloon by Corsica (HM2861)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £2,996,800
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £2,881,550
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $3,410,000
    Auction: 08-2017 RM Sotheby’s
    A 182 copies were made of the Bentley Speed Six. Most of them had closed coachwork. But nowadays, most chassis have a replica body. However, just like car number 10 in this list, this Speed Six has also retained the original coachwork. The Sport Saloon was made by Corsica. The first owner was J.W. Bealey of Little Minthurst Farm in Sussex. He bought the car in September 1930 via Jack Barclay of London. The Bentley went to Canada in the 1950s and the car was sold in the 1970s to a collector in the United States. After the year 2010, few Bentley Speed Six models were offered and sold at auctions. This is the most exensive Bentley having a closed body in this list.
    5. W.O
    5: 1931 4.5-Litre Blower Open Tourer by Gurney Nutting ‘The Green Hornet’ (SM3916)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £3,111,900
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £2,255,000
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $4,510,000
    Auction: 08-2007 Gooding and Company
    This Bentley Boattail was made after the example of the Boattail for Woolf Barnato, car number 7 in this list. Gurney Nutting later made two simpler ones. One was sold to the Dutchman Eddie Hertzbergen and this car no longer exists. The other is this one and it has the nickname “The Green Hornet”. The car still has the original chassis, blower and body. It’s one of only a the few unmolested and untouched blowers. The first owner of this car was S.B. Peck. He bought the Bentley in December 1931. The car was in the United States in the early 1950s and was given to Ann Klein. She nicknamed the car. In 2007 the car was auctioned by Gooding & Company, for the first time in nearly 60 years. The car was in most original condition and raised $ 4.5 million. In 2012 the car was returned to the auction house. Bidding then stopped at $ 7 million (then around £ 4.5 million), which was too little to be sold at auction.
    4. W.O.
    4: 1931 4.5-Litre Blower 40’s Boattail Body (MS3944)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £3,3267,000
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £2,970,500
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $4,647,500
    Auction: 08-2013 Bonhams
    This 4.5 –Liter Blower is the fourth highest auctioned Bentley in this list. The first owner was Harry Leeson. He was a regular customer of the factory and ordered this Bentley Blower, made to Le Mans specifications. Only three of them were made. The car also had a lightweight Le Mans specification two door open four-seater Vanden Plas body. A year later, the car changed hands and went to the United States in the 1930s. The Canadian William K. Johnson bought the Bentley and he decided to install a different body. The car still has this boattail bodywork from the early 40s. In 1955 the car came into the possession of Charles R.J Noble and remained in the family’s possession for almost 60 years. When the Bentley was auctioned in 2013, the car still seemed to be in the same condition as in 1938.
    3. W.O
    3: 1930 Speed Six Open Tourer by Vanden Plas, original Team Car, Old Number 2 (HM2868)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £4,191,400
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £2,794,250
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $5,658,500
    Auction: 07-2004 Christie’s
    This Bentley is one of the most famous cars. It is a original Bentley Le Mans Works Team car and is known as Old Number 2. The car was made in 1930 especially for participation in Le Mans. In this race the car was driven by Dick Watney and Frank Clement. They finished in second place, behind Old Number 1. Prior to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Woolf Barnato and Frank Clement won the Brooklands Double Twelve with this car. The Bentley was sold to Mr. A.J. Stuart of London in the 1930s and sold again after a few months. After the war, the Bentley ended up in the United States. The car was later part of the Bill Lake collection. In July 2004, Christie’s auctioned this Bentley in France at the Le Mans Classic meeting for £ 2.7 million. It was a new auction record for a Bentley. The car then yielded more than double the next car in the list, coming from the same collection and sold at the same auction.
    2. W.O.
    2: 1928 4.5-Litre Open Tourer by Vanden Plas, original Team Car (KM3088)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £4,470,500
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £3,853,850
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $6,050,000
    Auction: 08-2012 Gooding and Company
    This is one of the Bentley cars to which the factory owes its image. This car has participated twice in the 24 hours of Le Mans. The light body was made by Vanden Plas especially for participation in competitions. The cars having this special kind off coachwork are known as “Bobtails”. In 1928, Clement and Benjafield drove this car at Le Mans. It did not finish due to technical problems. In 1929, when Bentley registered a 1-2-3-4 victory, Benjafield and d’Erlanger finished third with this Bentley. The Works Bentley was sold in 1930. In 2004, Christie’s auctioned this car for over a million pounds. Adjusted for inflation, that was then “only” £1,641,700. The value increased to £3.8 million eight years later. The car was offered for sale again in 2017 by RM Sotheby’s at an estimate of $6.5 to $7.5 million, but did not sell.
    1. W.O
    1: 1929 4.5-Litre Blower Single Seater racer, ex Tim Birkin (HB3402)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £5,848,150
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £5,041,500
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $7,918,200
    Auction: 06-2012 Bonhams
    This Blower Bentley was Great Britain’s fastest track racing car of it’s time. It was a multiple Brooklands race winner and holder of the Outer Circuit lap record. Alongside the Blower Bentley road-racing endurance sports cars, Tim Birkin had this special track-racing car developed. The car took part in races at Brooklands for the first time in 1929. Equipped with this new, aluminum body, Birkin raced at the Brooklands Meeting in 1930. As Birkin won the race, it was the first race victory achieved by a Blower Bentley. During the Brooklands Easter meeting, he reached a speed of 135 mph, setting a new record at Brooklands. Two years later he improved his performance with a new record of almost 138 mph. After his death in 1933, the car remained unused and was sold in 1939. Several enthusiasts took care of the car afterwards. Bonhams auctioned this car in 2012, setting a new auction record for a Bentley.

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  • – The most expensive Bentley cars sold at auction. The post W.O Bentley cars.

    5-7-2019

    A hundred years Bentley is of course more than the five famous victories at Le Mans, with the well-known green Open Tourers. Because they took place in a period of less than 15 years. After that, other cars appeared that are cherished by enthusiasts and shown at events. The history of Bentley has more highlights.

    After Rolls-Royce took over Bentley Motors in 1931, a new Bentley appeared in 1933. The Bentley 3.5-Litre was based on the previously introduced Rolls-Royce 20/25. The Bentley’s engine had been modified, giving it higher performance. A new period started. Instead of in Cricklewood, cars were made in Derby and after WOII in Crewe.

    The Bentley 3.5-Litre was the first in a long line of models that would follow later. Examples of this were the pre-war 4.25-litre and the post-war MK VI, S1, S2, S3 and T. For decades there was a close relationship between the Rolls-Royce and the Bentley models. Sometimes the main difference was just another grille. These Bentley cars therefore had a different image than the W.O. Bentley cars. In addition, these models were often produced in relatively high numbers. Both factors ensured that the W.O. Bentley’s were much higher in the market for years than the later Bentley’s.

    For Derby Bentley cars, the interest of enthusiasts, apart from one-offs, is mainly focused on certain models and on cars with certain bodyworks. Examples from the pre-war period are the 3.5-Litre and 4.25-Litre Open Tourers by Vanden Plas, the three-position Drophead Coupes by Gurney Nutting and the Disappearing Top Convertibles by H.J. Mulliner. The most expensive auctioned 4.25-Litre Tourer by Vanden Plas until now is a car that Bonhams auctioned for half a million pounds in August 2016.

    1936 Bentley 4.25 Liter Tourer by Vanden Plas, auctioned by Bonhams in 2016 for £504.000

    1936 Bentley 4.25 Liter Tourer by Vanden Plas, auctioned by Bonhams in 2016 for £504.000.

    The same applies to the post-war R-Type Continental and the S Continental. In particular the Fastback by H.J. Mulliner became a beloved one. We have previously paid attention to this in another article. The S Continental Convertible by Park Ward also rose in the interest of collectors. In the top fifteen most expensive Bentley cars sold at auctions listed below in the post W.O period, these cars are mentioned the most.

    For Bentleys made after 1965 no high sums are usually spent. Nevertheless, some cars were also made in very small numbers during this period. This applies, for example, to the Bentley T Series 1 and Series 2 Corniche Convertible, of which 45 and 29 copies were made, respectively.

    In the 1990s and especially later after the acquisition of Bentley by Volkswagen AG in 1998, Bentley launched several special models. Examples of these are the 1995 Continental S and the 2001 Continental R Le Mans, of which 77 and 46 were made, respectively. Another example is the 1998-2000 Continental SC of which 73 cars were made. It is to be expected that these cars will attract more attention in the future. But none of these cars can be found in the list below of the fifteen most expensive Bentley cars that have been auctioned. These cars are much too young for that. They are not often traded at auctions yet and the amounts spent on them are still relatively low. To illustrate: Bonhams auctioned a Continental R Le Mans in February 2017 for less than £80,000. Last but not least, this list is strongly influenced in the top five by a changes in the exchange rate of the dollar and the pound.

    1999 Bentley Continental SC

    1999 Bentley Continental SC, auctioned by RM Sotheby’s in March 2019 for $212,800 (£163,500).

    2002 Bentley Continental R Le Mans

    2002 Bentley Continental R Le Mans, auctioned by RM Sotheby’s in March 2019 for $126,500 (£97,200).

    The same comments must be placed on this list as previously made on the list of most expensive W.O. Bentley cars. Many more R-Type Continentals were traded in recent decades than were sold at auctions. These do not appear in the list. In addition, the mutual differences in price between cars of the same type are not very large. And there are few examples of special cars that were auctioned in the past and are therefore missing from this list, but which would appear in the list had they been sold at a recent auction. One of the few is the Bentley 4.25-Litre Embiricos, which Coys auctioned in November 1984 for £120,000. Corrected for inflation, that is now less than £400,000. This car would have been auctioned for a higher amount if it had been auctioned in the recent past. As in March 2017 RM Sotheby’s auctioned a replica of the Bentley 4.25 Liter Embiricos for $671.000 (£551.600). This list does not include the 2001 Speed 8 Le Mans Prototype, a car that RM Sotheby’s auctioned for over 1.6 million pounds in August 2012. This is a racing car.

    Top 15 Crewe Bentley:

    15. Derby

    15: 1965 S3 Continental Flying Spur by H.J. Mulliner, ex Keith Richard (BC68XE)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £816,500
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £763,100
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $1,170,560
    Auction: 09-2015 Bonhams
    We start and end this list of 15 cars with examples that, due to the type and model, were auctioned for unrealistically high amounts. At the end of 2014, Bonhams auctioned a beautiful, original S3 Flying Spur for £125,000. Less than a year later, this restored Flying Spur was sold for six times as much. The reason for this was that the first owner had been Keith Richard. He bought this car in 1965 and sold it in 1978. The high auction result was therefore not based on the scarcity of an S3 Flying Spur, but on the affinity with the first owner. It is one of 68 right-hand drive Flying Spurs built on the S3 Continental chassis.

    14. Derby

    14: 1953 R-Type Continental Fastback by H.J. Mulliner, ex Aristotle Onassis (BC25A)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £827,600
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £773,470
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $1,210,000
    Auction: 08-2015 RM Sotheby’s
    This is the first of eight R-Type Continentals in this list. Bentley made 207 R-Type Continentals. Most of them, 193 chassis, received a body made by H.J. Mulliner. This Bentley Fastback is a right-hand drive and, like all early versions, it has a manual gearbox. The first owner of this car was Aristotle Onassis. It is one of the desirable “Seats and Spats” cars. That means that this car is equipped with the sporty lightweight bucket seats and both rear fender skirts. Onassis owned this Bentley for six years. He sold the car in 1959 and in 1963 the Fastback was exported to the United States. At the end of the eighties, the car was restored by Vantage Motorworks. After that, the car was rarely used until it was auctioned in August 2015.

    13. Derby

    13: 1955 R-Type Continental Fastback by H.J. Mulliner (BC56D)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £ GBP: £859,300
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £826,250
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $1,077,752
    Auction: 09-2017 RM Sotheby’s
    This is a late D-Series model from 1955. The car is delivered with the most powerful 4.9-liter engine. In addition, the Bentley has a manual gearbox and lightweight seats. It is a right-hand drive and was sold in England. Up until 1983, the Bentley had several owners. Afterwards it remained in the possession of one family. In 2017 the Bentley won its class at the Bentley Drivers Club Concours. Later that year, RM Sotheby’s auctioned the car for £826,250 in London. Accompanying the car were its valuable original Continental Touring Spares kit and correct tools.

    12. Derby

    12: 1957 S1 Continental Convertible by Park Ward (BC30LCH)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £956,750
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £910,000
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $1,143,500
    Auction: 02-2017 Bonhams
    Of the 431 Bentley S1 Continentals produced, 185 were bodied by Park Ward, of which 66 were left-hand drive (Coupe and Convertible). This car is one of only 31 left-hand drive Convertibles made by Park Ward. It is Park Ward’s own design. In addition to the Convertible, Park Ward has also made Coupes. This Bentley was delivered new to George A. Embiricos. He owned the car for about fifteen years. Until it was auctioned by RM Sotheby’s in 2017, the Bentley only three owners. The car has never been completely restored. The hood has been renewed earlier and the car was re-sprayed in blue. In addition, maintenance was done by P&A Wood. The total bill amounted to £ 55,000. Up to this moment, this is the most expensive S1 Continental Convertible by Park Ward auctioned in the United Kingdom.

    11. Derby

    11: 1937 4.25-litre Open Two Seater by Carlton (B55KU)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £1,041,400
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £955,400
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $1,595,000
    Auction: 08-2014 RM Sotheby’s
    This is the first pre-war Bentley in this list. Bentley made 1,234 chassis of the type 4.25-Litre. Carlton has fitted four of them with bodywork. This is the only two-seater Carlton made on to the 4.25-Litre chassis. It is a one-off and also one of the few 4.25-Litre Bentley two-seaters. The coachwork looks very sporty. It also has a fold-down twin aeroscreen, called the Brooklands windscreen. The car was delivered new to Gordon C. Wood, of Weybridge in Surrey. However, he did not own the car for long. A year later Wood sold the Bentley. In the 1960s, the Two Seater was sold to the United States and it was restored in the 1990s.

    10. Derby

    10: 1954 R-Type Continental Fastback by H.J. Mulliner (BC41D)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £1,103,000
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £1,012,000
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $1,651,400
    Auction: 09-2014 Silverstone Auctions
    The Bentley R-Type Continental was the first four-seater sports Coupe capable of reaching speeds up to 120 mph. This is a D-Series car, fitted with the enlarged engine having a displacement of 4,877 cc. It is one of the 165 right-hand drive cars. It has a manual gearbox and the lightweight bucket seats. This Fastback was restored by P&A Wood in the 1980s and then maintained by experts. The car was auctioned in the United Kingdom by Silverstone Auctions in 2014 for over a million pounds.

    9. Derby

    9: 1937 4.25-Litre Coupe by Vesters & Neirinck (B156KT)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £1,150,000
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £905,500
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $1,320,000
    Auction: 01-2009 Gooding & Company
    This is the most expensive pre-war Derby Bentley auctioned so far. When the car was auctioned in 2009, it was in original condition and had only driven 35,000 km. Vesters & Neirinck was a Belgian coachbuilder and did not provide many bodywork for Bentley cars. The car was auctioned for the first time in September 1989 in France and raised more than 3.2 million French francs. At the time, that was already a record for a Bentley 4.25-litre. In August 2006, RM Auctions auctioned the car for the second time and the record was improved. The car was then sold in the United States converted for £665,800. Adjusted for inflation, it was £945,400. In January 2009, Gooding & Company auctioned the Bentley for the third time and again for a higher amount.

    8. Derby

    8: 1952 R-Type Continental Fastback by H.J. Mulliner (BC14LA)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £1,152,000
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £1,107,700
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $1,347,500
    Auction: 03-2017 RM Sotheby’s
    This early R-Type Continetal Fastback was the second one made with a left-hand drive. It is one of of 43left-hand drive. Originally the engine had 4.5 litres. At the request of the second owner, it was increased by the factory up to 4.9 litres. The Bentley was purchased new by William A.M. Burden Jr., a descendant of Cornelius Vanderbilt. Because he did not like the original seats , they were later replaced at his request by seats fitted in the Bentley S. In 1959, Burden sold the Fastback as he bought another, new Bentley. The R-Type Continental later came into the possession of enthusiasts and was restored by Paul Russel & Company.

    7. Derby

    7: 1953 R-Type Continental Fastback by H.J. Mulliner (BC16LA)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £1,198,900
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £1,033,500
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $1,622,500
    Auction: 08-2012 RM Sotheby’s
    In less than ten years, this R-Type Continental was sold twice at auction, in 2012 and 2015. In January 2015, RM Sotheby’s auctioned this Bentley $100,000 less than in 2012. In 2015 it was sold for 1.5 million dollars, at that time a million converted into pounds. Adjusted for inflation, it was £1.07 million. Because the car, adjusted for inflation, was auctioned in 2012 for a higher amount, the Bentley ends up with that sum in position seven in this list. This “Spats and Seats” Fastback is a left-hand drive and has a manual gearbox.

    6. Derby

    6: 1956 S1 Continental Convertible by Park Ward (BC54AF)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £ GBP: £ 1,288,400
    Sale price at time of sale £ GBP: £ 1,288,450
    Sale price at time of sale $ USD: $ 1,655,000
    Auction: 08-2018 RM Sotheby’s
    The Bentley S1 is the last Bentley to have the six-cylinder in-line engine. Afterwards came the V8. This Park Ward Convertible is one of 31 left-hand drives made. The Bentley was purchased new in May 1956 by Thomas D. Neerlands Jr. He kept this car until 1971. Then the Bentey came into the hands of enthusiasts and collectors. In the 1990s, the car was cosmetically restored by Vantage Motorworks in Miami. After 2015, the Bentey was additionally restored. At the time of the auction, RM Sotheby’s described the Bentley as being in superb condition as when it was new. The car was auctioned a year ago for almost 2 million dollars. Converted into pounds it was more than £1.2 million.

    5. Derby

    5: 1954 R-Type Continental Fastback by H.J. Mulliner (BC2LD)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £1,324,850
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £1,261,770
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $1,815,000
    Auction: 03-2016 RM Sotheby’s
    In 2016 this Bentley was auctioned in dollars for a higher amount (more than 1.8 million) than number 3 in this list. That S1 Continental was auctioned in 2017 for less than 1.7 million dollars. The reason this R-Type Continental ends up lower in this list is due to a difference in the exchange rate of the dollar and the pound. As a result of that, in 2016 this Fastback was auctioned in pounds for a lower amount than the S1 Convertible in 2017.

    This Bentley was delivered new in New York and had four owners up until the auction in 2016. Vantage Motorworks was responsible for restoring the Bentley to modern Pebble Beach standards. As a result of that, this Fastback became Best in Class at Amelia Island Concours in 2010. This Bentley was made in a most desirable configuration: left-hand drive, 4.9-Litre engine, manual transmission and “Seats and Spats”.

    4. Derby

    4: 1954 R-Type Continental Fastback by H.J. Mulliner (BC5LD)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £ 1,419,250
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £1,267,200
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $1,980,000
    Auction: 08-2013 Gooding & Company
    In 2013 this Fastback was auctioned in dollars for a higher amount (almost 2 million) than number 2 in this list, also a Fastback which was auctioned in 2016 (almost 1.9 million). The reason this car ends up lower in this list is again due to a difference in the exchange rate of the dollar and the pound. As a result, this Bentley was auctioned converted into pounds for a lower amount. The rarity and condition of the car are similar to those of number 2 in this list: Left-hand drive and automatic transmission. Moreover, this Bentley has the engine with 4.9 litres cc. In 2000, Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialist Richard Gorman (Vantage Motorworks) bought the car. The Fastback was then restored. After the restoration the car took part in concours. The Bentley received Best in Class awards at Pebble Beach, Amelia Island, Meadow Brook and Fairfield.

    3. Derby

    3: 1956 S1 Continental Convertible by Park Ward (BC22LBG)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £1,438,800
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £1,383,500
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $1,683,000
    Auction: 03-2017 RM Sotheby’s
    This Bentley was delivered new to Edwin Jay Gould in 1956. He owned the car all his life. After his death, the car was sold in 1993. The Bentley had then driven 40,000 miles. The car became the property of Richard Gorman (Vantage Motorworks) and was restored. Later the Continental Convertible came into the car collection of the industrial Orin Smith. After his death, RM Sotheby’s auctioned 58 rare cars from his collection, including this Bentley S1. Until then the car had only been registered twice in the name of a private person. At the time of the auction, the car had driven 50,511 miles. It is the most expensive S1 Convertible by Park Ward auctioned so far.

    2. Derby

    2: 1954 R-Type Continental Fastback by H.J. Mulliner (BC66LC)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £1,501,500
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £1,430,000
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $1,870,000
    Auction: 08-2016 RM Sotheby’s
    Out of the 193 Fastback Saloons, 43 were left-hand drive. And of those, only 9 had automatic transmission. This is important to mention, because the car was exported to the United States and was auctioned here in 2016 as well. In the USA there is a preference for left-hand drive cars with automatic transmission. At the time of the auction, the body-off, frame-up restoration of this Bentley had just been completed. Photos and invoices could be viewed. A Pebble Beach Bentley team judge had supervised the restoration of the car, making sure the Bentley was authenticly and accurately restored in detail. The car was complete with the original owner’s handbook, complete sets of road and hand tools and the rare Continental Touring Spares kit. All these factors made the car highly appreciated.

    1. Derby

    1: 1947 MK VI Convertible by Franay (B20BH)
    Sale price adjusted for inflation £GBP: £2,064,550
    Sale price at time of sale £GBP: £1,779,800
    Sale price at time of sale $USD: $2,750,000
    Auction: 01-2012 Barrett Jackson
    Just as we started this list with a car that, given its type and model, was auctioned for an unrealistically high amount, we also end with it. It is an example of an American way of “restoring”, in which a car is adjusted to the wishes of the owner. As this Bentley does not look as it was originally made by Franay. For example, the car did not have a V-shaped windscreen. It is also difficult to discover even one piece of chrome decorative part, which is in accordance with the original version. Chrome parts have been added in several places. During the restoration, the car was made to impress visually. And it did. In the nineties, it won dozens of prizes at concours. These days, juries look at such cars in a completely different way. Nevertheless, this is number 1 in this list. In March 2006 the Barrett Jackson auctioned this car for the first time. It was sold for 1.7 million dollars (now 1.4 million pounds). In that time it was the most expensive post-war Bentley sold at auction, just as it is now.

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  • – The most expensive classic Bentley cars sold at auction. A change in demand.

    5-7-2019

    When you look back at the price development of classic Bentleys, you see changes in the demand. For a long time enthusiasts were mainly interested in one of those well-known green open cars. Even though such a Bentley had a replica body. That has changed in the past decade. People prefer originality and are willing to pay more for it.

    Bentley is one of the best known brands of exclusive and sporty cars. That image was created in the history of the brand. We all know the well-known green open cars and often see them at events or we see them driving in rallies. But when we see such a car standing or driving, there is a good chance that we will see a car with a replica bodywork. Many will think that this type of coachwork was characteristic of the W.O Bentleys. But that is not the case. Most cars had closed bodywork. This certainly applied to the examples that were built after 1925.

    How is it possible that many think that a W.O. Bentley has a green, open body and that so few cars with closed bodies are left? That is a matter of taste and of supply and demand.

    Bentley’s at an event

    Bentley cars at an event.

    In the fifties and sixties old Bentleys, with their closed bodies, often had little value. That certainly applied to the Weymann-type fabric bodies in a tatty state. Often replacing the closed coachwork with an open replica was the only alternative to the scrapyard. But as the years passed and classical W.O. Bentleys became more expensive and things changed. The replicas conquered the market.

    When authors wrote in magazines about the history of Bentley, the victories at Le Mans were repeated many times. That contributed to the sporting image of the brand. And the cars that formed the basis for this sporting image were the green Vanden Plas Open Tourers who had driven at Le Mans. Many enthusiasts wanted such a car. But these Bentleys had not been made enough. The demand became larger that the supply. A solution was found. Good, original closed bodies and two-seater bodies were removed and new replica bodies were placed on the chassis. Usually in the style of Vanden Plas “Le Mans” coachwork. Other parts of the car, such as the fenders, gasoline tank, etc., were also replaced to increase the similarity. Optionally, the chassis was shortened or the engine was fitted with a compressor. The reason for this was simple: A fake “Le Mans” Bentley had become more valuable than an original car with a “less desirable” coachwork. And because the market asked for it, countless Bentleys were changed.

    In May 1990, Mike Worthington-Williams wrote a critical article about this in Classic and Sportscar. He complained that many closed bodies ended up under the demolition hammer only for financial gain. A valuable historical heritage of British coachworks was in danger of being lost forever and the remaining Bentleys would give a false impression of the brand’s history. It changed little because the demand for the open Bentleys remained high.

    But as more and more chassis were fitted with a replica body, original closed bodies became rarer. Collectors became more interested in these cars. And that is reflected in the price development of these Bentleys.

    In the development of the prices of W.O. Bentleys a few processes can be noticed. First we show the price development at auctions of Bentleys 4.5-Litre having an original Vanden Plas open body and those having a body in the style of Vanden Plas. It shows that over the years the difference in price increased. It should be mentioned that in 2018 H&H auctioned a 4.5-Litre having a replica body for £855,000. This car once belonged to Woolf Barnato.

    Bar graph 1

    Highest auction results of a Bentley 4.5-Litre, red is original Tourer by Vanden Plas, blue is non-orginal Tourer.

    1929 Bentley 4.5-Litre Tourer in the style of Vanden Plas

    1929 Bentley 4.5-Litre Tourer in the style of Vanden Plas, auctioned by Bonhams in November 2014 for £471,900. Photo Bonhams.

    The difference in price between cars having an original closed coachwork and those with a replica open body has also changed over the years. For a long time an original 4.5-litre Drophead Coupe, Saloon or Limousine was mostly cheaper than a 4.5-litre with a new body in style of Vanden Plas. And that is why these bodies were often not restored, but demolished. Now a Bentley with such a closed coachwork is more scarce and often more expensive than another car with a replica body. The second bar graph shows the price development at auctions of Bentleys 4.5-Litre having a replica body and cars with an original closed coachwork. Although very few closed Bentleys were sold at auctions, the trend can be seen.

    Bar graph 2

    Highest auction results of a Bentley 4.5-Litre, red is original closed coachwork, blue is non-orginal Tourer. Not including the ex-Barnato with replica body H&H auctioned in 2018 for £855,000.

    1929 Bentley 4.5-Litre Saloon by H.J. Mulliner

    1929 Bentley 4.5-Litre Saloon by H.J. Mulliner, auctioned by Bonhams in September 2015 for £695,000. Photo Bonhams.

    This development is more clear when we take a look at the Bentley Speeds Six. For example, a few Bentley Speed ​​Six cars were offered in 1992. One was fitted with a new body in the style of Le Mans and had an asking price of 285,000 pounds. For an original Speed ​​Six Open Tourer by Vanden Plas 600,000 pounds was requested. More than double. Afterwards, the original cars increased in value. In January 2006, RM Auctions auctioned a Bentley Speed ​​Six with replica Vanden Plas bodywork for nearly £350,000 and in August that year an original Tourer by Cadogan was auctioned for nearly 1 million pounds. And four years later, in August 2017, RM Sotheby’s auctioned a Sport Saloon by Corsica for nearly 3 million pounds. The price development between a car having an original coachwork (open or closed) and a non-original one is shown in the next bar graph.

    Bar graph 3

    Highest auction results Bentley Speed Six, red is original coachwork, blue is non-orginal Tourer. Not including the Blue Train Sotheby’s auctioned in 1984 for £270,600 and not including the far more expensive Le Mans Team cars.

    1930 Bentley Speed Six Drophead Coupe by H.J. Mullier

    1930 Bentley Speed Six Drophead Coupe by H.J. Mullier, auctioned by Bonhams in December 2001 for £309,500.

    This also applies to the Bentley 8-Litre. The vast majority of them had closed coachwork and for a long time the interest in these cars was relatively limited. These cars too were fitted with an open body in the style of Vanden Plas. In August 1994, for example, Christie’s auctioned an unrestored Bentley 8-litre Saloon for £167,600. Exactly one year later, at Sotheby’s, an 8-litre model with a replica Le Mans body changed hands for £242,000. The Bentley having the replica body was more expensive than the original car. Little changed in later years. In December 2008 Bonhams auctioned a restored 8 -Litre Sedanca for £342,000. In March 2010, a car with a replica body was sold at an auction of Gooding & Company for almost £400,000. Afterwards, collectors became more interested in these Bentleys with the luxurious coachwork and the prices rose at auctions. In February 2013, Bonhams auctioned a Bentley 8-Litre with a replica Open Tourer body for around £ 410,000. In the same year RM Auctions sold a Saloon by A. Mulliner for £528,000. This is also shown in a bar graph.

    Bar graph 4

    Highest auction results Bentley 8-Litre, red is original closed coachwork, blue is non-orginal Tourer.

    1932 Bentley 8-Litre Saloon by A. Mulliner

    1932 Bentley 8-Litre Saloon by A. Mulliner, auctioned by RM Sotheby’s in August 2013 for $825,000 (£528,000). Photo RM Sotheby’s.

    It’s a question what these developments will mean for the future of the 3-Litre. This applies in particular to the Bentley Speed Model and even more to the Super Sports, of which 513 and 18 were made respectively (out of a total of 1,622 3-Litre Bentleys). In February 2018 Bonhams auctioned a Speed Model with an original Vanden Plas bodywork for over £600,000. Was it a unique moment or is it an indication? Because in the same year at Gooding & Company a 3-Litre changed hands for £543,700. Will a Bentley 3-Litre Speed Model with an original open Vanden Plas coachwork in the future on average be worth more than a Bentley 4.5-Litre with a similar replica bodywork? This cannot be ruled out because collectors are increasingly paying attention to the originality of cars.

    1926 Bentley 3-Litre Tourer by Vanden Plas

    1926 Bentley 3-Litre Tourer by Vanden Plas, auctioned by Bonhams in February 2018 for €701,500 (£617,000). Photo Bonhams.

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  • – Catfight between Jaguars

    18-02-2019

    Should the Jaguar XK series recognize its superior in the Jaguar E-Type? This may seem like a strange question, but it is not. Both series compete for the interest of the enthusiast, who is interested in having a classic sports car made by Jaguar. How has that interest developed in recent years? And what might this say about the future of the Jaguar XJ-S?

    Introduced in 1948, the Jaguar XK120 Roadster was considered one of the most beautifoul sports cars of the time. Add to that the excellent performance of the 3.4 liter engine and the affordability of the car, and all the bases for a great sales success were present. Over the years, there several versions were made, both in terms of bodywork and technical execution. Because quite a lot has been written about the car and the car is well known, this article does not go into this in detail. Let us suffice with some general information.

    The first 240 cars had an alloy coachwork, 57 RHD and 183 LHD. All other cars had a steel body. In addition to the Roadster, appeared in 1951 the Coupe and in 1953 the Drophead Coupe. The XK120 was succeeded in 1954 by the more roomy XK140 and in 1957 by the revised XK150. Later the last model was also available with the 3.8 liter engine. The XK120 and XK140 Roadsters had detachable sidescreens. The XK150 Roadster had wind-up side windows. In the 1950s, the Jaguar XK-series was exported to the United States in large numbers. Far away most cars are therefore left hand drive.

    Now the most expensive cars were made at the beginning and at the end. These are the first hand made XK120 Roadsters with an alloy coachwork. And the latest cars with larger 3.8-liter engine with SU carburetors, the XK150 3.8 S. About 275 of these were made. In total more than 30,000 XKs were made.

    1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8 Litre DHC, auctioned by Bonhams in June 2014 for £ 203,100. Photo Bonhams

    1960 Jaguar XK150S 3.8 Litre DHC, auctioned by Bonhams in June 2014 for £203,100. Photo Bonhams.

    Already in 1980 the XK120, 140 and 150 were known as beloved classic sports cars. Around that time, in the magazine Thoroughbred & Classic Cars £ 8,750 was asked for a beautiful XK120 Roadster. And for an XK150 DHC that was over £ 7,000. That may not seem so much right now. But beware. Virtually none of the Aston Martins DB4 or DB5 offered in the magazine equaled the asking price of these Jaguars. In the very same time an Aston Martin DB6 Volante had an asking price of £ 11,250. This was slightly lower than the asking price for an XK120 with an alloy coachwork, for which £ 12,000 was requested. During the 1980s, the prices of the Jaguars rose sharply. In 1989/1990 the prices reached a peak, after which they dropped until the mid-nineties. From then on, prices rose again steadily.

    In the year 2000, the highest prices achieved at auctions of a beautiful XK140 DHC was almost £ 40,000. In recent years, that was around £ 160,000. However, it must be said that since the year 2000 these Jaguars have not risen strongly in value. When we take the year 2000 as the starting point, then depending on the type, they have risen approximately two to four times since then. In comparison, the highest auction results of the Aston Martins DB4 and DB5 increased tenfold in the same period. Two bar graphs show, at the same scale, the highest auction results per year of the XK120 Alloy Roadster and the XK140 Drophead Coupe.

    1949 Jaguar XK120 Alloy roadster, auctioned by Bonhams in August 2016 for $ 396,000 (£ 302,500). Photo Bonhams

    1949 Jaguar XK120 Alloy roadster, auctioned by Bonhams in August 2016 for $ 396,000 (£ 302,500). Photo Bonhams. Price development:

    E-Type Flat Floor

    1955 Jaguar XK140 DHC, auctioned by Bonhams in September 2017 for £ 161,100. Photo Bonhams

    1955 Jaguar XK140 DHC, auctioned by Bonhams in September 2017 for £ 161,100. Photo Bonhams. Price development:

    XK140 DHC

    The Jaguar XK was succeeded by the E-Type. Just like the XK120 before, the Jaguar E-Type gathered much admiration when it was presented at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1961. The two-seat Fixedhead Coupe and the Roadster were equipped with the well-known 3.8 liter engine, which was also used in the XK150. With that, the car reached a top speed of almost 150 mph. This high performance was comparable to that of, for example, the Aston Martin DB5 and the Ferrari 275 GBT. The new price of the Jaguar was, however, a lot lower. No wonder the Jaguar E-Type became a sales success.

    1961 Jaguar E-Type 'Flat Floor' Coupe, auctioned by RM Sotheby's in August 2018 for $ 720,000 (£ 560,500). Photo RM Sotheby's, David Bush

    1961 Jaguar E-Type ‘Flat Floor’ Coupe, auctioned by RM Sotheby’s in August 2018 for $ 720,000 (£ 560,500). Photo RM Sotheby’s, David Bush.

    The first 2,614 E-Types had a flat floor. These are now the most sought after, even though they are less comfortable to ride. Top of the bill is the ‘Flat Floor’ with external bonnet locks. Of these 496 cars were made, 22 Coupes and 474 Roadsters. Later, several different versions of the E-Type appeared, some of which are mentioned. In 1964 the engine capacity was increased to 4.2 liters and the car got a synchronized gearbox and more comfortable seats. Two years later the Coupe was also available as a more spacious 2 + 2. In the transition period to the new Jaguar E-Type S2, from 1967 to 1968 the S1 1/2 was made. This version differed, among other things, due to the lack of coverage of the headlights, as was the case with the later cars. The Series 2 was made from 1969 to 1971. This model had, among other things, other bumpers, different position of the rear lights, different interior and a larger opening for the radiator. The Series 3 had a V12 and an even more modified bodywork. The last 50 cars made, called Commerorative, are the most expensive of the Series 3. In 2015, Bonhams auctioned a beautiful and original car for £ 203,000.

    1975 Jaguar E-Type S3 Commemorative Roadster, auctioned by Bonhams in June 2015 for £ 203,100. Photo Bonhams

    1975 Jaguar E-Type S3 Commemorative Roadster, auctioned by Bonhams in June 2015 for £ 203,100. Photo Bonhams.

    While the XK series was collected after just a few decades as a beloved classic sports car, the E-Types had to wait longer. The prices remained relatively low for some time. Perhaps the later image of the factory played a role in this, just like the large numbers of cars produced (over 70,000 in total). But in the last ten years the E-Types have become more and more in the spotlight. This is particularly true for the ‘Flat Floor’ (Coupe and Roadster) and the S1 4.2 Roadster. In the year 2000 these cars were mostly auctioned for less than £ 40,000. In recent years, some S1 4.2 Roadsters achieved over £ 200,000 at auction. Some ‘Flat Floor’ Roadsters with external bonnet locks passed the limit of £ 300,000. And in August 2018 RM Sotheby’s auctioned an early E-Type Flat Floor Coupe even for more than £ 550,000! Because the prices of a few types have increased so strong in recent years, this can also strengthen the price development of the other E-Types.

    To compare with the XK120 Alloy Roadster, a bar graph shows the price development of an E-Type S1 ‘Flat Floor’ Roadster. A Roadster with racing history, auctioned by RM Sotheby’s in May 2017 for £ 508,500 is not included. In another bar graph the price development of the much sought after S1 4.2 Roadster is shown. Both bar graphs are at the same scale as the earlier bar graphs of the XK-models.

    1961 Jaguar E-Type 'Flat Floor' Roadster, auctioned by Bonhams in June 2016 for £ 225,000. Photo Bonhams

    1961 Jaguar E-Type ‘Flat Floor’ Roadster, auctioned by Bonhams in June 2016 for £ 225,000. Photo Bonhams. Price development:

    E-Type Flat Floor

    1967 Jaguar E-Type S1 4.2 Litre Roadster, auctioned by Bonhams in June 2015 for £ 186,300. Photo Bonhams

    1967 Jaguar E-Type S1 4.2 Litre Roadster, auctioned by Bonhams in June 2015 for £ 186,300. Photo Bonhams. Price development:

    E-Type S1 4.2 Roadster

    From these bar graphs, the picture emerges that in recent years the E-Type has attracted more enthusiasts than the XK-series. The shift in interest has to do with, among other things, the age of the cars and that of the collectors. Current collectors are more interested in cars from the sixties and seventies than in those in the years before. That is why the XK-series is declining in the interest and the E-Types is getting more popular. Thinking ahead of this process, one could expect that the XJ-S will also become more interesting to collectors in the near future. These are cars that usually require less than £ 30,000 for beautiful specimen. But in the future some may increase very strong in price. An example of such a car is the relative rare Jaguar XJR-S.

    Jaguar XJR-S

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