Bonhams’ auction of pre-1905 motorcars held before Sunday’s annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run resulted in total sales of £1.5 million ($2.3 million at the current exchange rate), led by a 1903 Clement Model AC4R Four-Cylinder Rear-Entrance Tonneau that sold for £415,900 ($641,500), including auction premium.
Antique vehicles that are eligible for the 119-year-old London to Brighton run are at a premium during London Motor Week, which is highlighted by the 60-mile road rally restricted to cars built before 1905. About 500 veteran cars typically participate, with thousands of people lining the route to catch a glimpse of the ancient machinery trundling past.
Friday’s 12th annual sale featured 12 antique automobiles, along with about 100 pieces of early automobilia, the oldest of them dating to 1899. Bonhams is the name sponsor for the Veteran Car Run.
“London Motor Week is a fantastic social gathering for enthusiasts, an event in which Bonhams is delighted to participate with our annual London to Brighton Sale,” Malcolm Barber, Bonhams co-chairman, said in a news release. “We had a full sale room, eager bidding in the room, on the phones and online, with bids coming in from the UK, Europe and the US.”
Other notable sales (with auction premium) include a 1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder Five-seater Side-entrance Tourer that has completed a number of London to Brighton runs, sold for £326,333 ($500, 600); a 1901 Albion 8hp A1 Dogcart, sold for £147,100 ($226,000); a 1904 Winton 4¼-Litre 20hp Two-Cylinder Detachable Rear-Entrance Tonneau, sold for £130,000 ($200,000); and an 1899 Star Benz 3½hp Vis-à-Vis that soared above top estimate to achieve £92,220 ($141,000).