Three recently unearthed collector car gems, one each from England, Italy and Germany, will be offered in August during Gooding & Company’s 15th annual auction in Pebble Beach, California.
All three cars are automotive icons – the first production 1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback, a 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing coupe with Hollywood history, and a 1974 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso in storage since 1978 – and each has been out of sight and essentially forgotten for decades.
“As an enthusiast, it is always exciting to present a car at auction that is unknown to the collector car community, particularly those that have not been seen, shown, or sold for decades,” David Brynan, senior specialist at Gooding, said in a news release. “It’s like being given the opportunity to go back in time.
“All of these cars are important, iconic postwar models in wonderful, unrestored condition. Each has a fascinating story to tell and a tangible connection to history that just cannot be duplicated with a comparable restored example.”
The Bentley has been “in hiding for 45 years,” Gooding notes, in the hands of a longtime caretaker in New York. Chassis BC1A was the first production example of the landmark Continental design, an H.J. Mulliner Fastback completed May 2, 1952, with such desirable features as alloy bumpers, lightweight bucket seats, manual gearbox and custom appointments throughout.
The first-of-the-breed Bentley in Antelope Brown with a brown leather interior has an estimated value of $1.5 million to $2 million.
The Mercedes 300 SL was originally purchased by Roger M. Andrews, the second-unit director and assistant director on more than 17 popular films. After Andrews died in 1957, the car was sold to one of the original developers of “Hollywoodland,” L. Milton Wolf, who kept it at his famous castle-inspired Hollywood Hills home known as The Wolf’s Lair.
Wolf repainted the Gullwing to its current red in the early 1960s and the car remained in his family for more than six decades.
The unrestored Mercedes has “a lovely patina,” its original books, tools and fitted luggage, and will be offered without reserve. Gooding values the Gullwing at $1.1 million to $1.3 million.
The attractive Pininfarina-designed Ferrari Lusso, powered by a 240-horsepower V12 engine, originally was sold at the Chinetti Motors dealership in New York and then went to southern Florida, where it was put into storage in 1978 and just recently re-discovered. Chassis 5201 GT was the 162nd of 350 Lussos built, and until it was brought out of storage, it essentially was unknown to the Ferrari community.
The silver-over-red, numbers-matching coupe with just over 30,000 miles on its odometer is valued at $1.4 million to $1.8 million.
Gooding’s annual Pebble Beach auction takes place August 24 and 25 at the Equestrian Center adjacent to the Pebble Beach Golf Club, where the famed Concours d’Elegance will be held on Sunday, August 25. For information, visit the auction website.