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Ferraris, Bentleys and Aston Martins lead RM Sotheby’s Cliveden House sale

Words: Nathan Chadwick | Photography: RM Sotheby's

RM Sotheby’s is bringing a selection of high-end Ferraris, Bentleys and Aston Martins to its inaugural Cliveden House sale, which takes place on June 12, 2024.

Cliveden House, in Buckinghamshire, UK, was built in 1666 by the 2nd Duke of Buckingham, and is now operated as a hotel and as a backdrop to many period TV and film dramas. RM Sotheby’s envisions this sale as the first of a yearly event and, at the time of writing, was still accepting consignments. We’ve had a look at the early cars to be announced – more on those in a moment – but the event is also offering up racing helmets from the likes of Keke Rosberg, Alain Prost and David Coulthard. Now, on to the cars…

This 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS leads the auction on pre-sale estimate, with between £1.3m and £1.6m on the cards. Few details have been released by RM Sotheby’s, but we’ve been able to ascertain that chassis 10845, the 75th built, was originally Argento over Nero, and first sold to a B Van Geissel. It then went to Columbus, Indiana in the care of a Cummins engineer, before being traded in for the ex-Princess Liliana de Réthy Ferrari 250 GT Speciale PF via John Carmack of Indiana.

In 1984, stewardship passed to John Clinard of Irvine, California, although he kept the car for only a year before Walt McCune of Los Angeles acquired it. It next changed hands in 1994, and would next be seen in the Cammisa Motor Car Company showroom in Burlingame, California, sporting a red over tan colour combination. The 330 GTS would move to the UK in 2004, and it has been with the vendor ever since.

This Ferrari 250 GT/L, chassis 4383GT, was originally ordered by Luciano and Gianfranco Pederzani, the owners of the Tecno racing team. Tecno started out as an engineering business in Bologna, manufacturing hydraulic pumps, but moved up the sporting ladder with karts and then Formula 3, eventually making it to Formula 1. Winding back to 1964, however, and the Pederzani family asked Carrozzeria Fantuzzi to rebody the car with 330 LMB-inspired bodywork. This process lasted a year, and a year later it changed hands. The first US owner is believed to be Richard Trask of New York in 1968, followed by Avi Brand of Long Beach in 1973. Four years later, Tom Meade of Houston, Texas, acquired the Ferrari and installed a new engine from chassis 5193GT. He also fitted vents across the nose and behind the rear wheels, and had them painted red.

The car then had a succession of American owners in quick order, eventually being acquired by Gerald O’Connell of Hawaii in 1979. It would then be stored for the next 25 years, when it was acquired by Mark Robinson. It would later appear at The Quail in 2007, Concorso Italiano in 2010 and the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2015. It’s estimated at between £1.1m and £1.5m.

This 1965 Aston Martin DB5 4.2-litre Convertible, chassis DB5C/2122/R, is believed to be the penultimate example built, and was sold new via H R Owen’s Sloane Street dealership in southwest London to Frederick Weldon of Sherwood, Nottinghamshire. While the original documents suggest a finish of Goodwood Green with a red Connolly leather trim, HR Owen’s sales invoice states that the DB5 was delivered finished in Platinum (white) with options such as a 3.54:1 axle ratio, chrome wheels, Motorola radio, Marchal foglamps and a lowered driver’s seat pan. It was converted to a ZF five-speed gearbox by the factory in 1966.

Weldon kept the car until 1983, before selling it to a person who would end up owning it twice. In 1984, he sold it to Serge Chabbey of Zürich, Switzerland, before buying it back in 1995. He would keep the car until 2018, restoring everything over the years in between. The engine was rebuilt to 4.2 litres, and 16in wheels and a Harvey Bailey handling kit were fitted. The Aston changed hands in 2018, and is now for sale again with an estimate of between £800k and £1m.

This 1963 Aston Martin DB4 ‘SS Engine’ Series V Convertible, chassis DB4C/1172/R, is one of only 32 DB4 Convertibles built new with the Special Series engine. Originally delivered to Eton Motor Group in Slough, it is believed to have been the demonstrator car, as it had covered 2000 miles before it was sold to its first proper owner, an executive for automotive casting provider Triplex Foundries Group Ltd. In 1965, the Aston was bought by W Roy Coulton of Warwickshire, who kept it for two years before stewardship passed to Geoffrey Saunders of Warwickshire.

There followed two more owners, before it entered the ownership of the vendor in December 1972. In the period since, he has covered 200,000 miles in the car, bringing it up to around 265,000 miles – with everything from petrol fill-ups to servicing kept in notebooks. Its latest restoration took place between 2008 and 2010, courtesy of Trinity Engineering, where it was fitted with a kilometre display and left-hand-drive headlamps for use in France. A mph speedo and RHD headlamps will be installed prior to the sale. It’s estimated at between £700k and £900k.

RM Sotheby’s has released very little about this 1931 Bentley 8-Litre Open Tourer, chassis YR 5077, although we believe it began life with a Mulliner saloon for its first owner, an E Bullivant. At some point it was converted to an Alpe & Saunders shooting brake. While there were never any 8-Litre team cars at Le Mans, this car given a Townshend Le Mans replica specification to WO Bentley’s measurements, as if such a team had existed. It’s estimated at between £450k and £550k.

This 1954 Bentley R-type Continental Fastback Sports Saloon by HJ Mulliner was originally owned by Leon Hudson, then managing director of J Hudson & Co. The firm was famous for producing the ACME whistle, as used by Britain’s police and armed forces, as well as in sports around the world. It was specified with several options, which included a passenger seat two inches wider than standard, an armrest on the passenger door, a pocket in the driver’s side sun visor, a telescopic driving mirror, an altimeter, a fire extinguisher, a radio, Lucas foglamps and much more. Hudson used the Bentley extensively for European tours, before selling the car to John Melville-Smith in 1961. By 1963, the Bentley had covered 107,000 miles.

Its next owner was in New Zealand, a Maxwell Stewart of Wellington; prior to leaving the UK, the Bentley was overhauled by Rolls-Royce in Crewe, which included an engine rebuild. Stewart kept the car until 1973, and after another owner it entered the hands of Jim Sawers. He kept the Continental for the next 34 years, bringing the mileage to 175,000. During this time it had received an engine and gearbox overhaul in the 1990s. It was returned to the UK via Ian Owen in 2009, and taken to Jeremy Padgett for a major service, and more recently it had a comprehensive restoration to the interior, woodwork and exterior courtesy of Essex-based Pride & Joy Classic Cars. It’s estimated at £450k-£550k.

Other lots at the RM Sotheby’s Cliveden House sale include a 2009 Ferrari Scuderia Spider 16M (£325k-£375k), 2003 Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale (£180k-£220k), 1956 Bentley S1 Saloon by James Young (£140k-£180k) and 1990 Mini Margrave by Wood & Pickett (£40k-£50k).

More details are available here.

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