A 1923 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost carrying ingenious painted ‘wood-effect’ shooting brake coachwork from a car once owned by the future Edward VIII – one of the earliest ‘woodies’ – burst through its £120,000 upper estimate to sell for £161,280 at H&H Classics’ 20 June auction. The sale was held in conjunction with the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club Annual Concours & Rally at Burghley House, Lincolnshire.
The lady vendor had driven the 92-year-old car to the event, no doubt relying on Rolls’ reputation in the day for making the ‘best car in the world’ – although it’s no stranger to adventure, having enjoyed many Ghost Club tours through Europe, South Africa and Australasia. In recent weeks the car has been the subject of much Fleet Street speculation that the then Prince of Wales employed it to smuggle Mrs Simpson out of Balmoral, making effective use of the black, `pull down’ silk blinds.
In an auction that saw over 70% of motor car entries finding new buyers, other significant sales included the ex-Marquis de Portago 1931 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Sports Saloon achieving £95,200, £154,560 for the rare 1964 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III ‘Flying Spur’ and a canny buyer paying £47,250 for the 1969 Bentley T-Series Mulliner Park Ward (‘MPW’) Drophead, the perfect car for a picnic with friends at next year’s RREC Rally.
H&H broke all records with an extensive selection of nearly 500 lots of automobilia, which grossed nearly £150,000. Lot 201, an Austin Pathfinder Child’s Pedal Car, finally sold for £4928, some 25% above its upper estimate. Similarly, healthy bidding on the rare 1920s Michelin Tyres Illuminated Lightbox eventually saw the hammer coming down at a with-premium price of £6160 (estimate: £2500 – 3500).
H&H Classics’ next sale will be held at the Chateau Impney Hill Climb on 11 July 2015.
For further information, see www.classic-auctions.com or contact H&H Classics Ltd on +44 (0) 1925 210035.