The October 2019 issue of Hemmings Motor Trend included several classic luxury cars available at auction across the globe. The impressive lineup consists of almost 4,300 vehicles for sale, mainly originating from private owners with exclusive car collections. The historical significance of some of these iconic vehicles makes them appear better suited for a museum than a garage. The stories behind these vehicles tell a similar tale of great care and attention that has been paid in an effort to retain the original beauty and craftsmanship behind these automotive works of art.
Many of these vehicles have lived multiple lives through different decades, as they have been traded amongst the upper echelons of society throughout the world. Many of these cars have probably seen more excitement and glamour than the average person could ever hope for. Nonetheless, viewing them in their current state proves the eternal timelessness that exists in a truly classic car. The auction is a place where luxury meets the people for a show of the best of the best in automaking. Here’s a glimpse of the vehicles that were featured in the October Hemmings Motor Trend issue and had been up for auction at the RM Sotheby’s October 24th London Auction.
1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
After 17 bids, this award-winning vehicle landed at a final bid of $135,000.00. However, the auction ended on 10/14/19 before the reserve was met. Located in Quebec, Canada, this luxury car has 58,800 miles on it. It’s powered by a Cadillac 365 cubic inches V-8 engine with a Hydra-Matic four-speed automatic transmission. As a convertible, it’s a rare find. A total of only 2,150 units of this model were ever produced, making it a valuable collector’s item.
Originally found abandoned in a private garage in Hartford, Connecticut, this vehicle was professionally worked on in Canada. It was a four-year long project, with careful attention paid to restoring the vehicle to full factory function. In September 2019, it was awarded top winner in the American Production, Post-War Class division in Canada’s Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. This historic competition dates back to French Society in the 17th Century. It’s an exclusive event, where only distinguished guests with truly remarkable vehicles can even apply to participate.
During its restoration, the Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz had a new windshield installed. The exterior was repainted back to black, which was its original color. Chrome details on the exterior were also refinished to provide a shiny new look. A black and white classic color scheme makes up the artfully designed, classic interior. According to the listing, the fully restored power convertible top operates like new.
Estimated at £150,000 – £200,000 (about $165,000-$220,000 US), this Bently was auctioned at Sotheby’s and sold for £115,000. Some of its distinguished prior owners include Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands and Field Marshal Montgomery. In 1952, it was sold to Desmond Burleigh of Leeds, who ended up owning it for the longest stretch in its history. Remarkably, several of its components have been fully maintained throughout the years. This vehicle still has its original engine, coachwork with blue leather interior, and carpets.
Boasted as the “Silent Sportscar” during its introduction in the 1930’s, this model Bentley could reach a top speed of 96 miles per hour. Its shiny blue exterior is not only a special part of history but also a modern-day art piece that would be a prized possession for any classic car collector.
Although all but one of these vehicles sold, it is fascinating learning the history behind the classic and luxury models from a more personal view. Instead of the manufacturer’s history and changes over the decades of a model line, you get to see what one individual vehicle lived through and what its worth is today. Check out the models available in the next round of auctions if you want to see what hasn’t already found a new home.
1968 Aston Martin DB6 Volante
This magnificent car is one out of just 140 of its type to have ever been produced. Its current value is estimated at £550,000 to £650,000 (about $600,000 to $700,000 US). As a right-hand-drive, it’s being housed in London, where it was set to be auctioned at Sotheby’s at the end of October 2019. It, unfortunately, didn’t sell.
Its present owner acquired the vehicle in 2006. Since then, it has undergone £100,000 in restorations by Aston Martin Works. Some of the mechanical work that has been done includes several RSW upgrades (like horns and horn bracket, front road springs, a throttle bell-crank lever, and cooling modifications). The front suspension system has been completely overhauled for a smooth, modern ride.
Over the past decade, the body has been completely stripped down, removing the hood, glass, doors, and interior. The original sills, chassis, and doors were repaired. New metal was welded in, and replacement panels were fabricated as needed to perfect its new look. The interior was then fully retrimmed using the original oil-based Connolly leather material. A fresh spray of silver exterior paint left this classic car in sparkling condition for its day at auction.
1961 Porsche 356
Also up for auction at Sotheby’s in London, was a shiny light grey Porsche that is fully restored with its original engine. Originally introduced at the 1959 Frankfurt Auto Show, the Porsche 356B brought desirable updates to the popular German sports car, including higher front wings and headlamps, and new bumpers with large vertical guards.
Its early years are a bit of a mystery, but its recent restoration in Italy guarantees prospective buyers that it’s now in mint condition. With an estimated value of £110,000 – £150,000 (about $120,000 to $165,000 US), this left-hand-drive European classic with a sleek black leather interior, is sure to be admired by many. It sold for £120,750.
1974 Jaguar E-Type
Estimated at £120,000 – £140,000 (about $130,000 to $155,000 US), this rare Jaguar has had a single owner for the past 25 years. Prior to this, it was rarely used, spending most of its time in storage at the original consignor’s vacation home in Hawaii.
It was recently restored over a three year period to its original color scheme of British racing green with a tan leather interior. The chrome wire wheels and wooden steering wheel were redone appropriately for its era. This car represents the final regular production E-type roadster. It is sure to be a notable piece in any collector’s line-up, as it sold for £189,750.
1966 Cadillac DeVille
Located in Schaumburg, Illinois, this powder blue beauty comes equipped with some modern conveniences, including power windows, air conditioning, and a power convertible top. It’s white and blue stripe interior is a stylish throwback with a 1950’s vibe that you might expect to see in the booth at a classic ice cream parlor. Whitewall tires are protected with wire wheel covers. Its 429 CI V-8 engine runs with an automatic transmission. It was featured at the 2019 Chicago auction, where it sold as an American icon that it is.
1961 Maserati 3500
With an estimated value of £450,000 – £600,000 (about $495,000-$660,000 US), this classic luxury car was auctioned without reserve at Sotheby’s London event and sold for £410,000. It is one of only 242 Vignale Spyders to have ever been built. To prove it, this one came with a Maserati Certificate of Origin. This shiny black speed demon won the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance award for its class. It’s been fitted with a five-speed ZF gearbox and includes the original tool roll, spare wheel, and hardtop.
In comparison to the 2,000 coupe models that were produced, this limited convertible by Vignale rides a chassis that is two inches closer to the ground. After switching hands several times throughout Europe and the United States, this rare vehicle ended up with noted Masserati collector, Ivan Ruiz of Georgia in 1988. He went on to put it through a thorough five-year restoration after stripping down its bodywork to bare metal.
In 2007, the Maserati underwent further restoration by Maserati specialists in Germany, including the rebuilding of the replacement engine, retrimming of the interior to black leather, and an exterior paint job that required 500-600 hours alone. No time or money had been spared in the meticulous work and care that this car had been shown by its owners.