Quarter-million–pound Jaguar headlines 2015 Bonhams auction

24 June, 2015

Some of the finest and most sought-after cars ever produced by the likes of Ferrari, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and Jaguar will be going up for auction at Bonhams’ Goodwood auction in England on June 26. Headlining the event will be one of the last Jaguar XK 120 models ever built. 

Expected to sell for approximately £240,000–280,000 (NZ$550,000–642,000), the XK 120 in question, commonly known as the ‘RJH 400’, holds an illustrious rallying history. In February 1954, Eric Haddon, a keen amateur rally driver, purchased the XK 120 new for a mere £1694. Over that year, the car would rack up a spectacular rallying record.

Competing in the 1954 Tulip Rally — one which The Motor magazine termed as the toughest on record — Haddon and Vivian looked to be likely victors in their class, until a broken throttle rod near the finish line saw them finish second to a Salmson.

But, as described by Bonhams’ International Motoring Director, James Knight, it was a win in the Alpine Rally which cemented the Haddon/Vivian XK 120’s slot in the record books.

“It was at the Alpine Rally that Haddon and Vivian first engraved their names into the motoring history books. The XK 120 gave a sterling performance, leaving the duo to finish as winners in the unlimited class after completing a route which had claimed the racing careers of many a great motor car and driver,” said Knight.

The famous car went on to also win the MCC Redex National event on its way to becoming one of the most sought-after examples from the British marque.

The Haddon/Vivian example is one of 14 Jaguars up for auction at the event; other highlights including an exceptionally clean 1960s Jaguar E-Type with less than 8000 miles on the clock, and an original and unrestored 1965 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 4.2-litre Coupé, estimated to sell for between £120,000–160,000.

Beyond the Jaguar contingent, various other collectable road and race cars will be present. Included in that list are a 2004 Ferrari Enzo Berlinetta, a 1990 Williams-Renault FW13B Formula 1 car, a 1961 Porsche RS61 previously campaigned by Sir Stirling Moss, and former Top Gear presenter James May’s personal red 1984 Porsche 911. 

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.

Super Leicht Gullwing

It’s fair to say that nothing much in the classic Mercedes world gets past Mercedes-Benz Club stalwart Garry Boyce so it wasn’t surprising to learn that around 15 years ago he had sniffed out an extremely rare 300SL lightweight Gullwing as well as a 1958 300SL Roadster hiding away in the Waikato. The cars were not for sale but Garry eventually managed to persuade the owner to allow him and his restoration team to take a look at the Roadster. They discovered a very distressed but largely unmolested car. The car was so original that the body had never been off the chassis, meaning most of the parts and fittings were still present and correct, as they had been fitted by the factory.