At The Classic Motor Hub we are proud to have two world-class showrooms filled with some of the finest classic and vintage cars currently offered on the market. Over the last year or so, despite difficult trading conditions, we have sold some truly outstanding examples including historic, highly prized and very well-known motor cars. Keep on reading to find out more about some of the finest classic cars recently sold at The Classic Motor Hub.
Few cars can match the blend of style and performance offered by the Bugatti Type 57, and this Atalante coupé had a particularly fascinating history. Chassis number 57633 was a late example with many of the upgrades that were added to the Type 57 during its life, such as Lockheed hydraulic brakes, and it was also fitted with unique Gangloff coachwork. Ordered new by French industrialist Fernand Crouzet – who owned three Type 57s in all – it featured long rear wings, special bumpers and disc wheels. Restored in the early 2000s, the Bugatti was awarded second in class at the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elégance, a fitting reward for such a beautiful car.
Many agree that the Lancia Aurelia is one of the most well-engineered and finest all-round GT cars of the 1950s, as was recently confirmed in a 2021 GT Supertest by Classic & Sportscar Magazine. This particular Series 4 example is arguably the finest of the six variants produced by the Italian icons, with the desirable de Dion rear end, “Nardi” style twin-carb set-up and “Nardi” style floor-change transmission. This Lancia Aurelia was meticulously restored by marque specialists between 2010 and 2012 which resulted in one of, if not the finest example of its type. These are superb cars to drive with wonderfully compact V6 engines, superb handling characteristics and looks to match. Eligble for the Mille Miglia and many other historic motoring events, these Lancias are regularly found in the world’s finest car collections.
Boasting period competition history at Brooklands, this Aston Martin International was a rarity for a number of reasons. Chassis number L1-126 was the very last of the First Series cars, and one of only five that were fitted with the Le Mans-type two-seater body. Of those, this was the only one to be fitted with the optional external gearlever and handbrake. The Aston boasts continuous history from new, and after being sold in 1935 to Joao A Gaspar de Porto, it stayed in Portugal for almost 70 years before returning to the UK. With its rakish coachwork and dry-sump 1495cc four-cylinder engine on twin SU carburettors, it’s a charismatic survivor from Aston Martin’s Bertelli era.
More than 70 years after the Jaguar XK 120 caused a sensation when it was launched at the 1948 London Motor Show, this landmark British sports car remains a popular choice with enthusiasts. And justifiably so – it’s fast, stylish, and eligible for any number of great events. The first owner of chassis number 660647 was a Mr Holroyd, owner of West Yorkshire Foundries – one of the two foundries that made cylinder heads for Jaguar. This XK 120 later spent a long period off the road before being restored, Sigma Engineering rebuilding and upgrading the engine so that it’s producing in the region of 240bhp. The quality of this XK is such that it was awarded the Jaguar Trophy at the 2016 Concours of Elegance.
Whilst the sight of pre-war Rolls-Royce motor cars with bodies by Gurney Nutting & Co, Park Ward and indeed Henry Royce are relatively common sights on the British and European classic car circuit, there are very few that have witnessed first-hand the grandeur of the overtly American coachwork by Merrimac. This 1924 Silver Ghost is one of just four examples known as a “Picadilly Roadster”, and is the sister car of the Howard Hughes car which is almost identical, apart from the colour. The choice of wealthy Playboys in the ‘Roaring Twenties’, this particular example was delivered new to E.R. Campbell, a member of the famous soup production family who were – at the time – one of the largest food producers in the USA, and indeed still are today.
Many of the cars sold by The Classic Motor Hub have a great story behind them, but this relatively modern Aston Martin DB7 Zagato stands out on its own. Its first owner agreed to buy it as soon as he learned of a proposed new Zagato model while having dinner with Aston Martin boss Dr Ulrich Bez. A contract was drawn up there and then on the only piece of paper they could lay their hands on – a napkin. First unveiled in July 2002 at a private event on London’s Savile Row, only 99 Aston Martin DB7 Zagatos were built. This particular car was chassis number 700001 – the very first DB7 Zagato to leave the factory. It therefore holds a unique place in marque history.
The Lagonda Rapide is one of the most coveted British performance cars of the 1930s. Frank Feeley’s sweeping coachwork was allied to the LG45 chassis, and the Meadows 4.5-litre straight-six was refined under the supervision of technical director WO Bentley, who had been persuaded to join Lagonda by new owner Alan Good. The result was an extremely handsome car that offered genuine 100mph performance. One of only 25 Rapides built, chassis 12203/R was sold new in 1937 to US-based enthusiast Colonel Porter Adams. In recent years, it was owned by Lord Bamford and restored by marque specialist David Ayre – making it a very special example of an exceptional car.
The foundation for Britain’s current motorsport industry were built by the likes of John Cooper during the 1950s. It was Cooper who led the rear-engined revolution in Formula One, but his company also made extremely effective sports-racing cars, such as this T39 ‘Bobtail’.
Originally sent to Australia in late 1956 for racer Bill Paterson, it was powered by a 1460cc Coventry Climax unit and had apparently been intended for renowned American entrant Briggs Cunningham – hence being finished in his famous white and blue livery.
The remarkable thing about this Jaguar XK 150 S was that it was being offered for sale for the very first time, having previously remained in the same family ownership from new! It had been ordered through the garage of two-time Le Mans winner Ecurie Ecosse, and its VSG 2 registration is only a few numbers away from that team’s famous race transporter – VSG 7. Quite apart from its unbelievably original condition, it’s also thought that this was the only XK 150 S 3.8 FHC to be fitted with steel disc-type wheels and rear spats. A rare find in every respect.
The diminutive Bugatti Brescia remains a stalwart of Vintage Sports-Car Club events, and if you’ve ever been fortunate enough to drive one, you’ll know why. Offered in various forms either side of World War One and taking its name from Bugatti’s dominant appearance in the 1921 Gran Premio delle Voiturette at Brescia, it’s one of the marque’s most significant models. Chassis number BC67 was originally a long-chassis Type 23 before being shortened to Type 13 specification a number of years ago. With an advanced 16-valve engine in a compact and lightweight package, it exemplifies everything that’s great about the Brescia.
If the LG45 Rapide featured above was the out-and-out performance model of the Lagonda range, this LG45 Tourer would rate as the marque’s refined and effortless Grand Tourer. It shared the Meadows engine with the Rapide, albeit in slightly de-tuned form, and Frank Feeley’s elegant bodywork was more practical in nature. First registered on 16 November 1937, chassis 12113 retains its matching-numbers status and is still finished in its original colour combination of silver with a dark blue interior and blue hood. Fully restored at considerable expense, it’s an exceptional example of these attractive Lagondas.
The final chapter of period Cobra production was written not by Carroll Shelby in California, but by AC in Thames Ditton. It combined the later coil-spring chassis with the earlier 289 cubic-inch engine to create what many believe to be the most usable example of the breed. It couldn’t be called a Cobra, though – Ford owned the name by then, so instead these cars were AC 289 Sports. This Guardsman Blue example was sold new in August 1967 to William Cadbury, of the famous chocolate-making family, and its eventful early life included a starring role in a Castrol GTX advert, an Autocar magazine article, and even the occasional race outing.
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Words by James Page