While the top sellers reached predictable numbers – £466,300 for an Invicta S-type low chassis and £427,100 for a 1957 Mercedes 300SL roadster – some of the 19 cars from the Patrick Collection, which kicked off Bonhams’ annual season-closer, really raised eyebrows.
Six lots into this lively sale, the B40-engined Land Rover prototype just kept going past its £8000-10,000 estimate – about what you’d pay for a nice series 1 – to hit £47,150. On the next lot, the man from the Dad’s Army Museum just wasn’t stopping until he’d secured Jack Jones’ 1935 Ford BB butcher’s van (complete with swinging portholes for rifles) at £63,100, twice what anyone had envisaged. As the catalogue pointed out, a BB box van was rather larger than a small-town butcher would have required, but for filming it had to be able to accommodate the Home Guard platoon. Now all the museum has to do is find the money to pay for it…
The Patrick Motorsport Rover SD1 racer reached £22,425 against a no-reserve £3000-5000 estimate and more novelty acts came later in the shape of three Perry Watkins creations. Though his Flatmobile (the lowest car in the world) and Fast food, a 115mph dinner table, sold just under their estimates at £9775 and £7475, his Wind up, the smallest car in the world with quad mechanicals stuffed inside a Postman Pat child’s ride body (and yes, it has a V5) reached £13,225 against a £5000-7000 estimate.
A nicely original SS100 Jaguar 31/2 litre made £250,140 and a splendid 1924 Frazer Nash Super Sports £66,460. Though the Bentley 3/41/2 Litre was withdrawn, a lovely 1935 31/2 Litre Sports Saloon with Gurney Nutting coachwork sold for £79,900, a very usable 1934 31/2 tourer was £57,500 and a nice MkVI Countryman shooting brake by Harold Radford fetched £59,740.
All this rather diverted attention from the fact that the one-owner Pagani Zonda, expected to make the biggest sum of the day, failed to sell, reaching £430k against a £1/2m-plus estimate, and neither did the airworthy 1942 Hawker Hurricane which was looking for about £11/2m.
The Dad’s Army Museum in Thetford needs to raise almost £60,000 to pay back the money it has been lent by two generous benefactors to secure this national treasure. All donations to www.dadsarmythetford.org.uk