A very rare 1949 Bristol 402 Drophead Coupé was the star of the weekend’s Bonhams MPH Beaulieu Sale. The car was gifted new to Hollywood actress Jean Simmons, it was a matching pair that her future husband and fellow star, Stewart Granger got for them. The Hollywood couple used it frequently to promote the 1949 movie Adam and Evelyne that the couple starred in.
Only 24 examples of the glamorous convertibles were produced of which only 12 are known to have survived. The convertible has kept its registration number NFP 2 – matched to Granger’s car which had the registration number NFP 1 – and has a low mileage of only 32,000 miles from new. Under the hood is a more powerful Frazer Nash 2-liter engine that was installed by its next owner, Anthony Crook who was a Bristol dealer who eventually became the owner of Bristol Cars.
The Bristol was sold for £159,750, achieving top lot in the two-day auction.
Another post-war, open top example was offered in the form of the 1948 Delahaye Type 135M Three-Position Drophead Coupé which was sold for £153,125. It had a rare coachwork done by concours-winning company Pennock. The motor car has only had three owners in its long career. It was given a full restoration and has roughly around 26,000 miles from new.
Other highlights during the events are:
1905 Lorraine-Dietrich CHR Two-Seater Sports-racer which was a replica of the 1905/1906 built from a rolling chassis. It has been entered in a few races including the VSCC races, rallies, and hill climbs. It was sold above its estimated price closing at £138,375.
The 2012 Rolls-Royce Ghost Saloon was closed for so much more than its top estimate of £75,000 getting a final sale price of £96,750. The example has only had one owner from new and a really low mileage of roughly 3,000 miles. The Ghost has a panoramic sunroof.
A 1996 Subaru Impreza Turbo 2000 was previously owned by the McRae family. The example was also driven by the late Colin McRae, who claimed victory at the 1995 World Rally Championship behind the wheel of a Subaru Impreza 555. The example was sold for £11,250.
The National Motor Museum hosted the Beaulieu Sale as part of the International Autojumble event, and over the weekend, they also presented around 400 lots of automobilia. Interesting lots include the Austin Pathfinder pedal car that needed restoration. It was sold for £5,355. There was also a Spirit of Ecstasy showroom statue after Charles Sykes which made £4,462.
“We were delighted to take MPH on tour to Beaulieu, where Bonhams has staged an auction for many years. The weekend attracted some 30,000 visitors resulting in a busy saleroom, leading to our high sell-through rate; proving the appetite for live sales and events among motor car collectors and enthusiasts remains,” shared Head of Bonhams MPH Rob Hubbard.
On December 11, the last MPH sales for the year will start and the team will be returning to Bicester Heritage for the traditional drive through auction. For those interested to consign their cars, they can contact [email protected]