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12-11-08

$5 million Worth of Sports, Competition and Collectors Motor Cars



And Automobilia to go under the hammer at Bonhams & Goodman in Sydney on the 16 November.

One of Western Australia's most memorable race cars will be auctioned at the sale. 
 
It is the 1952 Alta Twin Supercharged Grand Prix Monoposto brought to Western Australia by Syd Anderson for the 1957 Australian Grand Prix at Caversham and raced around the State for many years afterwards.
 
Before it was raced in Australia, the Alta was driven in Europe by WWII Spitfire Ace Robert Cowell who achieved notoriety as the first racing driver to change gender, being legally renamed Roberta Cowell in May 1951.
 
The car was brought back to Western Australia by Peter Briggs who had it fully restored by highly-regarded restorer John Hunting and placed on display at the York Motor Museum.  It was later a feature car Mr Briggs’ other museum, the Fremantle Motor Museum.
 
The other Briggs car in the auction is a Le-Mans Sports racing Two-Seater which is familiar to local motor sports enthusiasts as it has competed in around-the-houses events since the days of the York Flying 50s.
 
Other highlights of this landmark sale come from the collection of the late the Hon. John Dawson-Damer.  Between 1971 and 1984 John Dawson-Damer established a first-class and internationally renowned collection of Lotus single-seater racing cars. Possibly the largest privately owned collection of Lotus single-seater racing cars outside of the Chapman collection the cars offered cover a broad spectrum of innovative design from the ultra lightweight Lotus 16, the revolutionary monocoque Lotus 25 to the "ground effects" Lotus 79. The cars were raced in period by super stars such as Jim Clark and Mario Andretti all under the watchful eye of one of the most innovative designers and team principals of all time - Colin Chapman.   The sale of this collection offers enthusiastic historic racers, collectors and museums alike an extremely rare opportunity to acquire significant Lotus racing cars that are rarely if ever available on the open market. The undoubted star of the collection is a 1962 Lotus-Climax Type 25. The Lotus Type 25 took both Jim Clark and Lotus to their maiden Formula 1 world driver and constructor championships respectively. A car that changed the face of Formula 1 design forever the example offered to fetch in excess of the magic $1,000,000 mark.
 
Add to this the much advertised Lex Davison Alfa Romeo 1,500cc Racing Two-Seater that has been with this legendary Australian Racing family from new and one quickly ascertains that there is plenty on offer for motor racing fans at this auction.
 
Off the track and onto the roads the line-up is no less impressive. Perhaps the most important road-going car on offer is a 1922 Bentley 3-Litre Tourer that is the first Australian delivered Bentley and has been with the same family since 1942.
 
One of W. O. Bentley's later creations was the V12 Lagonda engine that powers the Lagonda V12 Sports Saloon also offered in this auction. This particular V12 saloon was retained by Lagonda for promotional use and even attempted a 100mph record attempt on public roads when Laurence Pomeroy and Gordon Wilkins were returning from the launch of the VW Beetle at the 1939 Berlin Motor Show just prior to the outbreak to WWII. While Earl Howe had already achieved 100mph around Brooklands in a V12 Saloon Pomeroy and Wilkins wanted to achieve the 100mph on public roads. This car achieved 98mph but the autobahns were not yet complete and they ran out of road. As Pomeroy later commented "..It was a terrible disappointment, but the fault was Hitler's rather than ours!"
 
"We are proud to be holding this auction which has brought together some of the most significant cars in Australia.  Indeed the sale venue during the view will be worth visiting just to see this superb collection of cars all in one place at one time," comments Robert Glover, National Head of Collectors' Motor Cars at Bonhams & Goodman. "The sale promises to cap off a record year for the Australian motoring department and demonstrates our ability to hold world class auctions in Australia."
 
 For enquiries related to the sale please contact Robert Glover, Head of Collectors' Motor Cars, on +61 (0) 2 8306 2206 or robert.glover@bonhams.com.
 
You can also contact Graeme Cocks  gacocks@iinet.net.au