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Coys' latest offering is eclectic as always, but we found two GT coupes of the mid-1950s that might well have rubbed shoulders in a contemporary test. First there’s a Jensen 541 in delightful metallic blue with equally lovely red leather interior. It uses the four-litre Austin engine with triple SUs and was issued in Guildford when new in 1956. Estimated to sell for £45- to £55,000 its price, too, may still be underrated?
That cannot be said for the BMW 503 Coupe that comes in the same sale. The 3.2-litre V8 powered and Von Goertz-designed car is quite rare: just 206 were built and this is one of only three (!) right hand driven cars. Sold new in 1957 in the UK, it was family-owned from 1961 until 2010. The alloy body seems a little worse for wear but is in a healthy state underneath, with lots of mechanical refurbishments over the last couple of years plus recently two long continental trips under its tyres. Now, the estimate for this car is quite a lot higher than that of the Jensen: £120- to £140,000. Worth the difference?
(Words Jeroen Booij, pictuires courtesy Coys of Kensington)
We’ve all heard the stories of Chinese millionaires gobbling up all the sweets at European and American auctions, and storing these crown jewels away in their far-Asian vaults without anyone to see them anymore, ruining the market for us, who created this motoring heritage in the first place. But what’s true about this? We have never seen any evidence of this. However, for the first time we stumbled upon a lovely little movie about a Chinese classic car collector on the world wide web. And it’s a gem. We meet Luo Wenyou, a Chinese classic car pioneer, who runs his private motor museum in Beijing. Surprisingly perhaps, you won’t find any overpriced Ferraris and other over-publicized auction-records here. This is a moderate museum, carefully build up by the man who dreamt it up. And of the 200 cars on display, 70 are Chinese-built, with Mao Zedong’s 1958 Honqi as its epicenter.
Mister Wenyou said: “I have never thought of making money from my collection. It is my hobby and that is why I decided to open the museum and display the cars. Collecting classic cars is a new fashion. Some rich people do it out of interest and some do it as an investment. From the investment perspective, I don’t think it is the best investment, because in China classic cars are not allowed to go on the road. It will take a long time for them to revalue.”
(Words Jeroen Booij, picture courtesy James Wasserman)
One more Paris themed post this week and then we’re back to business as usual. You know the drill: we'd love to hear from you what the car pictured on the photograph above is named. We can only say that we’ve erased its logo from the front grille as that would have made things far too easy. We like your answers to be accurate, but don’t bother about the technical details. It’s fun facts we love most, and this will be rewarded. Post your answer below here and we will let you know next week who won and… what the creature seen here is… Good luck! Oh - don't forget to read the rules first (click 'Read more')
Paris is the place, this weekend, with Retromobile offering something for every classic car enthusiast. From French oddities to fabled Ferraris and from virtually unknown microcars to world famous Aston Martins. We're not sure if the Delahaye - a 175S Aerodynamic Coupe by Figoni & Falaschi of 1947-vintage) seen here will be seen on the show, but you may want to let us know when you spot it.
(Words editor, picture courtesy Nina Leen/Life magazine)
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