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Rare models exceed expectations at Bonhams sale

The Lister-Jaguar Mk III XJ-S is pretty rare in coupe form, so an original cabriolet is something really special. The 1985 Lister-Jaguar cabriolet offered at the Bonhams 7 December sale was believed to be the only Mk III cabriolet made. Bidding for it went way past its £50k estimate to a final price of £72,620.

Restored, retrimmed and upgraded over the past two years, it was sold boasting a Ferrari-rivalling output of around 500bhp – enough to sprint past 60mph in just over four seconds.

A 1960 Bentley S2 Continental coupe, believed to be the last surviving James Young-bodied model, also outstripped its estimate of £45k, selling for £79,900. Although it is a runner, it would benefit from full restoration.  

Another original Bentley, a 1935 Bentley 3 1/2 –litre tourer with Park Ward coachwork, proved equally popular. Owned by the same family for 75 years, the car had extensive mechanical repairs in 1997, but otherwise remains very original. It sold for £85,500 - more than double the higher estimate.  

And a bespoke Austin FX4 Sedanca Brougham fetched far more than any standard Austin taxi has recently. Reputedly the second of two cars built in 1960 for the son of an oil baron, it has bodywork by FML Panelcraft, in his own unique design. Unusual features include wickerwork side panelling, opera side lights, an opulent interior with vanity units and a brass studded rear mounted trunk.

It sold for £18,400 – just over twice as much as the average FX4 auction hammer price over the past 24 months.

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By Claire Evans

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