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Unique ‘fastback’ Bentley makes more than £250k at new Goodwood sale

The one-off fastback Bentley coupe was built by Pininfarina for British entrepreneur James Hanson, and turned out to be the inspiration behind the Rolls-Royce Carmargue. Up front it’s pure Bentley, but the tapering roofline, circular rear lights and slim seats are all reminiscent of a Ferrari 365GT.

Although it’s passed through a fair number of owners, the Bentley has only covered 21,000 miles. It was updated to T2 / Silver Shadow II spec and resprayed in 1978-79, before being sold for £225,000 - reputedly the then highest ever price for a secondhand car. 

It was one of 67 classic cars on offer at the first Bonhams sale to be held at the annual Goodwood Members Meeting on 21 March 2015. The auctioneer’s upper price estimate for it was £200,000, but it sold for just over £250,000. 

Fittingly for a race meeting, the sale included some cars with period racing history. The most significant modern classic was the ex-works 1982 Audi Quattro rally car driven by Hannu Mikkola. The influential and highly successful four-wheel drive model was driven to victory in the 1982 and 1984 international rallying Manufacturers’ Championship and the Drivers’ Championship in 1982 and ’83.  The car on offer was used by Mikkola in the 1982 Monte Carlo and Sweden rallies in Group 4 spec; it was later converted to Group 2 spec. It sold for £247,900. 

The highest achiever of the Bonhams’ sale was a car with extensive race history. The 1955 Frazer Nash Le Mans Coupe was one of only nine fixed head coupes made, and was first owned by Kitty Maurice, enthusiast and promoter of Wiltshire’s Castle Combe race circuit. It had a string of racing enthusiast owners including John Dashwood, who drove it in the 1959 Le Mans endurance race. There was much interest in the Frazer Nash at the sale, and it sold for just over £500,000. 

One car whose value looks to be rising is the Lamborghini Jalpa. The 1983 car has had only two owners and is highly original with a genuine 40,700 miles. It sold for £74,300 - nearly £30,000 more than its estimate, and more than double the prices achieved by other Jalpas at auction in 2014. 

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By Claire Evans

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