A 1932 Fowler steam road locomotive (The Lion) sold for $1,181,367 as top results at Bonhams London 2020 Veteran, Vintage, and Post-Vintage car sale.
A rare 1932 Fowler 10hp ‘B6’ Showman’s Road Locomotive, known as The Lion, hailing from the final days of steam, was the top results when it sold for £911,000 (US $1,181,367) at Bonhams The Golden Age of Motoring Sale at New Bond Street, London on 30 October 2020.
Bonhams London Veteran and Vintage Cars Auction 2020
Bonhams special The Golden Age of Motoring Sale ‘1886-1939’ featured only veteran, vintage, and post-vintage motor cars, i.e. cars produced before the Second World War. It was held on 30 October 2020 at Bonhams New Bond Street salesroom in London, UK. (This auction was previous the London to Brighton Run Sale but sponsorship has changed.)
The live auction allowed for limited in-room bidding, as well as the regular telephone, internet online, and absentee bidding.
Top Results at the Bonhams Golden Age of Motoring Sale 2020 in London
The top ten results at the Bonhams The Golden Age of Motoring classic car auction were:
1932 Fowler Showman’s Road Locomotive Sold
The Edwardian 1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Semi-Open Drive Limousine, estimate £1,000,000 – 1,300,000 ($1,300,000 – $1,700,000), was the top car not to have sold at the Bonhams London auction. This left the field open for the 1932 Fowler ‘B6’ Super Lion, known as ‘The Lion’, estimate £800,000 – 1,200,000, to take top honors when it sold for £911,000.
“The Lion” was one of just four showman’s road locomotives built by agricultural engineers Fowler for the West Country Showman Troupe Alderton and Rowland. The Lion powered the popular fairground ride of the period, the ‘Super Noah’s Ark’.
Following a lively bidding battle between bidders in the UK and USA, ‘The Lion’ was finally sold when the gavel of auctioneer Malcolm Barber fell in favor of the Bedfordshire-based Saunders Steam Collection, one of the largest steam collections in the UK.
The new owner, Mr John Saunders, said that The Lion was a “late birthday present” to himself and that he was looking forward to displaying the engine at steam fairs and shows next year – the current situation regarding COVID-19 allowing.
The Lion was offered from the collection of the late steam enthusiast Arthur Thomson of Salisbury, along with two other vehicles – a 1902 Arrol-Johnston 10/12hp Twin-Cylinder Six-Seater Dogcart which sold for £96,600 and a 1910 White Model 0-0 Five-Passenger Touring Steam Car which steamed ahead of its top estimate, selling for £80,500.
Other Top Results at the Bonhams Golden Age of Motoring Sale 2020
Further top result at the Bonhams Golden Age of Motoring classic car auction in London in October 2020 included:
1901 Panhard-Levassor Type A2 7HP Twin-Cylinder Rear-Entrance Tonneau
SOLD for £322,000
One of a handful of survivors of the transitional 7hp Daimler-Phoenix-engined Panhards which were delivered in 1901. Known as the ‘first modern motor car’ due to its front-mounted engine, a three-speed manual transmission, piano-style pedals, and a steering wheel in place of a tiller, known as the ‘système Panhard’.
At one time, this motor car formed part of the renowned Schlumpf Collection, belonging to the textile magnate brothers in Mulhouse, and then was owned by the Mercedes-Benz Museum Collection until 2010.
The Panhard was sold above its top estimate to a telephone bidder from Germany following a multi-way bidding battle between European and UK bidders.
1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Open Tourer
SOLD for £310,500
Produced in the heyday of Bugatti’s Grand Prix success, the Type 40 offered exceptional handling, braking and performance, with a top speed of 75mph.
A remarkably original example, one of fewer than 200 known surviving Grand Sports, owned by the vendor since 1957.
1924 Vauxhall 30-98 OE Velox Tourer
SOLD for £258,750
Considered the finest British sporting Vintage car, the 30-98 was more than a match for its rival Bentley.
The first model set a new record at the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb and the later more powerful OE versions enjoyed success at the famous Brooklands motor circuit. This original bodied example had been owned by its vendor since 1968.
The Vauxhall marque record was raised to £1,247,00 ($1,656,510) earlier this year when the 1924 Vauxhall 30-98 OE-Type sold at the Gooding Passion of a Lifetime Sale in London.
1903 Thornycroft 20hp Four-Cylinder Double Phaeton
SOLD for £304,750
A rare survivor from the British manufacturer, owned until 1957 by company founder, Tom Thornycroft. Offered in concours condition, the Thornycroft has successfully completed all the London to Brighton Veteran Car Runs it has entered – often carrying six people.
The sale was held as a traditional live auction, albeit with a more limited attendance than usual, respecting social distancing and all COVID-19 related guidelines.
Tim Schofield said: “We were pleased with the enthusiastic response to our new ‘Golden Age’ sale which brought together the best of the pioneers, vintage and pre-war cars. We look forward to seeing the successfully sold veteran cars with their new owners on the London to Brighton Run next year.”
The next Bonhams motor car auction will be The Bond Street Sale in London on Saturday 5 December 2020.