Bonhams announced the oldest running Daimler and further 19th-century, veteran, and antique cars for the London Golden Age of Motoring Sale 2022.
The oldest Daimler on the road — the second manufactured at the Coventry factory — is one of the lead cars for the Bonhams Golden Age of Motoring classic car auction in London in November 2022. The sale shortly before the London-to-Brighton Veteran Car Run features cars from the early years of motoring — several qualify for the race and many are veteran participants. In addition to the 1897 Daimler Twin-Cylinder 4HP Tonneau, the sale will also feature a 19th-century 1898 Peugeot Type 15 Phaeton and an 1898 De Dion Bouton 1¾ hp Tricycle. Several cars were made before 1905 and qualify for the race while the 1907 Stanley EX steam-powered motor car just misses out. The most modern car currently on offer is a 1917 Lancia Theta Sports Tourer.
Bonhams London Golden Age of Motoring Sale 2022
Bonhams’ annual Golden Age of Motoring Sale is held on 4 November 2022 in the auction house’s New Bond Street saleroom on 4 November 2022, two days before the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. Many of the cars on offer are eligible for the famous race.
Bonhams long sponsored the race but lost sponsorship recently to RM Sotheby’s which is also having a London auction in the same period. In contrast to the RM Sotheby’s auction, which in 2022 will feature five modern Ferrari supercars (288 GTO, F40, F50, Enzo, LaFerrari), no modern cars — super, hyper, or standard — will be on offer at the Bonhams sale that showcases historic names of pioneering motoring. Less than a month before the auction, the newest car announced is from 1917.
Oldest Daimler on the Road at Bonhams London 2022 Sale
Not the most expensive car on offer in the auction, but the 1897 Daimler Twin-Cylinder 4HP Tonneau, estimate £225,000-275,000, is certainly one of the most interesting automobiles on offer in the Bonhams Golden Age of Motoring Sale 2022. This was the second car manufactured at Daimler’s Coventry factory.
Although it was demonstrated to the then Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII, the Daimler’s first owner was Colonel Arthur Mulliner, of the eponymous coachbuilding family. His cousin Henry (H.J.) was of course famous for creating bespoke bodies for Rolls-Royce and Bentley. Together, the pair took part in the inaugural run of The Automobile Club of Great Britain in London’s Pall Mall.
Not surprisingly, this Daimler is clothed in a bespoke Mulliner Tonneau body, most likely added after the car had been returned to the factory circa 1900 for updating, including tiller steering and front suspension.
This Daimler is itself a veteran of more than 50 London to Brighton Veteran Car Runs, the world’s longest-running motoring event. Its debut was in the 1897 Commemoration Run, a year on from the Emancipation Run which celebrated the raising of the speed limit from 4mph to a heady 14mph.
Now offered from 72 years’ single-family ownership, the Daimler was acquired by the vendor’s father in 1952 who oversaw a total restoration of the car, before driving it to Brighton in that year’s Run and, two decades later, led the ‘Drive Into Europe’ rally to Brussels to mark the UK’s entry into the Common Market.
19th-Century Vehicles at the Golden Age of Motoring Sale 2022
In addition to the 1897 Daimler Twin-Cylinder 4HP Tonneau, further 19th-century vehicles already announced for the Bonhams London 2022 classic car auction include:
1898 Peugeot Type 15 8HP Twin-Cylinder Double Phaeton, estimate £275,000-325,000. Advanced for its day, the Peugeot offered 4-speed plus reverse transmission, plus an early form of cruise control. This car was the subject of a nut-and-bolt restoration by specialist Smallbone and Sons in the 1990s, taking part in the 100th anniversary Veteran Car Run upon completion. It has made the journey from London to Brighton several times since.
A 1898 De Dion Bouton 1¾ hp Tricycle, estimate £60,000 – £85,000. An important transition vehicle between bicycle and car, this De Dion is fully restored and issued with a full dating certificate for 1898.
Veteran Cars at Bonhams London 2022 Sale
Further highlights of this annual Bonhams Golden Age of Motoring sale in London include:
1917 Lancia Theta Sports Tourer, estimate £120,000-160,000 — the newest car currently on offer. One of only 19 believed survivors of the model, it was originally imported as a rolling chassis by the UK’s Ministry of War, which used many such vehicles to mount anti-aircraft guns or mobile searchlights. The Theta is now offered from nearly 50 years’ ownership of a Lancia connoisseur who restored it to factory specification in the 1990s.
1907 Stanley EX steam-powered motor car, estimate £85,000-100,000. Produced by the American Stanley twins, the eponymous motor cars were considered the premier ‘steamers’ to own, with a reputation for performance, high-tech design, and engineering prowess. This example was in previous family ownership for 87 years, passing through three generations, and was the subject of a major restoration in the 1990s.
1903 Humber Olympia Tandem Forecar, estimate £30,000-35,000. One of the earliest surviving Humbers, produced by the former bicycle manufacturer. Restored in 2000, this tandem is eligible for the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, as well as prestigious motorcycle events: the Sunbeam MCC’s Pioneer Run from Epsom to Brighton, and the VMCC’s Banbury Run.