Around the houses, August 2009

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– RM Auctions –
In its August 13-15 Sports and Classics of Monterey sale, RM has two historic Miller race cars going under the hammer. The first, a 1931 Miller V16, is the only such racer ever built and was placed 27th in that year’s Indianapolis 500. It then ran as high as third in the ’32 race before an oil line broke. In 1933 an accident claimed the lives of both driver Lester Spangler and riding mechanic G L George, but having sat out the 1934 race the car returned and finished fourth in ’35, sixth in ’36 and 13th in ’37. The unique V16 engine was missing but has been recreated. It has an estimate of £370-610,000.

The other racer is a painstaking recreation of a 1927 Miller 91 rear-drive from the Chuck Davis Collection. A huge Miller enthusiast, Davis set out to assemble as many original 91 parts as he could. One of these turned out to be an intercooler made by Miller hero Frank Lockhart for his 1927 Perfect Circle Miller, modified from his 1926 Indy winner, so Davis completed the build as this car. In it Lockhart took pole at Indy in 1927 with an average speed of 120.1mph and dominated the race until a connecting rod failure. However, the car scored nine major wins in the remainder of that season. The car for sale contains many original Miller parts and carries an estimate of £250-400,000.

Also on sale is the 1952 Jaguar C-type driven by Phil Hill to its first North American race win in the Sheldon Cup at Elkhart Lake. The car, with Hill again on board, then went on to take overall victory at Torrey Pines that same year. It has an estimate of more than £1.8 million. One of six Ferrari competition Berlinetta 225Ss will be on sale too. This car finished eighth overall and second in class in the 1953 Sebring 12 Hours, and has an estimate of £370-500,000.

– Gooding & Company –
Gooding and Company is selling a collection of Indy racing cars at Pebble Beach on August 15/16. Included in the lots are a 1985 Lola T900 (£90-120,000), a 1967 Gurney Eagle which finished fourth in that year’s Indy 500 (£220-280,000) and a 1909 Stoddard-Drayton Model K recreation with matching chassis numbers (£90-140,000). Also included in the sale is the Pedro Rodríguez/Chris Amon 1969 Ferrari 312 (£925,000-1.2m) and a 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 Competition Spider by Bertone, which is expected to fetch £620-925,000.

– Bonhams –
The ex-Jacques Swaters Ecurie Belgique 1948 Talbot-Lago T26C (see over page) is up for sale, without reserve, at Bonhams’ Carmel auction on August 14. The car, which won the 1950 Grand Prix de Paris and came sixth in the ’51 Belgium GP, carries an estimate of £620-800,000.

Bonhams is also selling a selection of race cars and memorabilia from Brawn GP at the Silverstone Classic on July 25. The cars date between 2001-06 and include racers from BAR and Honda which have estimates of between £7000-22,000. There will be show cars, race overalls, components, spares and merchandise. During its annual Monaco auction on May 18 Bonhams sold over £4m worth of cars. The star lot was the ex-Jean-Pierre Jabouille/Jean-Louis Schlesser/Oliver Grouillard/Jacques Lafitte/Hurley Haywood/Michel Ferté 1990 Ferrari F40 LM Competition Berlinetta which sold for £821,184.

– Coys –
Coys sold the first part of a collection from motoring journalist Peter Cahill at its Brands Hatch sale on May 24. The group of items sold for £3095, while one of the most interesting lots – a signed Ferdinand Porsche Christmas card – sold for an impressive £128. Ten per cent of the hammer prices achieved went to The Guild of Motoring Writer’s Benevolent Fund. The Le Mans class-winning 1966 Porsche 906 Carrera 6, the ex-Mecom/Hall 1966 Lola T70 Spyder and a 1988 Porsche Kremer 962 failed to sell.

– H&H Sales –
On July 21/22 H&H is selling the 1961 London Motor Show AC Ace 2.6 (£140-180,000) whose second owner, Phillip Boulton, was competitions secretary for the North Staffordshire Motor Club and used the car in numerous club events after acquiring it in ’64.

– Russo and Steele –
At its Monterey sale on August 13-15 Russo and Steele is selling a 1960 Facel Vega HK500, which was launched under the banner of ‘for the few who own the finest’. Sir Stirling Moss, Ringo Starr, Joan Fontaine and Ava Gardner are famous Facel owners. The Chrysler V8-engined HK500 was the first French car to feature disc brakes all round as standard.

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