Audi Cabriolet driven by Diana, Princes of Wales, to be auctioned by COYS

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The auction also features a 1926 Bugatti Type 37 with only two owners since 1940 and the Jaguar Legend collection

A 1994 Audi Cabriolet driven by Diana, Princes of Wales is going under the hammer at Coys auction at Blenheim Palace this Saturday, 15th July.

The Audi is tipped to make between £35,000 and £40,000, having been driven by one of the most influential female figures of this century. It was loaned to her for her personal use by Dovercourt Audi of St Johns Wood and comes up for sale just a few days after another Audi, also used by her, went under the hammer.

The car remains registered as L541 GJD and has been out of the public eye in storage for many years. The current vendor purchased it in 2004 and used it as an everyday family car until 2009 then placed it in storage, once the full importance of the vehicle became apparent. The car has been captured in numerous press images showing the Princess stepping in and out of the Audi with the number plate clearly visible.

The auction is set against the backdrop of the historic Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill and World Heritage site, and offers a fantastic selection of classic and sports cars, including a 1926 Bugatti Type 37 with only two owners since 1940 and period competition history at Brooklands and Shelsley Walsh.

The car, estimated £400,000 to £600,000, is one of three Type 37s supplied in 1926 to Bugatti agent and world speed record holder Malcolm Campbell. He sold the Bugatti to W. B. Scott (Bummer to his friends), who raced it at Brooklands. The car changed hands a few times over the coming years before being purchased by R. MacLeod-Carey in 1934, who invested in several modifications to improve performance. In 1940, he sold the car to Mr. Dudley Gahagan, who owned it for a somewhat incredible 57 years before bequeathing the car to the current vendor in 1997.

Gahagan was well established in the classic car world, being involved in the early days of the Vintage Sports-Car Club and running the classic restoration business Rees Brothers of Aldershot in Hampshire for many years. He campaigned his beloved Type 37 at numerous hill climbs, time and speed trials, including the Prescott Hill Climb, Goodwood, Brighton Speed Trials, and the then newly created Silverstone track on over 20 occasions from 1949 through to 1992.

The Type 37 enjoyed a well-earned comprehensive restoration from 2002 to 2008, and since has been used sparingly. It is also still offered with its original chassis, gearbox, and both front and rear axles.

The sale will also feature a 1950 Austin A90 Atlantic Convertible, formerly owned by King Farouk of Egypt (£32,000 - £42,000), a 1956 Austin Healey BN2 ‘100M Spec’ featured In “The Car’s The Star” documentary (£65,000 - £80,000), a 1938 Bentley 4¼ Litre MR Overdrive (H.J. Mulliner ‘High Vision’ Saloon with Unique Perspex Roof) premiered at the 1938 Earl’s Court Motor Show (£90,000 - £110,000) and a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 (£180,000 - £200,000).

A selection of fine classic Jaguars will also be offered as part of the Jaguar Legend collection, a well-established yearly feature of Coys Blenheim Palace auction, including a 1962 Jaguar E-Type Roadster with one family from new (£160,000 - £200,000), an original right hand drive 1968 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 Roadster 4.2 (£90,000 - £110,000) and a 1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster (£100,000 - £120,000), amongst others.

Other important collectors’ cars on offer include a 1962 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe by Park Ward (£190,000 - £230,000), a 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster (£65,000 - £85,000), a 1922 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Tourer (£200,000 - £240,000), a rare right hand drive 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster (£120,000 - £140,000), a 1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia GTC (£85,000 - £95,000) and a 1935 Fiat Balilla 508 Van (£25,000 - £30,000)

In addition, Coys will host their traditional and prestigious summer Concours d’Elegance curated by Chief Judge and historic motor racing authority Julius Thurgood with a broad selection of some of the finest and most important classic motor cars in Britain, which are available to view and admire.

Location: Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, OX20 1PP
Date: 13:00hs, 15th July 2017
Viewing: Friday 14th July from 12.00hs to 18.00hs
On the day of the sale from 10.00hs to start of sale
Full catalogue: www.coys.co.uk