Vintage Bentleys and barn find Lagonas ar inaugural Rockingham Castle sale

Even three days of incessant rain failed to dampen spirits at last Saturday’s (June 16) ‘Excellence in Engineering’ collectors’ car auction, that was held at Rockingham Castle, Leicestershire by H&H Classics in conjunction with the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club (RREC), and where new homes were found for a number of very significant motorcars.Headlining the sale were a pair of exquisite vintage Bentleys, and they did not disappoint. The 1926 6 1/2 Litre example had spent 10 of its early years configured as a breakdown truck, but was now nicely presented as a Le Mans Style Tourer, and was very much on the money at £369,600. The truly delightful 3 Litre Speed Model Tourer from 1927 featured handsome Vanden Plas coachwork and had once been the property of (Sir) Malcolm Campbell - this delightfully original example sold above estimate at £212,800.The three ‘Barn Find’ Lagondas understandably caused every bit as much excitement. Topping the trio was Hugh Howorth’s famous and much modified c.1934 M45 competition car, which his wife had once lost control of in a sprint at Hartlepool and plunged 30 feet onto the rocky beach beyond the finishing line – it made £29,120. The purposeful-looking 1937 LG45 Saloon De Ville that was complete and had reputedly covered just 78,000 miles from new returned £26,880, while the 1952 2.6 Litre Drophead Coupe found a new home for £17,920.The glorious Rolls-Royce Phantom II Short-Coupled Saloon with coachwork by Société Weymann is believed to have been exhibited at the 1929 Paris Salon. Resplendent in Green with Brown trim, it was knocked down for £91,840, while the charmant Renault Type T Tonneau that had been in the same family ownership since 1959 set the successful bidder back £65,000. The elegantly presented Coffee Bean Brown over Ivory 1937 Bentley 4 1/4 Litre with coachwork by Vanden Plas (a former RREC ‘Harewood Trophy’ Winner) performed well to make £48,160.Said H&H’s Marketing Manager Richard Caton: “Rockingham Castle is a sensational venue and we were truly delighted with the warm reception we received from all concerned; not least the international contingent of 500-600 RREC members and their guests who attended our Private View the evening before the sale. We very much look forward to returning to Rockingham again next year.”AutomobiliaThe top performer among the many items of suitably themed automobilia was the Rolls-Royce Whisper Mascot commissioned by Charles Sykes in 1911 as an alternative to the Spirit of Ecstasy – it realised double its estimate at £2,645. The highly desirable 1920s pictorial enamel sign by Michelin also exceeded expectation at £1,840, while a mixed collection of photographs from coachbuilder Barker & Co were knocked down for £1,725.The next H&H Classics auctions will be the ‘Coupes & Cabriolets’ sale at Donnington Priory, Newbury on August 8, that’s being held in partnership with Dreweatts, and the company’s inaugural Open Sale that will take place at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire over the weekend of August 25/26 in conjunction with the Coventry Festival of Motoring and Jaguar Heritage. Further details of these and all other H&H events can be found at

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