A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £158,625
You can now book a one to one appointment (up to one hour) to view this lot at our central location between the 16th and 30th July. Please contact Arwel Richards on 07434 960868 firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your appointment or to discuss the car in more detail.
The health and safety of both our customers and team remains the utmost priority, we are therefore operating to strict COVID-19 guidelines and full instructions for arrival and inspection protocols will be given when making your appointment.
The Bentley Corniche was produced in much smaller numbers than its Rolls-Royce equivalent, despite being, arguably, the more handsome of the two. Just 570 Bentley convertibles were built compared to the 5,678 Rolls-Royce equivalents, and just 43 examples of the Bentley Corniche were produced. Up to 1984, when the Bentley Corniche was renamed the Continental, only 151 had been sold, with as previously stated, a total of just 570 of the winged B-badged cars produced by 1995. Consequently, the Bentley Corniche is the most sought after of the two in today’s market, enjoying favour not just with Bentley enthusiasts but with those who also appreciate rarity.
Thanks to the internet, a favourite past-time of the car enthusiast is comparing the list price of a luxury car of the day with its sports car contemporary’s price. When H.R. Owen, London sold this Bentley Corniche new in 1972 for £12,611 a DB6 Vantage Volante could be bought second hand for less than £4,000. We at Silverstone Auctions sold a DB6 Vantage Volante in 2015 for £900,000! This shows that the Bentley and its Rolls-Royce stablemate could only be afforded by the very wealthy when new. Regardless of the badges on the car, it was then and still is, known as the best car in the world.
When Mr Fattorini of the Empire Stores dynasty ordered the car he chose James Young Blue, a colour that nobody could find decades later when our vendor chose to refresh the paint and the colour of Caribbe Aqua was chosen, not only as the closest shade but also an official factory colour for the period. After Mr Fattorini had enjoyed the car it was sold to a German gentleman, a Herr. C Ebrecht of Brest who did not register nor subsequently use the car for eight years due to administrative issues regarding registration, as described in an accompanying H.R. Owen letter from 1998. The car was repatriated in 1998 and was registered to its third owner Mr Michael Horley of Hastings who bought it directly from Herr. Ebrecht.
Mr Horley sold the car to marque specialists Royce Service & Engineering of Surrey in 2004 who, in turn, sold the car to noted Bentley collector, the late Mr Peter Bond, in 2005. It was Mr Bond who commenced the programme of restoration works and maintenance, retaining Royce Service & Engineering until his death and our vendor, the car’s fifth owner, took over custodianship in 2013 choosing to stay with Royce. Between Mr Bond and our vendor, a true Bentley enthusiast, the bills for restoration and maintenance amount to some £110,000. In 2019 such was the car’s condition and rarity it was selected by Bentley Motors to be displayed on the lawn in front of Goodwood House for the 100th-Anniversary celebrations of the marque at the 2019 Festival of Speed. The Goodwood branded A-plate describing the car is in the boot. A copy letter inviting our vendor to the celebrations and signed by His Grace the Duke of Richmond is included within the extensive history files. The first history file includes a copy Bill of Sale, build sheets and the car's ownership history. The second history file includes the invoices that show the extent of the passion of both Mr Bond and our vendor shared for restoring and thereafter maintaining the car for future generations.
Presented to auction in superb condition, with the recent addition of electronic ignition, our vendor cannot warrant the mileage but it is assumed that the odometer reading of some 19,300 miles, at the time of cataloguing, may well be correct considering the ownership history, but of course, it cannot be verified. Needless to say, the car flew through its recent MOT on the 1st July 2020 and is offered without the private registration, retention proceedings for which have begun.