2023 London Auction by Gooding & Company

Gooding & Company will hold their third sale as the official auction of Hampton Court Palace. Highlights of the 2023 London Auction include a pair of historically significant Jaguar E-Types, a classic pre-war era Bentley, and a remarkable one-off custom-bodied Aston Martin DB2/4. The quality of cars on offer is impressive to say the least. It’s very possible that at least one new world record will be set on September 1.

This extremely well-documented Ferrari started its life in the ownership of a Dominican diplomat stationed in Paris. It was renumbered by the Ferrari factory ostensibly at the request of its first owner, eventually being renumbered by Ferrari as 0308 M. It competed in a significant number of races during its lifetime and is being offered by the owner who purchased it in 1960.

Fiat built the 8V starting in 1952, first introduced at the 1952 Geneva Motor Show. It proved to be a successful race car, although Fiat only produced 114 of them. Different coachbuilders styled the cars including Pinin Farina, Vignale, Ghia, and Zagato. Overall fewer than 30 Berlinettas equipped with Zagato bodies. The car on offer is one of the Zagato-bodied examples and has been used in competition for much of its life. It’s equipped with its matching-numbers engine. Restoration work that included a two-tone interior and a repaint in green metallic was finished in 2019.

The Aston Martin DB2/4 ‘Indiana’ Spider was a custom build by Bertone for Stanley Arnolt, a businessman based in Chicago. Designed by Franco Scaglione, the same mind behind the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, it was one of a series of custom-bodied cars commissioned from Bertone. It made appearances at auto shows around the world, impressing the public with its unique styling, light metallic blue paint and cream leather interior with blue carpeting. It was sold by Arnolt in the 1970s and was subject to a concours-level restoration by a Swiss-based collector that included repainting it in the original light metallic blue. It was honored at the 2009 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.

This is one of roughly 270 examples of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster equipped with disc brakes before the alloy-block engine was introduced. Certain collectors view the combination of disc brakes and iron-block engine to be the ultimate version of the 300 SL Roadster. The one being offered by Gooding & Company in London is finished in its original color combination of Ivory paint with a black hardtop with a dark red leather interior. It was retained by its original owner from 1962 until 1988, when it was transferred to other family members. It was eventually sold in 2012 to a London-based collector who oversaw some very conservative preservation work. The current owner has enjoyed it since 2016. Some 300 SLs were seen in Monterey, many of which failed to meet their reserve prices so this may prove to be an optimistic estimate from the auction company, but time will tell what it’s really worth.

The 1954 Ferrari 250 Europa being offered by Gooding & Company at their London Auction is remarkably original, having never required a restoration, though it was repainted to its current color after being acquired by Stanley E. Baker in 1961. It’s confirmed to be equipped with its original, matching-numbers components and is Ferrari Classiche certified with the coveted Red Book. It won First in Class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 1965 and took Third in Class when it returned 25 years later. The next owner will benefit from its acceptance at two Mille Miglia events – the November 2023 Warm Up USA Event and the 2024 Mille Miglia.

This is the very first right-hand-drive Jaguar E-Type Coupe built, sporting chassis number one. It still retains its original engine and wears its original registration plate, “1 VHP.” Not only is this a very early production E-Type, it’s one of only four right-hand-drive examples of the coupe with the outside latches for its hood. It was restored following the current owner acquiring it in 1998, a multiyear project. Notably, the first right-hand-drive roadster and first left-hand-drive roadster and coupe no longer exist, leaving this as the only example of a true first-of-its-kind six-cylinder E-Type.

Aston Martin built 1,021 examples of the DB5 in total, but only 123 of them were convertibles. This car is one of just 84 right-hand-drive examples built. This car is equipped with a variety of factory options that include a Motorola radio with a power antenna, Marchal fog lamps, knock-off hubs, chrome-plated wire wheels, and a full Everflex tonneau cover in black. The current owner acquired the car in 2016, commissioning a restoration from Rex Woodgate that was completed in 2019.

This 1931 Bentley Eight Litre Folding Head Coupe is being offered from 45 years of single family ownership. It wears coachwork by H. J. Mulliner and is largely unrestored, still equipped with its original engine and bodywork. Even the seats are original! It’s extremely well documented and offers the chance for a Bentley enthusiast to buy one of the most iconic models built by the storied marque.

Gooding & Company have another remarkable E-Type on offer – this one, a 1961 Jaguar E-Type Series I 3.8L Roadster is the first E-Type ever sold. It was the fourth right-hand-drive model built and was used for press events prior to being sold. It’s a matching-numbers example and is equipped with disc brakes and a four-speed manual gearbox. The current owner commissioned a restoration by Classic Motor Cars Ltd that took years to complete, restoring it to the factory color combination. It’s likely difficult to overstate how significant this car is to Jaguar collectors.

Powered by a 2.0L four cylinder engine that produces 130 horsepower, this is a matching-numbers example of one just 30 356 C Carrera 2 Cabriolets ever built. A US-spec model, it was restored to its factory standard color combination of Ivory with green leather interior. Considering the prices the Porsche market has been seeing lately and the rarity of this specific car, the estimate from the auction company seems entirely reasonable.