George Daniels antique car collection worth £8m to be sold at 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed

George Daniels was one of the most well-known watchmakers of our times. Besides dealing with antique watches and time pieces, Daniels was a keen collector…

George Daniels was one of the most well-known watchmakers of our times. Besides dealing with antique watches and time pieces, Daniels was a keen collector of antique cars and is said to have possessed a fleet of seven classic and priceless cars. Unfortunately George Daniels is alas no more, but his legacy lives on in his car collection which is slated to be auctioned. This priceless collection is expected to fetch £8 million as the cars go on auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Sussex this Friday.

Among this collection of antiques is a 1932 Alfa Romeo 8c 2300 Spyder Lungo which itself is worth £4 million. At the auction Daniels will be admired for his keen eye for detail and his special ability to hone in on classic cars. All the money from this auction will go towards George Daniels Educational Trust which is instrumental in the furthering of education for students of horology, engineering, medicine and construction building activities.

Auction house Bonhams will be in charge of this auction. Daniels collection of cars will also include a 1908 Itala GP car priced at £2.5 million, a 1974 Jaguar E Type Series III V12 Roadster, 1929 Bentley Tourer, once in the possession of the erstwhile Maharaja of Bhavnagar, 1954 Bentley R Type Fastback and a 1907 Daimler Type TP 45 10.6 liter. There will be a total of seven cars and two motorbikes at this auction and one look at this collection will tell any collector that Daniels was a man who valued quality over quantity with special affinity for Bentleys.

News release: Bonhams to offer motor cars from five distinguished classic car collections at Goodwood Festival of Speed

The Ex-Works Le Mans 24-Hour
1928 Bentley 4½-Litre Supercharged Tourer
Family owned since 1979 and
The ex-Camoradi Team, Ian Burgess,1960-61

Cars from Daniels, Pilkington, Gwynn, O’Quinn and Glasius in landmark sale

This year’s Bonhams auction of Collectors’ Motor Cars at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 29th, promises to be one of the best line ups ever assembled in the UK including as it does no less than five private collections amongst the 85 cars on sale.

Motor cars from legendary classic collectors, the late George Daniels, Sir Antony Pilkington, Peter Gwynn, John O’Quinn and the Lotuses of Olav Glasius, are offered fresh to market. For anyone intent on building a serious collection, Bonhams auction at Goodwood FOS 2012 is a must.

Daniels Collection:

The outstanding collection of motor cars owned by the famed watchmaker George Daniels provides seven mouth-watering motor cars and two motorcycles which are expected to realize in excess of £8,000,000.

George Daniels CBE, DSc, FBHI, FSA (1926-2011) was one of the few modern watchmakers who could conceive, design and hand-make a complete watch from blank sheet of paper to finished, ticking, utterly supreme timepiece. As a specialist watchmaker, during his lifetime he created fewer than 100 pocket watches and wristwatches, each of which would typically involve 2,500 hours of work. His love of engineering also led to his abiding interest in fine motor cars and he accumulated an impressive collection over the years. In 2010 he was awarded the CBE, and he is the only watchmaker ever to receive the honor of ‘Master Watchmaker, for services to Horology’.

The jewel in the crown of the George Daniels Collection is the ex-Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin 1929-32 Bentley 4½-Liter Supercharged Single-Seater which set the Brooklands Outer Circuit Lap Record at more than 137mph in 1931. Daniels once wrote that, “For all its inconvenience it is a most exhilarating car to drive both on the road and track.”

George Daniels was a huge fan of the legendary ‘Bentley Boy’ and ‘tween-wars boy’s hero ‘Tim’ Birkin, and enthusiastic bidding is also expected for another Birkin car, the 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 Long Chassis Touring Spider. It formed part of the 1932 Le Mans Team Car entries with Birkin sharing driving duties with his great friend Earl Howe for the endurance race.

Other highlights of the collection include:

The ex-1908 French Grand Prix, 1908 Itala 100hp Grand Prix Car. Daniels revered this car for a long time before purchasing it – “while I have long been an admirer of this car, ownership could only be seen as a heady dream. Yet suddenly, and without warning, came the opportunity to acquire it and I did so without hesitation. It is a giant among motor cars with a colossal stride propelled by its four-cylinder, twelve liter engine.”
The ex-Frank Taylor of Taylor Woodrow Construction 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback by H.J. Mulliner, a “great favorite” of Daniels, with only three owners from new and with extensive service history.

The ex-Maharaja of Bhavnagar 1929 4½-liter Bentley Tourer by Vanden Plas. Daniels was a life-long Bentley enthusiast, saying, “to me they represent the best in motoring.”

The 1907 Daimler 45hp Roi-de-Belges Tourer originally built for the Earl of Craven.

The Pilkington Collection:

The five remaining motor cars belonging to the renowned businessman, the late Sir Antony Pilkington are expected to realize in excess of £800,000.

Sir Antony was the last family chairman of Pilkington Brothers, the Lancashire company that achieved world leadership in glassmaking. He was knighted in 1990.

Alongside his business successes, Sir Antony was also a great connoisseur collector from a golden era of the Collectors’ motor car market. He owned some of the world’s most desirable cars such as a Ferrari 250 GTO and a Maserati 300S in which he competed in the Mille Miglia on eight consecutive years between 1987 and 1994.
The collection consists of:

The ex-RAC, Alpine and Tulip Rally 1957 AC Ace-Bristol Sports Two-Seater.
Family owned since 1979 and 58,000 miles from new 1970 Aston Martin DB6 Mk 2 Volante, uprated to Vantage Specification.
The ex-Mervyn Frankel 1939 Bentley MR-Series 4¼-liter Tourer, with coachwork in the style of Vanden Plas by James Pearce.
A comprehensively restored and 40,000 miles from new 1973 Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona

Spyder conversion.
Sir Antony’s first ever car, a 1951 HRG Sports Two-Seater.This car was bought for Sir Antony to entice him away from motorcycles. He sold the HRG after a few years, but re-discovered the car again years later, bringing it back into the family collection.

The Peter Gwynn Collection:

Peter Gwynn, a proud Scot was the youngest Managing Director of the advertising agency Masius for whom he traveled the world growing the business dramatically. He was also passionate about cars, motor racing, rugby, fishing, books, opera, sailing and golf. His amiable character shows in every aspect of his Collection.

Bentley 3-Liter Speed Model Sports Two-Seater Coachwork by Park Ward Ltd. In only mildly developed form, this was the model that was to become a legend in motor racing history and which, with its leather-strapped bonnet, classical radiator design and British Racing Green livery, has become the archetypal Vintage sports car.

The rare Lagonda V12 drophead coupé offered here was first registered on 14th June 1938 and has been owned by only two families from new. Its first owner was Thomas Alastair Sutherland Ogilvy ‘Taso’ Mathieson, the well-known racing driver and motoring writer. Highlights of Taso’s competition career include a Brooklands Mountain Circuit lap record for 2-liter cars in 1933; a 2-Liter class win at Le Mans in 1950; and a 3-Liter class win in the Targa Florio in 1952.

A 1933 Talbot 75 Sports Saloon. First registered on 2nd March 1933, this Talbot 75 has been in the Gwynn family’s ownership since at least the early 1980s.

The John O’Quinn Collection:

John O’Quinn was one of the best lawyers in America. His success allowed him and Darla Lexington to indulge their passion for cars, assembling one of the world’s largest collections which eventually numbered 869 vehicles. Two of their superb cars are offered at this sale.

Corgi Rolls: The 1912 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Double Pullman Limousine, is one of the most recognizable of the company’s famed ‘Silver Ghost’ production to survive. It has graced a handful of the world’s finest known automobile collections. In the mid-1960s following its sale as part of the famed Scottish Sword Collection it was chosen by Corgi Toys to be a model in their ‘Corgi Classics’ series, and thereby being identifiable to car enthusiasts of all ages, who named it simply as ‘The Corgi’. ‘The Corgi’ celebrates its 100th Birthday this year and is undoubtedly one of the world’s most iconic Rolls-Royce motor cars ever built.

Bugatti Bugatti: The 1938 Bugatti Type 57C formerly owned by Le Patron Ettore Bugatti is another exceptional car. In 1939, when it became clear that a German invasion of France was imminent, Bugatti factory driver Robert Benoist smuggled the car to a safe hideaway for the duration of the war, only narrowly avoiding capture in the process. After the war and the death of Le Patron, the car returned to the factory and was a favorite of Pierre Marco, the Director General of Bugatti, who drove it regularly. It remained in the care of the factory until 1959 and during this time was fitted with numerous extra fittings including the three-spoke steering wheel, special Lockheed hydraulic brakes and distinctive radio set.

The Glasius Lotus Collection:

The Lotus collection of Olav Glasius, a world-renowned collector and lifetime Lotus fan is expected to realize in excess of £1.3million. This year the Goodwood Festival of Speed highlights the 60th anniversary year of the Lotus marque, so is the most fitting place to sell this collection which comprises 24 vehicles, covering a huge span of Lotus innovation and achievement from 1953 to the present day.

In addition to a hugely impressive array of rare and truly historic Lotus racing cars ranging from Mark VI through Marks VIII and IX, one of the now extremely rare and immensely desirable Team Lotus works Le Mans veteran Type 11s, to an original and unspoiled Formula Junior Lotus 27 and ex-Formula 1/InterContinental Lotus Type 18 – the Collection also includes a fine array of beautifully restored and maintained ultra-low mileage road-going super cars from a Lotus Elite Series II to a Lotus Esprit Turbo. Capping the Glasius Lotus Collection is a trio of prototype/one-off concept cars of the type becoming increasingly popular with organizers of international Concours d’Elegance and design-excellence events.

Doug Nye, Bonhams Motoring Historian and author of some 70 books including several on the Lotus marque enthuses, “There are few teams that encapsulate the romance of the ‘little guys beating the big guys’ better than Team Lotus and Olav Glasius’s remarkable collection, which he has assembled with such love and painstaking care over so many years, truly embodies the essence of what Colin and his successors have been all about.”

Commenting on this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale, James Knight, International Director of Motor Cars, says: “As a founding sponsor of the FOS we have been privileged to have offered many important motor cars over a 20 year period. The 2012 Sale promises to eclipse all previous sales – it really is that important a sale.”