SANTA MONICA, Calif. (June 29, 2015) – Gooding & Company, the official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, is pleased to announce the addition of three extraordinary English automobiles, each with its own fascinating story and celebrity provenance. The exciting entries include a recently discovered 1953 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback with ties to James Bond creator Ian Fleming (estimate: $1,400,000-$1,800,000), Tyrone Power’s one-of-a-kind 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Two-Seater Drophead Coupe with coachwork by Thrupp & Maberly (estimate: $1,500,000-$2,000,000) and a rare 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible, originally owned by Hollywood screenwriter Bill Manhoff (estimate: $1,400,000-$1,800,000).
“We were absolutely thrilled when we uncovered these three magnificent cars,” said David Gooding, president of Gooding & Company. "They are true automotive discoveries because they possess all the right qualities collectors want when buying significant motor cars. Each car has rich provenance, desirable long-term ownership, and exceptional design.”
Here is a closer look at the three highlights:
1953 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback (Estimate: $1,400,000-$1,800,000) The elegant R-Type Continental Fastback by H.J. Mulliner is an undisputed icon of British motoring and one of the all-time great Bentley models. Built in extremely limited numbers, these high-performance grand touring cars attracted an elite clientele that included royalty, celebrities, and captains of industry. This car, BC10LB, is certainly no exception, as Ian Fleming, creator of the James Bond series, ordered this Bentley for his friend and collaborator Ivar Bryce. Bryce, a fascinating figure in his own right, worked for the British Security Coordination during World War II and was the inspiration for Fleming’s character Felix Leiter. Originally finished in Deep Grey and specified as a left-hand drive, manual gearbox car with fender spats and lightweight seats, Bryce’s R-Type Continental was equipped with bespoke features such as fitted luggage and a racehorse mascot. Recently discovered in a Hollywood, California garage, where it had been hidden away for over three decades, this unrestored R-Type Continental is the most exciting and important post-war Bentley to come to market in a generation.
1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Two-Seat Drophead Coupe (Estimate: $1,500,000-$2,000,000) Considered by many to be one the finest classic era automobiles, the Phantom II Continental is among the most desirable Rolls-Royce models, combining outstanding performance and luxurious appointments. This particular example, chassis S2K, was originally built to special order for an executive of the Rootes Group and outfitted with sensational one-off coachwork by Thrupp & Maberly. An extremely rare two-seater open Phantom II Continental, this Rolls-Royce was once owned by famed actor Tyrone Power, who purchased the car in 1956 while starring in an English theater production. Following Power’s death, the car was acquired by Rolls-Royce enthusiast Fred Buess and remained in his private collection for over 50 years. Beautifully finished in an elegant dark blue, this unique Phantom II Continental received a First in Class at the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®.
1965 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible (Estimate: $1,400,000-$1,800,000) With only 123 examples ever built, the DB5 Convertible is the ultimate expression of Aston Martin’s legendary Touring-bodied GT and one of the most desirable British sports cars of the 1960s. This superb example, DB5C/2112/R was originally constructed for Hollywood screenwriter, producer and playwright Wilton David “Bill” Manhoff. Among Manhoff’s credits are scripts for the 1964 Broadway stage play The Owl and The Pussycat and popular television shows such as The Odd Coupe, Petticoat Junction, The Partridge Family and Leave it to Beaver. Remarkably, this Aston Martin has had just four private owners from new and remains in largely original condition, with low mileage and a beautifully preserved interior. Accompanied by extensive documentation and important accessories, this DB5 Convertible is being offered for public sale for the first time ever. It is sure to garner significant interest from Aston Martin collectors the world over.
Other exceptional English entries include classic Bentleys and Lagondas from the Ron Rezek Collection (estimates range from $200,000-1,500,000), a beautifully restored 1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II (estimate: $800,000-1,000,000), a tour-proven 1926 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Pall Mall Tourer (estimate: $300,000-375,000), and a highly original, unrestored 1960 MGA Twin-Cam Roadster that was part of the BMC works team at the 12 Hours of Sebring (estimate: $250,000-350,000).