‘Passion Of A Lifetime’ Success At Concours Of Elegance

Passion of a Lifetime Sale

In a difficult year where a pandemic has prevented events and auctions from going ahead, Gooding & Company’s ‘Passion of a Lifetime’ auction at Hampton Court Palace was hailed as ‘the’ success in 2020 but did reflect a subtle change in some buyer attitudes.

This was the company’s first auction outside of America and saw 14 of the 15 cars sold with eight of the vehicles topping a staggering US$1 million. New world price records were set for three different Bugatti models and a Lamborghini Miura with a total of £34,333,881.31 in sales achieved.

The ‘Passion Of A Lifetime’ sale had been originally scheduled for earlier in the year and was postponed due to the pandemic, but the final result was one of triumph over adversity in a year when the industry has been seriously challenged.

Continuing Problem

Remarkably, amid the success, one of the star lots in the auction, a 1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, failed to sell with the highest bid of £6.3 million not (as of yet) accepted. Only 19 examples of this racing thoroughbred were ever built, which begs the question, has Aston Martin’s decision to sell 19 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato “continuation models” reflected a drop in demand.


The 1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato that failed to sell

Continuation models are, in effect, reincarnations of a marque’s ‘special’ classic, such as the 19 new and beautiful Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Continuation models costing around £6 million per unit. This particular market seems to have overtaken the integrity of some of the ‘originals’ with an impressive 100% sell rate before they were even public knowledge. Such has the value of the original classics increased that ‘new’ old purchases at a 50% price drop seem attractive with no end of affluent prospective buyers available.

Aston Martin and other luxury brands may need to reevaluate their ‘continuing’ strategy as ‘original’ Aston, Bentley and Jaguar XKSS owners who proudly display their pride and joy at various high profile automotive events around the world, become somewhat disillusioned with their £10 million pride and joy that promotes a brand which could, to all intents and purposes, be devaluing the very market it created.

Here’s a quick look at some of the results achieved at the Concours of Elegance and Hampton Court Palace event:


1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports
Campaigned as a Works Grand Prix Car during the 1934–1935 seasons and converted to sports car configuration and raced with success in 1937. Extraordinary provenance dating to King Leopold III of Belgium. The car is one of the most significant and original competition Bugattis extant.
Passion of a Lifetime, Hampton Court Palace | 5 September 2020

Actual sale price (inc Buyers Premium): £9,535,000

Passion Of A Lifetime - Bugatti Type 57S Atalante
1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante
The Most Desirable of All Road-Going Bugattis: The Fabulous Type 57S has exotic aluminum Atalante coachwork designed by Jean Bugatti. Delivered new to British motoring icon and Bugattist Earl Howe.
Passion of a Lifetime, Hampton Court Palace | 5 September 2020

Actual sale price (inc Buyers Premium): £7,855,000

Bugatti Type 35C Grand Prix
1928 Bugatti Type 35C Grand Prix
Exceptionally original Grand Prix Bugatti and supercharged Type 35C Model; Works Entry in the 1928 Targa Florio and raced in major European Grands Prix, sports car events and Hill Climbs. Incredible provenance with just three owners since 1958.
Passion of a Lifetime, Hampton Court Palace | 5 September 2020

Actual sale price (inc Buyers Premium): £3,935,000

Passion Of A Lifetime - Lamborghini Miura P400 SV Speciale
1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV Speciale
One of Only 150 SVs Built. Factory-Built with dry sump lubrication and limited-slip differential.

Passion of a Lifetime, Hampton Court Palace | 5 September 2020

Actual sale price (inc Buyers Premium): £3,207,000


1955 Aston Martin DB3S
One of Only 20 Customer DB3S examples built. Raced in Europe and the UK as part of David McKay and Tony Gaze’s Kangaroo Stable. Set a New Australian land speed Record (Class D) in 1957 at 143.19 MPH.

Passion of a Lifetime, Hampton Court Palace | 5 September 2020

Actual sale price (inc Buyers Premium): £3,011,000

Aston Martin Ulster
1935 Aston Martin Ulster
One of Only 21 Ulster customer cars built by Aston Martin and delivered new to Prince Bira and Prince Chula’s legendary White Mouse stable. The car raced in the 1935 R.A.C. Tourist Trophy; First in class at the 24 Hours of Spa in 1936.
Passion of a Lifetime, Hampton Court Palace | 5 September 2020

Actual sale price (inc Buyers Premium: £1,583,000

Passion Of A Lifetime - Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Alpine Eagle Tourer
1919 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Alpine Eagle Tourer
High-Performance Alpine Eagle speed model with desirable factory options. Originally delivered to Uruguayan Politician, diplomat, and businessman Diego Pons.
Passion of a Lifetime, Hampton Court Palace | 5 September 2020

Actual sale price (inc Buyers Premium) £1,023,000


1924 Vauxhall 30-98 OE-Type Wensum
Ultimate 30-98 OE-Type Chassis with the famous “Kidney Box” braking system. One of approximately 12 examples supplied with ultra-sporting Wensum Coachwork.

Passion of a Lifetime, Hampton Court Palace | 5 September 2020

Actual sale price (inc Buyers Premium: £1,247,000

Full results can be found via this link.

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