Auction

Royal cars at auction

by staff writer JP

With royal weddings in the air, we take a look at a private collection of cars formerly owned by British Royalty, politicians and celebrities

Included in the lineup was a Daimler V8 owned by HM The Queen, Princess Diana’s Audi Cabriolet and Sir Elton John’s Rolls-Royce Phantom. The Jewels in the Crown collection was be offered by Silverstone Auctions at its Classic Motor Show Sale back in 2016.

Headlining the collection was a 2012 Bentley Mulsanne, manufactured by Bentley for HM The Queen. Intended for her 2012 Diamond Jubilee tour of Great Britain was finished in Barnato Green, with walnut burr veneered picnic tables and door panels. Naturally, the walnut veneered rails feature inlaid Royal crests.

Security features were of course installed befitting a Head of State’s car, including front and rear blue flashing lights, Kevlar reinforced tyres and armour protection and glass where appropriate. On the car’s return to ‘civvy street’ the sat-nav seems to be overlooked as pressing the ‘Home’ button, it’s programmed to take you to Windsor Castle!

Built to the personal specification of HM The Queen, a unique 2001 Daimler Supercharged V8. The Queen travelled more than 11,000 miles in ‘Y694 CDU’ and at her request, the car featured a number of unique modifications. A factory adapted arm rest with a sliding holder specifically designed to hold her favourite type of handbag.

"Cars owned by some of the most influential personalities of the Twentieth Century"
Nick Whale, Managing Director of Silverstone Auctions

From The Queen to a princess and offered to auction in superb condition was Princess Diana’s beloved 1994 Audi Cabriolet. The estimated value at between £50,000 and £60,000 was spot on, going for £54,000. The automatic, 2.3 litre Cabriolet finished in Gomera Pearl with Parchment leather and cream carpets. This car was presented to Diana for her personal use by Dovercourt Audi of St Johns Wood.

Princess Diana travelled around 4,000 miles in the car, occasionally photographed with Princes William and Harry in the passenger seats. It was purchased in 2013 and only covered a handful of miles since.

A quartet of Rolls-Royces feature in the collection including a 1980 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II, owned by HRH Princess Margaret. Also a 2005 Rolls-Royce Phantom first owned by Sir Elton John sold for £123,750.

It’s not just stately limousines that form the collection. A lovely little 1972 Fiat 500L purchased by former UK Prime Minister David Cameron. A surprise birthday present to his wife Samantha was estimated at between £18,000 – £22,000, selling for £20,813.

From the world of show business comes a 1987 Bristol Brigand, owned by pop star Will Young between 2009 and 2012. And a 1976 Bentley T1 previously owned by film director, restaurant critic and charity pioneer Michael Winner. So which would you choose?