Vintage car collection on sale in Rhode Island

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Chrome, brass and nostalgia are on the agenda at Bonhams’ “Two Generations” sale

A remarkable collection of 35 vintage cars and associated collectibles will go under the hammer at Bonhams’ Rhode Island saleroom this April.

Amassed over 70 years by a father and son, the collection will feature many rare motors that have not been offered for sale since at least the 1980s.

Showstoppers include a 1906 Thomas 50hp Flyer touring car (estimate $400,000-$500,000 / £330,000-£415,000). This is a close relative of the machine that triumphed in the gruelling, 22,000-mile New York to Paris endurance race of 1908; an event that inspired the 1965 movie The Great Race, starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Natalie Wood.

Purchased around 40 years ago, the car still retains its original coachwork and much of its original upholstery.

Also likely to prove popular with bidders are machines from now largely forgotten manufacturers such as Pierce-Arrow, Pope-Hartford and Palmer-Singer.

More well-known producers are also represented, with a selection of machines from two great rivals of early motoring, Ford and Oldsmobile.

In addition, the sale will have around 450 lots of automobilia, from pedal cars and spares to motoring art, including 50 original vintage advertising posters. Among the highlights are a rare clockwork “Gordon-Bennett” racing car by Bing, Germany, circa 1904, estimated at $10,000-$12,000.

The “Two Generations” sale is scheduled for 29 April as a prelude to the Audrain Veteran Car Tour. Supported by Bonhams and seen as an American version of the London to Brighton classic car run – the Audrian Tour will take place in Newport, Rhode Island, once home to many wealthy pioneer motorists.

For more about the sale and to view the lots, visit Bonhams' website.

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