. March 27, 2007

Bonhams hopes to have the luck of the Irish on its side at its annual Motoring Sale at Hendon on 30 April 2007, when it sells a 1900 Argyll 5hp motor car, stored in a first floor Dublin flat for 45 years. Expected to fetch £60,000-80,000, this historic relic is just one of several vehicles to be sold from the Motor Museum Collection of the late Denis Lucey – formerly exhibited at the Lucey family’s Museum of Irish Transport at Killarney in Ireland.

This 1900 Argyll 5hp, four seater, spindle seat, rear entrance tonneau is the earliest car in the Lucey Collection and one of the earliest Scottish cars to have been built. It was last used in 1939. In 1948, an eccentric collector bought the Argyll and installed it in the front room of his first floor Dublin flat, which was already bursting at seems with other mechanical objects. It remained there for a further 45 years.

When Denis Lucey acquired the car in 1993, the car had to be partially dismantled before it could be removed from the flat. Not surprisingly, the Argyll is believed to have seen only minimal use in its lifetime, although it is recorded in The Motor News as having taken part in the Irish Motor Tour of 1901.

Denis Lucey was a passionate collector of all things motoring and the collection to be sold by Bonhams embraces veteran, Edwardian and vintage motor cars, Victorian cycles and a wealth of automobilia, the undoubted highlight of which is a significant set of motoring enamel signs.

Of equal significance and even greater rarity is the 1909 Silver Stream Roi-de-Belges Tourer, an Irish-built car and absolutely unique in every respect. Aimed at the upper end of the market, it was the brainchild of Philip Somerville-Large, a County Kildare engineer and member of a renowned Irish family. It seems likely that Somerville-Large endeavoured to emulate Sir Henry Royce in the construction of this luxury car, which comes with a massive history file containing design blueprints, extensive notes and research material that went into the construction of this outstanding six cylinder motor car. Estimate £60,000-80,000.

European elegance and engineering prowess will be represented by the 1905 5-litre Belgian-built Germain with coachwork by Van den Plas of Brussels, a magnificent chain-driven tourer well capable of 70mph. This is the ultimate ‘Mr Toad’ car, superbly appointed with brass fittings and uniquely carrying an occasional folding seat on the nearside running board, which the brave chauffeur would have occupied while the owner took the wheel. Estimate £60,000-70,000.

Denis Lucey had a passion for Wolseley motor cars, having many years ago acquired the Wolseley and Wolseley-Siddeley Collection of the late Knolly Stokes from the former Blarney Motor Museum. No less than four Edwardian Wolseleys and Wolseley-Siddeleys are offered from the Collection, while a 1902 10hp Wolseley Tonneau, first registered in County Leitrim and indeed bearing the number IT 1, will also be offered with the estimate of £90,000-120,000. More humble tastes will be catered for by the Manchester-built Model T Ford from the 1920s, which is expected to fetch £9,000-12,000.

Cycle collectors will be drawn to 30 or so important machines, largely from the Victorian era, embracing Ariel and Rover Starley models, a Velocipede, Penny-farthings and the oldest vehicle from the Collection, a circa 1825 Hobby Horse.

The collection is expected to fetch over £500,000 in total.

Category: Auction News

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