Teak bodied 1903 Clement TaLBOT, a veteran of the London to Brighton Run auctioned at Bonhams

. November 3, 2013

A veteran entrant of the London to Brighton Rally – a 1903 Clement Talbot with a wooden body – sold for £606,300 at Bonhams in London today, the first sale to take place in the company’s new headquarters building in New Bond St.

1903 CLEMENT TALBOT TYPE CT4K 18HP FOUR-CYLINDER, 'ROI-D'ITALIE' TONNEAU Coachwork by J.Rothschild et Fils, Paris Registration no. AP 107

1903 CLEMENT TALBOT TYPE CT4K 18HP FOUR-CYLINDER, ‘ROI-D’ITALIE’ TONNEAU Coachwork by J.Rothschild et Fils, Paris Registration no. AP 107


As the car is registered for the 2013 London-Brighton Veteran Car Run, the successful buyer will be able to drive it to Brighton on Sunday, November 3, continuing its remarkable history as part of the ‘Brighton establishment.’ This motor car had been in the Sears family ownership since 1936 and carried a pre-sale etimate of £350,000-450,000.

The car’s history began in 1903 when entrepreneur Julius Drew, sixth child of a Bedfordshire clergyman, took delivery of it at his Sussex mansion, Wadhurst Hall. Drew had made his fortune from his ‘Home and Colonial Stores’ in London, established by him in 1883 to supply ‘basic food to the urban working class’.

When built in 1903 this French motor car was state-of-the-art with four cylinders (cast in pairs) of 85x120mm bore and stroke, displacing a useful 2714cc.

This veteran is one of a very small number of cars which have formed the very lifeblood of The London to Brighton Commemoration Veteran Car Run almost since its inception and have, in their own right, earned their place as part of ‘the Brighton establishment’ – there are fewer still, if indeed any, which have remained in the same family ownership since 1936 and have transported four generations of the same family to Brighton in such style on practically every run since then.

Category: Antiques

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