5:02pm Sunday 29th September 2013
A VINTAGE car that is owned by the family of the co-founder of Rolls-Royce is expected to sell at auction for £650,000.
The 1903 Panhard Levassor 16hp was owned by Lord Llangattock on Hendre, near Monmouth, who was the father of Charles Rolls.
The Panhard has been in the same family since 1935 and is now coming on the market at Bonhams for the first time in 78 years.
It dates back to 1902, is capable of around 40mph and is known as the ‘Brighton car’ having taken part in the London to Brighton run since 1958, according to the family and acquired by their grandfather in 1935.
Charles Rolls, was an aviation pioneer and co-founder of Rolls Royce. Although born in London, he was the first son of Lord and Lady Llangattock whose home was at the Hendre near Monmouth.
The car was thought to be the inspiration for the earliest Rolls-Royce. Experts believe the French vehicle, which had coachwork by Labourdette of Paris, played an important role in the creation of the world’s famous car maker.
The family has enlisted Bonhams to auction it off at the firm’s annual London to Brighton Run sale on November 1.
It is expected to fetch between £550,000 and £650,000 and is described as ‘part of motoring history’.
Malcolm Barber, Bonham’s group CEO, said: “Once in a while you find a car that really excites you, even after a lifetime of finding and selling automotive gems.”
He added: “The car has it all, history, looks, provenance. I have driven alongside it many times while on the London to Brighton Run. It still wears its C.S Rolls brass supplier plates and has an entry for this years Run which takes place two days after our sale. Whoever buys it automatically becomes part of motoring history.”
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