Classic car heaven! Late motoring fan’s collection of historic vehicles including buses, emergency vehicles and delivery wagons goes on sale for £3million
- Collector Michael Banfield of Kent who died last year began buying classic cars in 1959 - his first was a 1927 Bentley
- Since then he bought dozens of vintage vehicles and more than a thousand pieces of motoring memorabilia
- After his death, his family organised a special auction at Bonhams in London where almost 98% of the lots sold
- Sale included a 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost which sold for £418,140 and a trio of buses that went for in excess of £500,000
The collection of a lifetime of cars and vehicle memorabilia has sold at auction for £3million.
Michael Banfield, a founder member of the Historic Commercial Vehicle Society, spent more than 50 years collecting buses, emergency vehicles and cars.
His interest was sparked in 1959 when he bought his first classic car, a 1927 Bentley.
Over the next 50 years, the collection encompassed dozens of cars and more than 1,200 items of automobilia.
Mr Banfield, from Staplehurst, Kent, died last year and his family sold his collection in a special auction with Bonhams.
It included a 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost which sold for £418,140 and a trio of buses sold for in excess of £500,000.
This included a 1922 AEC S-Type open-top double-deck bus which sold for a world record £281,500 - three times more than expected.
A collection of fire engines further heated up the bidding, with a 1913 Merryweather Fire Engine selling for £74,300, and a 1910 Delahaye Fire Engine chassis selling at £13,225, more than doubling its top estimate.
The final total was more than £3m and 99.7 per cent of the lots were sold.
Malcolm Barber, Bonhams co-chairman and auctioneer at the sale, said: ‘For more than 50 years Michael Banfield dedicated himself to the restoration and preservation of these fantastic vehicles.
‘I’m delighted we were able to celebrate Michael and his collection with the weekend’s event, honouring his life’s passion with his friends, family, and automotive enthusiasts.
‘Bidders came from all over the world including several from the southern hemisphere, with clients from both Australia and New Zealand not only bidding in the room, but also watching via Bonhams online bidding platform.
‘Customers registered from Japan, the Mid-West of America, Miami, across Europe and even Hong Kong - this was a highly sought after collection with many of Bonhams international clients taking an intense interest.’
After founding the Historic Commercial Vehicle Society, Michael Banfield became chairman in 1965, a role he remained in until 1993 when the society became a charity.
He then stayed on as CEO until his retirement in 2011. His efforts were rewarded when, in 2007, he was made an Honorary Life President of the VCC and was given a Lifetime achievement award by the Transport Trust.
All aboard, plenty of room on top: This is a 1922 AEC S-Type open top double decker bus. This bus was built between 1920 and 1927. This particular vehicle went into service on October 2, 1922 with the Metropolitan Stage Carriage plate No 2635. Among the routes that it plied from Nunhead Lane was No 12, which ran from The Plough at Dulwich to the Princess Victoria at Uxbridge Road, Shepherd's Bush, a journey of 13.3-miles for which the full fare was 8d (3.5p). Its driver would have been paid £4 a week, his conductor £3 15s (£3.75)
The AECS Type bus in the late 1960s. When it was auctioned at Bonhams it went for £281,500
This 1929 Chevrolet LQ International 14-seater coach was manufactured at the General Motors factory at Hendon. The bus was the forerunner of the Bedford commercial vehicle range and was powered by a six-cylinder 2.9-litre petrol engine with overhead valves. It has a four-speed gearbox and sold for £40,250
1922 Tilling Stevens double deciker bus. The company behind the bus was founded in 1847 by Thomas Tilling and started a horse-drawn omnibus service three years later. By 1897 the company had 4,000 horses. Tilling¿s is thought to have been the first company to run a regular service over a regular route. They bought the first electric buses in 1904 and by 1921 they had a fleet of 150 running in London. Thios bus began its working life in Catford, south London, in June 1922 and Mr Banfield bought this from a scrapyard on February 17 1970. It sold for £216,540.
1935 Austin Taxi. One of the last vehicular additions to Mr Banfield's collection, he bought this in 2011 from Dr Peter McWilliam of Yorkshire, who had owned it for 20 years. The model was introduced in 1930 and this particular car went into service in March 1935. It was a reliable cab and the last left service in the 1960s, although this one stopped its working life in the previous decade. It sold for £67,580