Isabella still turning heads at 85

By PETER SWINDON, 13 September 2013 9.38am.
Courier reporter Peter Swindon at the wheel of the 1928 Citroen with (from left) auction manager Keith Murray, design and marketing co-ordinator Jonny Bell and foreman Daniel Weir.DC Thomson
An 85-year-old car that once led the Monte Carlo Rally is among a fleet of ?classics going under the hammer at an ?auction in Perthshire.

Despite having a top speed of only 55mph, the 1928 Citroen B14G, known as Isabella, was chosen to head a convoy of cars that set off from Glasgow for the event in Monaco.

The previous owner, Tommy Bryce, 83, who took part in the rally in 1954, found the Citroen on a Spanish island.

With only 47,000 miles on the clock it is expected to fetch up to £12,000 at Morris Leslie Vehicle Auctions on September 28.

Lots with a total value of £250,000 will go under the hammer on the day.

Managing director Gregor Leslie said: "Due to the Citroen’s uniqueness it has received a lot of attention up and down the country."

Photo gallery: Motoring classics up for auction at Errol
Morris Leslie held its first classic car auction last year when more than 1,000 people visited the auctioneers at Errol airfield.

Among the lots is a white 1976 Excalibur Phaeton Series 3, a seven-litre car once favoured by celebrities.

The two-door convertible has only 25,000 miles on the clock and could command bids of up to £20,000, making it one of the most expensive cars on sale.

Also going under the hammer is a 1967 Sunbeam Alpine, a 1963 Wolsely 1500 and a 1978 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow II.

"Each of them has a story", said auction manager Keith Murray. "The history is fascinating."

Collectors who are on a budget can also bid for more modest models, including a 1989 three-wheel Reliant Rialto and two Buicks built in the 1960s.

As well as cars, a selection of classic vans and lorries will go under the hammer.

Gregor Leslie said: ‘The catalogue is quickly filling up with fantastic pieces of history, but we still welcome entries of classic cars to suit any budget.

‘We are expecting our next auction to be our busiest yet with a fantastic range of lots.

‘Anyone with a classic that they no longer have the time or perhaps space for should enter it. We will find your prized possessions a good home.’

Find out more about the lots on sale by visiting www.morrisleslie.com.

My chance to bond

I drive a Ford Fiesta that struggles to reach 60mph in 10 seconds, so I jumped at the chance to tear around in a seven-litre classic car, writes Peter Swindon.

The stunning Excalibur Phaeton makes a deafening deep growl as the engine roars into life and almost takes off when I touch the accelerator, reaching 50mph in a few seconds.

The worried look on the face of the auctioneer persuades me to slow down and I roll the pristine car slowly back to the garage.

I then get behind the wheel of an 85-year-old Citroen B14G and tentatively take it for a spin before a stunning red 1967 Sunbeam Alpine convertible catches my eye.

Sean Connery’s James Bond drove the car under a truck to escape hitmen in Dr No, and I feel like a film star as I race around the Perthshire countryside.

With an estimated value of £10,000 I suggest a swap for my 2013 Fiesta, but the auctioneer politely declines, preferring to take his chances with bidders.

I may well be among them.

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