Keith Richards' Pontiac Chieftain excels at Bonhams' classic car sale
A 1950 Pontiac Chieftain belonging to Keith Richards made $61,567 in Bonhams' classic car auction
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Tuesday 1 May 2012
A Pontiac Chieftain which formerly belonged to the Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards excelled at Bonhams' classic car auction on April 30.
The 1950 Pontiac Chieftain Silver Streak convertible went to auction with a pre-sale estimate of £18,000-22,000. The fully-restored machine realised £37,950 at the RAF Museum in Hendon, a 72.5% increase on estimate.
The Pontiac was driven by Richards during one of the most infamous periods of the rock star's career. In 1971, the band were advised by accountants to flee the UK to the south of France, where they were famously "exiled" for tax reasons.
It was here, in the Villa Nellcote in the Cote d'Azur, that the Rolling Stones recorded arguably their finest album, Exile on Main Street. The car features in a number of images of the band during this notoriously debaucherous era. You can read more on the Pontiac here, with Paul Fraser Collectibles' preview of the sale.
Despite seeing a good increase on estimate, the consignors of the Pontiac may have been a little disgruntled by the sale of a clapped-out Mini at the auction, which made £40,250. The Austin Se7en De Luxe from 1959 is the oldest extant Mini and the eighth of its type to roll off the production line.
The Mini was discovered in a garage in very poor condition, with the auction house hoping to sell to someone who would restore the design classic. Estimated at £12,000-15,000, the rusty non-starter saw an increase of 168.3%, showing its worth to devoted collectors.
The top lot of the sale however, came from a suitably prestigious car, a 1957 Bentley S-Series Continental. The magnificent sports saloon sold for £191,900.
For fans of the Rolling Stones, Paul Fraser Collectibles has this autograph album page, signed by all members of the band. The PFC40 Autograph Index notes that signed photographs of the band have risen by 8.18% between 2010 and 2011.
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