1905 Gardner-Serpollet steamer makes $593,500 at classic car sale

A stately 1905 Gardner-Serpollet 18HP Type L steamer has seen top bids in Bonhams' London to Brighton Run Sale, held on October 31 in London.

Serpollet produced some of the finest steam-powered cars

French manufacturer Serpollet produced some of the most advanced steam-powered cars of the era, and they are among the most coveted by collectors today.

In magnificent condition and a veteran of the London to Brighton Run, the 1905 machine made £371,100 ($593,482).

The car is the only shaft-drive Serpollet to have survived, with the only other Type L (a chain drive version) now housed in the French National Motor Museum.

Despite its age, it remains in fantastic condition thanks to the efforts of George Milligen, who kept a detailed notebook of its various journeys and races.

Milligen (1910-2004) was one of the leading experts on steam-powered vehicles, remembered by enthusiasts as one of the last great gentleman collectors. Cars from his collection have been appearing at Bonhams since his death, with fellow collectors making big bids in appreciation of his esteemed reputation.

Second highest bids of the sale went to a 1901 Panhard et Levassor Twin Cylinder 7hp rear-entrance tonneau, which boasts exquisite coachwork by Henri Labourdette.

Selling for £259,100 ($414,366), it is a stunning example of the finest the motoring industry had to offer at the time, and still managed to finish within the first dozen cars in 2013's London to Brighton Run.

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