Bonhams’ auction of the Bothwell Collection of pre-WW1 cars in LA over the weekend pulled in an impressive $13.7m.
Husband and wife Lindley and Ann Bothwell, founders of the Horseless Carriage Club of America, built the collection over many years.
The 1914 Peugeot L45 is often considered the first modern racer
The star was a 1914 Peugeot L45 Grand Prix two seater, which achieved $7.2m (more than half of the sale’s total).
The model was hugely successful on the track and went on to influence the design of racing cars for years to come.
This particular specimen achieved a third place slot at the 1916 Indianapolis 500, with driver Ralph Mulford at the wheel.
There was also a 1909 Benz Prinz Heinrich Raceabout, which realised $1.8m.
The car is named in honour of Prince Heinrich of Prussia, a regular competitor on Europe’s nascent racing circuit. Only a few were built.
The car was in the collection of racing driver Barney Oldfield (the “Speed King of the World”) until Bothwell bought it in the 1930s.
Rupert Banner, Bonhams’ vice president of motoring, said: "We are delighted with the outcome.
"We're grateful for the confidence placed in us by the Bothwell family trustees and pleased to see the strength in the market.
“The Bothwell Collection was quite literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it was a privilege to be a part of history."
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