One-off royal Vauxhall 30-98 to star at Bonhams sale

| 2 Nov 2018
Maharaja’s symmetrical Vauxhall 30-98 heading for sale

A rare 1924 Vauxhall ordered to exacting standards by the last maharaja of Kashmir will be one of the highlights of Bonhams’ Bond Street Sale next month.

The Vauxhall 30-98 OE Velox Tourer was originally owned by Hari Singh, one of the most important figures in Kashmir’s history, and a man who knew what he wanted in a car.

Singh decided that just any old Vauxhall 30-98 wouldn’t suffice for him – despite it being recognised as one of the best British sports cars of its time – and decreed that it needed to be made more symmetrical. 

To that end, an extra handbrake was included on the passenger side, a passenger door was added and the windscreen was divided in two. The result was a true one-off.

Maharaja’s symmetrical Vauxhall 30-98 heading for sale
Maharaja’s symmetrical Vauxhall 30-98 heading for sale
Maharaja’s symmetrical Vauxhall 30-98 heading for sale

Singh ascended to the throne of Jammu and Kashmir in 1925 and presided over a tumultuous period that included the end of British rule in 1947. Faced with the decision of whether to join India or Pakistan, or remain independent, the maharaja leant towards India, thus sparking the first Indo-Pakistan war. 

After his ownership, the Vauxhall passed through several other owners in India and Pakistan before heading halfway across the world to the USA. There, it was owned by figures including the well-known car collector George Daniels and Ed Roy, the president of the Vintage Sports-Car Club of America. It will be offered at the Bonhams sale with an estimate of £330,000 to £390,000.

“This is the finest 30-98 ever offered by Bonhams, and its rare aluminium body and extraordinary specification makes it one of the most important examples in existence,” said Sholto Gilbertson, Department Director at Bonhams.

“Its fascinating history only adds to the significance of this motor car, and we look forward to offering it at our Bond Street sale.” 

Bonhams’ Bond Street Sale takes place on 1 December, and the early signs are that it will be well worth keeping an eye on.

Other cars already announced in addition to this historic Vauxhall include a Jaguar XJR6, Jaguar XJ220C, 1958 Lister-Jaguar ‘Knobbly’, BMW 507 and 1966 Ferrari 500 Superfast Series II Coupé. You can view a full lot list so far here.


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