Motoring Collectables for the Enthusiast

A Corgi Major No. 16 Gift Set Ecurie Ecosse racing car transporter and three racing cars, boxed with instructions and packing pieces

The motoring enthusiasts who turned out in such numbers for the Goodwood GRRC Members’ motor racing weekend are also passionate about motoring collectables.

Enamel signs, Dinky and Corgi cars, car mascots, models, motoring postcards and photographs, early lights, picnic sets and all things related to motoring delight the enthusiast.

The 1965 Corgi Major no.16 boxed Ecurie Ecosse racing car gift set gives a window into motor racing in the 1950s and 60s and the sort of cars that would have raced at Goodwood.

Eccurie Ecosse were an Edinburgh based motor racing team founded by the businessman and racing driver, David Murray, and mechanic, Willie Wilkinson. Their famous double decked car transporter allowed the team to carry three cars complete with a mobile workshop to race weekends.

Alongside the cars from the British racing teams BRM and Vanwall the set included a Lotus XI. It was designed by Colin Chapman. The sleek, aerodynamic body was designed by Frank Costin and the Le Mans version, powered by an 1100cc Coventry Climax Engine, achieved 7th in the 1956 24 Hors Le Mans race.
Condition is so important to price with toy cars and although the set was in good overall condition there were signs of paint loss and creasing to the boxes. Although a little play worn it still sold at Toovey’s for £200.

A rare ‘North British Rapson The World’s Longest Mileage Tyres’ single-sided enamelled advertising wall sign, , height 92cm, width 91cm

In the 1920s Mr Frederick Lionel Rapson, an automotive designer and manufacture, released the Rapson unpuncturable tyre amidst much disbelief and controversy. It was used to equip some of the fastest racing cars, on both road and track. The rare enamel advertising sign makes the claim of the world’s longest mileage tyres beneath the Royal Arms of HM King George V and Edward Prince of Wales. £3200 was paid at Toovey’s marking condition and rarity.

A ‘Morris Distributor’ double-sided enamelled circular advertising sign, finished in blue, white and red, diameter 72.5cm

In the same sale was the Morris Distributor double-sided enamelled advertising sign which made £850. I hold the Morris marque in some affection. Like many of us my parents and grandparents had a succession of pale blue Morris Travellers when I was growing up. The interiors always had a wonderful smell and moss always seemed to grow in the sliding rear window panels held in the comforting wooden frames. We would venture out from Horsham on Sundays to the Sussex Downs or Goring-by-Sea for a walk, always followed by tea made on a picnic Gaz stove in the boot by my Grandpa’s Traveller and a slice of pink iced sponge cake.
With memories of motor racing and family outings no wonder motoring collectables remain so evocative and popular.

Tim Harding Collection of Motoring Photographs

William Sherbrooke and his Bentleys, photo by Chas Bowers

Toovey’s are delighted to announce the Sale of The Tim Harding Collection of Motoring Photographs. It was amassed over a lifetime of collecting by Tim Harding, a motoring historian who had an encyclopaedic knowledge of early vehicle marques.

Tim Harding died in 2018 and part of the collection is now to be dispersed through an auction sale at Toovey’s in Washington. West Sussex, on 27th October 2021. Such is the size of the collection that this will be the first of two sales.

Music Hall Stars Nervo & Knox in an Aston Martin

The collection comprises photographs in all formats from full plate to ‘box brownie’.  The images, well over 20,000 in number, cover the period from the very earliest days of motoring to the early post war era. Most are loose but some are framed and mounted, and there are also ‘family albums’ compiled in period.

Marseal Trade Stand

Whilst mainly focussed on cars, the collection also covers commercial vehicles, cyclecars, motorcycles, racing cars, motorsport generally, trials, rallies and racing including Brooklands. Some lots will cover period garages and workshops, motor accidents, as well as postcards of motoring in topographical settings.

In addition there are a number of items of automobilia such as manufacturers’ catalogues from the 20s and 30s, and dealers’ brochures.

The auction will be held on Wednesday 27th October 2021 at 1pm.
Viewing for the sale will be held on:
Mon, 25th October 2021: 10:00 to 16:00
Tue, 26th October 2021: 10:00 to 16:00
Wed, 27th October 2021: 09:00 to 13:00

Bidding is available at our rooms and live via the third party website the-saleroom.com, commission bidding is also available.

The online catalogue will be available on our website from the 16th October.

Motoring – Uniting Passionate Collectors

A pre-war Dinky Toys No. 44 AA hut, motorcycle patrol and guides, with original diorama box

Last week I celebrated motorsport at Goodwood and it is often a passion for motoring which unites collectors and their specialist areas of interest.
The pre-war Dinky Toys No. 44 AA hut, motorcycle patrol and guides, boxed with diorama, sold at Toovey’s for £220. It’s a scene which would not have look out of place at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Frank Hornby found that accessories for his pre-war O gauge model railways were in great demand. By 1935 these accessories were called Dinky Toys. The earliest vehicles were inspired by the motorcycles and cars of the period rather than the accurate models they would become later.

A photographic postcard titled ‘Nutbourne’ published by Walter Drewett, from the early 1900s

Postcards are also a booming collectors’ market. The postcard seen here made £170. It depicts an earlier period of motoring outside the garage at Nutbourne in West Sussex opposite the Rising Sun pub. Two young children pretend to be driving the Model T Ford with the postman in the foreground. The postcard was published in the early 1900s by Walter James Drewett.

Drewett was born at Steyning in 1869. He specialised in photographing landscapes and outdoor events including parades and garden parties. He also photographed individuals outside their homes and places of work. Drewett began his postcard publishing career in Steyning in 1903 but by 1904 he had opened a newsagent shop in Storrington on the east side of Church Street.

A collection of pre-war enamel motoring signs

Enamel signs are another field of collecting which are enjoying a renaissance and not least motoring examples. The four signs illustrated are reminiscent of those you can just see on the front of the garage at Nutbourne. The Morris Authorised Dealer two sided enamel sign, like so many of the enamel motoring signs, dates from the 1920s or 1930s and was made for Morris dealers to display. The Shell and Castrol signs are particularly rare and fine. These four signs totalled more than £4000 at Toovey’s.

Motoring related collectors’ items and automobilia have such appeal. They connect the motor car enthusiast with the vehicles themselves. Very few of us have the space or the funds to acquire the cars but by comparison toys, postcards and automobilia can be collected on a much more modest budget. These pieces of motoring history are great value and delight the eye.

Entries are already being invited for Toovey’s first 2020 specialist auctions of toys, automobilia, postcards and paper collectables. Whether you are releasing or building your collections Toovey’s specialists are always delighted to share their passion for motoring related collectors’ items and automobilia and offer advice. To find out more check out forthcoming auctions at www.tooveys.com.

By Rupert Toovey, a senior director of Toovey’s, the leading fine art auction house in West Sussex, based on the A24 at Washington. Originally published in the West Sussex Gazette.

British Motor Racing in Sussex

Automobilia specialist Gordon Gardiner with an array of motoring collectables at Toovey’s
Automobilia specialist Gordon Gardiner with an array of motoring collectables at Toovey’s

With Lewis Hamilton’s heroic drive in the British Grand Prix alive in our imaginations I am looking forward to this coming weekend’s 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Lewis Hamilton made a less than perfect start from his pole position at Silverstone but it was Ferrari driver Raikkonen’s collision with the Briton’s Mercedes at Turn 3 which sent him spinning from the track. Hamilton’s drive from the back of the field to take second place will surely go down in Formula 1 history as one of the great drives.

I am in the company of Toovey’s Automobilia specialist and motoring enthusiast, Gordon Gardiner as I remark how the atmosphere at Goodwood Festival of Speed captures something of the an endurance road race from the 1950s as spectators line the course at close quarters and the cars speed up the climb.

Our conversation turns to a watercolour by Michael Wright. It depicts Mike Hawthorn flat out at the wheel of his Scuderia Ferrari 250 TR 58 which he drove with Wolfgang von Trips in the 1958 Targa Fiorio. In 1958 it formed the third round of the World Sportscar Championship. The car is being driven at great speed along the Sicilian roads which formed the 45 mile circuit of the Targa Fiorio where Hawthorn finished in third place.

Michael Wright’s late 20th century watercolour depicting Mike Hawthorn in his Ferrari, no. 102 titled '1958 Targa Florio'
Michael Wright’s late 20th century watercolour depicting Mike Hawthorn in his Ferrari, no. 102 titled ‘1958 Targa Florio’

The Targo Fiorio was an open road endurance race for automobiles held in the mountains of Sicily near Palermo which was started in 1906 by Vincenzo Florio.
Mike Hawthorn was noted for his speed and it was in 1958 that he became the first Englishman to win a Formula 1 World Championship.

I love objects and art which connect us with the past like this painting. Gordon comments “Automobilia connects the motor car enthusiast with motoring history and the vehicles themselves. Very few of us have the space or the funds to acquire the cars but by comparison Automobilia can be collected on a much more modest budget.”

Toovey’s next auction of Automobilia will be held on Friday 2nd November 2018 and entries are already being received. If you would like advice on collecting Automobilia you can contact Gordon Gardiner by telephoning 01903 891955 or emailing auctions@tooveys.com.

Gordon and I are looking forward to the 2018 Silver Jubilee Goodwood Festival of Speed celebrating the 25th anniversary of this remarkable motoring spectacle. No doubt motor racing enthusiasts will be out in force enjoying the spectacle and drama of this annual Sussex event in the company of the Duke of Richmond and the Goodwood team. To find out more visit www.goodwood.com.

By Rupert Toovey, a senior director of Toovey’s, the leading fine art auction house in West Sussex, based on the A24 at Washington. Originally published in the West Sussex Gazette.

Racing Driver’s Collection of Automobilia

John Young racing in the 1955 Goodwood Nine Hour Endurance Race in his Lotus-Connaught
John Young racing in the 1955 Goodwood Nine Hour Endurance Race in his Lotus-Connaught

A remarkable collection of automobilia from the Sussex based 1950s motor racing driver, the late John Young, is to be sold at Toovey’s Washington salerooms on Friday 23rd February 2018.

John Young was a gentleman motor racer and enthusiast. He joined the R.A.F when he left Dulwich College. He once told me “I wanted to fly a Spitfire but there were too many pilots just after the war for me to get a look in, so I left and joined the family firm, Rose and Young. We were agents for Mercedes-Benz.”

1955 was an important year for British motor sport, especially in endurance sports car racing.

In August 1955 John Young raced in the Goodwood Nine Hours Endurance Race here in Sussex driving a Lotus-Connaught. His co-driver was John Coombs. John explained to me “We were going well in the Connaught and racing into the evening until Coombs came in saying his hands were cold and borrowed my gloves. Shortly after that he turned it over but, thank God, he was alright!” The story was a timely reminder of how dangerous motor racing was in the 1950s.

Earlier in 1955 as April turned to May Stirling Moss famously won the Mille Miglia with his navigator Denis Jenkinson. They finished thirty-two minutes ahead of second place Juan Manuel Fangio. Both men were driving a Mercedes 300SLR. Commenting on his own 300SL Gullwing Mercedes John Young told me “When you drive a 300SL quickly it’s important to keep the power on in the corners or they spin – you’ve really got to drive it! Moss was the master…the best driver of these; he was very good.”

At the Le Mans twenty-four hours race in June 1955 Mike Hawthorn won in a works Jaguar D-type. In the early stages of the race Hawthorn raced closely with Fangio who was co-driving a Mercedes 300SLR with Stirling Moss. But the tragedy of the accident which resulted in a Mercedes disintegrating and killing some eighty spectators would overshadow Hawthorn’s victory. Hawthorn was devastated.

A fine ⅛ scale hand-finished model of Mike Hawthorn's 1955 Jaguar D-type Le Mans winner
A fine ⅛ scale hand-finished model of Mike Hawthorn’s 1955 Jaguar D-type Le Mans winner

The beautifully crafted and poignant ⅛ scale hand-finished model of Mike Hawthorn’s 1955 Jaguar D-type Le Mans winner is just one of the lots of automobilia entered from John Young’s collection and carries a pre-sale auction estimate of £600-£900.

An oil painting by Roy Nockolds of an Aston Martin DBR1/300 with a presentation plaque to Roy Salvadori from Aston Martin owner David Brown
An oil painting by Roy Nockolds of an Aston Martin DBR1/300 with a presentation plaque to Roy Salvadori from Aston Martin owner David Brown

John Young’s great friend, Roy Salvadori, would deliver victory at Le Mans for Aston Martin in a DBR1/300 sports car in 1959. The evocative oil painting by Roy Nockolds of a DBR1/300 has a presentation plaque to Roy Salvadori from Aston Martin owner, David Brown, dated December 16th 1957. It is estimated at £800-£1200.

John Young’s delight in sharing a story and his enthusiasm were balanced by his self-effacing modesty. A generous man, he epitomised the best of his era: a gentleman racer, a collector and an enthusiast with a deep love of life, cars and the Sussex countryside. His collection of automobilia will be sold at Toovey’s on Friday 23rd February 2018. For more information visit www.tooveys.com.

By Rupert Toovey, a senior director of Toovey’s, the leading fine art auction house in West Sussex, based on the A24 at Washington. Originally published in the West Sussex Gazette.