Elton John’s 1975 Bentley Corniche convertible will go under the hammer at Bonhams sale in Oxford, UK, on June 16. This rare car, one of only 45 Bentley Corniche “Series 1” convertibles manufactured from 1971 to 1976, is estimated to fetch £50,000 to £60,000 ($76,550 to $91,860). The sale is held in Association with the VMCC (Vintage Motor Cycle Club) Banbury Run.
The present owner bought the Corniche when a selection of cars from Sir Elton’s collection was auctioned in 2001, and at that time its mileage reached just more than 43,000 miles. Sir Elton has spoken highly of the Bentley, which he had bought new in September 1975, and regularly took it out for drives. Originally the Corniche was sold to Sir Elton in Silver Mink with beige-coloured interiors and matching hood, but since then it has been repainted and fitted with alloy wheels.
“Princess Margaret’s been in it, everyone’s been in it,” Sir Elton once remarked. “I’ve had a lot of people in the car.”
These exclusive cars were handbuilt in the best traditions of British coachbuilding, using only materials of the finest quality including Wilton carpeting, Connolly leather and burr walnut veneers. In addition, according to the Bonhams’ website, construction of these cars involved moving the body shells between the Crewe factory and MPW’s Willesden plant, a process that took all of 20 weeks for the saloon and slightly longer for the more complex convertible. All that painstaking attention for details leads to 50% higher price for this cars than that of the standard Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow or T-Series Bentley of the period. The car also accompanies documentation which consists letter of provenance from Sir John Elton, current MoT and Swansea V5 document. [Bonhams]