Classic cars discovered in barn

THEY have been gathering dust for more than a decade and some have hardly ever been driven, but together these cars are set to fetch up to �160,000.

Elliot Furniss

THEY have been gathering dust for more than a decade and some have hardly ever been driven, but together these cars are set to fetch up to �160,000.

The hoard of classic motors uncovered at a Suffolk estate recently is set to go under the hammer next week - to the delight of car collectors across the country.

The cars, including two Bentleys, two Maseratis and two De Tomasos, will be up for grabs at Bury St Edmunds auctioneers Lacy Scott & Knight on Saturday, March 13.

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Edward Crichton, the auction house's fine art manager, said that when he was sent to assess the estate of the late owner of the vehicles, a Suffolk-based businessman who has not been named, he was advised to have a look at “the old cars in the barn” before he left.

What he uncovered was a fleet of dust-covered classic cars - some of the finest produced in Italy and Britain in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

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“I went out there because I was asked to value the contents of the house for probate and I was told 'you had better look at the cars as well',” he said.

“When I opened the door to the barn I just burst out laughing. Then I was told to look at the second barn, which contained the other cars. We do find bits and pieces, normally paintings or old bits of

silver, but this is exactly how (car) collectors like to find things - just covered in a bit of dust.”

The collection includes a Maserati Quattroporte III with less than 1,000 miles on the clock, as well as a rare and “highly desirable but undervalued classic” Maserati Khamsin - both of which had been owned since new.

Also recovered from the barns were two De Tomaso sports cars - a De Tomaso Longchamp GTSE, one of only six sold in the UK and with less than 440 miles on the clock, along with a De Tomaso Deauville, a four-door luxury saloon produced in 1983.

But Mr Crichton said the highlight of the collection was the Bentley Continental R Mulliner, one of only 46 made during the production years of 1999-2003.

Other vehicles up for grabs include a Bentley Mulsanne Turbo R, which has done just 609 miles, and a Jensen Interceptor III made in the last year of mainstream Interceptor production.

Mr Crichton added: “Three of them have done virtually no miles whatsoever. The Mulliner was more than �200,000 when new and it's done 20,000 miles. Apparently he bought it because the Mulsanne was too big.”

The owner had been a successful businessman who owned an engineering firm in west Suffolk and died just over a year ago.

The classic cars will be on view at the auction house on Thursday and Friday next week, before the auction.

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