Edwardian car to be auctioned in US

AN EDWARDIAN car formerly owned by a Suffolk car enthusiast is to be auctioned in America for an estimated £237,500.The Delaunay Belleville 35hp Roi-Des-Belges-Tourer, which was characterised as the French Rolls Royce and dates back to 1908, is to go under the hammer at Christie's at Pebble Beach in California on August 17.

AN EDWARDIAN car formerly owned by a Suffolk car enthusiast is to be auctioned in America for an estimated £237,500.

The Delaunay Belleville 35hp Roi-Des-Belges-Tourer, which was characterised as the French Rolls Royce and dates back to 1908, is to go under the hammer at Christie's at Pebble Beach in California on August 17.

The car used to be owned by former president of the Veteran Car Club Nick Ridley, who lives in Suffolk, and is expected to fetch $380,000, or anything up to £250,000.

The car is the first six cylinder Delaunay-Belleville and only a handful of this type are believed to have survived.

Royal blue with dark green, leather upholstery and cream top, the car does about 20 miles to the gallon.

It was first bought for £1,000 in 1908 by wealthy Northern Ireland politician and businessman Sir John Milne Barbour.

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There are now thought to be only eight known Delaunay-Belleville cars in the UK.

Just as its exterior was royal in colour, so often was its ownership and the Delaunay-Belleville found in the garages of King Alphonso XIII of Spain, King George I of Greece and Czar Nicholas II of Russia among others.

A spokeswoman for Christie's said: "The Pebble Beach sale is one of the key events in the car lovers calendar, which is why we hold the sale there.

"This example is the first six cylinder Delaunay-Belleville ever built and is estimated at $220,000-$320,000. It's one of a few surviving Delaunay's and we expect a good level of interest."

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