A magnificent 1973 Maserati Khamsin that lay forgotten in the corner of a car workshop for many years, was one of four thoroughbreds of the motoring industry that came under the hammer at the Stephan Welz & Co auction in Sandton last week.
Other cars in the line-up were a 1970 Rolls-Royce Wraith Silver Shadow, a 1965 Triumph TR4 and a 1955 Bentley S1 saloon.
The TR4 upheld the “rugged, hairy-chested” image of its predecessors, the TR2 and TR3. Although based on the chassis and drivetrain of the previous models, the TR4 sported a modern Michelotti body.
It did away with the cut-away door design of the TR2 and TR3 models to allow for wind-down and roll-up windows that replaced the side curtains.
The rigid roof panel was replaceable with an easily folded and stowed vinyl insert and supporting frame.
The TR2, introduced in 1953, was powered by a 2.1L engine. The engine was used for all the subsequent TR models until the company was taken over by Leyland in 1968.
The TR4 has an estimated value of R 500 000-R 600 000.
The Rolls-Royce on offer is fitted with picnic tables to rear and has a 6,750cc V8 engine, automatic transmission, four-wheel independent levelling suspension and disc brakes.
It is a long wheelbase variant, four inches longer, providing additional rear seat legroom. A pilot series of 10 long wheelbase cars were built in 1967, one of which was sold to Princess Margaret, the sister of Queen Elizabeth II.
It is said that the RR lettering of the badge was changed from its original red to black after the death of one of the founders, Charles Rolls. The estimated value is R 440 000-R 480 000.
The Bentley S1 on the offer is one of the batch of luxury cars produced by the company in 1955-1959.
Only 3538 were produced.
The Tudor silver grey car on offer has a 4.887cc six-cylinder engine with three speed transmission. It is Bentley’s first true complete redesign of its standard production car after the Second World War. Although the Bentley first appeared at a show in 1919, the sophisticated six-cylinder 6.5L/ model was introduced by WO Bentley in 1925.
But according to the Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Automobiles edited by David Burgess Wise, the company reverted to the four-cylinder 4.5L engine in 1930. The powerful eight-cylinder model of 1930 was produced at the time when Woolf Barnato, son of Barney Barnato, was at the helm of the company.
The car won the Le Mans five times in the 1920’s. Woolf Barnato was the winning driver on three occasions.
Depression resulted in the company being bought by Rolls-Royce for £125,265 in 1931.
The Maserati, a preproduction demonstrations model, is described as a collector’s dream. According to the files available, the car was produced on October 10 1973 and was the demonstration car of the factory.
Maserati approved only five Khamsin cars that year. Production started in 1974, but stopped in 1978 and a total of only 430 cars were manufactured.
The 4.9-litre V8 320hp is capable of 258km/h and can go from 0-100km/h in 5.6 seconds. A true Gran Turismo car.