The headline lot of the day is a Jeep which was gifted to General Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower in recognition of his strategic brilliance as Supreme Allied Commander in World War II. Eisenhower was given the Jeep by the National Trust for Scotland in October 1946, along with the keys to an apartment in Culzean Castle, for his work in masterminding D-Day and other operations which proved so crucial to the success of the Allied Forces. In full working order with 33,000 miles on the clock, the 1944 Willys-Overland Military Jeep has been given a pre-sale estimate of between £120,000 and £150,000. Eisenhower, who would later become the 34th President of the United States from 1953 to 1961, considered the apartment on the Culzean estate in Ayrshire, on the west coast of Scotland, a second home and a second ‘White House’ when he was in office. The Jeep was offered at auction in April 1978 where it was purchased by the current owner who went on to use it in shows and promotions, notably the 2014 WW2 Memorial Parade at Goodwood Revival and the 2005 Anniversary of D-Day at Culzean Castle, where Eisenhower’s granddaughter, Susan, was photographed at the wheel.
The July sale sees one of the largest consignments of classic motorcycles on offer to date, with highlights including 1990 1340cc Harley Davidson Electra Glide Sport which has an estimate of £5,000 - £6,000. In good running order, the bike has been kindly offered to the vendor with all sales proceeds to be gifted to NHS charities. In the more vintage categories, a 1947 1200cc Indian 347 Chief is offered with an estimate of £22,000 - £24,000 as well as a 1930 998cc AJS Model S2 V Twin which is offered by a well-known Sussex-based restorer, ‘Spike’ Holman and has an estimate £20,000 - £25,000. Amongst the classic cars and commercials, a highly rare 1948 Bentley Mk6 is set to draw interest. Discovered in an old garage in Pembrokeshire in 1985 in a stripped-down condition, the car was then created into a pre-war style racer by the current owner. Work was commissioned by Terry Laroche, an ex-Rolls-Royce coachbuilder, whilst the original engine was retained. The car has an estimate of £40,000 - £50,000. Another lot set to be of interest to collectors is a 1963 1991cc Triumph TR4 which was imported from America in 1999. It has been fully restored by the current owner and has an estimate of £26,000 - £28,000.
Amongst the 110 vintage and classic tractors on offer, the star lot of the day is a Mercedes MB Trac 1100 dating back to 1990 with only 2,407 hours on the clock, this carries an estimate of £50,000-£60,000. Over 100 vintage and classic tractors will go under the virtual hammer with varying makes and models and dating from the 1940s and more recent classics from the 1990s.
The petroliana section is dominated by a series of lots from the world-renowned automobilia collection belonging to Stewart Imber of Goodwood Revival and set and prop hire company, Themed Garages. Having featured previously on Channel 4, Quest TV and having been used to dress sets at Goodwood Revival since 2005, previous lots offered from this collection have caught the eye of collectors and enthusiasts worldwide. Available in the July sale are a series of enamel and illuminated signs, petrol pumps, forecourt maps, promotional flags, posters and various other paraphernalia, with the lot carrying the highest estimate being Tokheim 'Phillips 66' double-sided fuel pump with globe, which is expected to make £2,800 - £3,000.
Bill King, Chairman, Cheffins says: “This will be the first time we have offered the vintage sale in a timed online format and we expect to see appetite from collectors and enthusiasts to reach new levels as people look to pick up a post-lockdown purchase. There is significant pent-up demand in the market and we anticipate there to be a number of itchy fingers on keyboards as buyers from across Europe and further afield race to add to their collections. We know that the classic vehicle market is alive and well and look forward to achieving top level prices for some of the rarest lots on offer. The Eisenhower Jeep in particular is set to peak peoples’ curiosity, especially following VE Day celebrations earlier this summer, whilst the array of classic and vintage tractors on offer are sure to draw our regular buyers to the sale.”
Viewing days in person are on offer on the 17th and 18th July at Cheffins Machinery Sale Ground, Sutton, Ely, CB6 2QT. Bidding for items will open on 20th July and close on 22nd July and be available through the Cheffins website.