Glass magnate’s car collection to raise £800k

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A STUNNING collection of the late Sir Antony Pilkington’s classic cars are set to go under the hammer - and could make more than £800,000.

As well as being a renowned businessman - who founded the pioneering St Helens Trust to help local jobseekers - the former Pilks chairman was also a connoisseur collector of classic cars.

Sir Antony’s five remaining cars are set to auctioned off by Bonhams on behalf of his widow, Kirsty, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed next month.

One, a 1970 Aston Martin DB6 Mk 2 Volante uprated to Vantage Specification, is estimated to be worth up to £360,000.

Only 38 MK2 Volantes were built between July 1969 and November 1970, and one of them was bought by HM The Queen as a present for Prince Charles’ 21st birthday!

Sir Antony’s first ever car, a 1951 HRG Sports Two-Seater, is also up for auction.

This car was bought for Sir Antony in his younger days to entice him away from motorcycles.

He sold the HRG after a few years, but re-discovered it again years later, bringing it back into the family collection.

The other three cars set to go under the hammer on June 29 are a 1957 AC Ace-Bristol Sports Two-Seater, a 1939 Bentley MR-Series 4¼-litre Tourer and a 1973 Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona Spyder conversion.

The former RAC, Alpine and Tulip rally Ace is regarded by many as the most desirable vehicle of its type and is expected to attract bids of up to £200,000.

The ex-Mervyn Frankel Bentley reputedly offers relaxed “long-legged” high-speed motoring.

And the 1973 Ferrari has only done 12,000 miles since it was comprehensively restored by marque specialists DK Engineering.

At one time Sir Antony, who was knighted in 1990, also owned one of the world’s most desirable cars - the Maserati 300S. He competed in the Mille Miglia race in the supercar in eight consecutive years from 1987 to 1994.

James Knight, of auctioneers Bonhams, said: “When I first started working in the Collectors’ Motor Car market in 1984 it did not take long to recognise who the great UK collectors were.

“One of them was Antony Pilkington, later Sir Antony, a man with an exceptional eye, who focused on cars that were not only highly collectable, but were particularly interesting examples, whether by specification - such as the Aston Martin DB6 MKII Volante, or provenance - such as the AC Ace-Bristol with period RAC, Alpine and Tulip Rally history.

“It is a great honour for Bonhams and for me personally to handle this wonderful collection on behalf of the Pilkington family.”