Bonhams Returns to Amelia Island with the 'Best Car in the World'

By Christina Tsangaris

Although Rolls-Royce is known the world over, another exceptional British consignment to the sale has a name that is largely forgotten. The 1935 Godsal Sports Tourer is a true one-off, the sole eponymous prototype produced by engineer Charles Godsal. With a sleek and sporty well-constructed body styled by Corsica coachworks, powered by a Ford V8 engine, the Godsal was surely destined for successful production, had it not been for the lack of finance. Chassis 001 disappeared before emerging more than 30 years later in the movie ‘Mosquito Squadron’.

In its present ownership, a ground-up high-quality restoration has been undertaken. This was charted throughout in a recent episode of Wayne Carini’s Chasing Classic Cars, showing how every aspect of the car was rebuilt and color choices made to accentuate its stylized Corsica bodywork. This culminated in a debut display at the 2020 edition of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, where the car was universally lauded and took a Best in Class award for its era. It is now offered from a private collector with an estimate of US$750,000 – 950,000.

The Bonhams Amelia Island Auction 2021 will be held as a traditional live auction at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club, with bids accepted from clients in the room (respecting social distancing and all local COVID-related guidelines), with limited public admission by prior appointment. 

The sale will also be streamed and available on the Bonhams App, which provides registered bidders the opportunity to bid in real time online via Bonhams while watching the auctioneer and videos of cars on offer. Absentee and telephone bids are also encouraged.

Pre-sale viewing will take place, by appointment only, at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club on May 19 and the morning of May 20. The Bonhams ‘virtual viewing’ platform will also be available by appointment for condition reports and one-to-one ‘walkaround’ inspections with a specialist to examine a specific motor car in real time. 

Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewellery. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with auctions also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney.

By Christina Tsangaris