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Hagerty Employee

7 record-breakers from Gooding’s “Passion of a Lifetime” sale

After a postponement of over five months, one of the most highly anticipated collector car auctions of the year finally wrapped up on Saturday, September 5 to the tune of £34,048,900 ($45.3M). Held at London’s picturesque Hampton Court Palace near the River Thames and in conjunction with the Concours of Elegance, Gooding & Company’s “Passion of a Lifetime” sale was one for the books. Gooding always emphasizes quality over quantity and holds only a handful of auctions annually with no more than a few dozen consignments at each. The “Passion” sale distilled that formula even further, offering just 15 cars, mostly from a single collection, at one of the most scenic auction venues we can remember. Each car was a star in its own right, and all but one found a new home in a sale that combined phone, absentee, and some live, in-room bidding.


We speculated before the auction that we would see some records fall, and now that the numbers are in, we count eight records total. The average sale price was $3.2M, the highest ever at a collector car auction. Of the 14 cars that sold, half brought a record number either for the marque or the model. Gooding’s “Passion of a Lifetime” sale was a public confirmation of a strong high-end market, and we’ll look in detail at the seven record-breaking cars below.


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Hagerty Employee

The wear and tear on the Type 35 and 59 is just so deeply cool. 

New Driver

nothing like writing on the dash of a bugatti with a Sharpie!

Intermediate Driver

I only wish I had that kind of money to spend on truly magnificent autos.

Advanced Driver

It costs to play with the big boys!

Intermediate Driver

If only I had a Bugatti so I could write on the dash with a Sharpie!

New Driver

I think that beautiful Atalante May have influenced the styling of the Jaguar XK120 FHC. It was great that the auction was streamed live. So much classier than the U.S. tv auctions.


I'd rather have the money instead of the cars!


I am a Nash/Rambler/AMC fan. The 1941 Nash Ambassador 600 has a sliding-pillar front suspension that I had read was inspired by Lancia models. I had no idea which models, but it's easy to see on this one! Of course 1941 was a short model year, and the sliding-pillar suspension didn't return after WWII. Anyone with a 41 Nash 600 has quite a hard time finding parts for that unique front suspension!

Intermediate Driver

My kid wrote on the wall with a crayon once.

Intermediate Driver

How long till you get back to your American roots?

Pit Crew

This article may have been of interest to a miniscule percentage of the 1%.

As for the rest of us Joe Blows, it was wasted space. 

I'm looking for a forum for the 99.9999999999999999%

New Driver

Hmmm, I didn't think I was a member of the 0.000000000000001%, I enjoyed the article...
Pit Crew

There are some seriously harsh comments about this article. I understand that most of us will never drive (let alone own) such spectacular cars but that's part of what makes them interesting. They are IMHO rolling works of art. Thanks to Hagerty for covering this.

Intermediate Driver

The sharpie note on the Bugatti just reminds me why we have warning labels on lawn mowers that state "do not touch blade when in operation".  Apparently, stupid people are everywhere, even those who might own a Bugatti.

Advanced Driver

Re the dash writing: who wrote it, and when? If it was Rene Dreyfus in 1937 would that make it okay?


I'm appalled by the negative comments. Don't read it if you don't like it, or at the very least have the decency to keep your negativity out of the comments section.


I look at these cars and I see history and art. They are all spectacular examples of human endeavor and ingenuity. If I have any complaint it is that I wish their owners would do as much as they can to make them available to the greater public. The guy who locked up the Atalante for 50 years -- not even driving it! -- bugs me. Hopefully its new home will have windows.


One doesn’t have to be able to afford the art to appreciate and enjoy viewing it.  In my youth, I Eurail-passed my way to Mulhouse just to take in the the then-Schlumpf collection, much like going to the Louvre.  The poster on my garage ceiling was the only thing in my budget, and that was just fine.  ‘Nice write-up, thanks for posting.