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Bonhams puts classic car museum to bed on behalf of former pyjama manufacturer
The specialist museum, in Porlock in Somerset, has been the retirement project of keen collector Stephen Johns. Photo: Bonhams.
LONDON.- The entire contents of the Exmoor Classic Car Museum will go under the hammer at the Bonhams Beaulieu Sale in Hampshire, which takes place on Saturday 8th September.

The specialist museum, in Porlock in Somerset, has been the retirement project of keen collector Stephen Johns.

Mr Johns, an entrepreneur who ran a pyjama manufacturing business in Keighley, West Yorkshire, for 45 years, moved to the West Country 12 years ago and decided to set up the museum to house the collection he had built up over the years.

Highlights among the 10 cars, 13 motorcycles and assorted automobilia he amassed include:

• a 1972 Ferrari 246GTS ‘Dino’ Spider (estimate £100,000 - £120,000)

• a 1927 Bugatti Type 40 Tourer (estimate £80,000 - £100,000)

• a 1923 Rolls-Royce 20hp Doctor’s Coupe by Mitchells of Nottingham (estimate £38,000 - £45,000)

Other lots of interest include a 1930 Singer ‘Porlock’ Sports Junior (estimate £8,000 - £10,000) bought by Mr Johns because of the connection between its name and the location of the museum, and a 1948 DOT 125cc AA motorcycle truck (estimate £3,000 - £4,000) that is the only one of its type.

Tim Schofield, Director of the Bonhams Motor Car Department, said: “The Exmoor Classic Car Museum could be described as every motoring enthusiast’s dream. Museums like it don’t really tend to exist today. When you walked through the doors it was like walking into some forgotten past.

“Today everything is locked away behind glass cabinets, but in this museum the public could touch the cars, open their doors and look inside, and flick through the old photo albums.

“It will be a great shame to see it close, but Bonhams wishes Mr Johns the very best for his ‘second retirement’.”

Other notable early consignments for Beaulieu include a 1925 Bentley 3/4- ½-litre short-chassis Red Label Vanden Plas Tourer (estimate £160,000 - £220,000), and a 1935 Riley 12/4 Kestrel Two-Seater (estimate £50,000 - £70,000).





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