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A lifetimes collection of motoring sold for £3 million at Bonhams
1922 AEC S-Type open-top double-deck bus.

LONDON.- You can wait a lifetime for a bus, then three come along at once – for half a million pounds at this weekends Bonhams Michael Banfield sale.

The trio of buses created a bidding frenzy in the packed sale room, causing the 1922 AEC S-Type open-top double-deck bus to break world records for a vintage double-decker sold at auction, selling at £281,500 - an achievement met by applause from the room.

The same bidder later snapped up the second bus of the day, a beautifully restored 1922 Tilling-Stevens TS3A open top double-decker, selling for £216,540. The final bus of the collection, a 1932 Leyland Titan TD2 double-deck bus, was one of the last two petrol-engined buses to operate in the Channel Island of Jersey, achieving £34,500 at the auction.

The trio of buses were just one of the highlights at the two-day auction, as an entire lifetime’s collection went under the hammer. With almost 100% of lots sold, the private collection achieved a total £3 million.

The automobilia sale saw 100% sold, with over 1,000 collectable items taken home by avid enthusiasts. The motor cars sale began on Friday 13th, with a 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Landaulette as the top item of the sale, selling for £418,140.

A collection of fire engines further heated up the bidding, with a 1913 Merryweather Fire Engine selling for £74,300, and a c1910 Delahaye Fire Engine chassis selling at £13,225, more than doubling its top estimate.

Malcolm Barber, Bonhams Co-Chairman and auctioneer at the sale, said: “For more than 50 years Michael Banfield dedicated himself to the restoration and preservation of these fantastic vehicles. I’m delighted we were able to celebrate Michael and his collection with the weekend’s event, honouring his life’s passion with his friends, family, and automotive enthusiasts.

“Bidders came from all over the world including several from the southern hemisphere, with clients from both Australia and New Zealand not only bidding in the room, but also watching via Bonhams online bidding platform. Customers registered from Japan, the Mid-West of America, Miami, across Europe and even Hong Kong – this was a highly sought after collection with many of Bonhams international clients taking an intense interest.”

In 1959 Michael Banfield bought his first classic car, a 1927 Bentley, which sparked a lifelong interest in classic, veteran, and commercial vehicles.

He was a founder member of the Historic Commercial Vehicle Society, becoming Chairman in 1965 and remaining as such until 1993 when the Society became a charity. He then stayed on as CEO until his retirement in 2011.

Joining the Veteran Car Club (VCC) in 1960, he remained a full and active member until the end of his life.

From 1976 to 1998 Michael served in various positions with FIVA (Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens) - on the General Committee, as Chairman of the Historic Commercial Vehicle Committee, and as Chairman of the European Affairs/Parliamentary Committee.

A committee member of the FBHVC (Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs) for 12 years, he became a founder member of the IHVO (International Historic Vehicle Organisation), serving from 1998 to 2005.

Through the decades he slowly added further vehicles to his collection, both classic and commercial, all of which he refurbished and rebuilt himself.

For more than 50 years Michael dedicated himself to the preservation, promotion, and use of historic road transport as part of our national heritage. Most of this work was undertaken on a voluntary basis as a true enthusiast.

For all his efforts he was made an Honorary Life President of the VCC and was given a Lifetime achievement award by the Transport Trust in 2007. Furthermore he was made a Freeman of the City of London in 1998 and became a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Carmen in 2001.

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