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1990 Bentley Continental owned by Elton John sells for over 17 times its projected price

By Mathilda Bartholomew | March 1, 2024

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The winning bid not only shattered expectations but set a new world record for this particular Bentley model, nearly doubling the previous highest sale figure.

Sir Elton John's 1990 Bentley Continental convertible, part of a collection auctioned by Christie's in New York, has far surpassed its pre-auction estimate, establishing itself as the most expensive model of its kind to change hands.

The renowned musician acquired the special edition British classic in 1992, and it was featured among various Elton John memorabilia at the US sale. While the entire collection fetched an impressive $8 million, the Bentley stole the spotlight by selling for more than 17 times its projected value, reaching a staggering $441,000, inclusive of auction fees and taxes, equivalent to £350,000 in British pounds.

This left-hand-drive vehicle, with its striking black exterior, matching leather interior, and a black soft-top roof, boasts a 6.75-litre V8 engine and distinctive coachwork by Mulliner. Originally estimated at $25,000 to $35,000 (£19,825 to £27,750), experts considered the pre-sale estimate notably conservative. The actual winning bid not only shattered expectations but set a new world record for this particular Bentley model, nearly doubling the previous highest sale figure.

Sir Elton John expressed his enduring affection for the car, revealing that he transported it from the US to Europe due to his admiration for its beauty, interior, and nostalgic scent of buttery soft black leather seats. The vehicle's history includes drives along the Pacific Coast Highway in Los Angeles, trips in Atlanta, and glamorous appearances on the Côte d'Azur in the South of France and Monaco.

John Mayhead, editor of Hagerty's classic car Price Guide, stated 'Elton is known for his love of cars and he was especially passionate about this one, describing it as his 'beloved' Continental and gushing over how wonderful it looked. 

'This provenance gave it a massive boost when it hit the rostrum.

'Hagerty tracks the value that celebrity ownership adds to cars through the annual Power List, and this will be the 18th sale of Elton's cars that our team has tracked (which coincidentally is the third highest number, behind just Steve McQueen and Paul Walker). 

'The average increase of Elton's other cars over a standard equivalent has been 115 per cent. This sale was a full 372 per cent over the Hagerty Price Guide 'excellent' value of $96,500. That's a big number.'

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