The Bonham’s auction house yesterday sold the oldest extant Rolls-Royce, a 1904 10 hp model with two seats, for a record price of $8.3 million, well above the pre-auction estimate of $2.5 million. The buyer is a private citizen living in Britain, and the vehicle will remain in that country.
 
The car’s value lies not merely in its status as the oldest Rolls-Royce still in existence, but also in being only one of four surviving 10 hp models. That model originally was developed by Rolls-Royce as a doctor’s car. Indeed, three of the car’s previous owners were doctors.
 
The vehicle has not, however, been consigned to being an exhibit lovely too look at. Within the past several years, the car completed the London to Brighton run for vintage automobiles. No doubt, should it make the trip again, it will have celebrity status, in light of its price.

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