The Darracq at the 1906 Ostend Speed Week - copyright Goddard picture library
June 28, 2006 Bonhams was founded in 1793 and is one of the world's oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. Appropriately, Bonhams will auction one of the world’s most famous automobiles which qualifies both as an antique and a work of art - the world land speed record breaking 1905 Darracq. The 200hp Darracq was designed as a sprint special and was completed on 28 December 1905. Just two days later it set the first of a remarkable string of records undertaken on both sides of the Atlantic. On 30 December 1905, untried and untested, the car reached the speed of 109.65mph, breaking the world land speed record. Remarkably, this historic French racing car has had only two owners from new - Sir Algernon Lee Guinness, from the famous brewing family, who bought the car from Darracq in 1906, and the present owner who purchased it from the family after Guinness died in 1954. Powered by a fearsome 25.4-litre engine the Darracq is thought to be the oldest surviving V8 car in existence will be sold in Bonhams' traditional Olympia sale on 4 December.