24 October 2008

Automobiles of London

Rolling works of art at RM Auctions

24 October 2008 - A unique series of one-off customs by leading UK customiser, Andy Saunders joins the line-up of vintage motor cars for RM Auctions' 'Automobiles of London' event, October 29th, London, UK.

LONDON, RM Auctions, in association with Sotheby's, will shine a spotlight on a host of creative custom cars by leading UK designer, Andy Saunders when the curtain rises on their second annual 'Automobiles of London' event at Battersea Park, London on October 29th .

Regarded as the UK's top custom car builder, Saunders has been at the forefront of wild car creations for almost 30 years, having built over 40 individual customs and restored a number of classics. It is, however, his unique, off the wall designs and drivable 'car sculptures' that have earned him the most critical acclaim and attracted global media attention. One journalist described Saunders as an 'automotive alchemist' for he 'turned base cars into gold'. In addition to participating in various European Concours d'Elegance events and recently completing a pair of special commissions for Hyundai, most recently, Saunders claimed his third Guinness Book of World Records title, this time for the 'world's lowest camper van'. Created onstage in just three days and before an audience of over 34,000 car enthusiasts, the diminutive 1980 VW Camper stands at just 3.3 feet tall.

This October as Saunders looks to share his designs with other automotive enthusiasts and make room in his garages for new creations, eleven of his cars will cross the block as part of RM Auctions' Automobiles of London event.

Included in the auction line-up is everything from Saunders' infamous and ever popular 1983 Citroen 2CV6 'Picasso Citroen', ­a multi-coloured and totally asymmetric creation which was built as if designed by Picasso, through to his 1989 Fiat 126 'Flat Out', a radical sports car standing just under 22 inches tall. An ideal city car, there is also the radically shortened 1961 Mini HaHa, which started out as a little mini and was cut into three pieces and shortened by 2'7'. The third of a trio built, the Mini Haha represents the closest Andy has ever gotten to production with his designs usually limited to one-off creations.

Joining these miniature creations on stage are: the 1983 Bentley Mulsanne, otherwise known as the 'Mentley Insanne', which was previously chosen as the 'Car of the Month' by the Rolls Royce and Bentley Owners' Club; the 1998 Suzuki Wagon R 'The Alchemist', a baby, fuel-saving Hummer, affectionately nicknamed the 'Credit Crunch Hummer'; and the remarkable 1958 Ford X-2000 Recreation, the concept car that Ford never built - for this remarkable car, Andy brought to life the designs of Alex Tremulus.

Additional Saunders' designs set for the auction block include: a period perfect, sixties-retro VW Beach Dune Buggy; his 1977 Austin Allegro 'All-Ego' which was built for TV;the one-of-a-kind 1970 Lancia Stratos Zero Replica; the 1936 Cord 810 Sportman; and the 1962 Saab 95 Van.

RM Auctions, in association with Sotheby's, will present their Automobiles of London event at Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London UK on October 29th, 2008. A full day preview will be held on October 28th from 11:00am to 5:30pm. Doors open on October 29th at 10:00am, with all the auction action getting underway from 4:00pm. Admission to the event is by catalogue only, which is available for £50 and admits two.