The car belonging to legendary fashion photographer Helmut Newton is going up for auction with a price tag of $1.5 million.
Newton’s 1956 Betley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon was owned by the German-Australian photographer from 1964 to 1972 when he was living and working in Paris.
As well as the classic Bentley that has been “maintained throughout its life with no expense spared”, the car also comes with Newton’s coffee table book Sumo plus a stand.
According to Bonhams, who is auctioning the vehicle, Newton recalled the purchase of the Bentley in his 2003 autobiography.
“It was early in 1964 that I decided I had to own a Bentley. I went to Franco-Britannic, the Rolls-Royce and Bentley dealers in Paris, and walked with the salesman through the basement garage, where the second-hand motorcars were displayed,” writes Newton.
“I told the guy I had ten thousand francs to spend, and he showed me a number of clapped-out ‘R’ types. In the corner of the garage, I saw a silver-and-blue metalized beauty. I said, ‘That’s the one I want’. He looked at me pityingly and said, ‘Monsieur, you don’t have enough money for that one. It’s Madame Peugeot’s car in which she goes golfing. The price is twenty-three thousand francs.
“About a month later, on a Saturday morning, there arrived a check in the mail from the advertising agency Scholz and Partners. I had done a job for them, and the check was for the exact sum needed to buy that car. I hot-footed it to Neuilly, gave the salesman that check, and said ‘Give me that car, quick’. He looked at me like I was crazy, but I had the car and drove it home in a state of complete euphoria.”
Following a heart attack in 1970, Newton wanted a simpler and less stressful life so he sold the Bentley in 1972. He died in Los Angeles in January 2004.
Who Was Helmut Newton?
Newton is known for his provocative fashion and nude photography. His best-known work is his black-and-white photos showing naked women in surreal situations — some of which are considered controversial today.
But Newton’s work regularly graced the pages of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and he is widely considered one of the most influential and imitated photographers of all time.
Newton’s Bentley will be auctioned on October 8. For more information visit Bohnams’ website.
Image credits: Photographs courtesy of Bonhams.