THE last private car ever bought by Sir Winston Churchill is to be auctioned in Perthshire next month.
The Morris Oxford was registered in the former PM’s name on 12 May 1964 – the year before he died.
The pale green saloon has the number plate 6000 KP and 7,066 miles on the clock and has had just six owners and is in full working order.
Auction organisers Errol’s Morris Leslie Vehicle Auctions described the car as a “wee gem” and expect interest from more than 1,200 hopeful bidders.
No price-tag has been placed on the 48-year-old but a Land Rover owned by the WW2 leader fetched £129,000 south of the border last year – more than twice the original estimate.
Gregor Leslie, managing director of the vehicle auctions, described the listing as a piece of “iconic motoring history”.
He said: “The Morris Oxford saloon is the last car Churchill bought before he died in 1965.
“The clientele who would be interested in the car are Churchill collectors and museums who are interested in preserving a bit of iconic history.”
The car – production of which ceased in 1971 – has a 1.6cc, four cylinder engine and four-speed automatic gearbox.
It also boasted front independent coil-spring suspension and rear semi-elliptic leaf springs.
At the time of its production it also had a maximum speed of 81mph and has a rather respectable fuel consumption of 26 miles per gallon.
The car even comes with a detailed log book which clearly shows Churchill’s signature.
The Perthshire auction house came to be in possession of the car after a private collector put it up for auction.
Mr Leslie added: “This is part of private collection from a holder through in the west of the country – it was a private individual but I don’t feel I can disclose who it is.
“The last vintage auction we did had around 200 cars for viewing and we sold 1,200 programmes at the door and 100 people signed up for online bidding – we are expecting a similar if not higher number this time around.”
The auctioneer also revealed the car is unique because it appears to be the only vehicle personally signed for by Churchill.
He added: “When it was delivered the document shows Churchill signed for it – this is really rare as private cars were usually bought for staff and signed by them.
“The signed document is now held in a glass container and kept in a safe.
“The car is in full working order but I admit it would be sad to see someone win, pay and then just drive off – personally I’d like to see it on display in museum so as to look after this wee gem of motoring history.”
After Churchill died on 24 January 1965 the Morris Oxford passed to his wife Baroness Clementine Spencer-Churchill.
It was then passed to Ruth Clutten, then to Reginald Moore, who exhibited it at the Dargate Motor Museum for the much of the 1980s before it was sold publicly at auction on 7th October 1989.
Two further people have owned the Morris prior to its acquisition by Dr James Hull who bought it to add to his of British cars.
A previous listing for the car when it was sold off by Christie’s auctioneers in 2005 described the history of the car.
It said: “It is with a certain sense of irony that one considers that the gentleman still revered as the Greatest Britain of all time, Sir Winston Churchill, a man of incredible importance, of many amazing achievements and also of tremendous physical presence more often than not chose quite modest means when travelling on the road.
“During the war years, he elected to drive a small Austin 10/4 saloon, citing it as the easiest way to discreetly move about and the same can be said of this equally modest 1964 Morris Oxford.
“The car is of course a well-known example, for it was the last car that Sir Winston owned, and has been sold on a handful of occasions since at public auction.
“Its chain of ownership remains entirely uncomplicated though, and is documented through photos or copies of log books right back to the signature of the great man when registering the car new care of Chartwell Manor in Kent on 12th May 1964.”
“The car today remains highly original and unspoilt, is supported by a file of information and offers a prospective buyer the opportunity to own a unique piece of British history.”
The car will go under the hammer at Errol Airfield on Saturday 9 March but hopefuls can also place their bids online.
Also at the event is a 1978 Aston Martin Oscar India – an early model understood to be straight from the production line.