'World's first sports car' sells for $657K

Story highlights

  • A 1914 Vauxhall 25 hp (horsepower) 'Prince Henry' Sports Torpedo has sold for $657,185 (£516,700)
  • Often regarded as the world's first true sports car, only seven of the vehicles are left in the world

(CNN)2016 has seen no shortage of groundbreaking new sports cars.

With innovations from industry heavyweights like Bugatti, Ferrari, Aston Martin and McLaren, the intense competition to create a faster, more powerful machine is as strong as ever.
    Now, one of the original speedsters is grabbing headlines once again.
    The 1914 Vauxhall 25 hp 'Prince Henry' Sports Torpedo, often regarded as the world's first true sports car, sold for £516,700 ($657,185) at a Bonhams auction in London on December 4.
    Capable of hitting 80 miles per hour when it was first made, the Prince Henry outclassed its competitors and stunned crowds with its speed and beauty upon its release.
    More than a century later, it's a rarity, and only seven of the cars are left in the world, according to Rob Hubbard, a senior motor car specialist at Bonhams.

    A storied past

    Designed by English engineer Laurence Pomeroy, the Prince Henry was made for T.W. Badgery, an English businessman who purchased one of the first four of these 25 hp cars to be produced.
    In use for a large part of its 102 years, Its most recent owner, Reg Long, an engineer from Lincolnshire, England, owned the car for 46 years, until he died earlier in 2016.
    Helped by careful maintenance and specialist engineering work, Long regularly drove the car around Europe, entered it into competitions and allowed it to be photographed for car publications.
    Although the vehicle saw less use in more recent years due to Long's advanced age, it still drives smoothly and most recently completed a 30 mile journey in July this year.