A RARE 1930s Abingdon-built MG sports car originally owned by the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean east to west – from Abingdon to Nova Scotia – is set to fetch nearly £100,000 at auction next week.

The black and white 1934 MG Magnette NA Tourer was bought new for an undisclosed sum by Beryl Markham after her affair with Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester – an uncle of the present Queen – two years before she made history by becoming the first woman to fly solo, east to west, across the Atlantic Ocean.

On September 4, 1936, 33-year-old Mrs Markham took off from Abingdon in a Vega Gull without a radio.

According to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: “After 21 hours and 35 minutes she landed in a bog at Baleine Grove, near Louisburg, Nova Scotia,100 yards from the ocean,

having run out of fuel.

"She was the first woman to fly the Atlantic, from east to west, and the first person to make a a solo non-stop crossing in that direction."

The colourful Mrs Markham married three times and while married to second husband, Mansfield Markham, she became the mistress of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, son of King George V and brother of the future King George VI, father of the present Queen.

Prince Henry was said to have ‘established her in a suite at the Grosvenor Hotel’ in London.

When Mrs Markham’s husband threatened to cite Prince Henry as co-respondent in the divorce proceedings, Queen Mary, anxious to avoid scandal, made Prince Henry settle on Beryl a capital sum of £15,000, which provided her with an annuity of £500 until her death.

It is not known how much Beryl Markham paid for her gleaming new MG Magnette NA Tourer in 1934 or whether the money she received from Prince Henry helped pay for the car.

But now, 83 years later, Mrs Markham’s Abingdon car (one of only 690 NA/NB Magnettes made) is up for sale again,but this time it is expected to fetch between £90,000 and £100,000 at a Bonhams auction in London next Wednesday, December 6.

Auctioneers Bonhams say that the car is in ‘outstanding’ condition.