29 of the 63 cars in the Bonhams catalogue at the Spa Classic and another 23 out of 161 offered by Historics at Ascot Racecourse were bravely auctioned entirely ‘Without Reserve’ and achieved 100% sale rates for their vendors within 73% sold sales in Belgium and Berkshire.
For a No Reserve 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL being sold for a more than 980,000 euros under the hammer, costing the buyer 1,127,000 euros (£968,183 with premium), is unprecedented in Euroland. While a pro-dusty 1967 Aston Martin DB6 Mk1 auto, inactive since last taxed in 1982, and a barn-found 1972 BMW 3.0CSL Lightweight project were also hammered away for £145,200 and £52,800 by Historics at Ascot Racecourse without their vendors having the comforts of any reserves!
Among the dozen Swiss Castle sourced NR classics dispersed at Spa, eight of which had been previously repainted in the owner’s preferred M-B Blue Metallic, a 1969 Maserati Ghibli SS 4.9 Coupe fetched 174,800 euros (£150,167) and a 1980 V8 Volante Aston 172,500 euros (£148,191). No Reserve Rolls-Royces sold from the same cache were an ex HJM 1933 40/50hp Phantom II Limo now Roadster for 111,505 euros (£95,830) and a Swedish Phaeton-bodied 1921 40/50hp Silver Ghost for 70,150 euros (£60,264).
A No Reserve 1972 Series 3 V12 manual E Type Jag Roadster persuaded a bidder to part with 64,400 euros (£55,324) and another to pay 32,200 euros (£27,682) for a 1970 Series 2 4.2 manual 2+2 FHC. A Spa and Silverstone Classic eligible 1966 Mini Cooper Mk1 in 1275S FIA-papered left to right converted spec was also not protected by a Reserve, but achieved a 32,200 euros (£27,662) result.
Within the Ascot Racecourse Atrium meanwhile, a winning punter bet £8800 on a No Reserve 1970 MG 1275 Midget on wires with hardtop and another took on a health-interrupted 1961 BMW Isetta 300 resto-puzzle with spares for £7590. A restored 1969 Vauxhall Viva HB 90 Deluxe with bonnet louvres on Rostyles was auctioned Without Reserve for£6710 and an only 11,736 mileage from new in 1967, though repainted Viva SL cost a fourth owner £4840. An only 13 years old 260bhp UK-spec Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII GSR of 2004 vintage with super-active centre diff and yaw control also changed hands without any safety net for £12,100. A total of 49 such ‘No Reservers’ in one weekend might signpost cash-in-while-you-can times ahead on both sides of the EEC Channel.