Original Beetle sells for more than French snails in Paris sales

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Richard Hudson-Evans

Richard Hudson-Evans

Rare spit rear screen Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle, a mainly one owner and unmolested ‘original’ driven only 77,000 kilometres from new in 1952, flew past a trio of Citroen 2CVs to sell for 58,240 euros (equating to £49,594 including RM Sotheby’s premium) during the three Paris sales, which were not just all about mega-million investment automobiles.

For 118,266 personnes were sufficiently enthusiastic about old motors to pore over more than 500 voitures on display within the 65,000 square metres of Salon Retromobile. For this was where an only 40 kilometres from new 1990 2CV Charleston, a one Citroen dealer owned escargot that had been spared the reality de la route and tucked away for a sunny Friday day in Paris Expo was hammered by Artcurial for 52,200 euros (£44,370 in our now less valuable currency and digitally captured below).

But then the preceding lot, a 2CV Dolly Edition of 1990 vintage from the same Citroen dealership principal with a mere 30k on the odo, had just sold for 41,760 euros (£35,496). While much earlier in the 8 hour marathon drive-past that grossed 34m euros, a 1956 2CV AZ ‘Rallye’ with renewed floorpan and a skid-plate beneath the engine from restoration for historic rallying, which it had never been subjected to, had sold for 31,320 euros (£26,622).

Back in the international isolation of Brexitland however, such heady valuations for very French 2CVs were not being matched. For during Sunday Trading in Somerset within an unglamorous unit on the Royal Bath & West Showground at Shepton Mallet, a 1977 2CV with many panels repaired or replaced, and a new set of seat covers and matching door cards, was sold by Charterhouse for £6600, and a 1985 2CV 6 Charleston with previously galvanised chassis transplant was hammered away to a new Snail Keeper for an even more modest £1210.

Such huge variations highlight the widening differences between two very different cultures and economies on dividing sides of the once Norman, but still English Channel.  It remains to be seen whether much French will be spoken in British auction tents this summer. For to tempt Gallic palates, one of only 100 surviving twin engined, four-wheel drive 1965 Citroen 2CV Saharas comes to auction market at the upcoming Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show at the NEC in Brum. Auctioneers.  Classic Car Auctions estimate that their 4WD 2CV consignment, which has actually crossed the Sahara twice apparently and been the subject of a full body-off resto in the UK in 2012, will cost a Citroen fanatic an air-cooled £60,000-65,000 when it crosses the CCA auction block 1st and 2nd April. Although nothing is certain in this world, of course, or the next.

74% of classics auctioned in Paris sell for £61.1m

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

An extensively exhibited 1966 Ferrari Dino206P Prototype crossed the Artcurial auction block at Retromobile to sell for an auction week topping 4.29m euros (£3.65m with premium) chased by a Farina and Sommer raced 1948 166 Sports-Racer which made 2.89m euros (£2.46m). Both Ferraris were hammered away Without Reserve.

Other big money prices during the £26.67m 72% sold marathon session, which took 8 hours and was watched by 3000 personnes in the sale hall plus 15,237 more viewers on the ‘live’ internet-cast, were a 1972 Lamborghini Miura SV Bull valued by a new Toreador at 2.33m euros (£1.98m in devalued Sterling), a still shapely 1935 Bugatti 57 Atalante Decouvrable dispersed from the Herve and Martine Ogliastro Collection for 2.23m euros (£1.93m), and a two owners since 1987 Porsche 959 Komfort investment with 26,000k on the odo changed portfolos for 1.2m euros (£935k).

The Paris sales again kicked off with a £21.74m evening in the RM Sotheby’s packed, but up-market tent pitched beside Place Vauban with the Tour Eifel twinkling outside, where 78% of the more contemporary rolling assets found new shareholders. Although first place in the GP was taken by a forever racey Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3 of 1934 vintage which scraped over the lower estimate line to sell for 3.92m euros (£3.32m), pursued by a genuine Ferrari-opened 1973 Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona Spider captured for 2.16m euros (£1.83m).

Another Porsche 959 performed well at auction with a 1988 Sport making 1.96m euros with premium (£1.67m) and a reassuringly Ferrrari Classiche certified 1965 Ferrari 275GTB in refreshingly original Pino Verde realised 1.93m euros (£1.64m). The 1.344m euros (£1.14m!) performance of a 1995 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabrio was awesome and a 1962 Ferrari 250GT S2 Cabrio also overtook its estimate band to sell for 1.23m euros (£1.05m).

The 901,600 euros (£766,360) invested in the present, let alone the future of a 1994 Porsche 911 Turbo S 3.6 was another milestone valuation and a higher than guide price 750,400 euros (£637,840) was forthcoming for a 2012 Aston Martin V12 Zagato, ‘Number Zero’ no less. While the going rate in Paris this year for a production 1969 Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona was 705,600 euros (£599,760), the only known pre-911 1964 Prototype Porsche 901 Cabriolet that had never been offered for public sale before made 649,600 euros (£552,160).

True Brits meanwhile led the Bonhams £12.7m results in the truly historic Grand Palais, under whose vast glazed steelwork the first Motor Show was held in 1901.  Among 99 changes of ownership, a 1935 Le Mans raced Aston Martin Ulster sold for 2.02m euros (£1.71m) and a still stunning 1957 Bentley S1 Continental Convertible by Park Ward cleared the magic 1m euros barrier at 1.07m euros (£900,075). One of 640 factory-built ‘Le Mans’ specified Austin-Healey 100Ms, a 1956 left-hand drive BN2 with rare hardtop and a 2012 Mille Miglia Retrospective finisher, raised 189,750 euros (£161,288).

A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing changed nests for 1.02m euros (£864,168), a 1939-built Maybach SW-38 Spezial Cabrio that survived WW2 fetched 627,750 euros (£571,838) and a 1923 Bugatti T27 Brescia Torpedo 506,000 euros (£430,100). AStradale version of the 1977 Lancia Stratos achieved 373,750 euros (£317,688) and a 1983 Renault 5 Turbo Group Bthat finished 6th on the 1986 Tour de Corse rallied to a 195,500 euros (£165,750) result.

Many even more mega prices were paid for high value stock on top car dealers stands at Retromobile itself, so the Parisian vibes from both the auction and retail sectors of the classic car market are still positive enough not to make the professionally negative BBC News. For the moment at least, old automobiles might therefore be able to continue motoring onwards in a nostalgic haze without a red flag in sight. Although hot exhaust gases are no longer cool with the climate change lobby and both the Mayors of Paris and London have been politically empowered by their electorates to change the future by at least taxing and ultimately banning such old world practices as ours.

Ferraris sold out at the first ACA Drive-Through of the year

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

There were buyers for all three Ferraris consigned by ACA for their King’s Lynn season opener, during which the 1981 London Motor Fair displayed 308GTBi pictured, one of only 42 in RHD, sold for £50,400 including 5% premium.

The 456M GTA, also in RHD, that had been owned by the extremely acquisitive Sultan of Brunei from 1996to 2006, cruised past the rostrum to make £53,550, again more than top estimate money. Whilst on a January Saturday afternoon in Norfolk, when £1.85m was spent on non-essential classics, a 308GTB with 86,433 mileage from new in 1980 that had been in receipt of a photo-recorded restoration also cost a new keeper £71,400, within the guide price band.

For although most of the Historic Automobile Group International indices that chart the classic car market experienced a statistically lacklustre start to 2017, the HAGI P Index for Porsches falling 2.15% and their MBCI monitoring Classic Merc prices declining by 1.47%, by contrast the HAGI F Index tracking Ferrari transactions recorded a gain in prices actually paid for Ferraris of 1.57% in January.

Their number crunchers reckon that this latest golden spike in Ferrari fortunes was achieved through a number of high end Ferraris - and, significantly, rarer models from Maranello - changing hands for higher prices. For instance, there were five Ferraris in the ‘Overall Top Ten’ at last month’s seven sales during Arizona auctions week, led by the 1952 340 America Competizione Spider sold by Bonhams for $6.38m (£5.17m).

Six more Ferraris occupied the RM Sotheby’s leader-board with a 1969 365GTS Spider selling for $3.60m (£2.92m), a 1995 F50 Coupe $3.14m (£2.54m) , a 1961 Superamerica Coupe $3.08m (£2.49m), a 2003 Enzo $2.70m (£2.18m), a 1967 330 GTS Spider $2.48m (£2.00m) and a 1966 275GTB/2 Coupe $2.12m (£1.72).

For whereas the S&P Global 1200 put on 2.47% growth during January alone, most Ferrari types with production numbers in the 100s or more continue, report HAGI, to experience price pressure and low turnover. Currency volatility has also had a major impact on the classic car market during the past year, they say. For if calculated in US dollars, 2016 growth in the benchmark HAGI Top Index would actually have been closer to zero and yet stronger in Euro terms. While buying classics priced in US dollars or euros now certainly costs Brits abroad much more following the Brexit vote result, although thanks to the exchange rates imbalance selling British owned classics both in the US and on the Continental mainland can net more Sterling for a UK vendor.

Nonetheless, Ferrari Prancing Horses certainly enjoyed a good gallop last season, the HAGI F Index having risen by 2.95% in December alone, resulting in growth of 6.37% year on year. Lest we forget, it was during last year’s Paris Retromobile sales that Artcurial sold a 1957 335 S for 32.08m euros (£25.7m), a record classic car auction price for 2016 and an overall record for any car ever sold at auction in Europe.

In the same February sale in 2015, the Parisian firm hammered away a sleepy 1961 250 GT California SWB Spyder for more than 16.29m euros (£11.80m). Although during this far more uncertain year, any rise in global interest rates could impact negatively on the overall market for classics and drive investor-collectors into cashing in their assets and scrambling for the fire sale exits.

99% Of Cars Sell At SWVA Drive-Through

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

99% of lots sell at a packed SWVA Drive-Through and the next day another large crowd spend £1.84m on 192 more classics at ACA

Both of the first two UK auctions of the new season, where most classics are started up and can be seen being driven past the rostrum, indicate continued health in demand for collector vehicles.

For there were new owners for 70 out of the 71 cars consigned by SWVA for their first Friday morning classics sale of the year just outside Poole and then ACA also successfully shifted 81% of the 237 classics in their catalogues, which sold out to another huge Saturday crowd on the outskirts of King’s Lynn. In two consecutive days shopping at geographically opposite ends of England, £2.28m had been poured into classic stock and an average of £8704 had been spent per car, £6225 at the Dorset sale and £9607 in Norfolk.

In the West country, the virtually sell-out prices were headed by a 1984 restored and still well presented Austin Mini Cooper 1275S with SW05 cam,  logged at 82bhp on Tom Airey’s rolling road in September, which achieved £47,250 including 8% buyer’s premium, £24,250 more than the lower estimate! While right behind the S was a Ford AVO OC confirmed as genuine and the 413th made in 1972 Ford Escort RS1600 Mk1 with 1700cc BDA which also overtook its £35,000-38,000 guide price band to sell for £42,500.

Even resto projects pulled brave blokes, an Irish registered 1949 Bentley MkVI ‘No Reserver’ with working semaphors and valves radio pottered through the hall to fetch £22,032 and a dilapidated Canadian-spec 1968 Series 1.5 E Type Jag 4.2 2+2 FHC left hooker, but a manual with numbers still matching, made £15,120.

Even pre-WW2 classics, which can be less easy to rehome in an increasingly Modern Classics market, found new Buddies with £18,360 available for a quaint Austin 7 with Swallow Saloon coachwork of 1930 vintage, the 17th oldest Mk1 of the 30 known to the Swallow Register, and £11,340 was available for a 1934 A7 Brum Factory Saloon, both selling for more than their pre-sale estimates.

And there were buyers, too, for both American Classics from the immediate post-war period, a previously revived 1940 Packard 120 Eight in right-hand drive and Weddings White fetching £ 19,710, more than expected, and a Hershey-sourced 1947 Plymouth Special Deluxe cruised through to a £13,338 result, within forecast money.

The very next day at the ACA Drive-Through, Lewis Hamilton’s Dad Anthony was among another huge crowd of potential buyers for 237 cars, 4 2-wheelers, 1 cherished registration on retention and a Viennese Opera Carriage from the 1870/80s!

A 1957 190SL Merc in rhd without UK reg led the prices with a more than forecast £110,925 valuation by the next keeper and a 1995 Porsche 928GTS manual, one of 44 UK RHD examples, went for £50,400, £10,000 more than forecast. While a much stored, though running, driving and UK-supplied in RHD 1964 230SL auto for improvement still motored to a £43,050 conclusion, nearly £10,000 over the guide price band. Much more on what went for what and why in East Anglia in my next take on a market changes by the auction and never stays still for long.

GTO-beating E Type Jag breaks £6m auction barrier in Arizona

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

In selling for $7.37m under the Bonhams gavel during the Arizona sales (£6,002,681 in UK Sterling), the 1963 Australian GT Championship winning Jaguar E Type Factory Lightened Competition became both the most valuable E Type and the most valuable post-1960 Jag ever to sell at auction. The Scottsdale sale saw a near sell-out of headliners with 85 or 81% of the 105 cars and a scooter changing owners for £29.59m well before winter sundown.

Apart from the E Type auction price buster, a 1952 Ferrari 340 America Vignale Spider Competizione also sold at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa for $6.38m (£5.2m), a 1928 Mercedes-Benz Type S 26/120/189 Supercharged Sports-Tourer by Erdmann & Rossi for $4.81m (£3.92m) and a 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C Supercharged Zagato Spider for $2.81m (£2.28m). A 1955 Austin-Healey 100S fetched $539k (£439,002) and the 1984 Ferrari 308GTB QV driven on-screen by Tom Selleck Magnum PI during the 1984/5 shooting seasons persuaded a nostalgic viewer to part with $181.5k (£147.8k). The average investment in the futures of old cars bought in the Bonhams Pavilion this year was £348,073!

By the end of this now 10-day auction bonanza, the total spend at the seven collector automobile sales held in AZ this year amounted to just under $260m (over £210m), which was just over £6m or 3% more than the January 2016 sales total. While after more than 2650 vehicles had crossed the auction blocks among the cacti this year, and after most post-sales had been tied down before nearly everyone had flown away, around 1980 or 75% of the total entry had sold.

In terms of bucks blown, the biggest grossing event was the RM Sotheby’s bash at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix itself, where a two-evening sale generated around $53.65 (£44.53m) in the sales of 139 or 89% of the 156 cars consigned, the average spent being $385.97l (£312,640). Top seller was a one-off Merc from 1939, a 540K Special Roadster sold for $6.6m (£5.35m), followed by no less than seven Ferraris, the Italian marque therefore dominating yet another auction top ten.

Among the Prancing Horses were two new auction record breakers, a 1968 GTS selling for $3.6m (£2.92m), triple the model’s previous auction record, and a 1995 F50 in black making $3.14m (£2.54m), again milestone money. A strong $3.14m (£2.49m) was forthcoming for a 1961 400 Superamerica SWB Aerodinamico and the 2003 Enzo purchased new in 2003 by designer Tommy Hilfiger, who had only driven it 3620 miles, roared onto the stage to sell to a second owner for $2.69m (£2.18m). Bidders hailed from 30 countries, around 20% of the players apparently being first-timers to the house.

BBC TV antiques show regular and Atlantic-hopping Brit Charlie Ross once again shared the Gooding rostrum with House President David Gooding at their Scottsdale annual, which saw $33.4m (£27.04m) worth of motors move successfully into new trailers, 106 or 84% of the 126 cars driven over the stage selling for an average of $315,327 (£255,415) per lot sold.

The most notable valuations in public auction at this sale were the world record $3.3m ($2.67m) paid for a still highly original and only three owners since 1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix and the $2.92m (£2.36m) performance of a 1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast. A one owner 1955 Merc 300SL Gullwing flapped its door to achieve $1.56m (£1.18m) and a $451k (£365k) world record was also set for a 1920 Stutz Series H Bearcat.

Now although such heady extravagance will, of course, be largely ‘on another planet’ for most consumers of classics on the Brexit Islands, the mega prices paid at the Arizona auctions this year were nonetheless high profile votes of confidence in what is clearly seen by the movers and shakers to be the continued health of our favourite commodity.

Higher prices and low interest rates fuel finance rush

Auctions Commentary from  CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Auctions Commentary from  CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

As the prices of many, though by no means all classics have increased, and interest rates remain at historic lows, the number of acquisitions funded on finance has risen dramatically. For some time, brokers have been advertising their services in auction catalogues and their reps have been discreetly networking with the punters at sales, and retro-hp has been possible to actually pay for cars that have been knocked down to bidders who prefer to use (or need )other people’s money rather than their own.

Now, however, Historics at Brooklands have become officially authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to offer consumer credit in partnership with Classic & Sports Finance, so that, subject to acceptance checks, their clients can bid away in the knowledge that they have a finance agreement ‘pre-arranged’.

While even more like the trad trade, where virtually all new and most used motors are bought on the drip, a new-fangled web-based interactive finance calculator, embedded with every auction consignment listing in their on-line catalogue at www.historics.co.uk, enables those interested to configure a package that suits their pocket and repayment time scale.

The suits anticipate that most credit-equipped buyers will opt for an hp agreement on a fixed rate of interest (9.6% fixed, as I input this, with an APR of 11.56%). Although, and as has become custom and practice when buying new stuff, other creative solutions such as scarey balloons and the like, are available so that repayment of as much of the outstanding amount can be delayed for as long as possible. All fine and dandy, of course, if prices continue to rise, as they have done for many Ferraris, Porsches and Aston Martins in the recent past, when increased dispersal values have been assured and historic classic car appreciation has taken care of finance charges. But all markets are cyclical and all cyclists will encounter a steep hill eventually and even Olympians on state of the art bikes crash spectacularly!

Although individual credit approval can be set up within 24 hours of an Historics auction, at least five days before is recommended and an impulse buyer certainly cannot expect to arrange finance on the day of the sale. Those bidding for classics on credit must also have an AIP in place, the all-important ‘Agreement in Principal’, which confirms that the lender is willing to lend before the day of the auction and enables a registered bidder with credit approval to bid away up to their limit.

As long as they can afford to buy, native classicists, who might fear credit-cleared overseas invaders armed with much cheaper currency buying up even more of our automotive heritage, will be relieved to hear that pre-financed buyers will need to be domiciled in the UK and have a permanent UK address that checks out.

On behalf of rare consumers who prefer and are able to spend their own money, and who may be fearful of competing against financed opponents, I have also been assured by Historics’ Auction Director, Edward Bridger-Stille, that the auction company will not know how much any registered bidder with an AIP from Classic and Sport Finance is good for - thus avoiding an auctioneer from running the financed bidder up to his pre-arranged spending limit!

While gratification may well be relatively instant for those who will buy classics on the tick, by end of term, borrowers will, of course, have paid considerably more for their toys than those bidding with their own old money. The vast majority of properties and their contents, jets and commercial vehicles, most private cars and their running costs, and nearly all lifestyle purchases, have been paid for with borrowed money for yonks. Maybe fellow luddites who pay hard earned taxed cash for Real Ale rather than bending the plastic or swiping their mobiles in order to consume the cheapest goods may have to adjust to even more change.

Although if the finance trend does really catch on or even become the norm in the old car bizz, then the prices of all £10k+ classics will almost certainly rise as a direct result of the influx of external funding – and only a return to a softer market or even the return of ye olde bear pit is likely to frighten away the new breed of brave young bulls with their AIPs.

C-Type Jag Sells for £5.7m

£5.7m C Type Jag was top Brit in EU auctions, though average auction price in 2016 fell by 9%

Auctions Commentary by Richard Hudson-Evans

Auctions Commentary by Richard Hudson-Evans

 

Although new auction records were established for several models, the average price paid for classics fell dramatically during 2016. For while there were buyers for 7537 of the record 11,375 collector vehicles auctioned in Europe as a whole, the average paid per EEC auctioned car fell by £4727 per car, a fall of 9% in value in one year. Of the 5885 cars from the 8929 offered that I personally saw change hands for £166.5m at UK island auctions last year, the average sum handed over for a classic sold under the hammer amounted to £28,292 with premium, nearly 15% less than in 2015 sales.

Even more surprising perhaps is the average price of the 1652 classics that I reported on being sold for £189.31m on the Eurozone mainland auctions also fell by the Sterling equivalent of £48,286 per car last year from one year earlier, and, lest we forget, average prices paid in 2015 had been £27,130 lower too than those seen in 2014. Statistically, and contrary to so much other shallow punditry that peddles permanent boom in what will always be a cyclical sector, the prices of most, though by no means all mainstream classics have softened dramatically during the past two years. 

Real world sale rates achieved at the 107 classic auctions attended at home and abroad varied from a 17% low at Newmarket in July to 100% at New Bond Street in September. The £40m total sell out of 423 ‘No Reservists’ at Milan in November meanwhile was by far the highest grossing sale of the year. Whereas the average sale rate for the whole of my last year’s catalogues worked out at 66% of auctioned cars selling in the UK, 4% fewer than in 2015, and an average of 68% on the Continent, again 4% less than the average achieved at auction one year earlier.

In terms of both the numbers of cars offered and sold as well as their sales total, RM Sotheby’s topped the auctions chart on the Continent by selling 546 of the 589 cars consigned for their Paris, Monaco and Milan fixtures, 33% of the cars sold on the other side of the Channel last year, and achieving a 93% sale rate and grossing £76.22m by year end, 40% of the industry total for 2015 in Euro Europe. In second place were Artcurial, who, in shifting 366 or 79% of 464 of their clients’ cars for £57.85m, took a 31% euro-market share. Bonhams Europe were third, securing 20% of the market with the sale of 173 of the 286 cars auctioned for £38.01m and achieving an average of £219,711 per car sold, the highest on the Continent. The 1953 Le Mans raced Jaguar XKC sold for 7.25m euros (£5.72m with premium) in May at the Fairmont Monte Carlo was the highest-priced Brit auctioned in Europe last year.  

In Brexit-land, more collector cars were auctioned in a single sales season than ever before and, by selling 374 mainly higher end classics in 9 sales for £45.57 with premium, Bonhams were the UK market leaders with a £121,845 average per car sold figure and a 27.37% market share by value. In second place were Silverstone Auctions and their CCA subsidiary, who sold 436 mainstream cars in 9 UK sales for £25.44m, an average of £58,349, and 403 more accessible classics in 6 sales under the CCA gavel for £5.44m, an average of £11,033, a combined 16 sales total of £30.88m with premium. By selling 65 top cars for £21.65m in Battersea Park in September, an average of £333,077 per lot, RM Sotheby’s took third place by value with a 13% UK market share, while H&H were fourth with 563 cars sold for £14.73m, an average of £26,162 and an 8.85% market share.

By volume however, once again ACA consigned the most cars for their 5 sales at their single King’s Lynn venue, where they sold 938 of the 1268 cars offered for £8.4m including 5% buyer’s premium, the lowest charged and an average of £8955 per car sold, and took a market-topping 15.9% of the UK market by volume. Although with 929 of their 1312 cars sold stat in 2016, the Midland Silverstone and CCA brands were right behind the Norfolk firm. The 8 Brightwells sales for Traditional classics (at an average price of £11,986) and Modern classics (at an average of £4977) saw 846 of the 1193 consigned cars sell for £8.27m, a 4.3% UK market share by volume.

2016 Round-Up

More Modern Classics were auctioned in more sales than ever before and record prices were paid during 2016 in a markedly younger market.

Auctions Commentary from Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Auctions Commentary from Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Ford Sierra Cosworth 3-Doors, like the Graham Goode lightly renovated 1987 12,000 mile example sold for £75,900 during the final December 3 CCA sale of the Old Year in Warwickshire, defined the UK provincial auction market. For Modern-ish Classics that appeal to a younger generation certainly wrote the headlines as more Moderns were auctioned in numerically more sales in 2016 than ever before and several auctions, three of them run by Brightwells in Herfordshire, specifically catered for the new sector.

Several now iconic models made increasingly record money too, notably Big-winged Cossies and other Fast Fords, Quattro Coupes, Integrales and Pug 205 GTIs, like the 205 1.9 GTI ‘original’ driven only 7986 by one owner since new in 1989 sold for a gob-smacking £30,938 by Silverstone Auctions 31 July during Classic weekend! And then there was the 95,450 euros (£75,406) performance in Monaco of an only 2800k in the hands of one owner 1989 BMW Z1 Roadster during the 13 May Bonhams Med-side sale, during which a 1953 Jaguar C Type time warp also sold for £5.72m!

The appeal of even newer collectibles with ultra-low mileages was certainly highlighted by the sale by Bonhams of an only 2016 vintage Porsche 911 Type 991 R Coupe, number 135 of 991 produced with 52k on the odo, for 483,000 euros (£436,404) 7 October at Knokke-Le Zoute beside the North Sea in Belgium.

But then this was to be the Brexit-voting year when a 1989 911 930 Turbo SE G50 Porsche factory Flatnosed-Coupe made an air-cool £211,500 under the Silverstone Auctions hammer 13 November during the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show sale at the NEC. While also valued in public at auction in Brum were an ex-Japan 41,000k since 1993 Lancia Delta Integrale Evo 2 at £48,875, and aone owner 12,000 miler 1990 Ford Escort RS Turbo at £30,375 and a 1991 Fiesta RS Turbo with same mileage sold for £19,688.

The 24 September CCA sale at the Warwickshire Event Centre saw such relatively new kids cross the auction block like a 1994 Nissan Skyline GTR V-Spec 2 flown for 101,000k fetch £18,700, a ‘Back to the Future’ promoting 1981 Delorean DMC-12 manual Gullwing flap away for £25,300 and a one owner VW Corrado 2.9 Storm Edition from 1995 owned for £11,000.

BMWs from the 1970s through to the Noughties have become increasingly consigned and sold on these occasions - with £48,400 needed at CCA on a September Saturday afternoon just outside Leamington Spa to land a 220bhp 1988 E30 M3 Evo 2 converted to rhd, £41,250 a 1991 E30 M5 lefty, £23,650 a 2002 Z3 S54 M Sport Sports-Estate Japanese import, £20,350 a 1999 M3 Evo GT2 Imola Edition with 107,277 mileage, £18,920 a 1973 E9 3.0 CS in lhd,  £11,400 a 76,000 miler 1994 E36 M3 3.0, £10,450 a 1985 M535i with factory body kit,  £9020 a shark-nosed 1989 E24 635 CSI Highline and £8250 a 1997 840CI Sport with 4.4 V8 from the Individual programme. And during the final sale of the season specifically for Moderns, a 1988 E30 325i Sport with Alpina upgrades and M-Sports suspenders was driven past Brightwells’ rostrum into new ownership for £16,500.

The ‘live auction attendances’ in 2016 were noticeably larger where the cars and the audiences have been younger. More punters tend to view the newer stock and there appeared to be more of them bidding for many of the more recently made cars than the older stuff, both in person at the sale and on-line, with bidding via internet being markedly more active during the last buying season than ever before.

Although, as was the statistical case during the previous year’ trading, by far the most classics were consigned per sale and, indeed, during the whole of 2016, too, by ACA in King’s Lynn, where exhaust-emitting classics continue to be driven-through huge crowds in their King’s Lynn auction hall and no bidding by modern mouse is entertained. By my catalogue scribbled calculation, the Norfolk firm auctioned 1268 classics and sold 938 of them, a comforting 74% sale rate for what has been the most unpredictable year in our recent history.

2012 Bentleys depreciate by £148 per mile!

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

While Ferrari Prancing Horses of all ages continue to kick well, 2012 Bentleys depreciate by £23,883 a year and £148 per mile!

With clear title by order of the High Court, the H&H Chateau Impney catalogue cover featured 2009 Ferrari F430 Spider in Middle Eastern White with just over 400 miles on the odo was hammered away for £127,500, costing the successful bidder £142,800 with premium.

On a Wednesday afternoon in December, there were buyers - more of them on-line via four platforms or on the dog and bone than in person in the Droitwich Spa hotel conference hall - for 67% of the 85 cars on offer during the Northern firm’s final fixture of the classic car buying season, when £2.1m was available for 57 collector grade cars.

Several car transporters full of mainly high end Belgravia underground car park residents from the same cache had been consigned for the Midland sale. Another one owner Ferrari, a 2012 California with two-piece folding roof in Red with Tan leather, had also only been cruised between Knightsbridge and Chelsea for all of 500 miles and sold for £126,500 with premium. Many new Ferraris, if made in limited numbers, do not depreciate over-much. 

Most of the 14 rolling assets dispersed in the Midlands were over large, very thirsty and emissions-unfriendly for Mayor Khan’s increasingly Green Capital, consisting of a 2011 Rolls-Royce Ghost with 2800 mileage sold in diesel guzzling Worcestershire for £121,475. On 13 October 2011, the 6.6 litre twin-turbocharged V12 had been purchased from R-R Motor Cars London for £212,000, only clocking up therefore £90,500 depreciation in five years! A 2012 Bentley Continental GTC driven 500 miles during the same ownership fetched £101,080. It had cost £175,000 when bought from Jack Barclay in 2012, £18,500 per annum or a paltry £148 per mile.

Whereas a 2003 vintage Rolls-Royce Phantom 5100m sold by H&H for £99,680 had cost £96,000 when invoiced by R-R Motors London five years ago. But a one owner Bentley Mulsanne with 2400 mileage sold for £95,760, but had cost a whopping £229,000 when purchased as an ex-demonstrator from Jack Barclay in March 2012, a £95,000 hit over four years or depreciation of £23,883 per annum! Dinosaur feed in the great scheme of things unsustainable.  

Other old world galleons to find new harbours in which to moor included a one owner since 1982 Rolls-Royce Corniche Convertible with 10,600m mileage dispersed for £76,160, a 2011 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed with 11,000 miles displayed £52,828 (£134,000 in 2011), a 2006 Bentley Arnage RL with 4800 recorded mileage £52,192 (£75,000 in 2012), a 1939 R-R Wraith by H J Mulliner £52,640 (£55,000 in 2013) and a 1951 R-R Silver Dawn £34,465 (less than the £34,465 that had been lavished on rolling refurbishment during the last nine years).

During the rest of the sale, and according to a two-page invoice in the history file, a right-hand drive and highly specified Type 996 Porsche 911 GT2 Clubsport cost the one owner £131,710 in 2001. Fifteen years later, the 2001 911 cost the successful internet bidder £103,960, 911 996 GT2 Clubsport ownership having therefore cost the original owner £1850 per annum. Although running costs, of course, would also have to be taken into account, as would value-eating inflation as the buying power of a pound Sterling continues to be regularly eroded by mainly bad news events.

Successful buying of modern cars that are perceived to be future classics is all about getting the timing right, of course, and waiting patiently until after the big hits of the early years that depreciate most, though not all rolling assets have run their course, and the falls in their resale values have slowed at least or preferably plateaued. Buy only then, before too many others do, and any reactive appreciation begins to kick in and prices go up, has therefore to be best advice.  

Xmas shoppers pay big prices for old Princes

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

A ‘Prince Henry’ Sports Torpedo, one of the world’s first sports cars made by Vauxhall in 1914, cleared half a million at the Bonhams New Bond Street sale, selling for a within forecast £516,700 with premium. The ‘Prince of Wales’ 1988 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante - first owned by AM CEO Victor Gauntlet, and subsequently seriously upgraded with RSW 7-litre 500bhp V8 and reassuring AP Racing brakes – seduced another West End Christmas shopper into parting with £651,100, mid estimate money.

Attending the sale of the rightly applauded 102 year old Vauxhall survivor were the family who had parted with their Prince back in 1945. Whereas the 28 year old Aston Martin Prince was one of a Newport Pagnell works run of only 27 such hand-built open-top V8s with Vantage performance, but with a less macho and more restrained appearance that celebrated the ownership endorsement of Prince Charles.

By contrast, a 13 year old DB7 lefty with Coupe Carrozeria by Zagato, sold for a more than forecast £309,000, had only been driven 900k since new in 2003. A 2004 vintage Porsche Carrera GT with 1722m on the odo, although bid to £430,000, £50,000 below the guide price, was declared sold with premium by the closing of the book – and a below estimate £158,820 was also accepted for a 13,000m from new 2011 SLS 63 AMG (a sign of a softening in demand for such non-essential big boys toys perhaps?). The end of 2016 season Bond Street rate however for an always right-handed and 26m since restored 1962 Jaguar E Type S2 3.8 Roadster was still a healthy enough £219,900 with premium.

Indeed, by the end of the Sunday afternoon session, 67% of the 27 top cars displayed in the firm’s flagship salerooms, where the finest artworks and priceless porcelain pieces are hammered away on a daily basis, had sold for £4.36m and a market-impressing average of £250,000 had been invested in the 18 high end classics that changed portfolios.

Three days later, the Bonhams Motor Cars team were occupying The Grand Hall at Olympia, the former location of the pre-Earls Court era Motor Shows, where, and following morning and early afternoon sessions for automobilia and classic bikes, another 83 collector cars for more inclusive budgets were on offer. By early evening, 58% of them had been hammered away to new homes and an additional £3.41m had been spent in 48 classics by new owners.

Among them a 1967 Aston Martin DB6 ZF 5-speed manual, last restored and upgraded to 4.2 Vantage-spec by Goldsmith & Young in 1998, headed the prices with a more than top estimate £359,900 performance. A Nicholas Mee serviced 1966 DB6 auto fetched £216,540, within estimate, and a 1938 2-Litre 15/98 Sports Tourer for the occasional four that was acquired from the Stratford Upon Avon Motor Museum in 1996 sold again here for £198,333.

The 1992 Geneva Motor Show displayed Virage Volante 6.3 in Emerald Green with matching hood had been first registered in supercar rich Brunei and driven less than 20,000 miles in 24 years. Repatriated in 1999, it sold for £86,620. A one owner since 2009 and left-hand drive DB9 Volante with Touchtronic-change made £61,980 and a DB7 Vantage Coupe manual that had cost a fraction under £96,000 when new in 2000 was bought by a happy couple in the seats for £52,900.

The 1971 Earls Court Motor Show and right-hand drive Ferrari 246GT in Bianco Polo Park first bought from the Dick Lovett dealership by F1 Team owner Rob Walker realised £331,900, within the forecast band. Much more primitive and high rise was a Stutz Bearcat with rumble seat that was believed to have been first owned in 1918 by Charles Elsworth Stuz and which sold for a better than expected £214,300. Another couple had viewed a 2008 restored Porsche 911S 2.4 with 1972 model year ‘oelklappe’ external filler for the engine’s dry-sump tank at great length before outbidding the room and paying £203,100 for a right-hand drive 911S with all numbers still matching.

A second-series Alvis Speed Twenty SB 4-Seater Tourer of 1934 vintage - when an all-synchromesh gearbox and independent front suspension made it one of the more technically advanced British motor cars of the day - was hammered away for £92,000, less than the £95,000 worth of engine and body work bills since 2010 on file! With Halda Twin Tripmaster and WW2 aviator’s clock, and such event-sensible upgrades as an electric fuel pump, flashing indicators and hazard warning lights, the clearly very well sorted Speedy Twenty with stickers for four ‘Flying Scotsman’ rallies and the 2015 ‘Alpine Trial’ (so far) looked ready for more adventures far away from Motorways.

Jaguar prices were led by a left to right drive converted 1952 XK120 Roadster, restored and upgraded with 5-speed box by Fender Broad, which went for £89,980. £88,860 was forthcoming for a 1964 E Type S1 3.8 Fixed Head with known ownership history, £85,500 for a 1966 E Type S1 4490cc to ‘Fast Road’ spec, £79,900 for an always right-hand drive 1959 XK150 DHC, £73,180 for a 1973 E Type S3 V12 Roadster manual in oh so period Lavender Blue and £65,340 for a one owner from new in 1971 E Type S3 V12 Roadster manual.

A 1962 Lotus Elite Climax with Type 9 5-speed box fetched £73,180, an ex-Swallow Registrar 1955 Doretti £68,700, an only 2-owner 1955 Austin-Healey 100 lhd £51,750, a 1988 BMW Z1 Roadster accessible via electrically-operated doors that (are supposed to) drop down into the body £41,400, and an apparently renovated 1977 Porsche 911 SC 3.0 Coupe glass-out repainted in Lindgrun Green metallic £28,750. In such uncertain political and economic times, being able report on such definite market movement in our sector has to be seasonally encouraging for all concerned.

81% of classics sell at packed Brooklands

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Whilst all 633 cars and bikes sold out in Milan during 30 hours of ‘No Reserve’ auctioning under 5 individual RM Sotheby’s auctioneers attended by 5000 salegoers in person with some lots requiring over 20 active telephone lines and more than 1000 internet bidders during a £42.41m weekend, 81% of the 141 classics on offer in Mercedes-World at Brooklands were also sold by Historics for a pre post-sale £3.48m back in increasingly rocky Brexit Britain.

Despite the weight-sensitive Mezzanine at M-B World being full to Health and Safety limits, 51 different marques spanning 9 decades were represented on the entry list and 34 of the consigned cars were auctioned ‘Without Reserve’. Apart from the throng of Saturday shoppers, many of whom had come to kick the tyres of new Mercs in the largest showroom for three pointed stars on the island, there was a significant increase in on-line bidders, both domestic and international, since the June sale. While bidder interest from a Trump US were constant, the biggest international growth in bidder registration was from the Eurozone mainland.

Some of the editorial highlights at Brooklands, I would suggest, were a 1957 Tourette Supreme sold for £30,800, one of a school of micros cars that realised over £112,000 under the hammer. By contrast, a 1966 Ford Mustang 350 ETH, pre-sale estimated at £72,000-82,000, made £91,575 with premium. A mid-estimate £105,600 was paid for a 1993 Ferrari Testarossa and the Brooklands rate on the day for a 1965 Jaguar E Type S1 Roadster was £123,200.

Within what is the Temple of Mercedes, an ex-Qatar Royal 1971 280SE Coupe went for £88,000, top estimate money with premium, and 1964 230SL Pagoda-top sold for £50,600 with charges, nearly double the lower estimate. A similarly Stuttgart made in 1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Sport Targa, that had only done 302 miles since an Official Porsche Centre executed rebuild, unsurprisingly raised £105,600, £21,000 more than the guide.

Astons were popular with Christmas shoppers, one of whom merrily handed over £111,000 for a 1978 V8 Vantage Volante that had been forecast to fetch £67,000-78,000. A £34,000-40,000 2003 DB7 GTA cruised to a £55,000 result, a 2006 DB9 Volante overtook its £28,000-34,000 band to sell for £38,500 and a 2001 DB7 Volante, for which £10,000-15,000 had been sought, did £22,000 on the hammer, £24,200 with premium.

A 1968 Lotus Elan +2 for restoration had started life as Team Lotus driver Graham Hill’s company car and was taken on for £23,100. The 1990 Motor Show displayed Esprit Turbo SE doubled a £10,000 lower estimate figure to sell for £20,075.  Genuine Mini Cooper S from the 1960s continue to perform well at auction with a 1966 Austin-badged 1275S going for £47,850, within the £38,000-50,000 forecast, and a 2000 vintage Mini Cooper Sport 500, one of the last 500 made with 437 mainly stored mileage, did £23,375, more than the £17,000-20,000 forecast.

In a cavernous exhibitions hall in Milan meanwhile, RM Sotheby’s dispersal sale on behalf of the Italian authorities of 423 rolling four-wheeled assets that had been uplifted from Venice, a logistical nightmare in itself, sold out. Although many of the No Reserve classics were very short on documentation and, thanks to Italian show visiting vultures or souvenir hunters, anything that could be pocketed had been!

The record busting results were led by a 1966 Ferrari 275GTB/6C Alloy sold for 3,416,000 euros (£2.9m with premium) from a 2004 Maserati MC2 that stormed into the world record breaking books with a 3,024,000 euros valuation (£2.57m). The Italian distress sale rate for a 1992 Ferrari F40 was 1,030,400 euros (£875,840), for a 1988 Porsche 959 Komfort 1,008,000 euros (£85 6,800) and for a 1969 Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta with headlights behind Plexi-glass front 873,600 euros (£742,560).

A once awesomely potent 1991 Lancia-Ferrari LC2 Group C with an historic race future powered to a 851,200 euros result (£723,520) and 761,600 euros (£647,360) were invested in a 2005 Carrera GT, few if any of which are actually driven anywhere and are banked in secure storage facilities. The final places on the leader board of the largest ever sale ever held on the Continent were taken by a 1969 Ferrari 365 GTC sold for 739,200 euros (£628,320), a 1994 Bugatti EB110 GT for 616,000 euros (£523,600) and a 1996 Porsche 992 GTC for 616,000 euros (£523,600).

Significantly, and showing how the market moves and never stays still, half of the top ten collectors cars at this monster Italian take-away were relatively ‘modern’ classics.  It was, indeed, some weekend, when just under £46m was pumped into 537 collector vehicles on both sides of the part-English Channel.

Brightwells to head East to Bicester

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Before the first lot was knocked down at their last sale for traditional classics of this buying season at Leominster HQ, Brightwells announced an expansion deal with Bicester Heritage, which will see the Herefordshire auctioneers become Official Bicester Heritage Auction Partner and host three premium sales during 2017 on the 348-acre former WW2 RAF Bomber site in Oxfordshire.

‘Brightwells Bicester’ branded fixtures are additional to the Leominster sales programme with provisional auction dates in 2017 scheduled for Wednesday 5 April, Saturday 1 July during the Flywheel event and Wednesday 25 October. The Richard Binnersley led Brightwells team will also be putting down roots at Bicester with a permanent on-site office presence in the Guard House, while their auctions will be held within Hangar 113 on what has become the UK’s first campus for the restoration, storage and enjoyment of historic vehicles.

The 2016 International Historic Motoring Awards category winning Heritage venue, which is steered by Riley MPH owning MD Dan Geoghegan, is at the epicentre, of course, of a potentially fruitful Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire catchment area and is only a very gear-changes away from two M40 corridor junctions. Importantly for consumers too, salegoer parking is both plentiful and on hard-standing. Although whether long haul travellers can enjoy a hearty breakfast with tea for £6 - as they can in the most excellent on-site cafeteria at the Leominster Auctions Centre - is as yet untested by your Correspondent.

Back to the auction in the here and now, on a November Wednesday afternoon in the Welsh Marches, a 1962 Jaguar E Type S1 3.8 Roadster shell in primer with very early chassis number 850413 stamped in the picture frame and the same number appearing on a Jaguar Heritage Trust Certificate was by far the highest profile artefact in the 115 lot sale. Right-hand drive number 413 was among the first 56 to have the newly recessed foot-wells for increased driver-friendliness, whilst retaining the straight bulkhead behind the seats of the first 526 pre-recessed foot-well Roadsters.

 

The only RHD Roadster of the 258 made for the French market, number 413 was first owned by Princess Nina Aga Khan, the former Nina Sheila Dyer who became a top model in France, where she later ended her life with an overdose of sleeping pills. The E Type body with depressing back-story and panels, but without engine, gearbox or any other parts for that matter, was auctioned at ‘No Reserve’ and made £23,650.

The highest priced car of the afternoon was a Herefordshire domiciled Ferrari Challenge specified, former Category C crash repaired 2002 360 Modena, a unique road legal Ferrari racer, which sold for £72,150 with premium, forecast money. A ground-up restored and better than new in 1954 Land Rover S1 86ins in RAF Blue was, indeed, “stunning” and deserved its £21,120 valuation by a new owner – and a front of rostrum parked and original right-hand drive 1955 Fiat Topolino, fresh from a down to last nut and bolt rebuild, also raised a higher than predicted £15,400.

Much viewed by matured chaps in cloth caps was a pre-war 1934 Riley 12/6 Mentone Sports-Saloon with straight-six motor, Art Deco inspired interior and MG prefix reg, which was auctioned ‘Without Reserve’ and fetched £13,750. A 1965 Triumph TR4A IRS sold for £16,600 had been one doctor owned since 1972 and latterly only driven during annual summer visits to the UK from his Australian home. Lady Pidgeon of Great Brampton House Antiques had gifted a disc-braked and telescopic shocked 1970 Morris Minor 1000 Traveller in her Rolls-Royce matching Royal Blue with Charles Ware supplied comfy seats to a former employee on his retirement. The half-timbered Estate changed hands here for £7810.

Despite crying out for much re-commissioning, a ‘No Reserve’ 1989 Middlebridge, rather than Reliant-made Scimitar with Ford Scorpio 2.9 V6i and overdrive replacing 5-speed manual box sold for £5500. An apparently nicely prepped Barnard Formula 6 - a 150cc 3.5hp Briggs & Stratton powered go-kart with single-seater body-work bought off Tom Barnard’s stand at the 1967 Racing Car Show (£185 in kit form, ready-built for considerably more) - made £2200. Two Aston Martin test engines in unknown internal condition were vry much larger, heavier and cheaper, a 2007 DBS 6.0 V12 AM08 for rebuilding selling for £1760 and a rebuild-ready 2010 Rapide 6.0 V12 AM16 for £1650.

By far the most motor car for the money though was a retirement driven Weddings Cars lot consisting of three white-ribboned, chauffeur-driven redundancies, a 1979 Silver Shadow II Roller and a brace of matching E-Class Mercs which were hammered away for £8250 as a job lot. By the time the large car park had emptied and several hundred attendees had returned home round many bends to their laptops, and before any further post-sale provisional conversions had been added to the Brightwells website, 91 cars, 78% of the total offered, had sold for £954,370 including premium.

Records broken and unbroken in an increasingly virtual world

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

By selling for £121,500 including premium during the first of two Silverstone Auctions sales which saw 79% of cars sell for £5.7m during the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at the NEC, the ex-Chris Barber Lotus Elite has established a new world record price in a public auction for Colin Chapman’s revolutionary fibreglass monocoque GT.

The first ever customer S1 Elite was supplied to jazz musician Chris Barber, appropriately registered CB 23 and seriously raced by the celeb band leader from Boxing Day 1958. The recent revival and upgrading of Lotus Type 14 MYPH/1009P and its Glyn Peacock rebuilt Coventry Climax engine was master co-ordinated by TV frontman Ant Anstead at his Evanta Motors workshops. While the famous car’s record busting dispersal at auction in Brum was recorded on camera for the next weekend’s ‘For the Love of Cars’ on C4.

A similarly C4 show resto-recorded 1969 Aston Martin DBS - with RSW ‘Vantage-ised’ 6-cylinder motor fed by triple Webers and the original auto-shift swopped for a Tremec T5 manual - also sold particularly well for a non-standard production example, achieving £174,375 with premium, more than £14,000 over the top estimate. The 2014 world auction record price of £533,500 for a DBS 6 still stands however.

For £359,125 more was forthcoming for this model two buying seasons ago under the Bonhams gavel during the annual Aston Martin sale at the Newport Pagnell works, where ‘The Persuaders’ exposed DBS/5636/R with original 6-cylinder engine and, pre-V8 launch and to impress viewers of the high profile ITV series, AM-applied V8 badging and V8-style alloys came to market.

Another really strong performer in Silverstone’s Saturday sale was a 1977 Jaguar XJ12 2-Door Coupe, the winner of 18 national concours awards, which still looked as sharp as it did when it came out of the restoration shop in 1990, and which made £43,875 with premium. A far more than current top retail price, this, for a standard production XJ12C, albeit a stunning example.

Although, again, not actually the highest amount paid at auction in recent times for a 12-Pot XJ 2-Door as £69,440 with H&H premium, more than five time the pre-sale estimate, was handed over October 2015 at Duxford for a Barn-found 1976 XJ12C project, though only the 8th produced and, again, with major ITV series provenance. For the dusty Broadspeed ETC-replicating, wide-bodied XJC with non-running V12 had been on location four decades earlier,  when pretend-driven by the late Patrick Macnee in the role of John Steed during the shooting of ‘The New Avengers’ .

Just over a year later, H&H had consigned another V12-engined Jag for restoration - a 1971 E Type S3 FHC manual in rhd only recently disinterred from many years static-slumber in a garage - for their latest Pop Classics sale at Donington. Estimated to fetch £16,000-20,000, such is the current pulling power of all E Types in whatever condition, it seems, that the project generated applause in the cavernous ‘Engine Room’ beside the East Midlands race circuit when bravely taken on for £33,000.

A brace of Bemma 3.0CSi sold well, too, a 1973 Coupe, uprated with later M5 (E34 Series) running gear storming past its £28,000-32,000 guide band to sell for £51,480 gross - while a second 3.0 CSi to standard spec, though in need of an extensive resto, cost a benefactor £23,600 with charges.

The day before, a rare, claimed still to be original and carefully stored in recent years HRD Vincent led a £660k classics bikes session with a close to world record £267,696 result. In second place on the leader board was a 1934 Brough Superior Alpine which cost the next rider £131,560. Including bikes and cars sold under the hammer, plus those provisionally taken bids that were converted during the ‘live’ auction process, the two sales had grossed more than £1.3m before the internet-feed to four bidding platforms had been unplugged.

Although unpopular with luddites (it takes one to know one), the paperless catalogue was totally on-line for this sale. How long can it be therefore before auctioning old cars at the moment of hammer fall becomes a virtual sport in which all would-be participants join the spectators wherever they happen to be at the time? In the pub without any traffic jams to get there sounds like a plan to me. 

£306k Porsche Speedster heads NEC auction prices

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

A show standard 1957 Porsche Speedster 356S T1 Speedster selling for £306,563 to top 79% sold Silverstone Auctions sales of £5.76m during Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show weekend at the NEC in Birmingham confirms the continued strength of Porsche prices. For the best performing Historic Automobile Group International marque index, the Porsche transaction charting HAGI P was 2.21% higher during October and Porsche prices, say HAGi, are 5.51% up for the year to date.

Other market significant valuations for Porsches during the two Silverstone auctions in Brum were a mid-estimate £258,750 for a 1975 911 Carrera 2.7 MFI, one of just 21 made, and £211,500, £61,500 above the guide price, for a Type 930 1989 911 Turbo with factory-done SE ‘Flachbau’ (flat-nose). A more than double lower estimate £202,500 was necessary to beat other bidders to secure the first UK SE Flachbau, the factory press car from 1985, and £108,563, forecast money, was available for a right-hand drive 993 1998 911 Turbo X50 with 430bhp X50 upgrade. A UK market 1988 928 S4 auto driven 18,500m by one registered keeper was in exceptional nick, hence the £49,500 paid, and a 99,400 miles from new in 1991 944 Turbo Cabriolet manual in rhd cost the next keeper £24,188.

Whereas the HAGI F index that monitors the fortunes of the Ferrari market declined by 1.47% last month, indicating more modest growth therefore for Prancing Horses of 2.96% for the year so far. While the HAGI MBCI was much the same in October as it was in September, increasing by a mere 0.18% , classic Merc prices have gone up by 6.37% this year to date and have advanced by a marque-topping 8.63% year on year. A UK delivered 1970 280SE 3.5 Cabrio, one of only 68 produced by the factory in rhd that had around 9000 miles of patination since restoration, attracted £249,750 with premium in the Midlands.

Among other noteworthy performers under auctioneer Jonathan Humbert’s smashing gavel, a ‘For the Love of Cars’ restored on C4 1969 Aston Martin DBS made a way over guide £174,375. The 6-cylinder engine had been upgraded to Vantage spec with triple Webers by RS Williams and the auto box swopped for a Tremec T5 manual. The 1958 Lotus Elite S1 Coventry Climax Coupe, originally raced by jazz musician Chris Barber and also Ant Anstead restored for C4, sold for £121,500, over £20,000 more than forecast – and a 1974 Jaguar E Type S3 V12 Roadster restoration project with the rarer manual-shift was taken on for £69,750, again £30,000 more than had been estimated. Whereas both really early Land Rovers with headlights behind their grilles had been restored already and also out-performed their Green Welly guides, a 1948 S1 finding £43,875 and a 1950 S1 £39,938.

There were takers for half of the dozen ‘Jewels in the Crown Collection’ cars with Royal, Pop and Celeb provenance. A 1984 Rolls-Royce Corniche Convertible that had been cruised for 13,700 miles, initially by the Emir of Qatar, sufficiently impressed one subject to part with £135,000, and a 2005 Phantom that had done 6000m in the service of Sir Elton John found a fan with £123,750. A paparazzi snapped 1994 Audi 2.5 5-Cylinder Cabrio auto that was employed post-separation by Diana Princess of Wales to convey the still Royal Princes to private engagements made an extraordinary £54,000.

Whereas an HM The Queen 2012 Bentley Mulsanne, an HRH Princess Margaret 1980 R-R Silver Wraith II and an HMQ transporting 2001 Daimler Super V8 all failed to appeal to commoners with the necessary £215,000, £90,000 and £50,000 required. A 1988 560SEL Merc armoured to B4 level to protect King Hussein and Queen Noor of Jordan in transit to Harrods provided reassurance to another shopper with £30,375. The 1972 Fiat 500L given by David Cameron as a birthday prezzie to his wife Samantha clearly appealed to one Remainer with £20,813.

Most more mainstream Fast Fords motored well in front of a Classic Motor Show audience, a UK rhd 1993 Escort Cosworth Lux with 20,600 mileage and model-appropriate ‘C6 OSY’ reg making £40,500, top estimate money, and a one owner 1990 Escort RS Turbo S2 original with 12,000 miles on the clock £30,375, £10,000 more than suggested. A 45,000 miles from new in 1987 Ford Sierra RS Cossie 2-Door with large whale tail realised the necessary £29,250 and a still original 1991 Sierra RS Cossie Sapphire 4-Door with much more discreet wing on the back went for £26,438. From the same year, a 12,000 mile and very original Fiesta RS Turbo sold for £19,688.

Exceptional pre-BMW Minis of all types proved to be popular with punters, too, with £28,688 handed over for a fully restored 1971 Cooper 1275S Mk3, £19,688 buying a 1967 Morris-badged Moke that had been originally employed on BMC Parade duties, £17,438 a 1964 Austin Countryman Woody restored in Cooper S style, and the generous £12,938 proceeds of a 1969 998 Super Deluxe Mk2 known as ‘Margo’ benefited Prostate Cancer UK.

By Sunday morning, 48 - or 76% - of the 63 Saturday sale cars had been hammered away for £3,077,277 including premium, while by close of play Sunday, and before any post-sales had been concluded, another 47 or 81% of the 58 Sunday cars had sold for an additional £2,687,557 gross. The pre post-sale and post-Brexit vote vital stats, 95 or 79% of the 121 cars sold for £5,764,834 with premium, amounting to an impressive sale total for a provincial sale and setting a new Silverstone house record for a collector vehicles auction at the NEC.

Bentley Specials find buyers during 79% sold ACA sale

Both late 1940s Bentley Specials performed strongly in the end of season ACA Drive-Through for classics on a decidedly autumnal Saturday in King’s Lynn, where a full house of punters saw £60,900 handed over for a 1949 dated car and £50,400 for an even racier 1990s conversion of a 1946 MkVI. By the Monday morning, 79% of the 229 auction cars had been successfully re-homed and buyers, 12% of them from overseas making the most of post-Brexit vote exchange rates, had invested £1,663,252 including 5% buyer’s premium in 180 classics.

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

 

Benchmark E Type Jag prices paid were £70,350 for a three owner 1965 S1 4.2 OTS and £65,100 a 1968 S1½ 4.2 OTS from third ownership since 1991. One of the most viewed lots at the Norfolk sale was an increasingly handsome and rated 1973 Alfa Romeo Junior Zagato 1600 left hooker from one Swiss and one British ownership which realised a more than top estimate £39,900. Even with an Alfa 33 motor fitted, a 1982 Alfsud Sprint Veloce with original engine included sold for a more than forecast £8190.

A clutch of 911s came to market on the former Cattlemarket site led by a 1988 911 Carrera 3.2 Sport Coupe from the William Hunt portfolio (or should that be Porsche-folio?). Even being the subject of a declared total loss claim in 2002 did not prevent it from selling for £32,025, £4000 more than the guide price. Another of Hunt’s Carrera 3.2 Sports of the same vintage sold for £28,350, despite having been driven 209,521 miles with 26 stamps of service history to prove it.

A water-cooled Type 996 911 Carrera 4 from 1999 by contrast had been service stamped 13 times during 36,000 mileage and changed hands for £24,675. Whilst the same money was required to own an even more recently made Jaguar XK R-S 4.2 that had been driven 53,000 miles by one owner from new in 2008. A 2015 Japanese import 1996 Honda NSX with Japanese service records for 64,000k sold for £24,150 and another Japanese serviced 1989 Mercedes 500SL R107 in left-hand drive with 89,000k on the odometer for £21,000.

The £19,950 performance of a 1959 Bugeye Sprite on steels with hardtop - the restoration of which commenced in 2009, but had not been fully completed - was therefore all the more impressive. While both Volvo P1800s exceeded their pre-sale estimates; a 1968 P1800S with 36,000 recorded mileage that had last been on the highway in 1976 selling for £16,590, and a 91,057 miles since 1971 P1800E restored between 2009 and 2011 for £15,120. Once again, a great many votes of confidence by classic car consumers had been cast on Bonfire Night afternoon in Norfolk.

89% of classics sell in SWVA drive-through

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans.

Having been abandoned in the Californian outback for 20 years, early model VW T2 immigrant landed in the UK in 2011 as a rolling shell without engine, gearbox or seats. Nearly six years later, the award-winning UK specialists transformed Campervan motored past the Dorset auctioneers rostrum into new ownership for £26,833 to head an 89% sold £379,637 Friday morning.

Even with end of season temperatures falling faster than either the autumn leaves or Sterling, classical British sports cars were still cool with the car buying punters who paid £25,650 for a 1948 MG TC and £23,760 for a 1982 Morgan Plus 8. The MG had done most its early and mid-life motoring in South Africa before restoration in 1995 and inheriting a VW steering box. Whilst the Rover 3.5 V8 powered Malvern Mog in Merc Purple had been speed-evented by a previous owner, hence a Safety Devices roll-over bar, and fitted with electric power-steering and repositioned seats with off-set steering wheel for the vendor’s late husband.

On the Sunday afternoon, the going was very much softer under the Classics Central hammer at the Bedford Autodrome, where although more than two thirds of the 73 cars displayed inside and outside the auction unit did not meet their reserves, there were buyers with a premium-inclusive £196,274 to spend on 21 cars, including the higher-priced ones.

For a right-hand drive 1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL W113 Pagoda-top recently serviced by marque specialist Roger Edwards achieved a more than lower estimate £65,725. Whilst a pre-sale estimated £23,000 or more had been sought for a BMW M635 CSI with 82,000 miles of full service history since 1986, £19,500 was accepted for the Park Lane supplied Coupe with manual box afterwards – and, although a 22,744 miles from new in 1989 Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth on correct alloys ran out of puff ‘live’, the discreetly winged 4-Door was also post-sale sold for £26,000.

The next Friday evening of London to Brighton Veteran Car Run weekend, the annual selling and buying opportunity of Run eligible Automobiles took place in the New Bond Street HQ of event sponsors Bonhams, who sold 10 out of the 12 Veterans in the saleroom for £1.23m to achieve an 83% sale rate.

 

A results-topping £272,500 was available for a 1904 Renault Type N-B 14/20hp Swing-Seat Tonneau, one of the first 4-cylinder Renaults with detachable dais roof for all seasons and the convenience of an electric starter. A tiller-steered 1897 Daimler 4hp 2-cylinder with 8-seater Wagonette coachwork by Stirling of Hamilton - one of the earliest surviving British-made Daimlers with an entry included for the Sunday Run to Brighton as Start Number 4 - made a more than top estimate £236,700.

A 1904 Aster 16/20hp 4-cylinder with non-original 4-seater Rear-Entrance Tonneau bodywork by Parisian Renaudin meanwhile also came with an LBVCR entry. Allocated Start Number 397 and equipped with side-mounted wicker hampers for the journey, the Brighton Road regular changed preservationists in the West End for £210,940. A top-of-the range Royal Beeston Humberette 6½hp Doctor’s Limo with known ownership history from new in 1904 had transported the immediately preceding owner on the 2012 Run at an average speed of 11mph, taking seven hours. Again with LBVCR Start Number 300 included, and answering to the name of Alice, the 112 year old was adopted by an intrepid new guardian for £57,500.

The least expensive means of Brighton Run transport successfully auctioned this year were an ex-Rootes Group Heritage Collection 1903 Humber 2¾hp Olympia Tanden Forecar and a De Dion 3½hp 1-cylinder powered 1900 Renault Type C 2-seater with additional Rear-Entrance Tonneau accommodation. The former, basically a motorised tricycle with a posh suicide seat for the passenger to the fore, which would also be eligible for the Pioneer and Banbury Veteran Motorcycle Runs, was pedalled away for £36,800. The latter meanwhile, a veteran 4-wheeler of in excess of 25 London to Brightons whilst in previous Dutch ownership, and more recently exercised by the vendor on the 2015 Run, sold for £37,083, which included a 2016 event chance to celebrate the freedom of being able to take to the road without having to be preceded by a Red Flag Man!

During these extreme financial times, when a politician-driven future for electric rather than exhaust emitting road vehicles could well render the internal combustion engine extinct by taxation, surprisingly perhaps ye olde collector vehicles from yesteryear continue to magnetise bidders. For within the week reviewed, another clutch of auction cars have come to market via the auction route and £1.82m has been invested in the futures of 98 automobiles, ranging from a circa 1897 Hart Steamer sold for £60,860 to the £1250 exchanged for a 2003 vintage X Type Jag 2.5 Sport.

Rod Stewart Lambo makes over £900k

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

The 1971 Miura P400S in rarer right-hand drive that was supplied by Lamborghini Concessionaires in 1971 to first owner, rock star Rod Stewart, 45 years before he was awarded the Sir-prefix, has been sold by Coys to an absent Canadian bidder for £909,000 including charges at the Richmond firm’s London’s Ally Pally sale during CSM Show weekend. Chassis 4863 had only recently been treated to an SV-spec conversion during a circa £100k restoration at marque specialists Colin Clarke Engineering.

A new world record price of £303,000 was claimedfor a 1972 Maserati Ghibli 4.9 SS, one of only eight made in right-hand drive, that had been formerly owned for many years by U2 drummer Adam Clayton. The 26th Range Rover manufactured meanwhile, believed to have been the first one Land Rover registered to themselves as a ‘Range Rover’ 27 May 1970 and the first of the batch of 20 press launch cars, had been the subject of a diligently executed restoration by a model guru was hammered away for £80,000, costing the next preservationist £89,500 with premium.

Other market-important movers declared sold in North London included a £425,000 1964 Aston Martin DB5, which had remained in the first and previous ownership for the last 52 years. A 1974 Ferrari 246GT E Series, one of 498 Dino Coupes in right-hand drive was hammered away to a telephone bidder for £374,000 and a 1977 London Motor Show exhibited 512BB, one of 101 rhd ones and with increasingly reassuring Ferrari Classic Certification, went for £225,000.  Before any additional post-sales had been concluded, some 60% of the 62 lots offered were declared sold ‘live’ on the Coys-tv www-feed, the 37 cars grossing more than £3.6m

Later the same afternoon at Artcurial HQ on the Champs Elysees in Paris, 60 of the 77 voitures viewed for the tenth time in the underground carpark next door sold in an 80% sold 900,000 euros (£810,000 in our island money) during the ‘AutomobilesSur Les Champs 10’ sale.  A European mainland collector paid a more than top estimate 649,600 euros (£584,640) for the DB5 built by Aston Martin for the 1964 Paris Salon and the ex-works 1964 Le Mans 24 Heures class winning Alpine M64 Berlinette was acquired by an American buyer for a within the guide band 359,600 euros (£323,640).

 

A 1976 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0, prepared as a Group V RSR model and campaigned by the Almeras Bros, remained in the EEC with a 220,400 euros result (£198,360), forecast money, and a claimed to be still very original 1962 Jaguar E Type 3.8 Coupe doubled its estimate to sell for £104,400 (£93,960). A 1967 Ferrari 330GT V12 for 2+2 found 197,200 euros with premium (£177,480), a mid-estimate valuation by a European collector, and a 1992 Lancia Delta Evo I Martini HF with discreet Martini stripes, but a Martini Racing branded rear of roof mounted spoiler, that had been driven 57,500k by two owners, raised a more than forecast 102.080 euros (£91,872 with premium).

In this, their 10th such Paris sale, Artcurial had successfully shifted 8 out of every 10 consigned cars, although 17 of the reserves were too much for the market makers and certainly too much for those paying in Sterling at the current rates of exchange. If the courts and the Remain lobby in the city and on the TV studio sofas get their undemocratic way, of course, Brexit may never actually happen and Brits will soon be able to afford to buy cups of coffee and classic cars at European prices.

£98k Aston Martin V8 top seller!

Older automobiles were still cool in Richard Edmonds country sale tent, though Aston Martin V8 was top seller - at £98k!

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

German and Japanese could be heard in the Richard Edmonds auction tent, where one family had travelled from the EEC mainland to Wiltshire to check out a 1934 Singer Le Mans SS stalled restoration project that was eventually taken on for £14,300, £6300 more than the guide price.

A genuine Austin factory made in 1924 Seven ‘Pram Hood’ Chummy with original chassis correctly stencilled onto the rear cross-member fitted with an engine rebuilt around a similar period crankcase (with the original included) also soared under the hammer until sold for £18,810 to applause, £8000 more than the pre-sale estimate! Even without a V5, the remains of a 1931 A7 ulster, the chassis and engine for which had been found together in North Yorkshire ten years ago since when other parts had been added, made £5500. A replicated 1931 A7 ‘Ulster Evocation’ with obligatory Phoenix crank, SU carb, external oil filter, close-ratio box, 12v electrics, hydraulic brakes and some recent hill-climbing form achieved a £13,200 result, forecast money.

A barn full of pre-wars, ready to perambulate, but increasingly unfriendly to accommodate in diminishing residential garage facilities, also found buyers in a more modern classics obsessed world. A Meadows engined Bean 18/50hp in the sale, Bean’s first six, had been supplied new in 1927 to the Sydney police.   Hong Kong rallied in the Noughties and only recently lapping the Malta GP circuit and completing the Mendip Tour, the Black Country Tourer was unsold ‘live’, but did sell straight afterwards for £25,300.

Answering to the name of Basil (but far from Fawlty!), a VSCC event dated 1931 Alvis 12/50 TJ Tourer for two with shortened chassis and quadruple Land’s End Trials form found £24,200, again over £4000 than had been forecast, and an Austin 12/4 Clifton Tourer for four with original 1926 sales invoice and a much more recent coil conversion went for £19,800, top estimate money.

Said to be the first Lea Francis to be sold by A B Price, who went on to be the leading Leaf specialist, a 1926-dated LF J Type Tourer, driven over 100,000 miles and upgraded by previous owner and marque guru Jim Collins, was ripe for the next re-commissioning, and yet still realised £12,650, the guide price. An ex- Hebden Bridge Museum displayed and Weddings-hired 1935 Morris 10/4 Six Light Saloon, mechanically rebuilt and re-trimmed during vendor ownership at a combined cost of over £31,000, was keenly contested until hammer fall at £8700, £1700 more than the guide and costing the winner a therefore not unreasonable £9570 with premium.

Some very old motorcycles were clearly cool with today’s buyers, too, with a more than anticipated £16,500 available for a 1928 Velocette KE, restored in the mid-1970s, occasionally ridden until 1992 and dry-stored since. £8800, forecast money, was forthcoming for a 1913 Sun with non-running, though rotating engine, and a still very original 1938 Ariel Square Four with 1000cc push-rod engine sold for £8470. A copy of a 1946 bill of sale showed that, 70 years ago, ‘The Squariel’ had been purchased for £75.

The two highest priced lots of the third and final day of trading in what had been a near to 2000 lot auction - during which a chalk tin sold for £500, a Speedwell grease tin with £40-60 estimate for £800 and a Carless enamel sign for £1500 – were much more contemporary, albeit 38 and 61 years of age respectively.

For a 2015 refreshed 1978 Aston Martin V8 auto with full service history from new was bid to 90,000 under the gavel, not quite enough presumably, but the Aston Fixed Head with four full seats had sold the same evening for £98,000. While a former Colorado resident 1955 Austin-Healey 100/4, repatriated in 2013, restored and converted to right-hand drive in the UK, and fitted with 100M bonnet and Universal Laminations hardtop, was also provisionally bid to an insufficient £33,000. By traditional auction book close however, or after the last digit had been input into the paper-replacing excel, the 4-cylinder BN1 had finally sold, too, for £38,500 with premium during a 63% sold £546,162 session for the cars alone.

Happily, this old-style country sale for old motors in a tent in a field was a delightfully distant world away from Clinton versus Trump, the Russian Aircraft Carrier heading to add more fuel to the Syrian fire, the Calais Jungle fiasco, not to mention the prospect of the Heathrow serving M25 becoming even more of a no-go area than it is at the moment!

Barn and Garden Discoveries headline at Duxford

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Only recently exposed to cruel daylight after some 40 years hibernation, 1964 Jaguar E Type project with decades of dust and barn droppings was exposed to the bright lights of the latest H&H sale at Duxford, where the S1 3.8 FHC non-runner was applauded for costing the winning benefactor £78,400 with premium.

In the same weighty catalogue of 139 classics meanwhile, a 1966 E Type 4.2 OTS with hardtop ‘Garden Find’ had emerged from slumbering under a tarpaulin next to a holly-bush since the early 2000s to be taken on for £67,200, another more than top estimate result.  Can there really be any more Sleeping Beauty or Basket Case E Types out there waiting ‘to be discovered’? Considering how relatively mass-bred these Coventry cats were in the first place, all eleven of them in the Imperial War Museum hangar at Duxford were re-homed in post-Brexit result Britain.

Exceeding their guide prices during a £4.44m grossing afternoon (including the preceding motorcycles session, an overall sale total of £4.9m was claimed by the auctioneers) were a sharp as a knife and catalogue cover starring 1959 XK150SE, for which a winning bidder had to pay £252,000 – the 3.4-litre Drophead had been pre-sale estimated at £135,000-165,000. A recently slower to shift 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I All-Weather Tourer meanwhile had come to public market for the first time in 47 years to make £112,000. Up to £80,000 had been suggested.

With an up to £70,000 forecast, a 1990 Mercedes 190E 2.5-16 Evo 2, one of the 502 homologation edition made, sold for £90,720 and a 1934 Alvis Speed 20 SC went for £72,800. The Open Tourer in Vanden Plas-style had been guided at up to £55,000. A 1988 Pirelli Marathon and 1991 VSCC Pomeroy Trophy exercised 1967 Porsche 911S SWB raised £69,440, after more than the up to £60,000 forecast, and a 1933 Singer 2-Litre Fox and Nicholl Team Rep cost a nostalgic £58,240 to beat a £50,000 top estimate figure.

A Virginian ‘Barn Discovered’ in 2008 and then Florida restored 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk1 2.6 went for a within guide price band £192,640 as did a 1930 AM International 1½-Litre Short Chassis Tourer for four sold for a forecast £123,200. By Green contrast, by far the cheapest lot had been a far from electrifying Isle of Wight made Enfield 8000 all-electric city car of 1975 vintage, which generated (!) a frugal £1175.

Before the landing lights were extinguished at the now brown-signed former RAF airfield beside the M11, 94 or 68% of the classics on the entry list had either sold ‘live’ under the hammer or had had their provisionally logged bids successfully converted into sales. While the original 7 hours or more duration auction could be re-viewed on demand on you-tube, a secondary auction then commenced on-line as the 45 no-sales were given a second chance of selling by being e-blasted to the H&H i-mailing list as still being available. Traditional auctioneers who sold stuff under the hammer or not at all would not be impressed or would they?

Over £2.5m invested in Porsches in an afternoon

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans.


Air-cooled and still cool Porsche 356 - a 54 year old right-hand drive 356B with the larger rear window and twin engine grilles of the 1962 T6 Coupe body and Super 90 engine – was much viewed by PCGB members, marque enthusiasts and traders before costing the next owner £63,000 with premium, mid-estimate money, during a 71% sold £2.55m all-Porsche Silverstone Auctions sale held in ‘The Wing’ above the F1 pits. An earlier 356B, also in rhd but with T5 Coupe body from 1959, was sold for £45,563, the lower estimate with premium.

And while a 2004 Carrera GT Supercar failed to attract a buyer in the room, telephone or from Proxi-bidder computer mice (a larger number than has previously been the case playing at this sale) with the required £440,000 or more, and there was no buyer with £120,000 plus for a similarly lefty 1993 RUF 911 Type 964 Carrera Turbo, most of the other big ticket cars did go home to different motor houses.

A UK-supplied 911 Type 997 GT3 RS Generation II from 2010 topped the Silverstone prices list with a more than forecast £168,750 result. Just over the required money was forthcoming for a first Stuttgart resident 1991 911 964 Carrera RS in minimalist NGT trim (or lack of it) sold for £157,500, and a close to top estimate £151,875 was paid for an always UK rhd 1989 911 Type 930 Turbo with G50 box, original paint and 24,000 mileage. A 911 930 Turbo ‘Flat Nose’, one of 50 UK cars that had (we hope) dodged flashing cameras for 21,000 miles from new in 1986, made £140,625, £20,000 more than predicted.

An only just over-guide £135,000 landed a 2008 and therefore water-cooled UAE supplied 911 997 GT2 with full complement of winglets and 13,800 miles of sandy Porsche Centre service history in Abu Dhabi and Dubai before being only recently rained on in Sutton Coldfield. An only just below estimate £112,500 was accepted for a thoroughly UK exercised 1995 911 993 Turbo with 993 RS short-shift linkage that had been re-painted and treated to a re-trim. A 2008 911 997 GT2 converted to ‘RS-look’ without paying for it cost a new rear-view mirror watcher £106,880, and a 1991 911 964 Turbo in rhd and striking Tahoe Blue £90,000, the mid-estimate figure.

After spending most of its 48 years of registered life pottering about or sleeping in Guernsey, where it was restored, a 1967 911T SWB was unsold under the hammer, but post-sale sold for £84,380. This was virtually the lower estimate figure suggested by Silverstone, although if registered within the official EEC, the amount paid would be subject to additional VAT.

A genuine factory-produced right-hand drive GT3 Clubsport 911 996.1in very bright Red on split-rims with bi-plane rear spoiler that had never been ‘track-driven’ during 32,287 fully documented mileage offered much more performance and wine bar appeal for a premium-inclusive bill of £70,317. Even more memorable for vigilante villagers with notebooks would be a 2003 911 996 GT3 Clubsport in forget-me-not Speed Yellow, the front end stone-chip protected by ‘Armourfend’. Seriously and expensively upgraded by German Manthey, this tempting escapist-mobile offered loads of wild second (or third) motor car for the £63,900 paid.

Much the same money, £63,000 with premium, also bought an originally JCT 600 supplied in 1988 and quite rare in right-hand drive 911 930 Turbo Targa-top that had been converted to a Flatnose in early 1989 using the Porsche factory option kit of Flachbau parts.

And no Porsche sale or Porsche collection would be truly complete without a Porsche Tractor and some head-scratching 911 restoration projects. For a 1959 308 N Super landed for £15,525 was, indeed, in super nick and had clearly been nowhere near the farmyard where I keep my toys. Whilst a non-original 1971 911S 2.2 lefty that had been dry-stored after only 12 years and 70,000k on the road (with tax disc expired ‘31 05 84’ to prove it!) was taken on after the sale for £43,900 and an even more challenging 1973 911E Targa from Florida with 2.4 T motor of the same vintage was even more bravely bought under the Humbert hammer for £6300.

This was Silverstone Auction’s second such annual Porsche sale, which was attended by legendary Porsche factory team drivers Derek Bell MBE, who entertained Porsche owners and prospective owners both in the room and on-line with a talk following the preview on the Friday, and John Fitzpatrick, who signed copies of his newly published book on sale day.

Salegoers were transported back to the car park in a brace of charabancs that were straight out of a Miss Marple episode. Sadly, no 911 for me these days - Porsche works driver Nick Faure sold me my first, a 911S daily driver for early 1970s London, and Francis Tuthill my last, a Waldegard, Blomqvist and Jimmy McRae rallied 1965 911 SWB. Instead, I went home by equally trusty Honda Swindon built CRV with a mere, though twin turbocharged 1.6 diesel to propel me incredibly economically to the next auction, which for bikes followed by cars goes live 10am this Saturday 22 October in the Richard Edmonds tent pitched beside the A420 at Allington, just outside Chippenham.