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. 

The world’s highest priced Porsche 928

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans.

World record auction price breaking Porsche 928 Clubsport Prototype - one of only five made that was owned by factory race team driver Derek Bell, who drove his CS ‘company car’ approximately 42,000 miles between June 1987 and February 2005 - sold for 253,000 euros (a mighty £228,593, even in devalued Sterling!) during a Friday evening session in the Bonhams tent during Zoute GP weekend.

The next day, at Ascot Racecourse, a 2009 Lamborghini Murecielago LP 670-4 Super Veloce in right-hand drive was hammered away by Coys for £280,680 with charges, a 1967 Mercedes-Benz 250SL in rarer rhd for £51,080 and a one owner from new in 1971 Morgan Plus 8 for £35,000. Whilst on the Sunday back across the EU Channel again at Chateau sur Epte, Normandy, the sun certainly shone on Equipe Artcurial who successfully shifted 100% of the Andre Weber Collection to a packed house, the 78 largely American automobiles selling for 912,376 euros including 18% premium (£821,138).

Bringing his much exercised hammer down on Yanky classics of the 50s and 60s Maitre Herve Poulain recalled the idols of his youth, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, in a film by Howard Hawks, along with the music of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Those were the Days My Friends. Artcurial MD Matthieu Lamoure was also in fine voice, deserving warm applause for his rendition of ‘Blue Suede Shoes’.

Buicks were in demand in Normandy, Weber’s 1939 Special 4-Door selling for 21,900 euros (£19,710) after a lively battle between two combatants in the saleroom, while a 1956 Century 4-Door Hardtop found a new owner with 13,400 euros (£12,060). Ford Vedettes were also a favourite with acquisitive Monsieur Weber (he was married in one!), his 1954 Vedette Vendome fetching the same argent, while his 1941 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe changed cruisers for 33,400 euros (£30,060), well above the 24,000+ euros forecast.

All the French voitures in the collection were snapped up, too, a 1935 Talbot T210 Coach heading the prices with a 35,300 euros result (£31,770) from a still futuristic though made in 1938 Panhard Panoramique X73 Berline Parisienne 28,600 euros (£25,740). A 1934 Delage D6-11 Roadster cost the next guardian 23,100 euros (£20,790) and a 1934 Citroen Rosalie 10A Saloon 9700 euros (£8730).

Although the top priced automobile of an entertaining afternoon was not home grown, but an all-American 1932 Packard 904 Victoria-style Convertible by Rollston which sold for a within estimate 53,500 euros (£48,150). Formidable! Hopefully, the all-Porsche Silverstone Auctions sale in The Wing this Saturday 15 October - automobilia from 11am, Porsches from 2pm - will be as successful for vendors and buyers as well as mere observers, like your wandering scribe.

Porsches continue to fly in Hershey and Zoute

Latest Market Commentary From CCFS's Market Analyst Guru Richard Hudson-Evans 

Latest Market Commentary From CCFS's Market Analyst Guru Richard Hudson-Evans 

CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans delves into the world of barn finds and Porsches in this week's market review. 

The quite extraordinary appetite of so-called Barn Found discoveries and the apparently uneconomic amounts of money bid for them continues to amaze. The latest jaw-dropper to cross an auction block being a 1957 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster from single family ownership since 1967 that emerged from 40 years inactivity in a Texas garage to soar past RM Sotheby’s $200,000-250,000 pre-sale estimate, costing the next owner $341,000 (£272,800) during a 90% sold $11.58m (£9.26m) Hershey Lodge Sale.

The highest priced automobile auctioned during two evening sessions at the AACA Eastern Division Fall Meet in Pennsylvania though was a 1930 Duesenberg Model J, one of eight all-American classics which occupied the first ten places on the results leader board. One of only three Model Js originally topped with Murphy-built dual-cowl open coachwork, the Phaeton had come to market after 54 years in the same family, and was hotly contested by bidders from 18 countries in the saleroom and on the phones until hammered away for an estimate-smashing $2,090,000 (£1,672,000) with premium.  A below guide price $825,000 (£660,000) was accepted for a very early production Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster that first turned heads on the sidewalks of Buffalo, New York, in 1957.  

It took 10 minutes to conclude a bidding contest for the keys of the 1932 Lincoln Model KB Boat-tail Speedster penned by GM stylist David Holls that also shattered its pre-sale estimate when finally sold for $605,000 (£484,000). A 1935 Auburn Eight Supercharged Speedster, a two-time 100-pointer in 2016 Classic Car Club of America judging, made $880,000 (£704,000), the sole-surviving 1931 Pierce-Arrow Model 41 LeBaron Convertible Victoria also selling well at $456,500 (£365,200). An exceptionally restored 1958 Chevrolet Impala Convertible exceeded $100,000-125,000 expectations, selling for $161,700 (£128,360), a very Hershey event appropriate 1925 White Model 15-45, commissioned in period as a Yellowstone Park Tour Bus, picked up $88,000 (£70,400), nearly double the forecast money at this, the auctioneer’s 10th Hershey sale.

Also on the Friday, on the other side of the Atlantic during Zoute Grand Prix weekend, Bonhams’ European Motor Car Department held their fourth auction at the up-market Belgian Knokke Le Zoute resort beside the North Sea, where 28 of the 31 cars in the tent sold, a 90% sale rate, for 4.36m euros (£3.94m).  The most newsy valuations were the unprecedented 483,000 euros (£436,404) available for a 2016 Porsche 911R Type 991 Coupe, number 135 of only 991 produced with only 52k depreciation, for which an uncharted £250,000-350,000 had been forecast, and a believed to have been the only 356 Pre-A 1600 Speedster delivered new to Belgium in 1955 sold for 586,500 euros (£529,820), 36,500 euros over the top estimate. A 1989 911 Type 930 Targa 5-speed, one of only 3 delivered to Belgium, went for a just over guide 304,750 euros (£275,350) and a 1987 928 Prototype Club Sport Coupe first owned by five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell made a within estimate 253,000 euros (£228,593).

On the following day at the Porte De Versailles in Paris meanwhile, during their inaugural sale at the Mondial de l’Automobile, which attracted 1.25m visitors in 2014, Coys claimed a new 50,740 euros (£45,666) world record auction price for an all-electric car, the first ever Tesla Roadster ‘Signature Edition’ delivered to Europe no less.

Liveried in real 24 carat Gold Leaf, the 1931 Cadillac Fleetwood Drophead that cruised with former flamboyant pianist owner driver Liberace also found a fan with 98,000 euros (£88,200). The ex-Violati Collection dispersed 1973 Ferrari 365GT4 featured in the 2003 ‘Enzo Ferrari’ film reportedly sold to a New Zealand collector for 75,800 euros (£68,220). Two more Pre-A Porsche 356s went to the same new owner in Paris Expo Pavilion 3, a 1955 Cabrio being declared sold for 260,000 euros (£234,000) and a 1953 1500 S Coupe for 283,000 euros (£254,700).

Fuller results from the Saturday sale however will not be published on-line by the auctioneers until after the conclusion of the Paris Show. No market-measuring sale stats or total from the French capital or, indeed, from their simultaneous Ascot sale can therefore be assessed at this stage. Although a 2009 Ferrari 430 Scuderia was declared sold from the Parisian sale rostrum for 170,000 euros (£153,000), a 1954 Chevrolet Corvette C1 for over 70,000 euros (£63,000) and a 1990 Lamborghini Countach Anniversary with less than 400m on the odo for 367,000 euros (£330,300).

H&H next test the market with a well-stocked on-line catalogue of classic bikes commencing 10.30am Wednesday 12 October, followed by cars from 1pm, at the Imperial War Museum alongside the M11 at Duxford in Cambridgeshire. Recipients of the Warrington firm’s mail-shots have been advised that admission is by large catalogue only at £25 (plus p&p if ordered in advance).

Silverstone Auctions will then offer 65 on-line and mailed print-catalogued Porsches Saturday 15 October above the F1 pits in The Wing at Silverstone Circuit, where cars for sale range from a low mileage Boxster to a Carrera GT. In partnership with the Porsche Club GB, and preceded by 104 lots of marque-tuned automobilia from 11am, an example of every front-engined Porsche ever made to a spread of the 911 variants produced and the inevitable Porsche tractor go under the gavel from 2pm in Northamptonshire.

Thus far, the auction market for collector vehicles appears to be motoring along without apparently running short (or out) of fuel, which, as I am sure fellow long fellow drivers will be only too well aware post-Brexit result, is costing us more by the refill as the higher cost in £ Sterling of prices charged in US $ per imported tanker-load filter through to the forecourts. In so many markets, there are now too many volatile variables to guess - with any accuracy - what will happen next.


Latest Classic Car Auction Commentary: 07/10/2016

Porsches up, Ferraris down
Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Porsches went up by nearly 5% in September, report the Historic Automobile Group, although after falls in the prices actually achieved for collector Porsches in recent months, their HAG1 P index recorded more restrained 3.22% growth in prices paid for Porsches during the first nine months of the year to date.

The latest Porsche index hike was boosted by the £4.59m investment in the future of a never raced or rallied 1956 550/1500 Rennsport time warp in the Bonhams tent at the Goodwood Revival and the £1m more than forecast achieved by RM Sotheby’s for a 1995 911 GT2 in Battersea Park during September. In the more mainstream 911 market too, a mid to high estimate £28,600 was forthcoming at CCA in the WEC for a 1996 Type 993 with ‘Turbo tail’ on BBS-style alloys, and a £14,600 over guide price £39,600 was required to land a purer 1995 Type 993 Carrera 2 at Brightwells Leominster.

But while last month also saw stronger trading for Top Car sales in general with the HAGI Top recording a rise of nearly 1% in September and 4.65% growth in prices for the year to date, the previously rampant market for Ferrari Prancing Horses cooled by 1.55%. Although Ferraris prices have nonetheless still gone up by 4.5% since the start of the year. Not as much though as those paid for classic Mercedes. For the HAGI M-B increased by 0.33% in September and has clocked growth in collector Mercedes-Benz prices of 6.18% this year to date.

What will happen next to prices, and the sentiment that drives prices up and down, will be out of all our hands and will depend on a much bigger picture, of course. For while Sterling has plummeted by 20% in one year and the £ is at a 31 year low to the US $, which has made UK exports and collector vehicles priced in Sterling very competitively priced for those paying in stronger currencies, imported food, car parts and diesel now cost considerably more. Prices for most things we need to buy can only rise in sympathy.

Loads of spare money, much of which used to be invested in lower than inflation interest financial services products and has been diverted into alternative investments, such as classic cars, has recently been poured into buying up equities which have soared to just shy of their record high. And despite the uncharted uncertainty of impending Brexit without a definite plan in place, and completely bucking the economic fact of life that a strong economy has to have a strong currency, amazingly, the UK has become the fastest growing economy in the G7.

The latest SMMT figures confirm a low interest rate fuelled 66-plate boom, total new car sales an all-time record in September, up 1.6% compared to the same month in 2015. In England (better paid than devolved Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland), 1.88% more new cars sold last month, 3.16% more for the first nine months - while during the same politically unstable period, UK total new car registrations increased by 2.6% and over 2m new cars have sold in 2016 so far. Market leaders Ford also sold more Commercial Vehicles last month than ever before. Chinese owned MG Motor UK enjoyed a 34% increase in registrations over their September 2015 total, Renault their best sales results in 8 years.

More environmentally incorrect classics than ever before meanwhile continue to pour into the classic car sales catalogues by the transporter full. Never have there been so many auction dispersal and buying opportunities for consumers who are currently spoiled for choice. And where vendors’ reserves are realistic and their classic chips are successfully cashed in, reasonable sale rates and some strong prices encourage more of the same. Although no market has ever churned without end before and some sort of a slow-down, if not a correction, should be factored into rainy day planning.

Latest Classic Car Auction Commentary: 30/09/2016

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Yet another ‘Barn Find’ E Type, this time an S3 V12 Roadster manual in right-hand drive from one family ownership since 1976, that had not been driven for more than 15 years, clearly appealed to one investor.  For the successful bidder was prepared to invest £61,050 - £20,000 more than the CCA pre-sale estimate - to secure what will be a major and costly Jaguar restoration project. By the end of the Saturday afternoon session at the Warwickshire Event Centre, such was the enthusiasm of shoppers that they snapped up 111 or 74% of the 150 classics in the pocket-sized catalogue for a cool £1.44m.

One of the highest fliers was an ex-Japan Lancia Delta Integrale, an Evo 2 on steroids with winged roof, a pair of Recaro buckets and ‘WRC’ registration, which made £40,150, top estimate money. A 1968 Jensen Interceptor Mk1 had returned from a nine year sentence in Belgium, where it had been subjected to a claimed to have been sympathetic restoration, achieved £29,920, the lower estimate figure, and a manual-shift 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 Gullwing flapped away for £25,300. After being put into storage with 8284 miles on the clock in 1995, an untouched for 21 years therefore and UK-spec 1978 Datsun 260Z came to market here to pick-up £24,750.

Bavarian BMWs pulled well with a forecast £48,400 forthcoming for a Birds of Iver left to right-hand drive converted 1988 E30 M3 Evo 2, number 276 of 500 produced and one of only 50 destined for UK-consumption, and £41,250, just over the guide, paid for a 1991 E30 M3 113,000 mile ‘original’. A 2002 Z3 M Japanese import left hooker with S54 M-Sport motor from the 446 M3 found a forecast £23,650 and a 1999 M3 Evo Imola GT2 Special Edition with £10,000 worth of bills sold for £20,350, just over the guide. A 1973 E9 3.0 CS lefty with non-functioning manual box made £18,920, while £7920 was exchanged for an lhd 1971 2002ii with round-lights, even with the stigma of having been a Category D Total Loser in 1990.

Highest priced Porsche to cross the block was a driven 92,000 miles by two owners since 1996 911 993 Carrera with Turbo-tail spoiler on BBS alloys sold for £28,600. Top Merc meanwhile was a £19,360 2006 SL500, reportedly driven a mere 4800 miles from new by two owners. A 1964 Ginetta G4R with factory hardtop, eligible for many major historic events and only recently rebuilt, raised a racey £34,100, and a 35 years stored 1946 MG TC with Stage 3 mods, the subject of a photo-recorded rebuild ten years ago, fetched £35,750. In a much younger classic car world, much of the older kit can me much harder to shift to a 1980s and newer audience, and yet a 1934 Singer Nine Le Mans did find a new owner here with £18,920 to spend.

Persuading the bath-starved to ‘Shower Electric’ in 1977, an ex-Southern Electricity Leyland Mini Van collected £12,230 and a 1962 Austin-badged Mini Pick-Up on most unlikely Minilites, fitted with 998cc engine and Cooper S discs, picked up £8800. A ‘No Reserve’ 1972 Alfa Romeo GT Junior project that had recently migrated from South Africa ‘sold strictly as seen’ for £6050.

Not too many over-printed pounds meanwhile were required to own several already collectible Japanese cars from the recent past - £6880 securing a one fast lady from new in 2003 Suburu Impreza WRX STI, £5060 a 255bhp 1995 Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205 Japanese import, £2310 a Mitsubishi GTO Coupe that has been UK resident since 2003, and £1210 a 1994 Toyota Celica GT 16v Twin Cam.

A home grown 1957 Land Rover S1 with new MOT landed for £8470 could have been put to work as was or transformed into a Chelsea Tractor for several times the purchase price. Whereas a £5060 Morris Minor ‘Woody’ of 1966 vintage that had returned to the old country from sun-bleached Cyprus last year was much more Miss Marple?  Lots of movement in Warwickshire, where all tastes and budgets were well catered for, and an average of £12,993 was spent per classic bought.   

Price guide movers revealed

The Price Guide Quarterly update in the latest issue of Classic Cars magazine reveals the latest climbers and fallers.

Heading up the climbers chart are the Rover P6 3500 (pictured, up 82%), Porsche 944 Turbo Cabriolet (up 60%) and Dellow MkI-IV (also up 60%), while the biggest fallers are the Mercedes 540K Cabriolet A/B/C (down 20%), Chevrolet Corvette C1 (down 17%) and Ford Consul Classic (also down 17%).

Both lists include cars across the full spectrum of the traditional classic eras from the Thirties to the mid Seventies, but there are no modern classics in the list of fallers, reflecting the growth in interest from the newly affluent generation of buyers who grew up aspiring to those cars.

Buying advice and market analysis is part of 16 pages of buying information in every issue of Classic Cars magazine, including Quentin Willson’s Smart Buys, Russ Smith’s Market Watch, in-depth buying guides and Ads on Test.

Phil Bell

Editor, Classic Cars magazine


For more details of the latest issue, visit classiccarsmagazine.co.uk

To see the digital edition for Android devices click here

To see the digital edition on iPad or iPhone click here

Latest Classic Car Auction Commentary: 27/09/2016

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

The 1959 Morgan Plus 4 ‘YOM 798’ - driven by original owners Brian Harper and Peter Astbury on several RAC Rallies and an overall winner of many Nationals in period - fetched £29,700, top estimate money, during a 79% sold £1.31 Wednesday afternoon at Brightwells, an average of £10,796 spent per classic.

The TR3 2-litre powered Malvern-born warrior had been in receipt of a chassis transplant at the Malvern factory in the early 1960s, but had disappeared off the Morgan Club radar for many decades before being repainted in an inappropriate yellow at some time and repatriated in 2015. An apparently well preserved Ford 1600-engined 4/4 Mog in the sale, driven only 13,700 largely local miles since new in 1978 by three guardians, was also well bought for £17,600.

The highest priced of the 121 cars that were hammered away from the 153 offered was a claimed to be unrestored 1978 Aston Martin V8 S3 from nearly 10 years in storage. One of 184 to S-spec with ‘Stage 1’ tuning mods, but an auto with some bubbling going on beneath the screen surrounding Orchard Green paintwork, the 38 year old from Newport Pagnell sold for £82,500, £12,500 more than had been forecast. A £6200 below lower estimate £63,800 meanwhile was accepted for a three-owner 1999 Bentley Azure with weighty electric hood and less than 28,000 miles on the clock.

Of the several barns full of projects seeking buyers with strong imaginations, a reputedly 1939 Monte Carlo Rally exercised and immensely long late model Alvis Speed 25 SC Sports-Saloon by Charlesworth, that had snoozed in a heated garage in Norrkoping, central Sweden, for the last 36 years, but had no documents, was bravely taken on for £31,900, within the guide price band.

A previously Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust displayed Daimler Century Six with a mere 8250 mileage since new in 1996 picked up £27,500 from the next owner-chauffeur, and a multi-award winning 1972 Volvo P1800 ES manual, which had invoices for more than £40,000 on file, recovered £20,240 of it from the buyer, less the Herefordshire firm’s charges of course. The 5th from last GT6 built by Triumph in 1973, which had taken over three years to restore to concours winning standard 14 years ago, was still in excellent nick and fully deserving of £15,620 from the next showman. While a 1968 Ford Cortina 1600E S1 4-Door with rather unlikely twin Webers in a detailed engine bay was also as sharp underneath as it was top-side, and was knocked down for a less than estimated £12,320 including charges.

By far the most unusual items to crossing the auction block here though were a Berkeley Caravans of Biggleswade made 328cc two-stroke powered Micro-Sports, and the one and only 4-Door Saloon to emerge from the Murad Machine Tool Co of Aylesbury. Even though it had gathered dust for many seasons, the 1957 Berkeley SE328 4-Wheeler Sports (even more plug-fouling492cc versions competed in the sub-500cc class of the Liege-Brescia-Liege Rally and the 750GT category of the 1958 Monza 12 Hour) encouraged bidding interest from as far away from Leominster as Australia until sold for £7700. After 52 years of dilapidation, the 1948 Murad Prototype meanwhile could only muster £1320 from someone who will need to re-unite the unique property with its equally unique in-house produced 1496cc in-line four, which is somewhere out there!

The previous weekend, and such is the pulling power of collections, where everything for sale may often be sold ‘Without Reserve’ for whatever is bid, 100% of the contents of the Normandy Tank Museum at Catz were successfully dispersed by Artcurial for 3.71m euros (£3.19m). The next day, in London’s West End, Bonhams sold 99% of lots from the late Robert White’s Collection for £3m to benefit Dorset charities.

And during the Saturday afternoon following the Brightwells sale, where 26 cars were unreserved on this occasion, 28 ‘No Reserve’ cars had also been consigned by CCA for their latest fixture at the Warwickshire Event Centre sale beside the Fosse Way just outside Leamington Spa, where the Silverstone Auctions subsidiary sold 111 of the 150 cars in their catalogue for £1.44m, the sale rate therefore also being a market-encouraging 74% with an average of £12,993 spent per classic bought. More analysis of the movers and prices paid for them in Warwickshire should be in my ‘something for the weekend’ commentary.

WW2 Jeep breaks world record in Normandy

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

‘No Reserve’ WW2 1944 Willys Overland Jeep MB in authentic Operation Overlord trim established a new world auction record for an iconic model that was widely used by American troops by selling to a European bidder for 100,100 euros (£86,086) during the 100% sold 3.71m euros (£3.19m) Artcurial D Day Dispersal Sale of the Normandy Tank Museum Collection at Catz.

Over a thousand classic military vehicle enthusiast packed into the Nerrant family’s Tank Museum on the site of the historic A10 Temporary Airfield, a few kilometres from Utah Beach, to see three world records set by bidders from Europe, Asia and the Middle East. A total of 11 lots sold for more than 100,000 euros, 7 of the top 10 being acquired by foreign buyers.

The tanks, some of which performed demo manoeuvres in front of the Museum the day before the sale, attracted huge interest and high bids. The prices went to the Sherman tanks, the stars of this very nostalgic occasion. Made by Chrysler in the Detroit Tank Arsenal, a 1946 Chrysler M4A4 Sherman scored a direct hit with an American collector who was sufficiently smitten to hand over 364,000 euros (£313,040) for a very large war toy – and, following a battle with a telephone bidder, the winning EU collector in the room had to pay 310,700 euros (£267,202) to capture one of only 80 examples of the Chrysler M4 Sherman 105. To the applause of the saleroom, the new owner announced that the tank, decorated in the battle colours of the 2nd Division, would remain in France.

Military motorcycles were also in demand. For a 1942 BMW R75 with sidecar in 1942 North Africa campaign Afrika Korps livery changed riders and heads to the US for 169,000 euros (£145,340), close to five times its estimate and another new auction record price for the model, while even the matching trailer made 20 times its estimate, selling for 20,800 euros (£17,716). A military scooter by the Cushman Motor Works, the rarer M53-A version built for paratroopers, also made world record money when sold on a Sunday to a Middle Eastern buyer for 149,500 euros (£128,570).

On the Monday, in London’s West End at Bonhams New Bond Street salerooms, the late Robert White’s Collection was 99% sold, realising £3m to fund advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment in his home county of Dorset. Highlights included a 1930 Bentley 4½-Litre Le Mans-style Tourer sold for £315,100, a 1959 AC Ace Bristol Roadster for £254,620, a 1951 Vincent 998cc Series C Black Shadow sold for £88,900 and a 1977 MV Agusta 861cc Magni for £69,700.

The single-owner collection sale of the former entrepreneur, who had started in business in a small camera shop in Poole and went on to found one of the UK’s leading photographic retailers, also set a new world record for a hand-made British wristwatch from bespoke horologist George Daniels. For one of just 35 of the George Daniels 35th Anniversary Edition realised £224,500, double the pre-sale estimate.

Exotic spec, humble price

Crisp, Sixties Italian styling, sweet six cylinder engines, twin carburettors or fuel injection, all-independent suspension – sounds like a recipe for something exotic and expensive to own, doesn’t it? But the Triumph 2000/2500 offers all that in smart condition from just £3k.

As our in-depth buying guide in the latest issue explains, you can pay double that for a perfect example, the fuel-injected 2.5 PI MkI commands a 30 per cent premium and estate versions add a 10 per cent premium. The guide also reveals how well supported these cars are through a small but helpful network of specialists and club enthusiasts dedicated to making ownership as easy as possible.

Buying advice and market analysis is part of 16 pages of buying information in every issue of Classic Cars magazine, including Quentin Willson’s Smart Buys, Russ Smith’s Market Watch, in-depth buying guides and Ads on Test.


Phil Bell

Editor, Classic Cars magazine


For more details of the latest issue, visit classiccarsmagazine.co.uk


To see the digital edition for Android devices click here

To see the digital edition on iPad or iPhone click here 

Latest Classic Car Auction Commentary: 16/09/2016

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

The £1.85m Porsche 911 is here

The driven 12,730k since new in 1995 Porsche 911 GT2, one of 57 made, that inspired a bidding battle in Battersea Park that was not resolved until the winning contestant had paid £1,848,000 including 12% buyer’s premium was an extraordinary valuation, particularly in a nervous market. For not only was the RM Sotheby’s pre-sale estimate of £750,000-850,000 speedily and comprehensively overtaken, but there was also a clearly determined under-bidder who was prepared to better the increments set by his rival all the way until one bid from gavel fall.

Of the seven other 911s from the same collection, all with Porsche Certificates of Authenticity, four of them also achieved model record smashing results, all five going for more than their guide prices - a 1993 911 Turbo S Lightweight selling for £974,400, £724,400 more than had been forecast, a 1993 911 Carrera RS 3.8£716,800, £216,800 above estimate, a 1995 911 Carrera RS Clubsport £403,200, £143,200 more than predicted, a 1998 911 Turbo S £313,600, £73,600 more, and a 1977 911 Turbo £140,000, £10,000 more.

By contrast, and although a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT S2 Cabriolet did sell for £1,288,000, top estimate money, a couple of traditionally Prancing Horses were too shy to Prance under the spotlights at Batterea, notably an only 1471m since 2003 Enzo estimated at £1,200,000 or more running out of puff at £1,050,000, and even a brief canter away from the sanctuary of Battersea Dogs Home, a Classiche certified 1996 F50 could not be-re-homed for the £1,100,000+ sought.

The top seller at the mid-week evening sale - during which bidders from 33 countries, most participating remotely, spent £21.65m with premium on 65 or 76% of the 85 cars auctioned - was a 1960 Aston Martin DB4GT sold for £2,408,000, claimed by the auctioneers to be another record high auction price for the model. For various reasons however, the bulls charged past 20 of the cars in the sale, and even predatory bears were not prepared to make below reserve offers that vendors could not refuse.

At heaving and fully ticketed Goodwood meanwhile, a great many hefty bills were incurred by those Revivalists who are prepared to subject their genuine (rather than replicated) rolling assets to on-track risk, which proved to be even more considerable than usual. Whilst sheltering from a costume-soaking precipitation of theatrical proportions during the Saturday matinee in the Bonhams auction tent (by far the largest and most welcome umbrella at Goodwood), one was still aware of a crunch or two taking place around the circuit across the road.

It took a subsequent review of some of the bent metal and savaged ali-panels in close-up however to appreciate the really rather depressing mechanical carnage that had taken place. Whilst the two hours of excellent highlights coverage on ITV4 revealed the cause, not just the appalling weather on the Saturday, but driving standards that have been allowed to drift into the unacceptable, particularly for people who own and have to pay to repair their classics. For there was nothing gentlemanly about much of the driving, particularly by ‘guest’ pilots, who leaned on rivals as has become custom and practice in a BTCC scrapyard.

Will there soon be a shortage of risk-takers who are prepared to subject a genuine and increasingly valuable motor car with historically important provenance to such posh stock car racing? One at a time up a hill climb course maybe, but not mixing it in bangers and mash racing with hot shoes. It is hardly surprising therefore that real GTOs, 250GT SWBs, GT40s and Cobras are progressively disappearing from historic race grids to be replaced by spec-copy recreations that have been issued with HTP barcodes. What should concern future potential buyers is “Which Cat is the Grandmother?” as a very old TV commercial used to ask.

And if they continue to be cart-wheeled into extinction – as seen on TV at Goodwood - there will be no un-messed around with A30/35 road cars left. For rather like the need to re-supply Mini Cooper 1275S, Cortina Mk1 Lotus and GT, or Escort Mk1 and Mk2 competitors with 2-door shells, body-hungry motorsports consumers have very nearly consumed most of the standard cars. As always, the market and market makers will decide what happens next and at what cost.

Top 5 climbers

The latest issue of Classic Cars magazine reveals the top climbers and fallers. Of the 62 models that have gone up in value in our latest price guide update, five have soared by 25% or more, from the Ford Escort RS Turbo at £10k to the Jensen FF, up 77% to £100k for the best.

Just ten models have shown a drop, led by the the Lotus Elan SE Turbo, falling 7.7% to £8k. Encouraging news for anyone who lusted after one when they were more expensive.

Anyone who tells you that classic cars are a one-way investment, or that they’re all too expensive for true enthusiasts hasn’t studied the real numbers.

Buying advice and market analysis is part of 16 pages of buying information in every issue of Classic Cars magazine, including Quentin Willson’s Smart Buys, Russ Smith’s Market Watch, in-depth buying guides and Ads on Test.


Phil Bell

Editor, Classic Cars magazine


For more details of the latest issue, visit classiccarsmagazine.co.uk

To see the digital edition for Android devices click here

To see the digital edition on iPad or iPhone click here

Latest Classic Car Auction Commentary: 13/09/2016

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

More than £36m was spent on classics at Goodwood and Battersea, where world shattering prices were paid for Porsches

“Genuinely never raced or rallied”, the 1956 Porsche 550/1500 4-Cam Rennsport chassis 0090 with 2-Seater Sports-Race Spyder coachwork by Wendler, an unmolested time machine never offered publicly for sale, fetched a model world record £4,593,500 with premium in the Bonhams auction tent during a 70% sold £14.5m Saturday afternoon session at the Goodwood Revival. An ultra-rare civilian Porsche 4x4 meanwhile, one of only 71 Type 597 Jagdwagen made in 1957, came to market all the way from Japan to pick up £175,100 beside the historic Sussex racing circuit.

Although parked right alongside the seats, the ex-Sir Max Aitken 1965 Ferrari 275GT, restored in the 1990s and with Classiche certification, had ‘withdrawn’ on the screen, having been sold just before the auction for £1,500,000 and, before the speakers had cooled down and the Doom Bar Tent was rocking outside, £603,333.33 was paid for the 1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Rep raced round Goodwood by owner-driver Roy Salvadori in 1952.

The ex-Margaret King (widow of Scottish racing motorcyclist Alistair King) 1964 Aston Martin DB5 and a freshly restored 1967 DB6 Vantage upgraded to 4.2 cost new owners £455,100 apiece, the lower estimate for the 5 and £105k more than the top estimate for the 6. Nearly £100,000 more than forecast was forthcoming for a 1971 Ferrari Dino 246GT in right-hand drive that had been driven only 25,253 miles since new in 1971 and which sold for 299,420. The more than guide price £253,500 paid for an XK Engineering restored 1962 Jaguar E Type S1 ‘Flat Floor’ 3.8 Roadster was another milestone result in the current market.

A much travelled 1985 MG Metro 6R4 Group B in Rothmans colours, which had been rolled at Prescott long, long ago and, in later life, had scored a class win on the 1998 Targa Tasmania, made a within estimate £113,500. While I cannot recall a 1972 Lotus Elite Series 2 Climax - not a race car with some period event history, but one of 23 Super 95 standard road cars that is believed to have been the 1962 Earls Court Motor Show stand car – selling for £103,420 with premium.

Earlier in the week, although a 1960 Aston Martin DB4GT sold for a results topping £2,408,000 during the RM Sotheby’s Wednesday evening sale at London’s Battersea Evolution, where although 65 or 76% of the 85 cars that crossed the stage did sell for £21.65m, Porsches again wrote the headlines with some way, way, way over high estimate sums bid for a pack of 911s.

For entirely due to ‘a need to outbid a nearly as determined rival’ by one winning contestant with apparently unlimited resources, one of about 57 road-going 993 GT2s driven 12,730k by one vendor owner made a more than double estimate £1,848,000. Just as remarkable was the £974,400 with premium that was required to win the keys of a 1993 911 Turbo S Lightweight, one of 86 made with 6303k under-wheel, that had been guided at £210,000-250,000.  And how about the £716,800 result of a 1993 Carrera RS 3.8, one of 55 with 16,652k exposure to wear and tear?

UK or even Global Porsche market-defining? I think not. More likely, these mega-Porsche prices will be mere blips on the trading screens, albeit extremely large ones, and not, I suspect, turbocharged price lines now heading steeply upwards into we know not where. We shall see.

Meanwhile, all the deals on wheels have been done and the final sums can now be computed for the annual Californian sales in the Dis-US.  For my steam-driven abacas maths indicate that of the 1250 or so classic automobiles to cross the block in 5 auctions within 4 days, circa 720 of them will have eventually changed hands, that’s an overall sale rate of 57.5%. For although RM Sotheby’s, Gooding and Bonhams sold 82, 83 and 88% of the contents of their respective catalogues, due to the much lower hit rates achieved at Mecum and Rosso & Steele, the overall trading stat that matters fell this year.

While the rather Rio Grand looking sales total of $344.24m with premium was actually less than the $394m spent on the Monterey Peninsula in 2015, and considerably below the $454m record gross invested in the same bull pens at the same gigs in 2014, many of the individual prices paid this August and the charted appreciation for some of the rolling assets were nonetheless stellar.

Take the Le Mans winning Ecurie Ecosse D Type Jaguar, for instance, for which $21.78m (£16.55m) was handed over at RM Sotheby’, and which last sold at auction at Christies in London in 1999 for £1.71m ($2.81m). The latest auction buyer’s valuation was £14,846,300 more than the last one and the average annual growth over the last 17 years has been £873,312pa!

And then there was the 1904 and London to Brighton Run eligible Mercedes-Simplex, which went for $2.81m (£2.13m) under the Bonhams gavel at The Quail, but which previously changed guardians at a Brooks London in 1999 for £265k ($427k). That’s £1.87m more than the same Veteran fetched 16 years with annual growth of £116,675. Money, in any currency, is worth much less than it used to be, of course. But, even so (and so far), the at times bumpy ride for those who have had the nerve to hang on has been hugely rewarding.

More recently still, 1 August – 4 September, Auctions American attracted 85,000 enthusiasts (considerably more than for any flawed Presidential Candidate Rally) to their Auburn Fall Collector Car Weekend, during which bidders from 45 of the States and 12 overseas countries bought 578 or 69% of the 843 largely US automobiles for $20.7m (£15.73).

Local produced Duesenbergs took the top steps of the AA podium with a 1931 Model J Convertible Sedan selling for $880,000 (£669k) and a 1933 Model J Sunroof Berline by Franay for $715,000 (£543k). A 1931 Cadillac V12 Convertible Coupe by Fleetwood was hammered away for $368,500 (£280k) and a Mechanimals ‘Wendell’ The Mechanical Elephant strutted across the arena flaw during primetime Saturday to collect $275,000 (£209k) to buy books for hospitalised kids in North East Indiana.     

Overall this year, and on both sides of the Atlantic Pond and the slightly more English Channel, transacted prices of the high valued classics has risen by 3.71%, say Historic Automobile Group International, whose number crunchers have recorded an advance of 1.46% in their HAGI Top Index advance in August trades and an increase in values established by buyers of 11.97% over the last twelve months.

The top performing marque in 2016 so far has been Ferrari with a gain of 1.30% in prices paid for Ferraris in August and 6.15% growth in the HAGI F this year so far. By contrast, the most recent and wild bidding for some Porsche models in Battersea Park has as yet to influence the HAGI P, which went up a modest 1.13% in August, but has declined for the year to date by 1.51%. Whereas though Merc prices slipped back ‘statistically’, by 0.05% last month, the HAGI MBCI has recorded a collector M-B price rise of 5.83% in 2016 to the end of August.

Latest Classic Car Auction Commentary: 09/09/2016

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

A total of £6.8m was spent on classic cars and projects in the Bonhams Beaulieu and Silverstone Blenheim auction tents, where there were buyers for between 70 and 78% of sale entries

Beaulieu’s 50th International Autojumble continues to magnetise hunters of those elusive parts, while restoration cases in and around the annual Bonhams auction tent tempt would-be project managers to get carried away. The top priced challenge at this year’s sale was a part-stripped 1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series 1 that had been abandoned for the last 30 years. With non-matching replacement engine out of, but alongside the lot, the ambitious, but potentially financially rewarding task and a half was taken on by a winning bidder on one of three telephones for £203,100. The buyer’s valuation was not only £23,000 above the guide price, but also more than the £197,500 paid for a nearly restored 1968 DB6 Mk1 Vantage with reportedly light frontal damage repairs.

A couple of the other auctioned classics that were ‘offered for restoration’ were much viewed and keenly contested. For a very high for recent market £64,220 was needed to own a 1974 BMW 3.0 CSL Coupe in rhd that had been last MOT’d in 1996, but was said to ‘run and drive’ – and a 1971 Range Rover ‘Suffix A’ in need of considerably more than a makeover cost the next keeper £23,000, three times the lower estimate figure.

During what amounted to a 78% sold £3.4m Saturday afternoon at the Practical Classics supported event, to which more than 30,000 made pilgrimage this year, a 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300S Coupe, first owned by HM King Hussein of Jordan, but last MOT’d in 2001, made a results-topping £292,700 with premium. While an originally made in 1932 Alfa Romeo 1750 Supercharged that had been accident-damaged in a previous life in Australia, where it had been fitted with a recreated chassis, and subsequently topped with a body beautiful in the style of Carrozzeria Touring’s ‘Flying Star’, sold for £260,000.

Simultaneously in the grounds of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, very much better dressed and more likely to be more modern supercar obsessed aficionados checked out the eye candy at Salon Prive and snapped up 70% of the suitably groomed steeds on the Silverstone Auctions lot, spending another £3.4m with premium during Saturday afternoon shopping. The grand total from the Beaulieu and Blenheim sales this year was £6.8m!

A 27,000 miles since new in 2011 911 GT3 RS 4.0 in left-hand drive headed Silverstone’s Porsche prices at Blenheim with a £208,125 result, while the most expensive Ferrari was a left-hand drive 1982 512BBi with 9000 mileage sold for £208,000. A UK supplied and much-stored 1990 190E 2.5-16 Evo 2 had just 885 miles on the odo and went for £202,500 to lead the Mercedes prices and Top Cat from Coventry was an always UK 1959 Jaguar XK150 3.4S Drophead sold for £189,000, nearly £30,000 more than forecast.

Although the most viewed Jag in the play pen was the 1973 E Type S3 V12 Roadster that belonged to Boycie of ‘Only Fools and Horses’ infamy and featured in a non-damaging incident during episode two. The one owner from new auto on wires would certainly have impressed Del Boy by raising £115,875 with premium, £30,000 more than the top estimate. “Lovely Jubbly”, indeed!

Other valuations in public auction, which rang my trading bell, were the £171,000 paid for a Type 930 1988 Porsche 911 Turbo driven 30,570 miles by two registered keepers and the £146,250 result of a UK-supplied 356B T6 Super 90 in right-hand drive. The £142,875 handed over for a Texan restored 1968 Shelby GT500 was mighty, too, as was the £69,750 achieved by an always UK 1971 911T with numbers still matching. Although only just below the lower estimate, the £73,125 paid for a previously Citroen Dealer CEO pampered 1973 Citroen DS Super 5 multi-concours winner (with a table load of awards included) was surely rather ‘Super’ for a right-hand drive DS?

Within the Salon Prive up-market corale pitched on the most spacious South Lawn beside the stately home (a pad gifted gratis to the Battle of Blenheim winning Duke of Marlborough by a grateful nation), the 1956 Ferrari Testa Rossa, owned by Bruce Lavachek and David Cottingham, was awarded Best of Show by the Derek Bell led jury in the Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elegance. Three days later, and as judged by another panel of learned judges including Quentin Willson of Classic Cars mag, a big winged Pagani Zonda 760RS flew to the overall win of the Pirelli Prestige & Performance Competition. Over 12,000 ticket holders wore out the manicured turf with their best shoes during this three-day gig at the original Woodstock, which was a new money world away from jumbling for bits at Beaulieu and washing them down with real ale in a New Forest bar.

The alternative GT

If we all had £500k to spend on a Sixties GT, there’d be an Aston Martin DB5 on every street. I know they didn’t make that many, but stay with me. My point is that the classic world would be a bit boring if the most special cars stopped being special. A bit like affording to put Lagavulin on your morning cornflakes instead of milk.

Whether your budget is limited to £5k or £50k creates a fun challenge – how to find the most exciting car within your budget. For a £50k Sixties GT we’d choose a Jensen CV-8, which offers all of the refinement, performance and curvaceous panelwork of the Aston, but without the lottery price tag and ownership costs. Admittedly its styling has more singular appeal, as does the extreme peatiness of Lagavulin, as it happens. It would be a dull old world if we all liked and chose the same things.

Buying advice and market analysis is part of 16 pages of buying information in every issue of Classic Cars magazine, including Quentin Willson’s Smart Buys, Russ Smith’s Market Watch, in-depth buying guides and Ads on Test.


Phil Bell

Editor, Classic Cars magazine


For more details of the latest issue, visit classiccarsmagazine.co.uk

To see the digital edition for Android devices click here

To see the digital edition on iPad or iPhone click here

Latest Classic Car Auction Commentary: 02/09/2016

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

After 171 classics sell in one day in Norfolk, three more auctions take place simultaneously this Saturday at Beaulieu, Blenheim and Chantilly

UK supplied 1973 Porsche 911E with 2.4T motor was one of 171 of 230 classics sold by ACA in 71% sold under the hammer for £53,550 during what amounted to a £1.5m+ so far Bank Holiday weekend drive-through at King’s Lynn, where a log stalled 1964 Jaguar E Type S1 4.2 OTS restoration project headlined when taken on for £115,500. Other valuations set by buyers in public auction ranged from the £19,800 handed over for a 1947 Rover 12 Tourer for four last refreshed in 2012, via the £13,125 result of a 2015 completed Morris Mini 850 Deluxe from 1960 to the premium £137,530 paid for a 2016 vintage BMW M4 GTS, one of thirty assigned to the UK market with all options bar carbon wheels.

There will be three more significant barometer readings for the current climate for the collector vehicle sector this weekend with simultaneous sales taking place in Bonhams marquees on both sides of the English Channel border at Chateau Chantilly, near Paris, and during the Saturday of International Beaulieu Autojumble weekend at the National Motor Museum in Hampshire’s New Forest, where another 143 cars and 43 classic bikes and projects confront reality.  Whilst the same day at the same time, several counties north within the light and airy tented Silverstone Auctions corale in the grounds of Palatial Blenheim at Woodstock, Oxfordshire, a further 68 auction cars undergo buyer testing during the three-day Salon Prive Concours, where the well-dressed parade their automotive finery in front of detail-obsessed judges.

The way of the supercar obsessed new world was underlined by star billing at Silverstone’s Salon Prive auction being awarded to a 2016 Lamborghini Aventador SV Roadster, one of 500 of the fastest Lambo open-top model yet with all of 59k of delivery mileage and an estimated £480,000-520,000 on the screen. Will this, the latest iteration of previous Superveloce licence-losers be a “sure fire classic of the future” as the auctioneers predicted in their preview copy? Only your time (and other investors’ money) will tell, of course.    

According to the HAGI-F current market monitoring stats, Ferrari Prancing Horses continue to out-run Lamborghini Bulls and other contenders for a share of any big bucks that are avoiding unprofitable interest rates and are not being gambled on the usual hot property or undervalued equity alternatives. Incredibly now 34 years young, a claimed by Silverstone to be “incredibly original” Ferrari 512BBi that has been driven a mere 9000 miles from new in 1982 was predicted to cost a brave new jockey £200,000-230,000. With just 1977 miles from new of exposure to the real world of the stone chip lottery, a 1998 550 Maranello was pre-sale estimated at £180,000-220,000, more than three times the going rate of a terraced house in the forgotten back-streets of our three-tier economy. Whilst a far less exposed £75,000-85,000 of a successful bidder’s money meanwhile was predicted for a 3983 miler since 1989 348TS.

A right-hand drive and still futuristic looking 43 year old Citroen DS Super 5 meanwhile - displayed on a plinth with a mirror to show off its normally unseen undergarments - was super-stunning and had more than a trophy cabinet’s worth of concours awards won in eight European countries to prove it. With only one previous owner on file, the CEO of the supplying Citroen dealership, the 1973 style icon in Blanc Meije with still original Red Targa upholstered armchairs was pitched at Francophiles with £75,000-85,000 to invest.

Having checked out the metal being hammered away (or not) at two out of the three auction venues, and after logging the ‘live action’ at the Beaulieu one for the umpteenth time, I shall, of course, report back on what some of you are buying and for how much,  plus what you’re not, in my next transmission. There are only another four sales next week, RM Sotheby’s Battersea Park Wednesday, DVCA Athelhampton House Thursday, when Coys debut Fontwell House sale also takes place, with the Bonhams Goodwood Revival Sale on the Saturday. With so much auto-commuting to do around the auctions circuit, circa 40,000pa, I am now on my seventh consecutive Honda CRV!

Why buy the best?

With spiralling standards of perfection seen at everything from the local car shows to the top concours, it’s easy to be drawn in. But as one dealer said to me, it’s vital to be realistic about what you want the car for. If you want a better-than-new gem, so flawless that you’ll never want to drive it for fear of stone chips, rain drops or even some road grime, perfection is the only way to go. You’ll have something lovely to admire in your garage or maybe at a show.

If you want to use it for drives to favourite country pubs, continental holidays and on sunny Friday commutes to the office, that perfect classic could be more of a source of stress than pleasure. Top price Triumph Stags are now in the high teens, but we’ve seen decent examples for less than £10k and a 64,000-miler in original condition for £10.5k. For that you still get a car that drives well, draws admiring glances and is something to be proud of, once you’ve accepted its imperfections as patina. The trick is distinguishing those cars from urgent restoration projects, held together by the last respray and trip to the filler and underseal shop.

Buying advice and market analysis is part of 16 pages of buying information in every issue of Classic Cars magazine, including Quentin Willson’s Smart Buys, Russ Smith’s Market Watch, in-depth buying guides and Ads on Test.


Phil Bell

Editor, Classic Cars magazine


For more details of the latest issue, visit classiccarsmagazine.co.uk

To see the digital edition for Android devices click here

To see the digital edition on iPad or iPhone click here 

Latest Classic Car Auction Commentary: 30/08/2016

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans


Sale rates and attendances were high at Brooklands and King’s Lynn auctions

Whilst sale rates for the three major Monterey auctions had been within 82 to 88% this year, Historics also achieved an equally market-confidence boosting 83% under canvas at the Brooklands Museum, where 124 of the 150 classics had changed owners for £2.76m with premium by the Monday following the Saturday sale.

For a Bentley Special sourced from a 1934 Derby Bentley 3½ Saloon in 2013 and only recently transformed by coachbuilder Ian Pitney into an evocative looking Roadster with Monza tail and flight-inspiredwings post-sale sold for £142,400 to become the weekend’s top seller.

The second highest priced collector car to be hammed away, a Wildae Restorations open-topped 1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I former Saloon, now Drophead, cost a buyer £135,300.  While the other big ticket lots were Jaguars, a freshly Twyford serviced and always right-hand drive 1958 XK150S Drophead selling for £118,800, high estimate money, and a left to right converted 1964 E Type Series 1 3.8 Roadster for a within estimate £113,850.  A declared to be non-running 1954 XK120 Drophead requiring mechanical and cosmetic work was taken on for £52,360, over £14,000 more than forecast.

There were buyers for eleven out of twelve of the Jaguars in the Historics catalogue – but then nineteen of the twenty-two Mercedes consigned also sold, a restored 1967 250SL lefty doing so for £71,280, more than £26,000 over estimate. But then a Ford Cortina Mk1 1500GT that had been driven an average of one mile per day since new in 1963 found another conservationist with £26,400, and a 2002 Cooper S employed by Madonna for whizzing around London was the subject of a two-bidder battle that ended in a £22,000 valuation.

One week later, and another 233 classics for all budgets came to market in King’s Lynn, where all but the seriously immobile restoration projects were driven past the ACA rostrum. By the end of the Saturday afternoon, and even before further conversions of provisionally recorded bids or any post-sales had been concluded, 171 lots had sold under the hammer during a 73% sold £1.44m Saturday afternoon’s shopping.


Although an only 300 miles from new this year BMW M4 GTS - one of only 30 UK-destined examples in high-fashion Black Satin with wheels in Orange – made a mid-estimate £137,500 with premium and a 2012 BMW 1M with 29,000 miles of fsh £50,138, a dusty UK RHD 1964 Jaguar E Type Series 1 4.2 OTS was the well supported Bank Holiday weekend sale’s star performer. Reportedly crunched at Snetterton in period and with 2805 recorded mileage, the started, but only part-done and never completed project was taken on by only the third owner for a mighty £115,000 with premium.

A fuller analysis of the wide range of cars and the latest prices paid for them in Norfolk will appear in my next Blog on this channel.

Latest Classic Car Auction Commentary: 26/08/2016

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Although less cars were auctioned, a higher proportion sell for record money in the Californian sales

Although over $50m (£38m) less was invested in collector cars during the six annual sales that took place in California last weekend than in 2015, a bullish $283m (£215m) was nonetheless spent on classic automobiles at the three major auctions where full results have been published. Two much more carefree years ago, $464m (over £350m) poured into these, the highest profile auctions on the global calendar.

In Presidential election year, the Ecurie Ecosse 1956 Le Mans winning Jaguar D Type XKD 501 purred across the RM Sotheby’s stage at the Portola Hotel in Monterey into the record books, topping this year’s prices at $21,780,000 with premium and smashing the previous record for a British car sold at auction by $7m. An Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato was sold by the same auction firm in December 2015 in New York for $14.3m (£10.68m).

Bidding for a 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Touring Spider from the Mann Collection, the first Alfa 2.9 to be offered for public sale this century, commenced at $14m and quickly jumped in $500,000 increments before selling for $19,800,000 (£15.05m), a new auction benchmark for any pre-WW2 car. The previous record holder was a Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster sold in August 2012 for $11.77m (£8.95m).

The very first Shelby Cobra - constructed by Carroll Shelby in 1962, since when chassis CSX 2000 had been in his care - faced a battery of camera flashes and generated loud applause when driven across the block by Shelby’s grandson, Aaron Shelby. Bidding for the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust entered icon climbed to a suitably awesome $13, 750,000 with premium, a new benchmark price for an all-American classic. During the same auction weekend four years ago, the previous title holder, a 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf Mirage, was sold by RM Sotheby’s for $11m (£8.36m).   

Although sale venue construction work enforced a smaller offering this year, and there were 50 fewer entries in two glossy catalogues, 82% of them did sell for $118m (£90m) and 21 lots achieved those magic million-dollar-plus results. Among them, five Ferraris with top ten valuations led by a 1956 250GT Berlinetta Competizione Tour de France sold for $5.72m (£4.35m) and a 1955 750 Monza Spider for $5.23m (£3.97m).

Gooding meanwhile actually sold $700,000 more of their clients’ cars this year than last, shifting 115 or 83% of the 138 cars for $130m (£99m) during a two-day company record breaker, during which 26 cars sold for more $1m apiece and four of them fetched over $10m. The average of $1,128,606 spent per car was fairly awesome too.

New auction records were established in their official Pebble Beach sales for various Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Porsche, Packard and Maserati models, among them the $18,150,000 (£13.79m) results topping 1959 Ferrari 250GT LWB California Spider Competizione.  In second place, a 1960 250-GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione realised $13,500,000 (£1,026,000) and a 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza was third, having clocked $11,990,000 (£9.11m). Gooding also claim that the $10,400,000 paid for a 1932 Bugatti was the highest price ever achieved for a Bugatti sold at auction. While the 1979 Porsche 935, sold for $4,840,000, was driven by Paul Newman at the 1979 Le Mans 24 Hours.

Bonhams achieved an 88% sell-through rate for the 115 cars crossing the block at Quail Lodge, Carmel, their 19TH such gig in Monterey Car Week, when $34.8m (£26.4m) was spent and several new world auction prices were paid, led by the 1931 Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix Racer with Lord Howe provenance sold for $4m (£3.04m). The first 2014 Ferrari LeFerrari head-turner to be offered in public sale pranced to a £3,685,000 (£2.8m) performance and a London to Brighton Run run 1904 Mercedes-Simplex 28-32hp Rear-Entrance Tonneau for five was applauded for establishing a $2,805,000 (£2.13m) world record for the model. Another much more unlikely record buster was a 1955 Lamborghini DL25 Tractor which pulled a far from agricultural $110,000 (£83,600).

Qualifying for the $1m+ Bonhams Club were a 1985 Ferrari 288GTO purchased for $2,112,000 (£1.61), a 2015 McLaren P1 for $2,090,000 (£1.59m), a 1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America for $1,402,500 (£1.07m) and a 1989 F40 for $1,155,000 (£877,800). And an ocean away from their comfort zone, French Group B cars found interested parties and buyers with $198,000 (£150,480 and lower estimate money) for a 4wd 1984 Peugeot 205 Turbo 16, one of the 200 made to make up the homologation numbers, and a way over guide price $132,000 (£100,320) for a 2wd 1983 Renault 5 Turbo 2 (£100,320). 

In the epicentre of by far the largest marketplace, three out of six of the sale rates were high and there was no shortage of record breaking prices paid, while the old car world continues to rotate at much the same speed as before.

E-types still hot

The latest sale by Silverstone Auctions at the Silverstone Classic weekend demonstrated that there’s a ready market for Jaguar E-types, regardless of condition and model. The caveat is that seller expectations need to be well matched to condition. So the excellent Series 2 fixed-head coupé (Jaguar speak for the two-seater) pictured here made £118k with buyer’s premium, while another in driver condition sold for just £39k. In an educated market, buyers are well aware that restoring a condition 2 car is a more expensive route to perfection than buying the best car in the first place.

Prices ranged from £19k for a 1971 S3 2+2 coupé with poor bonnet fit, tired chrome and various paint defects, to £141k for a 1961 Series 1 roadster that really needed re-restoring to meet modern expectations of perfection. Chassis number 62 explained the price.

That all nine cars sold defied the usual principle that offering too much choice kills the sale of the lesser examples as buyers hold out for the best. A hungry market indeed.

Buying advice and market analysis is part of 16 pages of buying information in every issue of Classic Cars magazine, including Quentin Willson’s Smart Buys, Russ Smith’s Market Watch, in-depth buying guides and Ads on Test.


Phil Bell

Editor, Classic Cars magazine


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Latest Classic Car Auction Commentary: 19/08/2016

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Before SWVA Principal Chris Holmes had turned off his auctioneer’s microphone for another day, the sale rate at the Parkstone firm’s latest drive-through for classics had risen from 81% sold under the hammer to a whopping and 2016 market-topping 90%. For after 8 more cars changed owners on a Friday morning in Dorset, only 8 of the 78 cars in the SWVA catalogue had failed to sell.

In 2015 however, the West Country vehicle auction house successfully shifted 92% of consigned classics, a much higher percentage than their provincial rivals and the First Division Clubs. Although even during what has been a far more volatile year for all sectors of all markets, so far, 94% of cars sold in their January sale and 92% were hammered way by SWVA in April. Whereas, 36% of cars sold on a Saturday at the most recent Barons sale at Sandown Park, 37% of the Charterhouse Sunday sale catalogue contents at Sherborne Castle and on a Thursday afternoon in the East Midlands the H&H sale rate at Donington was 58%.

The higher the proportion of cars auctioned Without Reserve, of course, the better it should be for an auction’s final stats of course, SWVA had 9 No Reserve classics in their end of July sale, 9 certainties therefore with 12% of their entry going to sell for whatever was bid plus premium. More importantly, for the other 88% of cars that did have Reserve prices, their vendors’ bottom line figures needed to be market-realistic. Most of them clearly were at this latest Parkstone Drive Through.

Even if Reserves are temptingly low though, potential buyers, who have the necessary spending money, and are registered and who are prepared to bid, have to be present at the sale. For those punters who make the journey are still the majority and outnumber those who participate via the dog and bone – while, statistically, even fewer Amazon-addicts play for classic-sized amounts on-line. 

Although there has been some flight to equities, most money invested in financial services products continues to perform poorly and, as the Building Society notifications of even lower interests following the Bank of E’s latest Base Rate cut hit the nation’s door mats, projected on-paper returns of ISA’s and South Sea Bubble Funds will sink to a gnat’s dropping off zero percent. Only the alternative investment market offers some solace and a collector vehicle or two in the metal will be more fun in the well hedged portfolio than declining digits on a far-away trading screen.

On old fashioned paper, classic cars priced in Brexit-vote devalued Sterling should have become more attractive to those consumers paying with US Dollars or Euros, but terrorism averse Americans are currently not travelling and, thus far, there have been very few sightings of EU reg plates in UK auction car parks. At the moment at least, besieged Islanders have the field to themselves.