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

 

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

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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. 

GOING BACK TO GO FORWARDS

Alfa Romeo’s new Giulia marks a welcome return to rear-wheel drive. The flagship Cloverleaf serves up BMW M3 and Mercedes C63-rivalling pace thanks to a 500bhp, Ferrari-derived twin turbo V6. We’ve not driven it – we’re working on it – but it does remind us of one of the more exciting Group A homologation specials to be created for the ill-fated 1987 World Touring Car Championship. A similarly turbocharged Alfa Romeo….

 

The Alfa Romeo 75 Turbo Evoluzione may not have offered too much of a performance premium over the standard 75 Turbo, but the changes were all there to help the Alfa win on track.

The engine is actually fractionally smaller in displacement, but the pumped up bodykit allowed bigger wheels – 15in items in a very cool red – and a variety of other tweaks. There’s even a set of natty side decals, which surely adds a few MPH to the top speed.
 

Despite a driver line up that featured Jacques Laffite, Nicola Larini, Gabriele Tarquini, Sandro Nannini and Mario Andretti, it didn’t have the impact on the circuits it should have had. The 1987 WTCC was largely a farce, with teams pulling out on the eve of the season. Even then, the little 75 was blown away by the BMW M3 and Ford Sierra RS Cosworth. As a result, Alfa Romeo pulled out before the end of the season.

But despite all this, the road car is a deeply desirable car. It’s rare, fast and oh so cool in a deeply Eighties way. Just 500 of these were built, and as such opportunities to get this fantastic slice of Group A motorsport history are rare to come by.

This car, up for grabs with Historics at Brooklands (www.historics.co.uk) this weekend, presents such an opportunity. It’s hardly been used and is described as the best in the country. And though the estimate is £19k to £27k, that’s a third of the price of a brand-new turbocharged, rear-wheel drive Alfa Romeo. And however great the new Giulia is, it doesn’t have red wheels, box arches and decals up the side. And what car isn’t great with those?

MERCEDES-BENZ'S MANIC TRACK WEAPON

 

For years the Mercedes-Benz 190E struggled to fight the BMW M3 on the racetracks – despite a head start on its Munich rival.

In fairness, the 190E was meant to earn its competitive stripes on rally stages, but Audi’s four-wheel drive revolution changed all that. Over the years, the 190E Cosworth was honed, but it still couldn’t beat the BMW M3.

Radical action was needed, and the 190E Evolution II was the result. While we’d seen fast Mercedes before, and certainly seen outlandish modified creations from the likes of Lorinser, Koenig, AMG and Brabus, Mercedes-Benz was still a reserved company at the time. There were fast Mercs, certainly, but they were subtle. The Evo II changed all that.

Its rear wing dominates proceedings, raising high off the bootlid and attached with what look like golf clubs. Then there are the engorged bumpers and arches, turning the handsome-but-unexciting 190E into a hardcore hero. It’s not all for show either, it all helps keep the 190E pinned to the ground at high speed.

 

It’s quick, too, with 231bhp – officially; anecdotal evidence points to a lot more – and 150mph+ available.  That’s all marshalled through a five-speed dogleg gearbox, and transmitted to the road via 17” alloy wheels. It’s about as far away from the buttoned-down W124s that Mercedes were known for at the time.

The road car tweaks proved their worth on track too, with Mercedes-Benz finally claiming the DTM title in 1992. Job done.

The road car is very rare – just 502 were built, and it’s in high demand. This one, up for grabs with Historics at Brooklands (www.historics.co.uk) this weekend has covered less than 9000 miles, and is in fantastic condition. With an estimate of £180,000 to £220,000, it’s one for the committed, but what you’re getting is one of the most extreme road cars produced, and a hero of the era.

WHY THIS HARDCORE BEEMER MAKES ME A DREAMER

The BMW M3 celebrates its 30th birthday this year. Unlike most thirty-year-olds, it’s not having a crisis of confidence – after all these years the E30 is still regarded as one of the finest driving machines to come from BMW, if not the best.


With beautiful handling, a revtastic normally aspirated four-cylinder engine and chiselled good looks, it was already a tasty recipe on the road. It was a car that rewarded the enthusiast driver, lapping up being wrung by the neck on the twistiest of tarmac.

Its on-track success also played a key part. Touring car legends such as Steve Soper, Roberto Ravaglia, Frank Sytner, James Weaver and Jonny Ceccoto piloted the E30 to wins in national, European and world touring car championships.

The BMW M3 Sport Evolution, pictured here, represents the further honing of that all-conquering formula, all in the name of maintaining the E30’s stranglehold in touring car racing. A bigger displacement (2.5 litres) new camshaft, pistons and intake system helped liberate more power, while the weight was trimmed with a lighter flywheel, bootlid, windows, and bumpers. The body was pumped up with box arches to allow the racers to run more sophisticated tyres and suspension components, and the gearbox was now a close-ratio Getrag five-speed and a limited-slip differential. To add to the specialness, just 600 were built.

As such, it’s a rare sight, with many ending their days tickling the barriers at the Nurburgring in the Nineties. This one, up for sale with Historics at Brooklands this weekend, represents a rare chance to buy one. With an estimate of £65,000 to £80,000, it’s matching its great rival, the Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth, for being as covetable.

It’s had a top-end rebuild, new exhaust, brake discs and pads, and a brimming history file pointing to excellent levels of care. Yes, it may be a lot of money, but you’re getting a true track-bred homologation special. And, most importantly, an absolute legend of a car.

 http://www.historics.co.uk

LATEST CLASSIC CAR AUCTION COMMENTARY: 16/08/2016

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Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

A genuine factory-born Mustang GT A-Code Coupe with 289ci V8 under hood and C4 auto-shift - in Metallic Silver Blue with the rarer ‘Drive In’ movies bench front seat in once cool Blue Crinkle and Blue Rosette vinyl - fetched £33,000 including Barons premium. The all-important shut-lines were commendable and great attention to detail had clearly been taken during a 12 months UK revival to correct tag code that had taken in excess of 500 man-hours and absorbed £29k’s worth of parts alone, virtually the hammer price.

 

 

The going for over-large Americans was decidedly soft at the Surrey course however with only 32% of the Yanky metal crossing the block heading for new garages, few of which are big enough to accommodate their vast acreage in little old Brexitland. Disappointingly, too, at the all-American Buster Lang Classic Car Show, a dedicated event for fans of US collector vehicles, only 22 of them had been consigned and the majority of the cars for sale displayed around the parade ring in front of a Transatlantic-enthused audience were classics built far from the Land of Donald.

For even though this was an American car event, it was Classical Brits that topped a 36% sold sale, which grossed £261k including immediate post-sales. For from the final year of production, a 1978 vintage Aston Martin V8 with 77,000 mileage was bid to a below estimate £56,000 under the hammer, but had soon sold for £61,600 to be the best seller. While a close to the £35,000 lower estimate was achieved by a future collector’s item, a Land Rover Defender from the FCX Autobiography Edition class of 2014, provisionally bid to £30,500 and costing an investor £33,550. Whereas the £170,000-190,000 being sought for a 2005 Ford Mustang Eleanor Rep was for another day on some other planet.

Although, statistically and according to Historic Automobile Group International trading analysis for the month of July, classics car transactions were much the same as they were in June, their HAGI Top Index actually advanced 0.4% in July with year to date growth of 2.21% for the first 7 months and prices paid in the real world actually paid going up by 9.31% over the last 12 months. Although they do report that market volumes have thinned.

The Classic Porsche sector, which had seen prices soften during recent months, has improved, they reckon, their HAGI P showing a 1.35% improvement in achieved prices for July, though still indicating negative growth for the year so far, at minus 2.61%.

By contrast, when they sell, Ferraris are fetching stronger money it seems, the HAGI F recording a 3.95% increase in July transacted prices paid over those in June and a 4.79% hike for the year to date. In terms of Mercedes-Benz price monitoring, too, the HAGI MBCI rose 3.5% in July trades and, so far, is up 5.88% year to date. Traditionally, August can be a holiday-depressing time for most markets however and those away or going away shortly are unlikely to play.

Brightwells again cater for Modern Classicists at the Herefordshire firm’s Leominster HQ Thursday 18 August and Historics have a full day’s worth of more traditional classics to auction in their Brooklands Museum marquee Saturday 20 August. By then, market watchers will have a better idea of how the six mega-auctions in four days and nights in California will have played out. Watch this space.

LATEST CLASSIC CAR AUCTION COMMENTARY: 10/08/2016

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Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

An Irish registered 1953 Jaguar XK120SE left hooker that had started life cruising the streets of LA was one of 31 out of the 63 classics sold at the latest SWVA ‘Drive Through’ at Parkstone, Poole, to achieve more than their top estimates during a recent UK auction-stats topping 81% sold sale.

Among a 14 car cache being dispersed, a 1972 Jaguar E Type S3 V12 FHC on wires with manual-box purred past the rostrum to a £38,340 result, over £3000 above forecast. A well below guide £23,220 was accepted for a wire wheel shod 1965 Mk2 3.8 Saloon manual with overdrive on wires Jaguar and an open-top 1927 ChryslerPhaeton 60 in right-hand drive for the Australian market found a friend with a spare £21,600 in Dorset.

An always GB reg 1974 Alfa Romeo 2.0 GTV that had last been on the road in 1989 and restored in the 1990s made £19,980, top estimate money, and a below estimate band £17,550 bought a 1961 Jaguar MkIX with later 4.2 engine and floor-shift auto transmission. A Bentley Turbo S with 51,300 miles of service history cost £16,740 and a 2015 Italian import 1973 Citroen D Super 2175cc with 5-speed box £15,552.

A year before the MGC 50th Anniversary is celebrated, a 1969 vintage C GT with early history lost still raised £14,094 with 8% premium. The best performing No Reserve classic meanwhile - an ex-Northern Rhodesia and unregistered 1935 Railton Straight Eight Special non-runner again without docs - was taken on for £13,824 and the same money secured a 1947 Armstrong Siddeley Hurricane 3-Position Drophead. A better than forecast £13,500 was forthcoming for a 1968 Daimler-fronted Jaguar 4.2 Sovereign auto, a 1966 Rover P5 Mk3 Coupe with column-change auto was given a £11,340 valuation by the next keeper and a 1992 Daimler DS420 State Limo was sold afterwards for £11,340.

The raciest machines to cross the SWVA block were a 1972 MG B GT with twin Weber carbs supplied alloy crossflow head, 5-speed box conversion, 2 helmets, overalls and racing boots from the deceased estate of Robert J Morris sold for £8100 an a 1973 B GT Sebring Rep on Minilites and a single Weber. Whereas the most classic motor car for the money, a 1966 Humber Imperial auto, one of the last made in once Coventry Motor City, was acquired for £2970, and the weirdest, a 1971 Toyota Crown with wooden Pick-Up conversion was picked up for £875. Whilst the oldest Brits to be successfully rehomed in Dorset were a £9288 1930 Austin Seven Wydor and a £9612 1935 Morris Eight with fully working sunroof which is more can be said for most of them. The West Country vehicle auctioneers’ next Friday morning drive-through sale for classics takes place 28 October.

The recent percentages, which monitor reality rather than spin, were therefore 19% Not Solds at Parkstone, 42% of the e-catalogue contents the weekday before at Donington and 30% during the next two weekend days trading at Silverstone Classic. The next public test for prospective market makers will be inside the M25 during the Saturday 13 August all-American Buster Lang Classic Car Show at Sandown Park Racecourse in Esher, where some muscular kit from the US, statistically the toughest sector within the sector to shift to space-starved islanders, goes under the Barons hammer.

Among the Americans for sale is a Really Fast Ford 1967 Mustang GT 500 Eleanor, the last of 50 commissioned from CVS Cinema Car Services in far from angelic LA to promote the movie ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’. With a claimed six miles on the odometer since a back to as-new rebuild, number 50 of the 50 has been pre-estimated to cost a buyer £170,000-190,000.

While another vast automobile with Hollywood connections, this time with some actual on-screen history, is the first generation 1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS employed on celluloid in ‘Fast and Furious Six’ (and no, I never got to see it either!). Uniquely on this side of the Atlantic pond, the original right-hand drive GM Coop migrated to the UK from Australia in 2004, since when it has been in receipt of a £41k+ down to last nut and bolt resto and only driven 140 miles. What is claimed to be the only RHD Camaro in the UK has £45,000-55,000 on the screen.

The American Classics themed catalogue has been wisely topped up with plenty of Brits and a few Europeans, including an Aston Martin V8 with 77,000 mileage since 1978, the final year of Series 3 production, dry-stored for years and guided at £60,000-70,000, and a 1950 Fiat Topolino with patina in search of £11,000-14,000 and a 1959 Lancia Appia at £10,000-12,000.

By far the newest kid crossing the Barons block will be a 2014-built Land Rover FCX Autobiography Edition Defender with all upgrades boxes ticked, including Land Rover Recaro suede-backed racing seats, £7400 full-leather interior and £4900 after-market entertainment system for enduring marathons in the M25 car park.  More usefully, the suspension and exhaust have at least been factory-upgraded, though real off-roaders with the £35,000-40,000 suggested may be less impressed with a Bentley grille conversion.

The second Brightwells sale specifically catering for the new wave of ‘Modern Classics’ takes place at the Herefordshire firm’s Leominster HQ Thursday 18 August, when Historics also open the flaps of their marquee at the Brooklands Museum for the first of two full days of viewing preceding their Saturday 20 August sale for the full range of more traditional classics at all price levels. By then, the six mega-auctions in four days on the Monterey Peninsula in California will be closing their alternative investments books for another year and we should all have a clearer view of how the present actually is, if not what may happen next.

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LATEST CLASSIC CAR AUCTION COMMENTARY: 05/08/2016

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Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

After 27 years of occasional use and 8 of them in storage, an apparently still original Peugeot 205 1.9 GTI with 7986 mileage by one owner from new in 1989, when it cost £10,001.93p, fetched a record £30,938 under the Silverstone Auctions gavel during Silverstone Classic weekend where buyers spent £4.63m on 89 collector vehicles, an average of £52,040 per car.

 

Some of the market confidence measuring sale rates would appear to be back on track, too, with over 70% of road-going collectibles auctioned by Silverstone selling in Northamptonshire and 63 more pop classics - a post-Brexit result topping 81% of those entered - fetching another £535,902 with premium, an average of £8506 being spent therefore per car, at the Friday morning SWVA drive-through at Parkstone, just outside Poole.

The highest-priced seller from the five sales held during what was a four day auction weekend was the statistically very rare and unraced 1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GT3 chassis 10 which cost a Silverstone Auctions buyer a within estimate £495,00 during their Thursday evening Competition Cars session.

Below guide price sums were accepted meanwhile for a 1966 911 2.0 SWB racer sold for £103,500 and the 2000 BTCC campaigned Ford Mondeo Super Tourer with Prodrive 004 chassis number sold for £83,250.  A 1975 FIA Group 2 Ford Escort BDG replicating a Zakspeed original was bought at auction for £57,375 and promptly wheeled out of the saleroom and driven to third overall on the GP circuit outside.

The Saturday sale starring Bristol D Series powered 1958 AC Ace, left to right-hand drive converted when repatriated from Canada in 1990 and much retro-event exercised since 2010, made a £65,000 more than top estimate £249,750. A 2005 Ford GT with Roush upgrades sold for £213,750 and a 2009 Ferrari 420 Scuderia lefty did well to achieve £131,625 with premium, within their forecasts.

A 1961 and very early Jaguar E Type S1 3.8 Roadster number 62 that was last restored during the 1990s, but had lost its external bonnet lock handles and was ripe for improvement, found £140,625, the low estimate, only just.  Whilst an only recently restored and upgraded 1965 E S1 4.2 Coupe with 5-speed box achieved a £38,000 more than top estimate £123,750. A one owner 1987 Ford Sierra RS500 with 19,700 mileage was applauded when a long bidding battle ended with a £73,375 selling price, just over forecast money. A 1965 Lotus Cortina Mk1 went for £57,375 and a 1974 Ford Capri RS3100 also overtook its estimate to sell for £51,750.

The top seller in the Sunday sale was a 1994 Ferrari 512 TR with the steering wheel on the right side that had been well serviced during three ownerships, the most recent of which had been Peter De Savary, and which sold for £162,000, forecast money. A Porsche factory ‘Flatnosed’ 1986 911 930 Turbo SE that had come to market after a spell in a Swiss showroom raised a forecast £94,500 and a UK supplied in 1972 911 2.4T made £84,375, close to the low estimate figure, while a 1972 home market E Type S3 V12 Roadster that had been resident on the European mainland for far too long a mid-estimate £75,375.

 Apart from the stupendous 205 1.9 GTI valuation, a Retro Ford Mag featured 1974 Ford Escort RS2000 Mk1 minter deservedly pulled a more than expected £36,563 and an Audi Quattro Coupe 5-pot sold new in 1984 in the then Manx resident TeamLotus F1 driver Nigel Mansell cost a buyer without a CBE £26,438.

During the previous day’s auction however, celeb provenance of having been owned by Sir Geoff Hurst MBE and Sir Bruce Forsyth CBE did nothing for the fortunes of a 2000 Ferrari 550 Maranello and an open-top 1971 Corniche Roller, unsold for £104,000 and £31,000 respectively. With such honours being dished out by the previous occupant of Number 10 to reward Remain donors and family member hair stylists, old world gongs have clearly become deeply tarnished goods that no longer impress voters.

Over-taxed punters meanwhile are encouraged by the lowest base rates ever to spend any spare pounds they might have left before they are further devalued by the next wave of quantitative easing! Another classic car might be a less painful hedge.

 

 

LATEST CLASSIC CAR AUCTION COMMENTARY: 01/08/2016

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Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

A never raced Carrera GTR ‘Original’ - one of only 17 built for racing by Porsche that had been driven only 109 kilometres from new in 1981 by one Japanese owner - fetched a record for model £495,000 including buyer’s premium during the Silverstone Auctions Competition Car sale that preceded Silverstone Classic weekend.

 

For although somebody else’s redundant race and rally cars are statistically difficult to disperse for anything like they would have cost their owners to prepare, a 2000 BTCC season campaigned and Rickard Rydell driven Ford Mondeo Super Tourer that had been successfully exercised in mainstream Historic Touring Racing since 2014 was lapped up by a 2016 Silverstone Classic competitor for £83,250. Most recently demonstrated at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Prodrive built chassis number 004, which was sold with a huge ‘works spares’ package, was wheeled out of The Wing saleroom on Saturday morning and promptly raced at Silverstone.

An even more rapid 1975 Ford Escort 2.0 BDG Zakspeed Replica created by Mark Wright Motorsport and powered by a John Smirthwaite built 265bhp power unit, which had been a Masters Historic Group 2 Championship winner and HSCC Supertourers Class winner, was also hammered away by the flying gavel of Jonathan Humbert for £57,375. New owner David Tomlin then promptly drove his new acquisition to a top ten qualifying lap for the 1970s and 1980s Historic Touring Car Challenge on Friday – and then went on to finish third overall in the Sunday race, won outright by Silverstone Auctions MD Nick Whale and his son Harry, who slipped out of their third auction of the weekend to share the driving of a BMW M3 E30.

Eleven old racers sold in the Thursday evening auction for just short of £1m, £989,776 with premium, the Midland firm’s highest grossing comp car warm-up session yet at what has become the largest Historic Racing meeting in Europe. An additional £2m worth of more traditional and road-going classics were then sold by the Silverstone team on the Saturday afternoon, where a post-Brexit result beating 71% sale rate was achieved ‘live’ with 40 of the 56 cars auctioned selling for £2,074,954 with premium under the hammer, and with the prospect of further post-sales.

Making nearly £65,000 more than the top estimate was a 1958 AC Ace Bristol that had been repatriated from Canada in 1990 and converted from left to right-hand drive. Subsequently treated to rebuilding of the original S series engine and transmission by Nick Finburg in order to be raced at Spa, Dijon and Silverstone in 2010, chassis BEX406 warranted a front of rostrum parking place by selling for £249,750, a stronger than retail performance. A mid-estimate £213,750 was bid for a modern Ford GT left hooker packing a 600bhp punch that had been driven 10,080 kilometres since 2005. A colour-changed since 1961 Jaguar E Type S1 Roadster - chassis number 62 no less, though without external bonnet-release handles and nearly qualifying for the next full Monte make-over, fetched £140,625, lower estimate money.

It was a remarkably bullish afternoon for E Types during what has become a close to bear market for the mass-bred cat from Coventry. For £123,750 with premium, way over the £85,000 top estimate figure, was paid by the buyer of a 1965 Series 1 4.2 Fixed Head that had been full nut and bolt restored by Lanes Cars of Collingwood in 2011 and upgraded with E-Fabrication 5-speed gearbox (though with original ‘matching number’ 4-speed box included) and 4-pot brake calipers. A very freshly restored and always right-hand drive 1970 Series 2 4.2 Coupe with bills-supporting 38,600 mileage found £118,125, thought to be a new highest price at auction for an S2 4.2 FHC.

The top performing Ferrari was a factory-striped 2009 430 Scuderia in left-hand drive with 28,338 kilometres of full Ferrari main dealer service history, car cover and battery conditioner bought for £131,625, comfortably within the guide price band. The longest bidding battle though was waged over a 1987 Ford Sierra RS 500 with warranted 19,640 mileage, less than 100 miles of which was incurred during the last 17 years of being banked in a heated showroom. The big-winged Cossie generated strong saleroom and i-interest, being applauded when eventually sold for £73,375, £3300 more than the top estimate.

On the preceding Thursday in the East Midlands meanwhile, H&H sold 71 or 58% of the 122 cars in their on-line Donington Circuit catalogue for £689,664 with premium. An E Type Jaguar Series 3 5.3 V12 Coupe, one of 2116 in right-hand drive with 48,030 recorded mileage, sold for £41,245. A 2008 movie Telstar featured 1958 Jaguar Mk1 3.4 with power-steering was auctioned Without Reserve for £32,480 and a 1963 donor dated, but 1990s built D Type Rep realised £30,520 for a deceased estate. Whereas the highest priced pre-WW2 lot, a 1933 Sunbeam 25 3.3 Straight Six 4-Door Pillarless Sports Coupe raised £33,600, while a post-WW2 Morris Ten from 1948 answering to the name of Elsie was re-homed for £10,080. Even a declared to be non-running 1973 Saab 96 V4 was transported away for £3248.

These very latest auctions confirm that there is still a market, albeit a much more selective one, especially hard for those assets that fail to seduce as was the case with 84 rejections in the three auctions reviewed. This many unsold classics - 41% of those offered - has to be down to a mixture of prospective buyers being much more cautious and in most, but by no means all cases, previously agreed vendors’ reserves now being unachievable, having been overtaken by uncertain and totally unpredictable times.

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LATEST MARKET COMMENTARY FROM CCFS AUCTION ANALYST RICHARD HUDSON-EVANS

Latest Market commentary from CCFS auction analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Latest Market commentary from CCFS auction analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

As the ‘Classic Car Auction Yearbook’ in their latest and annually essential 2013-2014 edition reports, the current  market for absolutely non-essential collector vehicle commodities has become more “Ferrari-centric” than ever before with 48 of the top 100 sales logged being Prancing Horses.

Between 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2014, Adolfo Orsi Junior, President of Historica Selecta, the Modena-based publisher of the Yearbook, reckons Ferrari sales of over $338m (£203m) accounted for 33.36% of the total turnover with the new all-time record for a classic car at auction set by the 1962 250 GTO in the photo sold for $38m (£23m) by Bonhams during the Californian Gold Rush in August.

The stellar performance of the Violati GTO, points out Orsi, had actually been a long time coming, because the last example of what has always been considered the most gilt-edged of all vehicular share certificates sold at a publically witnessed auction back in 1990, at what was the end of a long period of price increases, changing hands for $10.76m (£6.45m). Two more GTOs went under the hammer in 1991 and 2000, but both failed their very public test and were unsold.

The latest Yearbook stats, a definitive check on how high value kit has fared on the international auction circuit, indicate that new heights were scaled during the preceding season of collector car auctions with the highest sales rate in the last 20 years of 76% and, at 245 fine cars sold, nearly twice the number of blue chip motors sold above the perceived to be magic million dollars marker compared to the previous year. Even more remarkably, and for the first time in 20 years of scrutiny by Orsi and co-author Raffaele Gazzi, overall sales of high end auction car lots exceeded $1 billion!

The percentage of Ferraris sold works out at 79%, the highest figure yet recorded by the Yearbook, which means that only one out of five Ferraris parked on saleroom carpets didn’t attract a buyer. But when you look more closely at some of the results achieved by some of the Ferraris from the Fifties and Sixties, such as the second series of the 250 GT Cabriolet and the 250 Lusso, the percentage of sales was 100%.

In an attempt to cash-in on the classic Ferrari boom before the money in the juke box ran out and the music stopped, more Ferraris than ever before were dusted down and came to market, many selling for prices that increased by up to 70% when compared to only a few months earlier. This was a confident demonstration, suggests Orsi, of a classic bull market at play, with lower supply and greater demand. The bulls were clearly very well fed though.

The average value of each Ferrari sold also makes interesting reading. Clearly influenced by the value of the record sales of the Bonhams GTO and the 275GTB/C Speciale sold by RM in Monterey, the average zoomed to a UK provincial house price beating $1,165,000 (£699,000), an increase of 48%, when compared to the average value of the 2012-2013 season figures.

Inevitably, the Yearbook’s Top 100 is also now dominated by Ferraris, which account for 48 of the cars on the list, the highest number of Ferraris ever in the high prices group. The post-WW2 manufacture of Ferraris has certainly influenced the construction age of the cars in the Top 100, too, and so we find listed no less than 53 cars of the Classic Period (built between 1946 and 1964) and 23 from the Post Classic Period (1965 to 1974). Even among the pure gold of the Top 10, nine are Ferraris, while in tenth place is the former Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeo!

The Historic Automobile Group International Top 50 Index however has just declined by 0.38% in November, indicating a slight and most probably no more than a seasonal softening in the prices realised for many mainstream classics. Although the HAGI F Index, which charts Ferrari activity, has recorded another points gain during this last month’s trading with a 1.34% increase in their prices and 18.1% growth for the Ferrari market during the year to date.

Next year is just that, another year and, for insular islanders, a General Election year, when the outcome and therefore nothing is certain - which is why I am just about to opt for the certainty of opening the next bottle of Old Speckled Hen. Cheers!

TERRY WOGAN'S BENTLEY SET FOR AUCTION SALE

Terry Wogan''s Bentley set for auction sale

Terry Wogan''s Bentley set for auction sale

Sir Terry Wogan''s Bentley will be among the vintage cars going up for auction this weekend in Leominster, Herefordshire.

The iconic broadcaster''s classic car will be sold alongside a Ferrari Mondial T Cabriolet and 1980 MGB LE Roadster.

There will also be a Daimler Dart on sale, touted by auctioneers as "quite possibly the best ... in existence".

Written by Stephen James

BLACK SABBATH RANGE ROVER ROCKS UP AT AUCTION

Black Sabbath Range Rover rocks up at auction

Black Sabbath Range Rover rocks up at auction

A coachbuilt Range Rover owned by Black Sabbath rocker Tony Iommi is expected to fetch as much as £40,000 when it goes under the hammer this Sunday (15 February).

Charterhouse said it believes the Monteverdi-built four-door model originally bought new by the band’s guitarist in 1982 will tap into a booming market for classic Range Rovers. The Dorset-based auction house believes it will fetch considerably more than a two-door convertible model – originally owned by Queen drummer Roger Taylor – it sold in 2012.

The car, which is being sold the Great Western Autojumble at Shepton Mallet with an estimate of £38-40k, comes with its original manuals, Monteverdi advertising literature and photographs of its 2011 restoration.

Matthew Witney, head of the auction house’s classic cars department, said: ‘Range Rover prices have got really strong in the past year or two, so I’m not surprised both this Monteverdi and a VeLar that’s also in the auction have attracted a lot of interest.

‘When we sold the Range Rover convertible used by Roger Taylor a couple of years ago we thought that performed very well at auction, but that was before the values really started to take off. There’s definitely an appetite for early cars and unusual converted cars like this Monteverdi at the moment.’ 

David Simister

LAST SCIMITAR FOR SALE

Last Scimitar for sale

Last Scimitar for sale

If you’re in the market for a concours quality Middlebridge Scimitar GTE, and have money to burn, then you’ll be pleased to hear that the final production car has come to market – priced at a whopping £40,000.

Kept in storage for 23 years, the car has covered just 17 miles since rolling off the production line at Beeston in Nottingham in 1989. Chassis number MB77 was originally manufactured for Middlebridge CEO, Kohji Nakauchi and is finished in pearlescent metallic green, and trimmed with grey leather including Recaro front seats.  Complete with all the original paperwork including the pre – registration certificate, the new owner will more than likely have to re-commission this pricey Scimitar before taking it back onto the road.  

Only around 70 cars were ever built by Middlebridge, and this example has never having been started or driven since the last factory test mile was covered, although oils and fluids have never been changed. According to the seller, there’s also a small degree of osmosis or micro blistering has affected small areas of paintwork, a then common problem on glassfibre bodywork.       

Powered by a 2.9 litre V6 fuel injected Ford engine sourced from the Scorpio, mated in this instance to a five speed automatic gearbox the 150bhp unit was capable of propelling the Scimitar GTE to a top speed in excess of 140mph whilst the Middlebridge refinements included a stainless steel exhaust, improved handling courtesy of uprated suspension and springs plus the fitment anti – roll bars and 15” alloy rims and 195/65R15 Avon Turbospeed GR28 tyres on which this GTE still sits.

ELTON JOHN'S MASERATI FOR SALE

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This 2005 Maserati Quattroporte V, first owned by Sir Elton John, will be going under the hammer at CCA's sale on Saturday 19th March at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre, Leamington Spa.

 

Ordered new by Sir Elton, the car features a host of extras, including a rear DVD player and screen, games input, two headphones, remote control and six CD auto changer. Also included in the sale is the original Maserati welcome letter, unused personal 24hr concierge members card, and personal gift of a matching leather covered key tray, tool kit, gloves and car cover. The history file also includes national press cuttings from the sale of the car to its second owner in 2010.

With Sir Elton’s name on the V5 certificate, a mere 28,000 miles on the clock, and offered freshly serviced and MoT'd until January 2017, this car offers a great value example of Italian exotica.

Estimate (£): 15,000 - 17,000

NEW AUCTION COMPANY OFFERS A FRESH APPROACH TO BUYING AND SELLING CLASSIC CARS

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Berlinetta Classic Car Auctions launches this month with the intention of providing a fresh and enticing alternative to the traditional routes available when buying or selling your classic.

Berlinetta Car Classic Auctions will offer a fresh approach to buying and selling classic cars

Berlinetta Car Classic Auctions will offer a fresh approach to buying and selling classic cars

Brothers Rob and Pete Thornton have founded the company with the aim of providing all the upsides of buying direct from an owner, dealer or broker, combined with the immediacy and focus of the auction process; with plans to hold boutique sales conducted over a weekend, allowing buyers to bid online at any point.

The brothers feel that while a conventional auction is effective in that it provides a time-limited focus to any transaction, the risks incurred by buyers who are unable to fully evaluate potential purchases prior to bidding are significant.

As they explained, "We wouldn't invest in a property prior to having it surveyed, and investing in a classic car is not dissimilar. Our unique ‘try before you buy’ facility allows potential buyers to talk direct to owners, fully inspect a vehicle (on ramps if required), hear it run and even be taken on a test drive, all from the auction site, prior to bidding."

By asking (but not insisting) that sellers to be on hand to demonstrate their cars to prospective buyers, and by avoiding the expense involved in staging and running a traditional 'man with gavel' auction, the company is able to keep overheads low and offer a groundbreaking 0% sellers commission. This unique fee structure is enhanced by their offer to accommodate sellers and their partners at the hotel for the weekend free of charge, with an exclusive champagne reception on the Saturday night to further lubricate the social side of the event.

"Selling a classic car should be more than just a transaction. We aim to turn it into a sociable, enjoyable and hopefully profitable experience by offering sellers a weekend away in beautiful surroundings in the company of other like-minded enthusiasts. Meanwhile their potentially long suffering partners can make use of the hotel's facilities, explore the surrounding Cotswolds or simply relax with the weekend's papers whilst their other-halves drone on about cam shafts and gudgeon pins."

Berlinetta will hold their inaugural sale on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th May at The Manor Country House Hotel, Weston-on-the-Green near Oxford, with consignments initially limited to a maximum of 25 cars. 

THREE CAR AUCTION RECORDS SMASHED

Prices for low mileage classics still heading skyward

1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti, £24.7m.

1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti, £24.7m.

Three more world record prices were achieved at auction last month, taking the tally for 2016 up to at least 18.

Last week’s records were £27,000 for a Ford Sierra RS Sapphire Cosworth (right), £26,000 for a BMW E31 850CSi M and £18,250 for a Honda Z600 (all prices without premium).

They were set at Classics Central’s Bedfordshire auction. Managing director Justin Lazic says: ‘They’re world records for any Sapphire Cosworth, any E31 850CSi, and any Z600. Each of the cars was consigned early so interest could be built. What we’ve demonstrated is that low mileage, original cars are worth top dollar.

‘People are more prepared than ever to pay for original examples and as time goes on, original, unrestored examples are becoming rarer and rarer.’

These sales are the latest records in a boom year for auction houses. Silverstone Auctions set two world records in February, and Artcurial set an astonishing 13 at its Retromobile sale two weeks before that.

Artcurial broke seven world records on the first day of the sale which included the highest auction price ever for a car – a 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti sold for £24.7m. However, there is some controversy over this claim, as Gooding and Company say their sale of a Ferrari 250 GTO in 2014 still holds the record because of exchange rate variances.

On the second day six Citroën price records were broken – one for a 2CV Sahara which sold for a staggering €172,800 (£131,436).

The Silverstone Auctions records were set for a 1990 Mercedes-Benz 190 E2.5-16 Evolution II which made £292,500 and a 1987 Ford Capri 280 ‘Brooklands’ that sold for £54,000. 

Markets editor Richard Barnett isn’t overly impressed. He says: ‘Taking year and model into account devalues records. And although it’s great news for sellers and auctioneers, it’s not for people who need a stepping-stone into the classic car game. Real enthusiasts could be priced out too.’ 

NUCLEAR AMBULANCE UP FOR GRABS

Nuclear Ambulance Up For Grabs

Nuclear Ambulance Up For Grabs

A 1964 Ford Thames Ambulance is up for sale. Built by Herbert Lomas Ambulances Ltd for the Royal Naval Armament Depot at Faslane Naval Base, it has just 51,460 miles on the clock. The ambulance retains all the original decals applied when supplied new to the Royal Navy in 1964. It was kept at the Naval Nuclear Submarine Base at Glen Douglas until 1989 - the glass has the naval base identification number 25 RN 66 etched into it, though the registration number was removed in 1989 when the vehicle was first registered for public road use. Restored by the previous owner in 2005, it is finished in the correct Royal Navy Blue. The vehicle has never been welded however and is structurally sound.

The interior is also completely original, from the seat material to the rubber floor mats. All the additional switchgear for ambulance operations remain, including a working bell! Being 48 years old the dash paint has worn in a few areas and the driver’s seat is torn. The rear section has been refitted to a two berth configuration with ample storage space, however, all the original rear interior fitments are still present. 
The trusty Consul four-cylinder engine drives wonderfully and is in excellent condition mechanically. The steering column three-speed gearbox is smooth and easy to operate, The hydraulically operated single dry plate clutch being light and progressive. The hydraulic brake system also works well. Four brand new Kleber CT200 185 R15 tyres have been fitted. 

This excellent piece of British motoring history is now available from KGF Classic Cars. Previous MOT history since being released from the Royal Navy help confirm the very low mileage of 51,460.

• 01733 425140
• www.kgfclassiccars.co.uk

EX NIGEL MANSELL AUDI QUATTRO FOR SALE

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A 1984 Audi Quattro once owned by 1992 Formula 1 World Champion Nigel Mansell is up for sale - with an estimate of £30,000-40,000.

 

H&H will offer it at its Imperial World Museum, Duxford, Cambridgeshire, auction on 20 April.

Apparently, Mansell needed a fast, agile car for the tight and twisting roads of the Isle of Man, his then adopted home. Damian Jones, sales manager of H&H Classics says: 'The Audi's turn of speed and sure-footed handling made it a popular choice with drivers, but this particular example would have been a challenge beyoned that of most wheelmen.'

Driving for Team Lotus at the time, the future F1 and Indycar World Series Champion sold the coupe following his move to Williams in 1985.

Treated to an extensive restoration since entering the current ownership in November 2011, the Quattro's rejuvenation was a labour of love for the vendor. Thoroughly overhauled, its original 2144cc five-sylinder 10-valve powerplant benefited from a reground crankshaft, new exhaust manifold, re-cred radiator, fresh clutch and a stainless steel exhaust system.

Julian Roup, head of communications for H&H adds: 'In th same way that estate agents speak of position as the ley thing in selling property and adding value, so auction houses selling classic cars will tell you that it's all about provenance. With Nigel Mansell's Audi we should see this in play.'