Latest Classic Car Auction Commentary: 19/08/2016

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. 


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.


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.


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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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.




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

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

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

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

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.


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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


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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. 


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

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


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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.'


Wolfrace’s six-wheeled concept car up for sale

Wolfrace’s six-wheeled concept car up for sale

A concept car powered by two Rover V8 engines, built to promote a new style of Wolfrace alloy wheels is for sale.
The six-wheeled Wolfrace Sonic was created by Nick Butler of Auto Imagination in 1979. Only two were produced, and the other car was last seen for sale in 2010 for £1million. This car is in need of restoration, and still wears the Ferrari red paint Wolfrace requested when it was repainted in 1981. The chassis and shell have been separated, and the engine and carburettors will need a rebuild.  
Current owner Peter Budgen, who bought the car when Wolfrace hit financial trouble in 1982, said he is offering it for sale without a guide price because he feels the one-off car is too difficult to value.
He said: ‘I bought it as part of a consortium, and over time became the sole owner. Unfortunately as I’m disabled I couldn’t use it much, and my son took over the rebuild. He’s just started a new job, and no longer has the time, so we’ve agreed it’s fairer on the car for it to be sold, restored, and seen again at shows. 
‘We’re not entirely sure of the value, but even without a price the phone has hardly stopped ringing since we first advertised it.’ 


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Haulier to sell Ford-rich collection of 200 classics

More than 70 cars will be sold at the East of England Showground, Peterborough during Truckfest, including this rare Capri 3.0-litre GT.

More than 70 cars will be sold at the East of England Showground, Peterborough during Truckfest, including this rare Capri 3.0-litre GT.

The biggest ever British auction of ‘workaday’ classics from one collection is for sale after the owner admits he got ‘carried away’.

More than 70 classic cars will go under the hammer with 130 trucks and lorries on 23 April at the East of England Showground, Peterborough, Cambs, in a Protruck Auctions sale. All the vehicles belong to Suffolk haulier Gary Cooper. Estimates are from £750 to above £20,000 and apart from a 1999 Bentley Turbo R once owned by Gary’s parents there is little by way of exotica – with Ford being the most prominent marque. 

Expect frenzied bidding on delights such as a Ford Cortina Lotus MkII with 4753 miles, as well as a selection of 2016’s must-have classic, the Capri, that includes a 1974 3000GT auto, a pair of 1600XLs, and two 3.0 Ghias.

Also of special interest is a 1962 Austin A35 pick-up converted from
a van to an extremely high standard and Minis ranging from a Mini 30 to
a rare Scamp and even a four-door convertible ‘limousine’ bought by Gary for his wedding.

‘I have always collected lorries – I was brought up with them,’ says Gary. ‘I’ve also loved cars since I first drove an Austin Seven with extended pedals when I was five years old. I got the bug to collect them five or six years ago. However, I just got carried away and we ran out of space. 

‘We had to cut down and I’ve decided I’m really a commercial vehicles man, so all the cars have to go. It was a tough decision and I’ll really miss them but hopefully they’ll go to good homes where other people can enjoy them.’

The sale represents a new direction for Doncaster-based Protruck Auctions. Spokesman Charlie Wright says: ‘We’ve sold thousands of commercial vehicles over the years but never cars. We’ve known Gary for many years and are very much looking forward to the event.’


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A 1965 Jaguar E-Type, once owned by Prince Michael of Kent, is up for sale on the open market for the first time...


The 4.2-litre FHC was bought by Prince Michael of Kent after his older brother, the Duke of Kent, bought one of the first E-types - chassis number 007.

Currently owned by James Phillips, who bought it 15 years ago, he is reluctantly parting with the vehicle to help fund his pension. Mr Phillips reunited Prince Michael with the car in 2010, 40 years after he had last seen it. Then, in 2011 the Goodwood Revival celebrated 50 years of the E-type and the Phillips's extended an invitation to Prince Michael to drive it around the circuit as he had done 46 years earlier to 'acclimatise' to the car having been in Germany serving with the 11th Hussars.

Still finished in its original colour scheme of Opalescent Dark Green with Tan Leather, the car has just 28,000 miles on the clock.

The car was sold by Prince Michael in 1966 after he became increasingly frustrated with the UK's 70mph speed limit, as he had previously driven it at speeds of 150mph in the German autobahns. In 1984 he quoted as saying about the E-Type: 'This was a beautiful motor car, immensely quick and probably the most enjoyable car I have ever owned."

Although the car has had several previous owners this is the first time it has been offered for sale on the open market.


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'Don't let the sun go down on' this, a 1980's Rocket car once owned by the Rocket Man himself, Sir Elton John.

Sir Elton John's Aston Martin V8 Vantage for sale

Sir Elton John's Aston Martin V8 Vantage for sale

Ordered from and supplied by Nicholas Mee in 1985, this exceptional Aston Martin V8 Vantage was ordered and built specifically to Sir Elton specifications. Personally delivered to his Old Windsor home on the same day Sir Elton also took delivery of a new Bentley! Finished in Royal Cherry with Magnolia hides, Sir Elton owned the car for some 16 years before it was presented to Christies in 2001, to be publicly auctioned along with his significant collection of cars.

During Sir Elton's ownership the car was maintained regularly, regardless of the low mileage, with the engine upgraded in 1992 to the renowned 7.0 litre / 500 horse power specification, by Aston Martin Heritage specialists R S Williams Ltd.

Purchased at Christies in 2001 the car has had just two owners since then and has been maintained by Aston Martin specialists to the highest standards. Now with 45,000 miles covered the car is offered with a comprehensive history file, original service voucher book and owners manual. Last but not least, a copy of the Christies auction catalogue featuring this car and personally signed by Sir Elton John is included.


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A UK-built and consigned Mercedes 300SLR Evocation with 280E engine legally migrated to Denmark last month to be hammered away for 326,250 euros (£254,475) including Silverstone Auctions premium. As measured by the HAGI Top Index, the overall market for rare collectors’ cars traded unchanged during the month of May compared to April, while year to date growth also remained at 1.06% and at 14.55% over 12 months.

A UK-built and consigned Mercedes 300SLR Evocation with 280E engine legally migrated to Denmark last month to be hammered away for 326,250 euros (£254,475)

A UK-built and consigned Mercedes 300SLR Evocation with 280E engine legally migrated to Denmark last month to be hammered away for 326,250 euros (£254,475)

Actually the prices of genuine factory-built Mercedes-Benz classics, as charted by the HAGI MBCI, did fall back by 1.24% month on month and the prices for Mercs have declined by 1.14% for the year to date. Collector Porsche values have recently come off the boil, too, the HAGI P Index falling by 2.24% in May compared to April, although Porsche prices are still up for the year so far, by 1.4%. 

Ferrari Prancing Horses continue to run with the Bulls however, the HAGI F being the only Index from the Historic Automobile Group International stable that has statistical growth, the prices being achieved for Ferraris increasing by 1.18% in May and gaining by 2.38% for the year to date. 

By contrast, the market for lower quality cars, say HAGI, was less active last month with noticeable price declines and, I can also personally confirm from monitoring auctions reality, several markedly lower sale rate percentages and a significant number of Not-Solds in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Surrey and even Monaco. 

The not yet rare breed buyers, meanwhile, continue to focus on perfect condition cars, be they well restored, unmolested or sympathetically revived originals, with full documentation in well stocked history files.

Those with money to spend however may not feel like doing so on classic cars at the moment, not until they know what the Post-Neverendum pound in their holey pocket or under the bed is going to buy. The well hedged holders of cash will have already converted some of their Brexit-rocky Sterling into more stable non-EU currencies until the coast is clear to land again. And regardless politician-induced uncertainties, there will be three more mega auction entry tests for the old car market over the next week alone.

First, 140 classics go under the Historics at Brooklands gavel Saturday 11 June. This will be the now well established firm’s 25th consecutive sale since Director Mark Perkins and Auction Director Edward Bridger Stille and team first erected their marquee within the M25 Economic Zone in the Museum grounds in June 2010. Six years of boom ago, Historics knocked down a 1951 Lambretta restoration project for £200 and peaked with a £670,500 result for a stately 1931 Bentley 4½-Litre Open Tourer.

And then next Saturday, 18 June, there could be simultaneous over-load for the national classic car auction grid. As both Anglia Car Auctions and Classic Car Auctions will be selling up to 280 and 164 cars simultaneously from 12 noon at the ACA Drive-Through in Beveridge Way on the outskirts of King’s Lynn, Norfolk, and at the Warwickshire Events Centre beside the Fosse Way near Leamington Spa.

On your behalf dear surfers, I shall endeavour to circumnavigate a bewildering number of roundabouts to observe play. If the power steering can cope, I will, of course, report back on the movers and the losers before this particular game of musical thrones runs out of music and market makers have to take a breather.