2016 Round-Up

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

Auctions Commentary from Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Auctions Commentary from Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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