Older automobiles were still cool in Richard Edmonds country sale tent, though Aston Martin V8 was top seller - at £98k!
German and Japanese could be heard in the Richard Edmonds auction tent, where one family had travelled from the EEC mainland to Wiltshire to check out a 1934 Singer Le Mans SS stalled restoration project that was eventually taken on for £14,300, £6300 more than the guide price.
A genuine Austin factory made in 1924 Seven ‘Pram Hood’ Chummy with original chassis correctly stencilled onto the rear cross-member fitted with an engine rebuilt around a similar period crankcase (with the original included) also soared under the hammer until sold for £18,810 to applause, £8000 more than the pre-sale estimate! Even without a V5, the remains of a 1931 A7 ulster, the chassis and engine for which had been found together in North Yorkshire ten years ago since when other parts had been added, made £5500. A replicated 1931 A7 ‘Ulster Evocation’ with obligatory Phoenix crank, SU carb, external oil filter, close-ratio box, 12v electrics, hydraulic brakes and some recent hill-climbing form achieved a £13,200 result, forecast money.
A barn full of pre-wars, ready to perambulate, but increasingly unfriendly to accommodate in diminishing residential garage facilities, also found buyers in a more modern classics obsessed world. A Meadows engined Bean 18/50hp in the sale, Bean’s first six, had been supplied new in 1927 to the Sydney police. Hong Kong rallied in the Noughties and only recently lapping the Malta GP circuit and completing the Mendip Tour, the Black Country Tourer was unsold ‘live’, but did sell straight afterwards for £25,300.
Answering to the name of Basil (but far from Fawlty!), a VSCC event dated 1931 Alvis 12/50 TJ Tourer for two with shortened chassis and quadruple Land’s End Trials form found £24,200, again over £4000 than had been forecast, and an Austin 12/4 Clifton Tourer for four with original 1926 sales invoice and a much more recent coil conversion went for £19,800, top estimate money.
Said to be the first Lea Francis to be sold by A B Price, who went on to be the leading Leaf specialist, a 1926-dated LF J Type Tourer, driven over 100,000 miles and upgraded by previous owner and marque guru Jim Collins, was ripe for the next re-commissioning, and yet still realised £12,650, the guide price. An ex- Hebden Bridge Museum displayed and Weddings-hired 1935 Morris 10/4 Six Light Saloon, mechanically rebuilt and re-trimmed during vendor ownership at a combined cost of over £31,000, was keenly contested until hammer fall at £8700, £1700 more than the guide and costing the winner a therefore not unreasonable £9570 with premium.
Some very old motorcycles were clearly cool with today’s buyers, too, with a more than anticipated £16,500 available for a 1928 Velocette KE, restored in the mid-1970s, occasionally ridden until 1992 and dry-stored since. £8800, forecast money, was forthcoming for a 1913 Sun with non-running, though rotating engine, and a still very original 1938 Ariel Square Four with 1000cc push-rod engine sold for £8470. A copy of a 1946 bill of sale showed that, 70 years ago, ‘The Squariel’ had been purchased for £75.
The two highest priced lots of the third and final day of trading in what had been a near to 2000 lot auction - during which a chalk tin sold for £500, a Speedwell grease tin with £40-60 estimate for £800 and a Carless enamel sign for £1500 – were much more contemporary, albeit 38 and 61 years of age respectively.
For a 2015 refreshed 1978 Aston Martin V8 auto with full service history from new was bid to 90,000 under the gavel, not quite enough presumably, but the Aston Fixed Head with four full seats had sold the same evening for £98,000. While a former Colorado resident 1955 Austin-Healey 100/4, repatriated in 2013, restored and converted to right-hand drive in the UK, and fitted with 100M bonnet and Universal Laminations hardtop, was also provisionally bid to an insufficient £33,000. By traditional auction book close however, or after the last digit had been input into the paper-replacing excel, the 4-cylinder BN1 had finally sold, too, for £38,500 with premium during a 63% sold £546,162 session for the cars alone.
Happily, this old-style country sale for old motors in a tent in a field was a delightfully distant world away from Clinton versus Trump, the Russian Aircraft Carrier heading to add more fuel to the Syrian fire, the Calais Jungle fiasco, not to mention the prospect of the Heathrow serving M25 becoming even more of a no-go area than it is at the moment!