ACA Drive-Through

US Honda fan was outbid on 1991 CRX V-Tec sold by ACA for £19,425 and several Germans drove to King’s Lynn to land a 78 year old AC for £73,500

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

In the metal, a Honda CRX V-Tec at the latest ACA Drive-Through did not look like it was born in 1991, since when it had been driven most of its 15,374 mileage by only one owner before being dry-stored from 2012. With only a cracked supplying dealer front number plate to fix, but with 13 reassuring service stamps in the book, the apparently fit 26 year old had been guided at £8000-10,000 and was much viewed during another well attended Saturday afternoon shopping session in King’s Lynn.

With unusually still no internet bidding possible at ACA sales, potential owners had to make the journey to North Norfolk in person or compete for ownership on ye olde dog and bone, which one enthusiastic Honda enthusiast did from theStates. Although he was soon left behind by contestants in the ring, where auctioneer Jim’s gavel fell at £18,500, costing the winner £19,425 including 5% premium.

Unable to bid on-line therefore, but making the most of extremely favourable exchange rates, several car loads of Germans had driven huge distances to this sale with the intention of landing a seriously racey looking supercharged AC 16/80 Special that had been completed in 2015 using a 1939 AC 16/80 chassis with rebuilt original engine and gearbox.

Again, the 18,000-22,000 pre-sale estimate was swiftly overtaken by reserve-topping offers from EU players both in the sale-hall and on half a dozen phones until the ancient Brit was eventually hammered for £73,500 with premium. Even before all the roasted hog had been consumed and any post-sales done, 202 or 73% of the 276 catalogued cars had changed hands in Brexitland for a cool £1.76m, an average of £8696 per classic.

Earlier in the week, Brightwells held their debut sale inside a tent inside a WW2 hangar on the Bicester Heritage site just off the M40 in what the Herefordshire firm perceived was an open point on the collector vehicle auction map. A total of 60 vehicles were auctioned, less than four times the number of cars consigned in East Anglia, and 20 of them were pre-war cars, statistically much harder to shift on or off the classic high street, though there were buyers at Bicester for 17 of them, an 85% sale rate.

The top priced oldtimer, which also headed the afternoon’s results, was a ground-up revived 1923 Vauxhall OD 23/60 Kington Tourer for up to six Vintage Nostalgics sold for £71,500, mid-estimate money. A once elegant 1927 Delage DIS sporting Colonial Tourer coachwork by Phizakerley of Sydney shot well beyond estimate to finish up at £49,500 and a French Grand Routier Hotchkiss 686 Monte Carlo Decouvrable from 1939 that had sunned itself in Portugal for several decades raised a mid-estimate £44,000.

A 1927 Sunbeam 25hp Tourer that had served as a taxi and then been further demoted to breakdown truck duties during hostilities before being rescued and reinstated to original form in the late 1960s bagged an East Anglian collector prepared to invest a way over estimate £44,900. The future of a ‘barn-fresh’ Wolseley Hornet Special with bodywork crafted in the Eustace Watkins workshops in 1933 meanwhile was hotly contested in 2017 until determined for an estimate-cracking £14,850.   

Before the auction book had been finally closed (until opened again 24 June during the Flywheel Festival) , a total of 42 or 70% of entries had been sold ‘live’ under the hammer or converted from provisionally logged bids shortly afterwards to bidders paying invoices in devalued Sterling from as far away as Canada, Dubai and Singapore. Although buyers invested a 10% premium-inclusive total of £953,315 in old motor car stock in Oxfordshire (only just over half what they were about to do over the weekend at ACA in Norfolk), the average price paid at this, Brightwells first Bicester sale amounted to a much more M40 corridor sized £22,698 per classic.

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