CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans delves into the world of barn finds and Porsches in this week's market review.
The quite extraordinary appetite of so-called Barn Found discoveries and the apparently uneconomic amounts of money bid for them continues to amaze. The latest jaw-dropper to cross an auction block being a 1957 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster from single family ownership since 1967 that emerged from 40 years inactivity in a Texas garage to soar past RM Sotheby’s $200,000-250,000 pre-sale estimate, costing the next owner $341,000 (£272,800) during a 90% sold $11.58m (£9.26m) Hershey Lodge Sale.
The highest priced automobile auctioned during two evening sessions at the AACA Eastern Division Fall Meet in Pennsylvania though was a 1930 Duesenberg Model J, one of eight all-American classics which occupied the first ten places on the results leader board. One of only three Model Js originally topped with Murphy-built dual-cowl open coachwork, the Phaeton had come to market after 54 years in the same family, and was hotly contested by bidders from 18 countries in the saleroom and on the phones until hammered away for an estimate-smashing $2,090,000 (£1,672,000) with premium. A below guide price $825,000 (£660,000) was accepted for a very early production Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster that first turned heads on the sidewalks of Buffalo, New York, in 1957.
It took 10 minutes to conclude a bidding contest for the keys of the 1932 Lincoln Model KB Boat-tail Speedster penned by GM stylist David Holls that also shattered its pre-sale estimate when finally sold for $605,000 (£484,000). A 1935 Auburn Eight Supercharged Speedster, a two-time 100-pointer in 2016 Classic Car Club of America judging, made $880,000 (£704,000), the sole-surviving 1931 Pierce-Arrow Model 41 LeBaron Convertible Victoria also selling well at $456,500 (£365,200). An exceptionally restored 1958 Chevrolet Impala Convertible exceeded $100,000-125,000 expectations, selling for $161,700 (£128,360), a very Hershey event appropriate 1925 White Model 15-45, commissioned in period as a Yellowstone Park Tour Bus, picked up $88,000 (£70,400), nearly double the forecast money at this, the auctioneer’s 10th Hershey sale.
Also on the Friday, on the other side of the Atlantic during Zoute Grand Prix weekend, Bonhams’ European Motor Car Department held their fourth auction at the up-market Belgian Knokke Le Zoute resort beside the North Sea, where 28 of the 31 cars in the tent sold, a 90% sale rate, for 4.36m euros (£3.94m). The most newsy valuations were the unprecedented 483,000 euros (£436,404) available for a 2016 Porsche 911R Type 991 Coupe, number 135 of only 991 produced with only 52k depreciation, for which an uncharted £250,000-350,000 had been forecast, and a believed to have been the only 356 Pre-A 1600 Speedster delivered new to Belgium in 1955 sold for 586,500 euros (£529,820), 36,500 euros over the top estimate. A 1989 911 Type 930 Targa 5-speed, one of only 3 delivered to Belgium, went for a just over guide 304,750 euros (£275,350) and a 1987 928 Prototype Club Sport Coupe first owned by five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell made a within estimate 253,000 euros (£228,593).
On the following day at the Porte De Versailles in Paris meanwhile, during their inaugural sale at the Mondial de l’Automobile, which attracted 1.25m visitors in 2014, Coys claimed a new 50,740 euros (£45,666) world record auction price for an all-electric car, the first ever Tesla Roadster ‘Signature Edition’ delivered to Europe no less.
Liveried in real 24 carat Gold Leaf, the 1931 Cadillac Fleetwood Drophead that cruised with former flamboyant pianist owner driver Liberace also found a fan with 98,000 euros (£88,200). The ex-Violati Collection dispersed 1973 Ferrari 365GT4 featured in the 2003 ‘Enzo Ferrari’ film reportedly sold to a New Zealand collector for 75,800 euros (£68,220). Two more Pre-A Porsche 356s went to the same new owner in Paris Expo Pavilion 3, a 1955 Cabrio being declared sold for 260,000 euros (£234,000) and a 1953 1500 S Coupe for 283,000 euros (£254,700).
Fuller results from the Saturday sale however will not be published on-line by the auctioneers until after the conclusion of the Paris Show. No market-measuring sale stats or total from the French capital or, indeed, from their simultaneous Ascot sale can therefore be assessed at this stage. Although a 2009 Ferrari 430 Scuderia was declared sold from the Parisian sale rostrum for 170,000 euros (£153,000), a 1954 Chevrolet Corvette C1 for over 70,000 euros (£63,000) and a 1990 Lamborghini Countach Anniversary with less than 400m on the odo for 367,000 euros (£330,300).
H&H next test the market with a well-stocked on-line catalogue of classic bikes commencing 10.30am Wednesday 12 October, followed by cars from 1pm, at the Imperial War Museum alongside the M11 at Duxford in Cambridgeshire. Recipients of the Warrington firm’s mail-shots have been advised that admission is by large catalogue only at £25 (plus p&p if ordered in advance).
Silverstone Auctions will then offer 65 on-line and mailed print-catalogued Porsches Saturday 15 October above the F1 pits in The Wing at Silverstone Circuit, where cars for sale range from a low mileage Boxster to a Carrera GT. In partnership with the Porsche Club GB, and preceded by 104 lots of marque-tuned automobilia from 11am, an example of every front-engined Porsche ever made to a spread of the 911 variants produced and the inevitable Porsche tractor go under the gavel from 2pm in Northamptonshire.
Thus far, the auction market for collector vehicles appears to be motoring along without apparently running short (or out) of fuel, which, as I am sure fellow long fellow drivers will be only too well aware post-Brexit result, is costing us more by the refill as the higher cost in £ Sterling of prices charged in US $ per imported tanker-load filter through to the forecourts. In so many markets, there are now too many volatile variables to guess - with any accuracy - what will happen next.