Latest market commentary from CCFS auction analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

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Latest market commentary from CCFS auction analyst Richard Hudson-Evans
Latest market commentary from CCFS auction analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

100% of sale entries sell out during £1.3m auction at Bonhams Oxford where Ferrari GTE restoration project with Oscar film producer provenance is taken on for £101k and Sir Elton John E Type S1 4.2 makes £82k

All 58 vehicles at the Bonhams Oxford saleroom successfully crossed the block during a £1.3m Saturday afternoon led by a 1961 Ferrari 250GTE for restoration which inspired competing bids on every available landline and mobile plus the internet.

Looking extremely dusty with some surface corrosion after being off the road since 1975, though apparently still complete, the Series 1 2+2 Coupe that was once owned by Oscar winning movie producer ‘Dino’ De Laurentiis raced ahead of the £60,000 pre-sale estimate to be won by a UK telephone contestant for £101,180. In the face of continued demand for 250GT and GTO Reps with period-correct ID however, a GTE with what has becoming increasingly rare Fixed Head bodywork still present could nonetheless face the chop.

Another crumbly project, a potentially very handsome 1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Drophead Coupe by Vanden Plas last used in 1960 was much viewed, too, until taken on for £57,500. More learned counsel estimated that a revival to Pebble Beach award winning standards was likely to cost a minimum of £250,000 and most probably a good deal more.

Among the prices paid for more ready to drive Bentleys here, £55,200 bought a 1953 R Type with early 1960s Shooting Brake conversion by W M Collett & Sons of Gloucester, £50,600 for a recently repainted 1935 3½-Litre Park Ward Sports-Saloon, £48,300 for a repainted 1964 S3 Continental HJMPW Coupe and £5463 for a generally good 1987 Eight Saloon. A 1955 and therefore late R-R Silver Dawn with 118,000 mileage and shrinkage to old paint fetched £24,150.

The going rate for Series 1 4.2 E Type Jags under the hammer this season would appear to be £91,100 for a freshly refurbished and nicely presented 1966 Roadster and £82,100 for the 1965 Roadster ‘OKE 1’ that had last been restored in 1979 prior to 14 years of pampering in Sir Elton John’s well stocked motor house. £58,620 was available for a Morgan Motors of New England rebuilt 1960 Plus 4 left hooker to Super Sports specification.

A 380,000 miles from new in 1966, to owner Citroen DS21 Henri Chapron Decapotable with replacement chassis and non-original engine and gearbox raised £55,200. A 59,000 mile 1981 Aston Martin V8 Vantage manual with micro blistered roof paint, distressed air dam and chips to tail lip made £48,300, both better than forecast.

All but two of the Lovedown Collection of 18 mainly US automobiles, all of which were auctioned without reserve, made less than expected however. The exceptions were a 1914 Studebaker 20hp Landau Roadster without registration documents, which was last on the road in 2006, but which realised £18,975, and a 1926 Bertram Hutchings Voyageur Caravan with lantern roof and leaded windows sold for £11,500, more than double the pre-sale estimate.

A 1951 Packard 250 Series 2-Door Convertible with 3-speed manual shift and an even larger 1959 Lincoln Continental MkIV Convertible were landed for £14,950 and £9775 apiece. £6325 secured an ‘Empire of the Sun’ movie exposed 1939 Packard Eight Sedan, while the cheapest motor on the lot was a 1953 Packard Cavalier 327 Sedan without 5.4 straight eight, but with gearbox and some spares was swept up for £230.

By the end of a very busy sale day at the former M-B dealership/now Bonhams regional auction centre, 100% of the vehicles in the catalogue plus a late entered 1952 MG Midget TD 1250 Roadster sold for £14,375 had changed hands.

Mint Merc 280SL tops 21 Barons prices in 48% Sandown sale

By far the best presented car on the Barons floor at Sandown Park the previous Tuesday, a recently refurbished and detailed 1968 1968 280SL Pagoda-top Merc duly delivered by realising £39,600. A 350SL sold for £850, meanwhile, had rust-ventilated bodywork.

Two 1954 MG TF Roadsters sold - one, with 1250 XPAG motor, but in only fair black paint on steels with hub-caps attracted £17,160; the other, TF1500-badged and glossier in red on wires, cost £16,500. Jaguar prices were headed by a £8745 1985 XJ SC Cab manual upon which an incredible £60,000 plus had been lavished. A 1986 Jaguar Sport 6.0 XJS with ZF 5-speed box cost a new keeper £5830 and a 1989 XKS 5.3HE V12 auto £4620.

A reasonably tidy and seemingly festival-ready VW Caravenette of 1971 with bay windows and rock n’roll bed by Dormomobile below Danbury elevating roof went to a new rocker for £8800 and £2530 landed a 1976 Land Rover Series 3 88 hardtop for seven.
After what certainly appeared to be a rather cautious session, during which only the sharpest knives in the drawer attracted enthusiastic bidding sufficiently near to their reserves for provisional bids to be converted, 21 or 48% of the 44 cars on offer had sold for a premium-inclusive £156,475 plus a further £1450 gross for 2 cherished registrations.

£223m Olympia Show Bentley Speed Model headlines at Coys

On familiar territory of the Royal Horticultural Halls, Westminster (or is Victoria?), Coys hammered away the 1926 Olympia Show Bentley 3-Litre Short Chassis Speed Model, an ‘original’ Vanden Plas Tourer in Long-Wing style Tourer with ‘original’ factory engine still present, for £202,000, £223,700 including premium.

Other noteworthy Bentley prices here included a former 1964 Series 3 Standard Steel Saloon converted by marque specialists into an HJM Adapation sold for £91,700 and a 2004 ‘Works’ competition Bentley - actually a super-streamlined Goodwood Hill Gravity Racer - for £7590.

A 1937 Lagonda LG45 with replicated Rapide coachwork found £196,750 and a 1934 16/80 from the same marque, unusually with original T7 4-Seater Tourer body surviving, £57,600. A Roger Bray restored 1955 Porsche 356 Speedster with 912 engine and 12v electrics upgrades was knocked down a telephone bidder for £139,000 with premium. E Type Jag prices logged were £69,700 for a 1964 and home market Series 1 3.8 Roadster and £42,200 for a previously repainted 1973 Series 3 Roadster with V12 rebuilt in 2003 now on SU carbs.
From the late Jimi Heselden’s extraordinary cache, a restored 1957 Land Rover Series 1 with hardtop cab and LWB Pick-Up back with canvas tilt was rare and much admired, hence the £11,960 paid - while £8050 was available for a claimed still to be original, though extremely clean 1970 Morris Minor 100 4-Door Saloon with only 3954 mileage displayed.
By the end of the Tuesday evening in Westminster, 31 cars or 50% of the 60 offered had been declared sold from the rostrum for a premium-inclusive £1,303,288

E Type Jags lead the Brightwells pack in Herefordshire
Early the next morning in Leominster, the Brightwells viewing units were heaving with punters, some of whom had made the long haul from Coys the night before, where the highest price of £50,050 was paid for a home market 1965 Jaguar E Type Series 1 4.2 Roadster. Displayed in the much warmer saleroom, a much more shiney 1962 Series 1 3.8 Fixed with webasto cut into its roof raised £44,550.
£33,350 with premium was available for a 1936 AC 16/70 Drophead that appeared along with the equally handsome Penlelope Cruz and Charlize Theron in the 2004 movie ‘Head in the Clouds’. Also charming was a 1931 Alvis TJ 12/50, formerly a 2-seater, though now with new Phil Kneller replicated Cross & Ellis coachwork for four, which made a slightly less than forecast £32,780. Whilst after 8 years of storage and no tlc, a right-hand drive 1960 Merc 190SL from 8 years of storage raised £30,250.

A 1971 Aston Martin DBS with V8 engine and auto-shift was no picture in  close-up, but realised £28,600, more than top estimate. Only a little more, £29,700 in fact, would have bought you a 2002 DB7 Vantage Volante with only 26,000 miles of full service history.
Two early Morgan 4-wheelers changed hands here, an extensively rebuilt 1947 4/4 with Standard Special 1267cc engine sold for £16,335 and a once 1938 4/4 Drophead, reportedly acquired in tow-home form for the price of two pints of bitter, but now in many bits minus wooden body frame was bravely taken on for £5060!

The part-done Number 2 Prototype Monica 4-Seater Sports-Saloon first registered as a Deep Sanderson in 1968 made £13,750 and a super little 2010-completed, but 1937-dated Austin 7 Cambridge Special deserved its £8140.
After some of the provisionally logged bids had been converted, 59 or 65% of the 91 cars auctioned were confirmed sold during another very well attended Wednesday afternoon in Herefordshire for £589,655 with premium. In addition, another £4180 was spent on 2 out of the 8 bikes offered, amounting to an overall sale total of £593,835.

And in this commentary spot next week, I shall report on what nuggets made the editorial notebook at Saturday’s Richard Edmonds sale at Castle Combe. The definite sales under the hammer will be noted down at the time, of course, and the post-sales gathered in and mulled over before considered comment is made.

For unlike so much of the other auction coverage on the internet, which is largely desktop-regurgitated from the gospel according to PR, your Correspondent does actually burn the diesel attending the auctions, so that the condition of the cars sold can be checked out and the prices paid can therefore be better understood. For I am old-fangled enough to believe that an auction reporter has much the same role as a theatre critic who cannot possibly review a show without actually being present for the ‘live’ performance.
The market watchers among you should be encouraged, if not amazed to learn that at the 5 UK auctions reviewed during the last 12 days, consumers have invested £3.7m in 227 classic vehicles. Just how green these shoots actually become remains to be seen. RH-E