Plane sailing, reckons Richard Hudson-Evans

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Plane sailing, reckons Richard Hudson-Evans
Plane sailing, reckons Richard Hudson-Evans

Four very full, exceedingly glossy and hugely heavy catalogues have been crammed full of potentially bank account draining goodies by Bonhams, Coys and RM, the North American auction house staging two mega sales for both cars and bikes. Easy Jet and the air traffic controlling, baggage handling and passport checking Brothers permitting, of course, I hope to bring you a full analysis of the market-significant sellers in tax-efficient Monte in next week’s edition of this e-pistle.

Apart from consigning two historic Ligiers with successful Le Mans and Tour Auto provenance for their bi-annual Saturday 7 July Le Mans Classic Sale, French house Artcurial will be auctioning the Reserves from the 100-strong Car Collection put together by the late Prince Rainier III of Monaco Thursday 26 July in the Rainier Motor Museum. The 39 cars that are surplus to the requirements of the current Prince Albert II will be offered with Monegesque papers in HSH the Prince of Monaco’s name and will also be sold entirely Without Reserve.

The latest classic vehicle auctioneer to announce an additional sale date in what is becoming a seriously over-crowded calendar is Richard Edmonds with a Saturday August 4 fixture at what is a new venue on the auction circuit, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway’s Toddington Railway Station. The Edmonds Toddington gig, which coincides with the nearby Prescott Hill Climb VSCC Weekend and which aims to attract a selection of 20-30 pre-WW2 cars and bikes, is sandwiched between the Chippenham firm’s 29/30 June and 26/27 October auctions at their regular Castle Combe circuit venue.

Apart from filling the long-vacant auction slot during the Classic Motor Show at the NEC in Brum Saturday 17 November, rather than holding an end of season sale at the Walter Hayes Formula Ford Racing Festival weekend at their Northamptonshire circuit home venue, Silverstone Auctions are ambitiously committing to staging four sales on consecutive weekends at The Chris Evans promoted CarFests.

The DJ’s southern event takes place 25 and 26 August at former F1 World Champ Jody Scheckter’s Laverstock Park Farm in Hampshire, where there will be a drive-through sale for Pride and Joy cars in three price grids - up to 30 in the £5000-10,000 price bracket, 25 with £10,000-18,000 ambitions and 20 places for £18,000-25,000 machinery. Whilst Sunday Best is a more traditional affair, though limited to 60 entries, all of which have pre-sale estimates of £25,000 and over. And then, the following 8/9 September weekend, CarFest North kicks off at Cholmondley Castle, The Goodwood of the North, with the drive-though and price category concept repeated for another two auctions-worth.

The first CarFest is pitched head to head with the new 25/26 August staging of The Coventry Festival of Motoring, which has been a one day event at the War Memorial Park in Motor City for over 25 years. No Licence Fee payer sponsored plugs or Children in Need factor for H&H, who will introduce their new-style Open Sale format at Stoneleigh, where vendors have two novel means of vending their classic - Hire-a-£50 Plot, from which to advertise their vehicle and, if wished, perform their own sale; and, secondly, enter their vehicle for the Rolling Auction that will continue throughout the 2-day event - such sales have proved pop on t-other side of the Atlantic pond, apparently. These Open Sales, say H&H, will be subject to 0% vendors’ commission.

As to whether there will be room for all, and whether all or any of these new ideas and fixtures will be accepted by sufficient trad or brand new consumers, market-watchers will just have to wait and see. Happily, the Crown at Tiddington has re-opened after four thirsty months of closure, so I now have somewhere to go whilst another great shakeout takes place in the real world outside. RH-E