Latest Market Commentary from CCFS Auction Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

FEW PUNTERS BUY ONLY 45% OF BARONS STOCK DURING FINAL CARD OF OLD SEASON AT SANDOWN PARK WHERE GOING WAS HARD

The cordoned-off star lot - a 1932 Alvis Speed 20 SA with Vanden Plas two-door open coachwork for four with £95,000-120,000 pre-sale estimate - failed to pull in the last Barons Sandown auction of 2011, being keenly bid to £70,000 and declared unsold at £83,000. Also really well turned out having been reunited with its original bodywork which had been restored, though also unsold here, was a BMC A front-engined Elva Formula 100 Formula Junior Single Seater with £25,000+ ambitions, which ran out of track at an insufficient £21,500.

It was left therefore to a £27,500 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SL with Pagoda-top to head the rather unfestive results with a very convincing and Chapron looking Citroen D Special ‘Decapotable’, a former Saloon which had been given the chop by Dee-Ess Conversions, sold for £25,300 in second place.

Much crawled all over(and underneath, too, of course!) was what purported to be a 1965 Ford Lotus Cortina Mk1, which, though with lower panels in need of some attention, was given a pass of authenticity by the scrutineers during viewing and duly sold for £17,600, mid-estimate. The same money bought a 1967 Rolls-Royce with 2-Door Saloon bodywork by MPW.

A nearly £5000 more than top estimate £12,870 was paid for a re-shelled 1971 MGB Mk2 Roadster with zero miles recorded since transformation and £10,175 was accepted for a delightful and unmolested after 39,500 miles since 1974 MGB GT V8. Of the three TVR Chimaeras crossing auctioneer Fabian Hine’s much travelled auction block, a one owner 16,500 miler 1998 with 4-litre motor was the only mover, selling for £10,835.

The neatest 1988 300SE you ever did see, with just 10,000 miles of no apparent wear to anything visible, realised £8250. Fantabulous. You bet. The rarest item on offer was a 1935 Hillman 20/70 4-Door Limo, which had emerged from 62 years of storage and passed its MOT earlier in the year, and which sold for £7920. And potentially the best value, depending on the long-term endurance of some Category C insurance claim repairs, a 1990 Porsche 911 Type 964 Cabrio with Sport interior and Cup alloys landed for £7370.

By the time the last complimentary mince pie and tot of sherry had been consumed, 34 or 45% of the 75 cars in the sale sold for £248,875, an average of £7320 per car. On a chilly Tuesday afternoon at the Sandown Park Racecourse the going was certainly hard for the auctioneers and their vendors.

There being 9 uncatalogued late entries, only one of which sold, undoubtedly depressed the stats. Without them, the hit rate would have risen to over 50% of the lots in the catalogue selling. And being the final fixture on an overcrowded auctions card may well have played its part in softening demand for any classic stock of whatever quality or price with there being only ten more days of Christmas shopping opportunities left.

Barons return to Sandown 28 February for their first sale of what one hopes, for them, will be a much Happier New Year.

MORE POST-SALES BOOST COYS LONDON AUCTION STATS TO 73% SALE RATE AND £4m+ GROSS TO LEAD END OF SEASON RESULTS

By crazy contrast and, as I reported in part in last week’s blog, Coys clearly had a bumper Xmas sale under the hammer in London and, after several more after-sales had been concluded in the days following the Wednesday evening event, I can report that the auction has now grossed in excess of £4.06m! Even before the great national shut-down of all things commercial, the final stats would indicate that this was by far the most successful of all the end of season fixtures in the UK.

For although there were 5 ‘no-shows’ from the 64 cars and 3-wheelers in the catalogue, the auctioneers report that 4 of them were sold beforehand. And of the 59 classics  actually present in the Royal Horticultural Hall, 43 cars or 73% have now been sold for £3.96m gross, an average of £92,227 being spent per vehicle. Indeed, by the time the four motorcycles, 100% of which also sold, had been added, the premium-inclusive sale total for vehicles exceeded £4m with most of the big ticket items being snapped up by overseas buyers in the hall converting their euro or US dollar currency into classic metal commodities.

And it is Coys, again, who will bravely open the batting even before the post-festive wicket has thawed out with a new collector vehicle auction season opener Saturday 14 January during the Autosport International Racing Car Show at the NEC in Brum. Maybe the best advice for all players is to tighten those safety harnesses in readiness for what could be a much bumpier ride in Olympic 2012. May I take this annual opportunity to wish my fellow auction circuiteers a Very Happy ‘Whatever’ it is politically correct to call it! RH-E

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