Historically early 850 Mini project with rust-riddled floor pans is taken on for world record £40K in North London where 86% of Bonhams catalogue sells for £1.91m
It was a severely rust-eaten Austin Mini Seven De Luxe Saloon, the 8th production 850 Mini made at Longbridge in 1959 no less, that inspired applause when sold by Bonhams to a Mini enthusiast in the RAF Museum with a simply staggering winning bid of £35,000, £40,250 with premium and more than £25,000 above the guide price. There was also much international competition to secure an ex-Keith Richards and extremely period looking 1950 Pontiac Chieftan ‘Silver Streak’ Convertible for £39,950, £16,000 more than forecast - and there were also buyers for both top Bentleys in the sale, a 1957 S Series Continental by H J Mulliner making £191,900 and a 1924 3-Litre Speed Model Tourer £163,900, both within their pre-sale estimate bands. A previously restored AC 428 with fixed head bodywork by Frua raised a more than top estimate £77,660 when hammered away by auctioneer Sholto Gilbertson and a 1957 Lancia Aurelia B20GT Series IV £46,000, £16,000 more than forecast. The left-hand drive 1958 Austin-Healey 100/6 in BN6 2-seater form, but on steel wheels with hubcaps and without overdrive that sold for £44,275 was absolutely stunning following January completed restoration. A 23,000 miles by one owner from new in 1976 Maserati Khamsin with wedge-shaped GT bodywork by Bertone cost £43,700. Having been in receipt of major restoration in 2003 and still cosmetically sharp, a 1970 Jensen FF MkII with fairly original interior raised £39,100. A well restored 1966 Volvo P1800S Coupe with detailed engine bay made £21,850 - and the same money bought a 1961 Daimler SP250 with cracked screen and hardtop in livid green that was far too bright for most. There were three Bristol prices to log, a 1954 403 with bills for £38k from 2006/10 sold for £42,550, a 1973 411 with tow bar in need of the next makeover £14,950 and a 1961 Beaufighter Convertible £5980. By the end of the Monday afternoon in North London, 86% of the 80 cars and one aircraft in the catalogue had changed hands, the 70 lots changing hands for £1.91m with premium.
Double-dip recession busting prices were paid at Stafford where Bonhams sold 158 classic bikes - 81% of entry - for £2.2m including final 1955 Vincent 998cc Black Shadow Series C for what is believed to be new world record price of £124,700
Only 24 hours before at Stafford, and despite diabolic weather which failed to dampen the enthusiasm of enthusiasts to turn out, bid and buy, the Bonhams team shifted 81% of the 195 classic 2-wheelers at their annual International Classic Motorcycle Show auction at the County Showground. The 158 bikes and most of the moto-mobilia on offer sold for a double-dip recession busting £2.21m with premium. Headlining in Staffordshire were a 1934 Brough Superior 996CC SS100 with JAP v-twin which rocketed past its estimate of £150,000-180,000 to sell for a stonking £242,300. A 1939 Vincent 998cc Rapide Series A, 1 of 50 or so survivors, realised £225,000 and a 1955 998cc Black Shadow from the same marque, the last Series C example produced, made what most number crunchers of my acquaintance reckon is a new world record price of £124,700. The demand for well-documented machines with matching engine, frame and registration numbers is still very strong, it would seem, and machines with unusual histories also did extremely well. For top money was also invested in a unique 1995 ‘Ferrari’ 900cc solo by Dave Kay Engineering sold for £85,500, a ROC-Yamaha 500cc GP bike from the 1992 season for £48,300 and a 1931 Douglas 750cc ‘works’ racing sidecar outfit for £40,250. Barry Sheene and Tom Cruise provenance proved popular with punters too. Heady stuff - but then when did you last look at the amazingly paltry, albeit tax-free return from your ISA?
After 39 years of inactivity, 1968 UK-built Mini Moke requiring re-commissioning headed 74% sold SWVA auction An excellent cafeteria at South-West Vehicle Auctions helps to fortify the early birds who need to be on the auction lot bright and early to view the stock on offer before the 11am start at the drive-through sale in the Parkstone suburb of Poole. An apparently sound Mini Moke, not overseas retro built, but a genuine minimalist Mini with Morris-badge built for the home market in 1968, had come to auction well preserved from long-term storage. Requiring re-commissioning if not some refurbishment before use, the once utility, now cool fun machine raised £6720. A 1965-dated and once 850 Austin Mini had a 998 motor and other upgrades and attracted £3938. There was a buyer for both early classics at £6363 for a 1931 Singer Vogue Junior with 17 old MOTs and at £3465 for a 1946 Standard 8 from 32 years of last ownership. One of the last Bertone-styled FIAT X1/9 1500s made in 1989 raised £5954. A 1987 Renault GTA, a right-hand driver with 2.5 V6 Turbo in the back, was out of the ordinary for £4515 as was an extraordinarily original 1971 Saab 96 V4 with little rust beneath matt paint for £1995. By the time the winning raffle tickets were drawn and the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Service had benefited from the £230 raised, a total of 31 or 74% of the 42 cars mainly driven through the auction hall, had sold for £87,287 with premium.
From a rain-sodden Friday morning in Dorset and an entire Monday spent peering at old motors beneath the wings of old war birds in the RAF Museum Hendon, the auctions roulette wheel spins up to Monaco where the market for top kit will be tested by 4 auctions in less than 48 hours
A drive-through gig in rain-doused Dorset will certainly be a real world away from Monaco where the well advised shelter from taxation. For the long May 10/12 weekend will see many of the world’s leading players in the old car business in the med-side bolt hole for Historic GP weekend. Bonhams, Coys and RM will certainly be hoping to see major players bidding for additions to their big boys toy cupboards at four major sales, three of them for top cars and one for Ducatis. Your Correspondent will, of course, attempt to cover the action and spot the trends on your behalf. Assignments don’t get much tougher. Can my plastic stand such up-market activity? RH-E