The going was far from firm at one of the most recent test sessions for the collector vehicle market in the South West Vehicle Auctions drive-through auction hall on Friday at Parkstone, just outside Poole, and under canvas in the final Richard Edmonds sale of the season on Saturday at Castle Combe circuit. For whereas 66% of the SWVA entry was eventually sold to live or i-bidders in Dorset, even where some of the provisional bids had been converted into sales during the Edmonds auction, only 36% of the cars, commercials and tractors on the menu had sold by close of play in Wiltshire. Although the Chippenham firm is likely to boost their stats if a few more post-sale deals can be done, and I will of course update you with their final figures in due course, this consumer’s impression was that old motors were no longer flying off the shelf on Saturday as they were doing earlier in the season.
There are still enthusiasts out there clearly still prepared to sink their funds into futures however, as in the most deserving case of a 1933 Lagonda ‘barn find’ in the Edmonds tent rescued for £30,000. Hopefully, the now really quite rare 3-Litre Saloon project will not suffer the same fate of so many old Lags that have been chopped during conversion into 21st century soft-tops. There was also a kindly benefactor with £3960 for a 1928 Chrysler 66 shortened and rolling chassis with reportedly running engine and unrelated log book.
Nor did a saleroom notice on the screen of a cosmetically well presented 1933 Riley Nine Monaco advising potential buyers of there being traces of anti-freeze in the oil of the rebuilt engine appear to deter one of them from parting with £12,320 either, £2320 more than top estimate. Whilst a front of tent parked 1930 Austin Seven Tourer for four little people was much admired and did not disappoint either by selling for £10,395. Even a mish-mash of a 1933-dated MG with J2 chassis, P Type body and 1940s Ford engine generated much viewing and sold for £9020 – and the same money bought a seemingly ready to enjoy 1926 Swift 14/40 Tourer, which was immediately driven away in autumnal sunshine by the happy couple who purchased it. And a previously restored and 1.6 petrol-engined Land Rover 80 S1 Pick-Up of 1949 vintage from 29 years of vendor ownership fetched £9460, nearly £3000 more than the guide price. So, there was still some froth on the pint.
For early the day before at SWVA, much more modern Porsches had generated strong bidding with £20,300 buying a circa 97,000 miler 1988 911 Turbo Cabriolet in rhd and £3392 was available for a 1989 928 S even though a non-starter due to a mystery malfunction. An early Bedford CA Van with split-screen from 1957 in nice promotional order did potter past the rostrum though to raise £5830.
Pop classic Triumphs sold on a rainy Friday morning included a restored 1971 Stag auto with Rimmer Bros rebuilt engine and both hard and soft-tops for £6466, a presentable 1971 Triumph Herald 13/60 Convertible for £4770 and a 1965 Triumph Spitfire 4 on wires with the Le Mans look of an Ashley fastback hardtop for £3551. £2756 bought a 1976 Sunbeam Rapier H120 with Holbay motor.
And consumers (and that occasionally includes your Correspondent!) are certainly faced with a near bewildering amount of buying and reporting opportunities this week - with sales taking place under the Barons gavel at Sandown Park Tuesday (that’s today if you’re reading this in e-newsletter form), a choice of RM in Battersea Park Wednesday or H&H same day at the Pavilion Gardens in Buxton, then the annual Bonhams pre-London to Brighton Run Veterans sale at their New Bond Street salerooms Friday, followed by another massive ACA drive-through at King’s Lynn Saturday and Charterhouse at the Shepton Mallet Showground Sunday. No wonder I need to renew my CRV – both the Honda workforce at Swindon and The Boy Chancellor will be pleased!