Mercedes-World at Brooklands really was a user-friendly Christmas shopping experience for a very well attended Bonhams auction hall on the mezzanine where one of the highlight was the sale of the 1935 Ford BB Box Van that famously featured as the Lance Corporal Jones butcher’s van in Dad’s Army.
Direct from many years of preservation and display by the Patrick Collection in Brum, the much loved TV prop inspired a fierce bidding war overseen by a most convincing and fully costumed Captain Mainwearing look-alike finally resolved in favour of the Dad’s Army Museum in Thetford, Norfolk, for £63,100 – more than double the top estimate. The successful capture of the 2 tonner means that the J Jones Family Butcher signwritten ‘BUC 852’ will now return to Thetford, the setting of the TV series’ fictional town of Walmington-on-Sea.
A delighted Corinne Fulford, Museum Manager, told CCFS: “We are pleased to be able to assure fans of their favourite programme that this iconic piece of memorabilia is coming home to Norfolk and will remain accessible to the viewing public. There are very few pieces of original Dad’s Army memorabilia left, and this is one of the most instantly recognisable.”
Another long bidding tussle resolved ownership of another of the Patrick Collection exhibits, 100% of which sold, was when a rare Rolls-Royce B40 engined 1950 Land Rover ‘TAB 767’ with pre-sale estimate of £8000-10,000 inspired a £47,150 result. Whilst another milestone valuation established in public auction was the £27,600 paid for an admittedly uber-mint 1960 Messerschmitt KR200, winner of ‘The People’s Choice’ at The Bath Micro Car Rally no less!
The 1931 Invicta 4½-Litre S-Type Low-Chassis bodied with Tourer Coachwork for four by Carbodies that was acquired by Alexander Patrick’s father in 1966 raised £466,300 and the Collection’s 1938 SS100 Jaguar 3½-Litre Roadster went for £250,140. Both were in only fair cosmetic order too.
Other big ticket items were a reportedly 37,000 miles from new in 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster in Silver Arrows silver sold for £427,100, a one owner and only 480 miles 2005 Porsche Carrera GT in see-me yellow (including the brake callipers) for £281,500 and a 1936 Lagonda LG45 4½-Litre Fox & Nichol Le Mans Team Car Rep for which a premium-inclusive £197,500 was accepted by the auctioneers and their vendor just before the sale.
When the book had been closed, 61 vehicles changed hands from the 73 offered, making it a consumer confident 84% sale rate, for a strong auction total of £4.12m. In addition, more than a quarter of a million pounds bought 184 or 81% of the 228 lots of automobilia, amounting to £4.4m being spent in an afternoon.
For their final sale of the 2012 season, Coys moved to the smaller Lindley Hall, quite literally only just around the corner from the site of the Richmond firm’s previous auction venue in London’s Westminster. The new venue would only accommodate 28 classics at a squeeze however and so 4 cars had to be displayed beside the kerb on the street outside. But the space comfortably accommodated most of the leading London and South East trade as well as a few dealers from the Northern Continental mainland, who, once again, made pilgrimage to this annual end of season buying and selling opportunity to compete with private punters for next season’s stock.
Although the headline 1969 Lamborghini, a now rather sad looking Miura S once gifted by Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis to his friend and favourite singer Stamatis Kokotas, failed to ascend above an insufficient £300,000, a 1967 Miura that had been converted by the factory in period to SV specification was declared sold for £414,000 with premium.
The highest priced car of the evening though was a Werbierg of Zetel round-up restored 1938 BMW 328 Roadster still with original 2-litre engine hammered away to a German buyer on a telephone for £485,500. A matching numbers 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster with disc brakes and rare factory hardtop, a one Hanover family owned car since 1967, was knocked down for £385,000, £425,000 with premium.
Equally mint and retail-ready was a left-hand drive 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Vantage for £375,000 and a 1967 Ferrari 330GT transformed into a convincing 250GT SWB Berlinetta bravely auctioned without reserve was applauded for achieving £112,000 under the hammer, £124,700 with premium. And reckoned to be the finest example of a Maserati Quattroporte, a 4-Door Sports-Saloon supplied new in 1966 to Italian pilot Luciano Rizzi in Vercelli with £40,000 worth of refurbishment bills on file, duly returned a premium-inclusive £40,000.
By the end of a wine and mince pie fuelled evening, 32 or 70% of the 46 cars in the glossy catalogue had been knocked down to £3.4m gross. Indeed, if you add Monday and Tuesday’s figures together, this quite extraordinarily bullish sector of our beleaguered economy saw another 93 collector vehicles change hands for £7.77m with premium. 26 cars failed to get away though, their condition as presented on sale day not warranting the reserves.
So that I can properly digest Wednesday evening’s movers at Newbury Racecourse under the H&H gavel and Thursday’s changes of ownership under cool canvas at the end of season DVCA sale, I shall review the more market significant prices in next week’s auctions commentary spot. Until then, do enjoy what could well be the final few days of Triple A Rating!