Latest market commentary from CCFS auction analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Latest market commentary from CCFS auction analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

One of the most bullish performers to make above pre-sale estimate money on the provincial auction circuit recently has been an AC. Not some Ace or Cobra with value enhancing provenance, but a much more mundane AC 3000ME with Ford V6 in the tail that has been driven only 6500 miles by one owner since new in 1985. Requiring much rejuvenating after a 12 years sleep, the final 12 months being spent exposed to the elements, the last but one Scottish-built AC raised £19,800 with premium, three times the Brightwells guide price!

By contrast, and rather puzzlingly, it was a bad day for Alfas in Herefordshire, where all three for sale failed to do so. For a step-front 1965 Giulia Sprint GT in road rally trim failed to find anywhere near to the £20,000 required. A 1976 GT Junior 1600 ran out of road well before the £15,000 lower estimate was reached and £6000 was also unachievable for a 1984 Spider 2000 Veloce.

Unusually, Minis fared not much better, with buyers for only 25% of the eight in a Mini line-up, the two that did sell being a Rover era 1995 Cooper 1.3i with glass sunroof sold for £4620 and a rust-riddled 1960 Morris 850 taken on by only the third brave owner for £880.

Two out three locally produced Morgans, a house speciality, pulled though, £31,350 being handed over for a 1990 Plus 8 with modified 4.6 motor that had been upgraded by its overseas owner, the webmaster GoMog, the internet’s oldest Morgan community and technical resource, and £28,600 paid for 28,800 miles from new in 1991 Plus 8 3.9. Only a three owner 1975 Plus 8 3.5 with 62,200 miles on the clock missed out on hooking a new keeper with the necessary £23,000.

Whilst a still aerodynamic 1951-made Bristol 401 that benefited from a fresh down to last nut and bolt restoration failed to convince anybody to part with £45,000, a 2004 vintage Lamborghini Gallardo missile in bling yellow that had already chomped through both clutch and flywheel and both cats clearly hit the target with one punter with £52,800 to blow.

A couple of performances were market significant, I thought, an always right-hand drive 1964 Austin-Healey 3000 MkIII Phase 2 BJ8, an older restoration that had been in the same ownership for 37 years, made £39,050, top estimate money, and a 1967 MG Midget MkIII 1275 with Heritage shell and two ‘Best in Show’ awards deserved its £11,220 result, £2220 above top estimate.

Celeb cars sold included a 2009 Audi RS6 Quattro Avant 5-Litre V10 Twin Turbo Estate with 25,300m of FSH in the first ownership of Nick Mason, at £37,400, more than top estimate, and another Estate with the same Pink Floyd drummer provenance, a 2001 Merc E55 AMG which had been driven 117,000 miles to ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ and back, at £6490, the lower estimate. Whilst a below guide price £4400 was accepted for a 2000 Merc E55 AMG Saloon that had been driven 99,000 miles by Captain Mark Phillips and his American Dressage rider wife, Sandy Pflueger.

After some of the provisional bids logged had been converted into sales, 87 or 64% of the 135 cars auctioned on a Wednesday September afternoon in Leominster had sold for £1,032,553 with premium. And after the rather unfortunate ‘1 FOK’ cherished registration made £15,950 and a 1983 British Aerospace ‘Drop Tank’ without any obvious civilian future had raised an inexplicable £880, plus 13 or 93% of the 14 classic bike entries had been ridden away by new owners, the overall sale total amounted to a hearty £1.06m.

Only three days later, the Richard Edmonds dispersal sale of The Peter Attenburrow Collection on a farm near Crediton in Devon also magnetised plenty of automobilia, petroliana and collector vehicle addicts, who spent more than £312k in an afternoon and trailered away 55 of the 56 classics on offer for £304,464 with premium. With only one car unsold, the 98% sale rate achieved for the cars by the Chippenham auctioneer and his family team was the highest to hit my screen during September.

Meanwhile, and conversely, top car prices have corrected during September – with the exception of Porsches. For according to the HAGI Classic Car Indices, the prices realised in the high end transactions monitored by the Historic Automobile Group International number crunchers have cooled, with the HAGI Top Index losing 11.87 points (5.34%) compared to last month to reach a September price figure on the chart of 210.57.

Of the research organisation’s five Indices, only the HAGI P Index, which monitors classic Porsches, advanced 5.16% (9.88 points) month on month following a correction of 7% during August. The P Index recovered to break back through the 200 level with a September index price of 201.38.

All other HAGI Sector Indices have declined from August levels. Although the market correction should be seen in context with August’s 9.31% monthly rise in the HAGI Top, which was strongly influenced by the multi-record busting Monterey auction results during the month.

And with the third quarter stats now complete, the year to year growth stands at 31.47%, which is more than double the long term average annual growth rate of the HAGI Top. The HAGI P graph for Porsches has risen by 19.97% this year to date. Although down by 6.68% month on month, the HAGI F for Ferraris Index, most recently the boomiest collector vehicle commodity of all, has soared by a scarey 44.38% in nine months.

By contrast, the HAGI Top – excluding Porsches and Ferraris - has seen 25.97% growth year to date despite falling by 7.83% in September. While the HAGI MBCI Index, which charts the market for higher value Mercedes-Benz automobiles, records a 6.64% decline for last month, although 15.47% growth for the year to date.

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