89% of classics sell in SWVA drive-through

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans.

Having been abandoned in the Californian outback for 20 years, early model VW T2 immigrant landed in the UK in 2011 as a rolling shell without engine, gearbox or seats. Nearly six years later, the award-winning UK specialists transformed Campervan motored past the Dorset auctioneers rostrum into new ownership for £26,833 to head an 89% sold £379,637 Friday morning.

Even with end of season temperatures falling faster than either the autumn leaves or Sterling, classical British sports cars were still cool with the car buying punters who paid £25,650 for a 1948 MG TC and £23,760 for a 1982 Morgan Plus 8. The MG had done most its early and mid-life motoring in South Africa before restoration in 1995 and inheriting a VW steering box. Whilst the Rover 3.5 V8 powered Malvern Mog in Merc Purple had been speed-evented by a previous owner, hence a Safety Devices roll-over bar, and fitted with electric power-steering and repositioned seats with off-set steering wheel for the vendor’s late husband.

On the Sunday afternoon, the going was very much softer under the Classics Central hammer at the Bedford Autodrome, where although more than two thirds of the 73 cars displayed inside and outside the auction unit did not meet their reserves, there were buyers with a premium-inclusive £196,274 to spend on 21 cars, including the higher-priced ones.

For a right-hand drive 1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL W113 Pagoda-top recently serviced by marque specialist Roger Edwards achieved a more than lower estimate £65,725. Whilst a pre-sale estimated £23,000 or more had been sought for a BMW M635 CSI with 82,000 miles of full service history since 1986, £19,500 was accepted for the Park Lane supplied Coupe with manual box afterwards – and, although a 22,744 miles from new in 1989 Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth on correct alloys ran out of puff ‘live’, the discreetly winged 4-Door was also post-sale sold for £26,000.

The next Friday evening of London to Brighton Veteran Car Run weekend, the annual selling and buying opportunity of Run eligible Automobiles took place in the New Bond Street HQ of event sponsors Bonhams, who sold 10 out of the 12 Veterans in the saleroom for £1.23m to achieve an 83% sale rate.

 

A results-topping £272,500 was available for a 1904 Renault Type N-B 14/20hp Swing-Seat Tonneau, one of the first 4-cylinder Renaults with detachable dais roof for all seasons and the convenience of an electric starter. A tiller-steered 1897 Daimler 4hp 2-cylinder with 8-seater Wagonette coachwork by Stirling of Hamilton - one of the earliest surviving British-made Daimlers with an entry included for the Sunday Run to Brighton as Start Number 4 - made a more than top estimate £236,700.

A 1904 Aster 16/20hp 4-cylinder with non-original 4-seater Rear-Entrance Tonneau bodywork by Parisian Renaudin meanwhile also came with an LBVCR entry. Allocated Start Number 397 and equipped with side-mounted wicker hampers for the journey, the Brighton Road regular changed preservationists in the West End for £210,940. A top-of-the range Royal Beeston Humberette 6½hp Doctor’s Limo with known ownership history from new in 1904 had transported the immediately preceding owner on the 2012 Run at an average speed of 11mph, taking seven hours. Again with LBVCR Start Number 300 included, and answering to the name of Alice, the 112 year old was adopted by an intrepid new guardian for £57,500.

The least expensive means of Brighton Run transport successfully auctioned this year were an ex-Rootes Group Heritage Collection 1903 Humber 2¾hp Olympia Tanden Forecar and a De Dion 3½hp 1-cylinder powered 1900 Renault Type C 2-seater with additional Rear-Entrance Tonneau accommodation. The former, basically a motorised tricycle with a posh suicide seat for the passenger to the fore, which would also be eligible for the Pioneer and Banbury Veteran Motorcycle Runs, was pedalled away for £36,800. The latter meanwhile, a veteran 4-wheeler of in excess of 25 London to Brightons whilst in previous Dutch ownership, and more recently exercised by the vendor on the 2015 Run, sold for £37,083, which included a 2016 event chance to celebrate the freedom of being able to take to the road without having to be preceded by a Red Flag Man!

During these extreme financial times, when a politician-driven future for electric rather than exhaust emitting road vehicles could well render the internal combustion engine extinct by taxation, surprisingly perhaps ye olde collector vehicles from yesteryear continue to magnetise bidders. For within the week reviewed, another clutch of auction cars have come to market via the auction route and £1.82m has been invested in the futures of 98 automobiles, ranging from a circa 1897 Hart Steamer sold for £60,860 to the £1250 exchanged for a 2003 vintage X Type Jag 2.5 Sport.

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