After the two most recent sale rates had fallen to only 46% in Surrey and 54% in Herefordshire, UK auction market makers can engage Top Gear again and relax until the next slide dents consumer confidence. For only 6 lots failed to find buyers at the latest SWVA Drive Through in Dorset, where 92% of vendors’ classics changed hands for a premium-inclusive £700,162.
One of the high fliers to take off just outside Poole on a Friday morning before lunch was an extraordinarily diligently restored 1949 Triumph 2000 Roadster, which was last auctioned in Southampton in 1965 when it had cost £20 before being later taken on as a restoration project in 1999 for £1600. Eighteen years later, and likely to be in comparable condition, the famously Jim Bergerac endorsed model finally fetched £11,820 more than the £19,500 top estimate to sell for £31,320 with premium.
A 1970 Jaguar E Type S2 4.2 Fixed Head with patina and Eagle Racing upgrades, including a 5-speed box and wide-rimmed wires, also out-performed the £37,000-39,000 forecast to achieve £67,500 – and a former 1948 Bentley MkVI Saloon, employed as the donor for an ali-bodied Special that had been stored since completion in 1993, went for £41,040, £16,040 more than the guide price. Whilst a Rennes registered in 1971 Citroen SM Maserati had come to the UK via three French residencies and a spell on Guernsey to make £43,360, again, £14,360 above the pre-sale estimate.
Even with paint stripped off for a respray that the keeper had never got round to doing, a genuine factory big-valve Sprint version of the 1972 Lotus Elan with rare factory hardtop that had been parked up for 27 years made £28,890, £3890 more than forecast. Whereas a far from standard 1960 MGA 1622 Roadster with MGB 1850 race motor and 5-speed box, a veteran of 50 Historic Rallies from the Pirelli Classic to the Monte Carlo Challenge, was driven past the rostrum to cost the next enthusiastic owner £19,980, £2000 over the guide.
And finally, a 1958 Austin A35 Pick-Up - the 75th of the 475 produced that qualified for Purchase Tax and, as a result, were over-priced which resulted in half of them being shipped overseas - had been in receipt of a £25k restoration in 2001 and picked up £22,680 in 2017. All the prices quoted were high for the various models, whilst the 92% sale rate achieved by South West Vehicle Auctions was the highest logged on the UK auction circuit in recent weeks.