One of the last Triumph Spitfire 1500 engined MG Midget MkIV Limited Editions in appropriate ‘Black on Black’ that commemorated a 1929 launched model axed by British Leyland in 1979 became an auction record breaker in the Bonhams sale during the Festival of Speed. Purchased directly from BL by West Country MG dealers, in whose private collection the unregistered Midget 1500 had been extraordinarily well preserved for the last 39 years, the inactive time warp had a mere 35 miles on the odometer.
With brake discs, master cylinders, ignition components, fuel pipes and all vital fluids freshly renewed, and guided at £10,000-15,000, the mass produced, though unique artefact was most keenly contested under the gavel until a most determined lady driver beat off all comers with a winning bid of £25,000, costing her £28,750 with premium, very nearly double top estimate.
Much of the perceived value with this rubber-bumpered Midget was the lack of mileage, of course, which means that if actually driven anywhere it could depreciate by the mile! Although the new owner did hedge her bets by also outbidding a major F1 personality/collector in the front seats for the keys of a freshly Jag Shop rebuilt and upgraded 1962 Jaguar E Type Series 1 3.8 Roadster, into which she invested another £259,100, top estimate money.
Two more one-off prices meanwhile were paid by punters for much modified pop classics during this multi-million pound afternoon behind Goodwood House. For the £14,375 premium-inclusive valuation for a 1970 Morris Minor was mighty high for the once popular choice of the district nurse and rural vicar. Although ‘WOF 690F’ had been constructed from a new old-stock 2-Door shell and prepped with low-compression 1275cc motor, huge fuel tank and Marina disc brakes by the late Trevor Hulks for Joy Rainey to compete in the 2004 London to Sydney Marathon.
Whilst despite there being receipted invoices on file amounting to over £45,000 having been spent, and a pre-sale estimate of £20,000 or more, the 2017 London-Lisbon rallied and disc-braked 1955 A30 1275 ‘OSK 899’ was auctioned ‘Without Reserve. The next owner-adventurer paid £16,675 for ‘OSK 899’ which was still respectable money, surely, for an A30 which had undercut the Minor when new by £10! ..