Plastic-bodied Ferrari and Shelby Mustang Replica out-perform Oldtimers at Bicester Heritage during Flywheel weekend as times and tastes change

Richard Hudson-Evans

Richard Hudson-Evans

A Ferrari 308GTB Vetroresina, one of only 154 made in RHD, was the £121,000 best seller at the Brightwells £604,000 auction during Flywheel weekend at Bicester Heritage, where the 1971 Fibreglass-bodied Coupe with dry sump outperformed all the Pre-war cars, 10 of which failed to find buyers in the WW2 hangar.

For even though the Flywheel event was pitched at the mature automobilist and aviator, the highest priced oldtimers were a 1924 12/50 Beetleback sold for £33,000 and a 1933 MG J2 for £28,600, both below their pre-sale estimates. The stellar lot, a catalogue cover featured 1930 Delage D8 VDP Tourer, failed to shine however in a sector, in which enthusiastic owners already own oldtimers and potential sellers are beginning to outnumber likely buyers.

There will always be a market for Edwardian, Vintage and Post-Vintage pre-wars, of course - but unless very sporting looking, and preferably with some period competition provenance, or most attractively cheap, the present expectations for many of the older cars and their owners have become unrealistic.

For while there were no takers at Bicester for a 1927 Vauxhall LM 14-40 Princeton Tourer in nicely mellowed condition, many wasps buzzed around a 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby 350R Rep with potent sounding 306ci mil. The stunningly diligent Evocation by a technician from the nearby Merc F1 Team, would cost most civilians considerably more to re-create than the £39,600 paid by a fortunate buyer. Times and tastes are a’changing.

As just two days earlier at their Leominster HQ, Brightwells successfully shifted 46 of the 75 ‘Modern Classics’ for £355,663 (including a 1995 Porsche 911 993 Turbo for £83,600) at their latest fixture for the genre, where more fashionable youngsters can be seen and heard being reassuringly driven past the rostrum.

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