Having started life as a standard 1964 Ferrari 330GT, a 2+2 in right-hand drive was re-bodied in the Modena workshops of Giorgio Neri (the ‘Ne’ of the former Nembo) as a Nembo Spyder and was sold by H&H in their latest auction at Duxford for a deservedly applauded £530,000 under the hammer to benefit East Anglian Air Ambulance. The Ferrari had been generously consigned for sale at ‘No Reserve’ to raise funds for his local Air Ambulance service by the late Richard Allen, former Chairman of the Ferrari OC.
Reckoned to have been worth somewhere between £500k and £1m before the auction, the final Nembo Spider, more of a unique ‘Continuation’ edition that had been restrospectively created, but the only RHD example and the only one with 4-litre V12 powered one, was therefore valued in public at £596,250 with 12.5% premium. Although this one-off beauty does not have – nor never will be issued with – the official stamp of factory approval, Ferrari Classiche Certification, which has become value-enhancing in the dispersal market and may well become essential for a Ferrari to sell at all in any politician-induced downwave in the unpredictable future.
A headlining Ferrari quartet performed well in the cavernous Imperial War Museum at the former WW2 airfield beside the M11 in Cambridgeshire. For a 1958 250GT Pininfarina Fixed Head donor that had also been retrospectively re-bodied in aluminium as an utterly convincing California Spyder LWB with the preferred enclosed-headlamps (in period, underpinned by the same Tipo 508D chassis as the 250GT PF Coupe donor) was hammered away by house founder Simon Hope for £505,000, which was accepted by the Lancashire vendor and his family in the seats who had been hoping for more. For the £568,250 with premium paid by the next keeper was less than the £600,000-800,000 pre-sale estimate and the likely net return even more so of course.
Another nicely shot big-screen video-introduced 1965 330GT - one of the 453 of the rather understated, but V12-powered 2+2s that offer a Prancing Horse ride for a more reasonable sum that an only 2-seater Ferrari – was provisionally bid to £175,000, again £25,000 below forecast. Although this ‘live’ high bid was speedily accepted by the auctioneers and the same vendor as the Californian Evocazione afterwards, and ‘184 YUD’ duly appeared among published gross prices on the Warrington firm’s website having changed hands for £196,875 with premium.
And then a formerly David Beckham owned 2001 Ferrari 360Spyder with the F1 marketed electrohydraulic manual transmission (that means ‘paddleshift’ in place of ye olde gear-lever, which is likely to be less troublesome in the real world down the road) came to market at Duxford. With only 7800 miles of recorded play on the clock, and in celeb-shades matching Nero with full Sabbia leather, yet another Beckham-mobile was provisionally bid to £80,000, but also converted into a £90,000 on-line published result, comfortably within the guide price band for all concerned.
By the end of the 5 hour 25 minute sale, 31 classics were sold ‘under the hammer’, including all 6 ‘No Reserve’ Armstrong Siddeleys, and 26% of the 117 cars offered had been hammered to a for the most part well attended room plus telephone contestants and worldwide-web players participating on up to four time consuming internet-platforms. By the time the giant hangar was emptied however, the Northern firm’s back-office team successfully converted another 47 of the ‘provisionals’ into changes of ownership and the sale stats rose therefore to 78 sold, a 67% sale rate, and the sale total to more than £4.5m.
And after nearly paperless H&H sales at Donington, that are geared to the ‘Pop and Emerging Classics’ market, many consumers who made often long and costly journeys to Duxford (most of whom are not yet ready to fully embrace a digital future on i-phones and tablets) told me that they welcomed the retention of a traditional printed catalogue (plus the lighter and handy pocket-sized catalogue-lettes) at this ‘Selected Status’ fixture. Long may such comfort blankets from the old world be available to those members of the dinosaur club who still prefer their newspapers and magazines to be in print!