The ultimately successful buyer of a UK supplied 1973 Jaguar E Type Series 3 V12 Roadster with manual shift only just managed to register to bid in time, entering the Sandown Park saleroom well after bidding for the car had started. But it was worth the rush as the claimed still to be very original Big Cat with 50,000 mileage from new, one of 7990 mainly exported S3 Open Tops made in Coventry, was secured with a close to top estimate bid of £74,000, costing the winning contestant £81,400 including Barons premium.
A well-presented 1976 Rolls-Royce Corniche Convertible also sold at the Surrey Racecourse for a near to guide price £35,750 with premium and a below estimate £28,050 bought a vast and obscenely finned 1961 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible. Another lefty to find a friend in Brexit Britain was a 1957 Chevrolet Task Force Pick-Up that had only been driven 700 miles since a US restoration and which raised £26,400, top estimate money. Whilst six out of seven Triumph TRs found new homes to go to, led by an £18,700 TR6 with wings and boot renewed during recent refurbishment and a cosmetically imperfect 1967 TR3A IRS that had been in receipt of a chassis transplant, for which a below guide £18,000 was accepted.
By the end of the Saturday afternoon session, and after some provisional bids had been converted into results, 43 of the 91 cars auctioned had changed keepers in what was only a 47% sold sale, but which nonetheless grossed a healthy £496,485 including premium with an average of £11,546 spent per classic.
The going had been only slightly less sticky at Leominster earlier in the week, when 100 ‘Modern Classics’ were driven past the Brightwells rostrum and 46 had to return home unsold during what was a 54% sold £220,727 Thursday afternoon when an average of £4087 was spent per car.
There were no big prices however, while the results were headed by well-engineered but unexciting Mercs led by a 1982 280SL R107 with hardtop fetching £13,420, albeit just over the lower estimate with premium. The top-priced BMW was a pre-facelift 2002 vintage M3 E46 Cabrio packing a 440bhp 3.2 Six sold for £9350 and a much stored 1992 Peugeot 205 CTi 1.9 with only 3105 miles on the odo made £10,780. A 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX with stock 2.5 turbocharged flat-four good for 227bhp was caught for £7700.
These lower sale rates reflect auction over-load with too many cars chasing much the same number of auction goers and on-line watchers as the economy takes a breather during the distraction of a premature General Election which can only increase uncertainty.