New lockdowns spark boom in classic car sales – auction news

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► November and December 2020s’ lockdown brought a boom in sales
► Expect more of the same in 2021 as buyers look at treating themselves
► When sales aren’t able to run ‘live’ they are continuing online
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If the November/December national lockdown in England’s spike in auction enquiries and sales for classics being sold online is anything to go by, we can expect more of the same in the opening months of 2021, a specialist in online-only sales has said.

The Market said that as the tougher restrictions were brought in during November it saw an increase in the number of enquiries and bids during its auctions, with strong prices paid, including £86,500 for a 1979 Porsche 911 Turbo (pictured) – more than £12k above its £74,000 upper estimate – and a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL, which, went £7500 past its upper estimate to £75,000.

Director, Tristan Judge, argued that buyers unable to view classics in person during the lockdown were still keen to buy classics, and were using smartphones and computers to find out more about classic cars coming onto the market instead.

He said: ‘There were huge levels of serious interest through the late spring and into the summer months and even more recently, we’ve experienced another mini boom with the second nationwide lockdown. 2020 has certainly been a bizarre year and one that has defied predictions, even from month to month!’

Healthy auction sales rates during lockdown

The auctioneer said that it had shifted £10.4 million worth of cars in November, with an 84% sale rate in which 56 cars from 67 offered sold. So far this year the online-only auctioneer has sold cars to the value of just under £10m. The strong results parallel other auction successes during the second national lockdown in November, with Silverstone Auctions recording its highest ever sales total for its season-closer sale, despite the auction being held online-only rather than in its traditional home at the NEC, during the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show.

Richard Barnett, Classic Car Weekly’s markets editor, said: ‘It’s true that, 2020 has clearly seen a difference in the way auctions are conducted. There’s been a strong shift towards online bidding during the lockdowns – even when it has been possible to attend sales in person.

‘As the year ended, anyone involved in buying and selling will be looking to 2021 to provide a fresh start, even if that that takes a little time to come about because of the ongoing restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s auctioneers that are quick to respond to those changes who will be the winners in 2021.’

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