26 March 2015

Auction Update

Roving auctions reporter Richard Hudson-Evans checks out the cars that sold and analyses the prices paid by market makers at the first major sales of the new UK auction season at Goodwood and Brooklands.

Audi Quattros from the relatively recent 1980s were the most viewed cars in the Bonhams auction tent at Goodwood circuit during the revived Members’ Meeting, where a 24,285 miles from new in 1985 Quattro Sport with mph speedo fetched £287,100 with premium to established a new record price for the SWB-model. An ex-works Group B Rally Quattro A1 in 1982 Monte colours with extensively Finnish rallied floors that had been resting in a Greek collection in recent years sold for £247,900, within the estimate band.

Although the catalogue cover starring 1955 Frazer Nash LM Coupe, which had 1959 Le Mans race provenance, was unsold under the gavel, ‘XMC 1’ had sold by the next day, less than the hoped for sum, but for a racey £466,667 to head a £4.23m set of results, the largest in the UK so far this buying season. The stats also show that there were buyers for 48 of the 66 cars on the grid, a 73% sale rate, who were prepared to invest an average of £88,123 per car bought.

The most surprising performance of all though was the £259,100 valuation for a 1953-dated Jaguar C Type Recreation that had been most authentically re-created in the historic race engineering workshops of Pearsons Engineering workshops in Northamptonshure. ‘DBW 23’, which had been maintained by Blue Chip Jag specialists CKL, had been FIA certified however, enabling it to compete with genuine contemporary sports-racers at major historic events.

Jaguar Cars manufactured Jaguars were also a popular commodity on a Saturday afternoon in old Sussex. For a more than triple estimate £225,500 was required to out-bid the competition for the keys of a one family owned from new in 1959 and still remarkably unmolested XK150S 3.4 Roadster ‘Original’ with matching chassis and engine numbers and first Norfolk registration intact.

£158,300, virtually top estimate money, was forthcoming for the 104th right-hand drive E Type S1 3.8 Roadster that first drove down Brown Lane in 1961 and had been last restored in Cornwall in 1995. An XK150SE 3.4 Fixed Head had been supplied in 1958 to Charles Reginald Purley, father of Sussex F1 driver David Purley. 67 years and 33,039 miles later in the hands of a total of three private owners, the SE FHC cost the fourth owner £75,000, the amount forecast.

One of 35 right-hand drive 1983 Lamborghini Jalpa P350 Targa-tops by Bertone achieved £74,300, just over £29,000 more than forecast. An only part-refurbished 1973 Porsche 911T Targa in left-hand drive exceeded the pre-sale estimate by nearly £20,000 to sell for £67,580 – and a premium-inclusive £60,860, within the guide price band, bought a 1983 Renault 5 Turbo 1, therefore with roof, doors and rear hatch in more desirable aluminium rather than Turbo 2 steel.

Three weekends earlier, the Brooklands Museum grounds were also heaving with those seeking some classic satisfaction. As has become the near norm form at most collector vehicle auctions, it seems, a Ferrari speedily generated the highest numbers on trading screens with a mere 14 year old 550, the penultimate 1971 World Speed Record Edition of 33, fetching £176,000 with premium, £16,000 more than had been suggested.

At least in the same race as the Prancing Horse on this occasion though was a 1979 Maserati Khamsin, one of only 23 right-hand drivers destined for the UK market, which swiftly overtook the top estimate of £80,000 and ended up costing the new rider £126,500.

Apparently, 2700 hours had been spent at the Gloria Coachworks in rural Oxfordshire to recreate a brand new Triumph Dolomite Straight Eight Roadster, for which Rob Green had employed a 1938 Dolomite chassis and straight six engine, and all pre-1940 running gear. Commemorating the three magnificent Dolomite Straight Eights built by Triumph in the 1930s, ‘EYT 342’ was declared sold for £73,000, £80,300 with premium.

Among other significant results, I would suggest, was the £7000 above top estimate £77,000 achieved by a Ferguson Formula 4WD 1968 Jensen Interceptor FF from West Brom with full-length and likely to flap fabric sunshine roof. A claimed to be still as-new 1966 Wolfsburg-built VW Beetle 1300 in right-hand drive, which had only been driven 37,000 miles by two owners in 49 years, raised £19,800 from an air-cooled fan in the tent.

What was catalogued as the actual MA2S3 1000000 chassis numbered ‘Millionth Morris Minor’ from the 349 batch of Million-commemorating Minors in Lilac magnetised much Minor chat both in the tent and on-line. Reportedly, this first prize in a competition had been previously ditch-crashed, repaired and colour changed – and, post a more recent restoration, there was certainly no trace of any identifying numbers having been factory-stamped into the bulkhead. A diligent advisory announcement was duly made from the rostrum before its sale and before the now Lilac motor car passed into next ownership for £25,300.

By the end of the best attended Historics sale yet at the pre-WW2 circuit. 116 or 76% of the 145 cars in the bulging catalogue had changed hands for £2.77m with premium, an average of £23,843 being spent per classic. So far, the increased number of auctions being held and the very larger number of classics being offered, more than ever before, would not appear to be swamping demand.  May the stats be with you!

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