20 06 2019

Auction Watch

It is a strange time in the classic car auction world. The market has undeniably taken a dip from its peak a couple of years ago, but good cars are still performing well. It’s as if there are two categories: perfectly restored, highly original or low-mileage do very well but everything else seems to struggle to reach their reserves.

One car consigned for the forthcoming Bonhams sale at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on 5th July sits astride this line. On the face of it, the 1966 Ford GT40 P/1042 has everything going for it: a highly detailed and fully documented restoration by marque experts, links to Le Mans and some of the finest racing drivers of the day, and the benefit of timing: this November’s release of the Disney movie Ford vs Ferrari starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale documenting the development of the GT40 is bound to increase interest in the model, and prices will undoubtedly rise as a result.

But – and this is a big but – P/1042 is a relatively recent construction of parts from various different cars. Although the body, engine, gearbox and numerous other parts are original, with well-documented histories, the all-important monocoque chassis is not. A huge amount of effort has been put into making this car as close to the original Ford Advance Vehicles (FAV) specification as possible and the result is terrific, but given the current market will it shine on the day or struggle to find a new owner? Bonham have rightly given it an estimate of £850,000 to £1.2m, much less than an original, which the Hagerty Price Guide lists as between £2.69m to £3.12m in this condition. I feel it may be a hard sell.

At the other end of the scale, Bonhams are also offering a very rare 1953 Alfa Romeo 1900C coupe, one of just 100 bodied by Pininfarina. For many years part of the Mario Righini Collection, the car was fully restored in 2014 and was a recent entrant in the Mille Miglia. With FIVA identity card, this car has everything going for it; the Bonhams estimate of £270,000 to £310,000 is in line with the Hagerty Price Guide top value (for Touring-bodied examples) of £299,000 but it could – should – go higher.

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