Classic Auction Review

Classic Auction Review - all you need to know about Classic Car auctions

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74% of cars in the Bonhams catalogue sell for just over £3m including automobilia at the annual Beaulieu International Autojumble

The top selling 1929 Bugatti Type 44 3-Litre Eight with Harrington four-seater tourer coachwork justified its Beaulieu sale catalogue cover status 7 September by selling for a top estimate £293,250 with premium before heading for Hungary. A stately Edwardian 1908 Napier 45hp Type 23 Six with Formal Open Drive Limo body by Burlington Carriage with benefit of Downton Abbey, Mr Selfridge and Peaky Blinders exposure was knocked down to an American collector via a telephone for £235,750, less than forecast. While £91,667 was accepted afterwards for a 1926 Frazer Nash 1½-Litre Super Sports from 42 years vendor ownership after £130,000 or more had not been forthcoming.
Bidding for a 1927 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Phantom I with replicated Gurney Nutting Saloon coachwork and Abdication Edward provenance was also abandoned at £130,000 and a 1979 Bentley T2 gifted to Maggie Thatcher in 1980 fell short of reserve at £9,000. The No Reserve 1952 Rover 75 that served actor Robert Hardy’s Siegfried Farnon well in All Creatures Great and Small on black and white TV did raise £6,670 however, despite requiring restoration.
A 1948 Bentley MkVI 4¼-Litre Park Ward Drophead Coupe, one of only 23 with this coachwork, made the required £78,200 and a left to right-hand drive converted 1952 Jaguar XK120 FHC with full complement of 4.2 and Getrag 5-speed upgrades by Fender-Broad £75,900. A 1986 Aston Martin Lagonda S3 in receipt of no expense spared 2008-2014 restoration, that had included conversion of the potentially troublesome instrumentation to even more modern LCD, had come to market after its late owner had died in a helicopter accident. This still futuristic looking William Towns styled wedge in light blue could still turn younger heads and was well bought for £36,800.
Also much viewed was the 1936 Austin Seven Formula 750 racer ‘Sacre Bleu’, which raced in the annual Birkett Six Hours in the 1960s, crashed at Oulton, was recovered from an orchard in 1993 and had been rebuilt by 1996. The £8,000-12,000 guide was quickly overtaken and the winning bidder had to pay £20,125. An unsold Ford V4 powered, grp-bodied 1971 Saab Sonett III in a weird shade of green meanwhile was swept up on the Sunday for £8,800.
Although a very neat 1964 Morris Mini Cooper 970S with upgraded 999cc block, Mk2 transmission and Taurus mods failed to raise the £32,000 sought, a Crayford 1964 Morris Mini Sprint, a concours winner at Beaulieu in 2016, did sell for £21,275. Both 850 Mk1 Mini projects meanwhile were trailered away, a 1959 Morris with holey floors taken on for £5,750 and, after a 21 year slumber in a barn in the New Forest, a 1964 Austin Super De-Luxe non-runner was acquired for £3,680 and remains in Hampshire.
There were fans for all three right-hand drive VW Beetles, one paying £10,350 for a 1200 that was made in Germany in 1977, since when it had only been driven 3,600 miles. A 1966 1300 with 27,000 mileage from the same vendor cost the next keeper £8,625 and an unrestored 1959 VW Beetle 1200 with three boxes of parts made £5,750.
Really very Beaulieu, and appealing to the very International Autojumblers with shed loads of euros who had made annual pilgrimage to browse several fields full of stuff, were a previously flood damaged 1984 Ferrari 512 BBi lefty with new ‘crate’ engine carried off for £51,750, and £16,675 rescued a once Swiss and a now very dusty 1963 Maserati Sebring Coupe in ‘barn found condition ’. A stalled Lotus XI project with well replicated chassis by Bill Needham, Coventry Climax engine, Sprite Mk2 box and some original bits, though no documents, was probably the most viewed lot in the tent, which explains the £16,100 result.
One of the most surprising performances was that of the 1582 numbered Vanden Plas Open 4-Seater Tourer coachwork that once graced Bentley Speed Six chassis LB 2350, but had been restored with replacement body covering fabric and woodwork repair. For what was only a body, albeit with running boards, rear wings and hood, flew past the £4,000-6,000 suggested to sell for £34,500!
As the Bonhams team vacated their Beaulieu tent and headed straight to Goodwood circuit to occupy another marquee for their next sale at the Revival meeting only five days later, 93 of the 125 cars auctioned in the grounds of the National Motor Museum had sold for £2,934,669 with premium (£3,243,846 in 2018). The sale rate at Beaulieu this year therefore was 74% (last year 81%), the average spent per classic £31,556 (actually up on £31,191 one year ago).
Although Brightwells and Bonhams bidders were not prepared to meet or better the reserves of 87 unsold cars within four days in Herefordshire and the New Forest, there were still plenty of buyers in play who were prepared to invest £4.78m in 217 classics. Our particular satellite would certainly seem to have sufficient oxygen to continue orbiting the badly managed planet. RH-E



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    Classic Auction Review congratulates Josh Fisher on winning the 2019 Castle Combe FF1600 Championship in the C.A.R. supported 1999 Van Diemen RF99/JL14 run by Wayne Poole Racing. With the Grand Finals Day round still to take place 14 September, 2008 and 2017 Champion Fisher has already secured his third FF1600 title for WPR with 5 wins, 3 seconds and a third place at the West Country circuit. Our thanks to Swindon Powertrain for building a race winning engine, the WPR crew for preparing a car that has achieved a 100% finishing record and, of course, to photographer Mike Stokes for digitally capturing the action.

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