Classic Auction Review

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9 out of 10 Astons sell at Bonhams salerooms, where £5.4m spent on 26 classics during Christmas shopping spree in London’s West End

An Austin-Healey topped The Bond Street 4 December Sale prices with the 1955 100S, raced in period by David Shale and Tony Lanfranchi, selling for £575,000 with premium. In the up-market West End shopping street, the 66 year old traditional British sportscar out-performed 10 Aston Martins, 3 Bentleys, 2 Ferraris, 2 Mercedes-Benz as well as auction-worthy examples of Bugatti, Porsche, BMW and Rolls-Royce!
The Donald Healey AHS 3509 chassis with ‘EW 106’ registration, one of only four UK-supplied 100 ‘S’, last changed hands more than seven years ago in the same auctioneers’ 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed sale, where, estimated at £600,000-700,000, the vendor had to bid £673,500 with premium to secure the historic Brit.
Whereas in pandemic 2021, guided at a market-corrective £550,000-650,000, the £500,000 bid and £575,000 paid by a telephone bidder was £98,500 or 17% less than the valuation in public auction in bullish 2014.
Only just behind the 100S was a 1965 Aston Martin DB5 with 4.2 upgrade, pro-restored from ‘Barn Find’ to concours, sold for a within estimate band £568,200. There were buyers for eight other Astons, too, only one of which, a left-hand drive 16,000k since 1998 Vantage Coupe, was unsold with £90,000 on the screen, £30,000 below estimate.
Prices paid for Astons in the UK’s swishest auctions salerooms, where the very first lot was actually hammered down by the then London Mayor Boris Johnson, were 1970 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage Mk2 £253,000, 1971 DB6 Mk2 £218,500, 1979 V8 Vantage £151,800, 1967 DB6 Auto £119,600, 1995 Vantage Left-Hand Drive Manual £101,200, 1961 AML Rapide 4-Door Auto £98,600, 1979 V8 Vantage with Factory-Fit Auto £94,300 and 2004 Japanese Import Vanquish S £69,000.  
The first Bugatti Type 46S imported into the UK in 1933, when the rolling chassis was topped with Coupe coachwork by James Young, sold to an absentee bidder for more than mid-estimate £460,000.
All four cars from the collection of the late Brian S Wiggins sold, and sold well, led by a 1928 Bentley 6½-Litre Tourer that raced at Brooklands before it was vandalised by property development sold for £460,000, from a £448,500 1930 Bentley 4½-Litre, originally a Saloon by Harrison that had been re-bodied as an Open Tourer for four in Vanden Plas style by James Pearce.
The collection 1937 Jaguar SS100 3½-Litre, originally a 2½, fetched £264,500 from a buyer in the room. While a Lord Astor owned in 1935 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Phantom II , first bodied as a Sedanca de Ville by Barker, then an Armoured Car, followed by Hearse, but nowadays a 4-Seater Tourer, raised £80,500 on a telephone.
A 2010 Porsche 911 997 Sport Classic, one of the 250 made with double-bubble roof that had only been driven 182k during Swiss ownership, was bought by another bidder on a telephone for £333,500, though attracting 20% import VAT if remaining in the excessively taxed UK.
There were new owners for both ‘No Reserve’ Mercedes Gullwings with a mere 50k on their clocks, paying £235,700 for a one owner 2014 SLS AMG GT Final Edition and £216,200 for a 2011 SLS AMG.
A one owner from new in 2000 BMW Z8 Roadster with circa 41,500 mileage found the £132,250 forecast. Another one owner since 2014 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta was auctioned Without Reserve for £115,000 to an internet contestant and £97,750 bought another No Reserve 2015 FF 4x4 GT-Hatchback.
Well bought for £101,250 on a telephone was a Polsons maintained 1933 Talbot AV95/105 ‘Alpine Team Car Replica’, which had started a previous life as an AV95 Saloon, but which could provide a new owner-driver with excellent event-compliant wheels for The Flying Scotsman, Shamrock and 100 Mile Trials rallies.
Whilst the lowest priced classic beside the Christmas tree was a very French 1964 Rene Bonnet Djet II Coupe with twin Weber fed Renault 1149cc motor in the tail, another No Reservist, which was well bought surely for £24,150.
By the end of the Saturday afternoon shopping session, 26 of the 30 cars displayed in the most sumptuous surroundings on the UK if not EU auction circuit had sold, an 87% sale rate, for £5,382,960 with premium and a very festive average of £207,036 had been spent per car bought. Before any post-sale negotiations had been concluded, only four cars were unsold.

EU Mainland On-Line Sale Sells Out
The international auction house’s European Car Department has also ended the year on a high, with a ‘white glove’ result for its Autumn Motoring Online Sale, which achieved a 100 per cent sell-through rate - the first such for a Bonhams motor cars fully-digital auction – and a sale total just shy of 2 million euros.
Leading the internet-only sale was a 2012 Maybach 62S Saloon LWB, a one-owner from new example of the ultra-exclusive luxury sports limousine, which achieved 345,000 r, more than three times its top pre-sale estimate of 100,000 euros.
In its slipstream were a 1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series 2 Saloon, a Rallye de Monte Carlo Historique participant, which sold for 287,500 euros and a 1966 Aston Martin DB6 Mk 1, which made 207,000 euros – both original left hand drive cars. As in London, the British marque dominated the top ten most valuable lots in the i-sale.
Other results of note included a 1973 Ducati 750 GT project. In single family ownership since 1974, the motorcycle sold for 21,850 euros, more than double its pre-sale estimate. 
Paul Darvill, Bonhams European Sales Manager, said: “This is a great result and reflects our clients’ increasing confidence in the fully-digital sales platform. We are delighted to finish our year with a white glove sale and look forward to continuing our on-line auctions into 2022 with new sales for Automobilia alongside the growth of The Market in the European Union.”
The department is now looking ahead to next year and their 2022-season opener, the Grand Marques du Monde à Paris Sale to be staged 3 February in its new location in the heart of the French capital, at the Grand Palais Éphémère, for which consignments for exceptional collectors’ motor cars are now invited. RH-E

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    The 2021 debut for the Wayne Poole Racing engineered 1971 Merlyn Mk20 was the 22/23 May International Trophy HSCC double header for Historic Formula Fords round the full 3.6604 mile Silverstone GP circuit.

    After the 38 strong field of early FFs had practiced, driver Ben Mitchell had qualified the Classic Auction Review backed Merlin third quickest and started the 8 lap 29.28 mile race from the second row.

    Having run strongly at the head of the second place pack (see Phil Johnson photo of Mitchell/Calum Grant Merlin ‘magnetic’ close quarter battle above), Ben spun, recovering to average 90.47mph and finish fifth. Saturday’s race was convincingly won by Cam Jackson at the wheel of a Palliser/Winkelmann WDF2 with a 92.27 mph fastest lap.

    On the Sunday, the Jackson Palliser again ran away from the main scrap. Although our man converted his third row start into a second placed finish just ahead of the Horatio Fitz-Simon Mk20A, pursued by the Dominick Jackson Lotus 69 and Grant 20A.

    Driving the C.A.R. supported Class A 1999 Van Diemen RF99/JL14, Ben has also been competing in the equally competitive Premier Financial Management sponsored Castle Combe Racing Club’s FF Championship.

    After two fourths, a sixth and a third, he led the second May Bank Hol race for five laps (photo above by Phil Johnson) before being launched by a rumble-strip into a slide and losing two corners against an Armco barrier. He is still fourth on points with five rounds to go, though much midnight oil must be burned at WPR before series action resumes in July. At least Steve Bracegirdle finished third in Class C twice for the team and website in his Van Diemen RF99. RH-E

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