Classic Auction Review

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No Reserve Alfa Sprint Speciale stored for 23 years in leaky garage taken on for £77,700 during traditional Historics Ascot £3.5m sale

Previously auctioned 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale by Bertone had been previously restored when consigned to storage in 1998 by the vendor whose career required him to travel much more. Unbeknown to him meanwhile, the double garage roof was holed by a fallen tree branch and the car, along with a similarly parked up 1967 Alfa Duetto 1600 Spider, exposed to the deteriorating elements for many years.
In the metal however, when viewed over three days by Historics Auctioneers catalogue holders within the socially-distanced Royal Ascot Racecourse atrium, both projects were well worth salvaging - the BAT show cars and Disco Volante inspired Sprint Speciale being taken on for £77,700, and the former concours winning right-hand drive Duetto Spider for £34,410.
Whereas earlier in the same sale £39,960 bought a well maintained 1970 1750 GT Veloce that could be instantly enjoyed this summer.
The top selling lot of 166 physically on offer Saturday 15 May 2021 was a recently JZM serviced 1998 Porsche 911 Type 993 Turbo S Coupe, one of only 26 in right-hand drive, sold to an internet bidder for £288,000 with charges, within the auctioneers’ guide price band.  A 1963 356C Coupe, also right-hand drive, fetched a forecast £89,250.  
A left to right-hand drive converted when recently restored 1965 Jaguar E Type S1 4.2 Roadster cost a bidder a mid-estimate £123,200, while a below £125,000 lower estimate £95,700 was accepted for the Lister ‘Press Car’ 1986 XJS 7.0 Coupe chassis 001 and another ex-lhd 1966 E Type S1 4.2 Roadster, an older restoration, realised £79,200, within estimate.  
Venue controlled numbers watched a 2019 458 Italia Coupe with 18 months Ferrari warranty sell for £115,000, a 1991 348TS with 43,803 mileage for £53,800 and  66,408m sine 1998 456M GTA £43,290.
After several provisional bids had been converted into results during the more than 6 hour session, 112 sales had been clocked up, while 54 cars were unsold under three gavels wielded by auctioneers Fabian Hine, Edward Rising and house ambassador and preview video presenter Vicki Butler-Henderson.
On the ‘Still For Sale’ list overnight were a headlining 2012 Aston Martin V12 Zagato double-bubbles in aluminium, one of two pre-production prototypes rebuilt by Am Works before sale, for which £540,000-620,000 was not forthcoming, and a restored 1958 Ferrari 250GT Pininfarina S1 Coupe with  £360,000-410,000 estimate unachieved.
A similarly reserved 1960 DB4 S2 was also unsold and £150,000-180,000 was not bid for an apparently well restored left-hand drive 1961 E Type S1 3.8 ‘Flat Floor’ Roadster.
A 1974 Alpine Renault A110 1600S that competed in the 1975 Targa Florio history could not muster the £105,000-135,000 suggested either.
The newest collectible successfully crossing the block, a brand new and UK taxes paid 2020 MY Chevrolet Corvette C8 Stingray Coupe with Z51 package and 4 miles on the odometer did sell for £100,100, top estimate money.
Whilst by far the oldest, a 1908 dated - and therefore London to Brighton ineligible - De Dion-Bouton AL2 8hp Rear Entrance Tonneau for four also made a more than forecast £38,850.
While £280,000-330,000 was not possible on the day for a 1971 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman with division, a nearly finished 1971 230SL Pagoda with parts to complete did raise £92,400, way over the £29,000-36,000 estimated.
£63,936 was accepted for a £67,000-75,000 guided 1967 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk3 with the benefit of many Denis Welch upgraded items and a more than top estimate £48,840 bought an equally well presented  1973 Lancia Fulvia 1600 HF.
There were buyers for both 1977 Morgan Plus 8s, a road car with 4.1 motor and an FIA race car much campaigned on the EU mainland, both sold for £35,520 apiece to internet contestants.
The rarest car in the sale was an Elan-reminiscent 1988 Evante S1 by Vegantune with S2 Sprint 1700 Twin Cam which seemed to have been well bought in the room for £11,660.
Cars with celeb-provenance to change hands at the Berkshire racecourse included the 1970 Rolls-Royce Shadow 2-Door MPW Fixed Head Coupe first owned by film star Sir Richard Attenborough, restored to a high standard, sold for £60,500 and the 1966 Mercedes-Benz 250S, twice owned by Bill Wyman of the Stones, for £20,535.
Consigning 38 cars ‘Without Reserve’, 23% of the 166 in the traditional printed catalogue, certainly helped Historics sell 112 or 68% of them for £3,535,547 including 10% buyer’s premium (in room and on phone,11% if sold on-line) , even before any post-sales had been concluded.
This well presented sale itself was very nearly as things used to be pre-restrictions. With no reversing on the Number 10 road map, the Buckinghamshire auction firm’s next sale – ‘The Summer Sale’ - should take place 17 July in the sunshine or under canvas beside Windsorview Lakes SL3 9HX. R.H-E

For the very latest insider take on the ever-changing and increasingly internet-dependent auction scene, best advice has to be to click onto ‘More News’ below (or select ‘News’ on the Home Page menu-bar options) and scroll-down to scan all our recent posts.
Check out ‘Upcoming Sales’, too, for the most comprehensive one-stop diary listing when and where auctions may be taking place, if permitted to do so live’ or on the interne-only if not.


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Welcome to truly independent market analysis that is refreshingly free from advertiser influence. A one-stop site that aims to do exactly what it says in the title. Review classic auctions to highlight which cars are selling, for how much and, most importantly, why. But also do so entirely free of charge.

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    Classic Auction Review congratulate Ben Mitchell on winning the Carl Hamer Trophy Final for Historic Formula Fords in the WPR run 1971 Merlyn Mk20 during the season end Walter Hayes Meeting at rain lashed Silverstone.

    Driving the C.A.R. supported 1999 Van Diemen RF99/JL14, Wayne Poole Racing’s front running Josh Fisher won his heat, finished third in one of the Semis and started the Grand Final from the third row. Having led the leading trio briefly, the car was winged in combat before the race was red-flagged.

    While Josh did well to make the restart and bring home the by now even more damaged Van Diemen seventh in the most competitive FF1600 race of the year, Ben qualified the 40 year old Merlyn in 36th spot on the back row and went on to finish ahead of 23 rain lights in twelfth place overall, winning the Neil Cunningham Trophy in the process.

    Van Diemen RF88 owner-drivers James Colborn and Steve Bracegirdle (a regular C.A.R. surfer who carried the website's decals for his four Class C wins at Combe this season, for which our thanks) both survived all their races intact, which was no mean achievement in itself in diabolic conditions.

    Congratulations, too, to the WPR crew for sterling work on pit wall and in garage. Take a bow, Principals Wayne and Lynn Poole, technicians Rob Clayton (Josh’s race engineer), George Lutuska (Ben’s engineer), Anthony ‘Chopper’ Dowsing, Jack Mathews, Nathan ‘Dave’ Sutton, Ian Bendall, and retiring catering magicians Rita and Pete Diccox. RH-E

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