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80% of classics sell for over £8m during Silverstone’s NEC Show replacement sales where Porsche 928 S4 Manual takes £129,375 world record

Considering the shortage of international enthusiasm in several locked down economies, the 80.4% sold performance of successfully transacted cars at Silverstone Auctions 13 & 14 November replacement sales for the cancelled NEC Classic Motor Show fixture has to be enormously reassuring for all stakeholders.
Although there were no buyers for 29 cars, nearly 20% of the 148 offered, the average price paid by absentee bidders for the 119 cars sold for £8,027,887 by auctioneer Jonathan Humbert amounted to a really bullish premium-inclusive £67,461 per car bought.
A quite extraordinary 23,147 clicked-on to Youtube ‘live’ webcasts, while many more checked in to the Saleroom and Proxibid platforms or placed their bets via several telephone bids tables at the behind closed doors auction.
For although physically elsewhere, the consumer attendance, and the over £8.5m with automobilia spent, were therefore very much larger stats than they have ever been when traditional format sales were held at the always well supported NEC Show.
The star turn of the Friday cars session was the driven only 10,325 miles since 1988 Porsche 928 S4 Manual, pre-sale estimated at £60,000-70,000, that sold for £129,375, setting a new world auction record for the model.
A freshly restored and right-hand drive 1962 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster raised a better than expected £129,375 and a 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 Targa in rare Magenta £101,250, the lower estimate.
The same money secured both an FIA Tarmac Rally 1987 BMW M3 E30, which cost twice this, and a UK market 1990 Ferrari Testarossa. A mid-estimate £100,125 bought a 2004 911 996 GT2 3.8 Mk2, one of six in right-hand drive, with 24,956 mileage.
After a race paddock-ready 2008 Damon Astoria Pacific Edition 3772 Motorhome had been knocked down for £79,875 to an Estonian on the internet, three more staycation i-bidders and one telephone contestant were responsible for a £10,000-14,000 guided Chevrolet 320ci powered 1975 Airstream Argosy 20 Motorhome making £20,813.  A No Reserve 1980 VW Golf Mk1 GLD ‘original’ with 738 miles on the clock fetched £15,750.
By the end of the Friday afternoon, 58 or 84% of the 69 cars in the e-catalogue had sold for £3,032,549 with premium, an average of £52,285 paid per car bought.
Auction house principal Nick Whale told C.A.R.: “This is another great result for Silverstone Auctions, we have had a great year after quickly adapting to ensure we could safely operate during the global pandemic. The Live On-line format is safe for everyone involved; our vendors, buyers and, of course, the team."
The next day saw the weekend’s results topping 1980 BMW M1 with period-upgraded bodywork to factory Procar-spec and Boney M provenance sell for £382,500 with premium, just below the lower estimate.
Whereas only one of the Group B five-pack in the sale sold. For while the £475,000 sought for the Malcolm Wilson rallied factory 1986 MG Metro 6R4 was unobtainable, the 1982 Renault 5 Turbo Group 4 Rally, driven by Jean-Luc Therier, Jean Ragnotti and Erik Comas, and estimated at £340,000-380,000, did sell for £337,500 with premium
The latest valuation in a public auction for a benchmark 1973 Porsche 911 2.7 RS ‘Touring’, in receipt of £180,000 Gantspeed restoration and estimated at £300,000-350,000, sold for £315,000 with premium. The Gantspeed prepped 1962 Porsche 356B T6 Coupe, a regular PCGB concours winner when owned by the late Dennis Smith, was bid to £76,000, £85,500 with premium.
The uniquely liveried ‘Red Arrows’ 2017 Aston Martin Vanquish S that raised £1.5m for charity when sold for the first time was well bought this time for £250,000. While a very long bidding battle, between contestants on the internet and four telephones, eventually determined ownership of a £60,000-70,000 estimated 1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 ‘Speciale’ Coupe in aluminium over a tubular chassis for £166,500 with premium!
An unrestored 1987 Ford Sierra Cosworth RS 500 with 12,047 mileage sold here for £103,500 and a 1992 Airstream 350LE Motorhome in highly polished ali with sumptuous interior had graced Goodwood with its presence before achieving the required £76,500 in Warwickshire.
The Saturday session for cars was proceeded by the sale of a 1995 Rover Mini Cooper Monte Carlo Edition, donated by Silverstone Auctions principal Nick Whale and enthusiastically auctioned by Wheeler Dealer TV presenter Mike Brewer, which raised a most generous £37,125 with premium from a regular auction house client, all proceeds benefitting Sporting Bears children’s charities.
After seven post-sales had been successfully concluded and the Saturday book had been closed, 61 or 77% of the 79 cars offered had sold for £4,995,338 with premium, an average of £81,891 paid per car bought.
Preceding the Saturday cars session, and over-running by one hour because of the global bidding interest generated, were 49 lots of personal items belonging to the late Sir Stirling Moss OBE, all of which sold out for £269,526 with premium.
A Proxibid of £59,000 from Wilmslow, amounting to £67,850 with premium,  clinched the solid gold twin-bar watch band, engraved ‘SM’ and  worn by Stirling for 38 years in major races. His period Patey crash helmet meanwhile, which he wore for 49 years, fetched a heady £37,950.
Apart from i-bidders of the world, there were eleven telephones in play, one from Texas, for Stirling’s Silverstone won 1951 Daily Express Trophy for which a winning collector had to pay £12,075.The great man’s solid gold (and chunky) ‘Money-Tie clip, embellished with his good luck number ‘7’ motif and engraved ‘SM’, cost the next owner £9775.
The same amount secured his number ‘7’ cufflinks, and was also bid and bought the gold stopwatch, gifted to Stirling’s father Alfred Moss by his wife Eileen Moss and used by her to time her son’s early races.
Preceding the Friday cars were more automobilia lots from other sources. Headlining among them were the ‘0 10’ registration, only the 10th such road vehicle plate to be issued in Birmingham in 1902, which sold for a stratospheric £128,800. The right to display ‘HR 4’ on a car cost a buyer £49,950 and ‘E 75’ £36,800.
A 1971 Porsche 911 2.2S MFI motor on a display stand was uplifted for £10,925. While a Ferrari F458 Speciale 3-piece Schedoni luggage set was carried off for £6900 and an owner’s manual pouch set for a 1987 F40 was acquired for £4140.
Silverstone Auctions’ Nick Whale continued: “There were a lot of highlights in this two-day auction, from the Sir Stirling Moss Collection, to the record breaking 928 SE price and not forgetting raising over £37,000 for charity with Mike Brewer – a great way to end 2020.”
Considering the uncertainty of the times and the pandemic-driven economic malaise that has depressed so many sectors of the economy, these really were a most uplifting couple of days for socially distanced auction teamsters, their absentee vendors, bidders and buyers, and, not forgetting screen-bound reviewers  who are prevented by politicians from making pit stops in public houses. RH-E

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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 both his 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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