Market Analysis

Market Commentary - which classics are selling, by whom and for how much

Ferrari 275GTB makes more than £1.7m in Paris. Fiat Beach Car fetches £76k at French Chateau. Shed and Buried Messerschmitt takes off in Shepton Mallet. But there are buyers for less than 50% of lots in some catalogues.

JUNE SALES REVIEWED by Richard Hudson-Evans

The highest priced classic to sell at auction in Europe in June was a 1965 Ferrari 275GTB sold for 1,920,400 euros (£1,710,936) during the Artcurial sale in Paris. Ferrari Classiche Certified and Bonini rebuilt near Modena, the Slavic Collection car only just cleared the lower estimate with premium. Two weeks later, a once Fangio raced 1947 Gordini T11 single-seater converted by Gordini himself to a 1952 T15S two-seater with Le Mans provenance fetched 690,000 euros (£618,619), close to the Bonhams estimate, during Chateau de Chantilly Arts and Elegance weekend.

For although a 2006 Porsche Carrera GT was hammered by Artcurial in Paris for 626,400 euros (£557,796), forecast money, 980,000 euros (£872,200) or more was not available for a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL. While the required 450,000 euros (£400,500) was also not forthcoming for a 1975 Lancia Stratos during a 41% sold 4.9m euros (£4.36m) Monday evening in Theatre du Rond Point, where the audience bought 33 of the voitures for sale, but rejected 49 of them.

At the end of the month in the Chantilly marquee, although a rarer in left-hand drive 1953 Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk1 2.6 in super order made 207,100 euros (£185,583), within forecast, a 1959 BMW 507 S2 Roadster failed to find the 1.8-2.2m euros (£1.6-1.96m) sought. The 850,000-950,000 euros (£756,500-845,500) suggested was also too much for a 1966 Shelby Cobra with 427 ‘side oiler’ engine during a 49% sold 2.51m euros (£2.23m) Sunday afternoon, when 18 cars sold and 19 failed to do so.

Several strong prices were nonetheless achieved at the French Chateau, where a 1962 Citroen DS19 Chapron Decapotable with ‘ash-tray’ front wings was valued by the buyer at 178,250 euros (£159,810) and an 85,100 euros (£76,296) bet was placed on a 1965 Fiat 500 Beach Car by Savio. For those with their wheels closer to the ground, the 18,400 euros valuation (£16,496) for a 1989 Citroen 2CV6 Charleston driven only 223k by two owners was also noteworthy.

Earlier in the month, 116 classics crossed the auction block in the Imperial War Museum hangar at Duxford, where H&H sold 79 of them during a 68% sold £2.29m afternoon. The top selling AC Ace in the pack was a 1957 Sports with Bristol BS1 Mk3 race engine knocked down to a buyer in the seats for £233,168, within estimate including premium.

The stand-out performances beside the M11 in Cambridgeshire however were for cars requiring work. For a dilapidated 1936 Aston Martin Mk2 1½-Litre Sports-Saloon, that cost £350 before being poorly stored for almost 50 years and had been estimated at £45,000-55,000, was taken on here for £67,500. A 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia-badged Sprint Speciale (not a Guilietta), stored since 1987 and needing the fullest recommissioning, had been forecast to make £30,000-40,000 and raised £65,250, but then it was a right-hand drive SS in what has become left-hand drive wary isles.

Whereas a 51,000 mile 1973 Lancia Fulvia 1600HF, again a right-hand drive car, back to bare metal restored in 1992 and stored since 2002, had also been realistically estimated at £12,000-16,000, but cost the winning bidder £32,625. Although 79 entries did change hands however, 37 reserves were either too high for bidders’ budgets or there might, of course, have been no surfers in the world-wide web for them on the day.

In terms of attendance, and the number of cars offered and sold, the month’s auction stats were again headed by ACA at King’s Lynn, where 159 of the 202 cars in the catalogue (1200 catalogues sold out just before kick-off) changed keepers during a 79% sold £1.2m Saturday ‘Drive Through’. A previously Irish rallied 1970 Porsche 911T with 2.4 motor, last driven in 2013, headed the prices with a within guide £48,230 result followed by a left to right-hand drive converted 1965 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk3 BJ8 with Denis Welch rebuilt engine, gearbox and axle at £40,280, top estimate money.

Top priced project in the restoration section was a 1960 Jaguar XK150 3.4 Drophead that had been nowhere since the 1970s and was taken on for £36,040. A 1958 Fiat 600 Multipla lefty with 850cc engine and French history had been acquired in the US in 2015 and was sold in Norfolk in 2019 for £21,200. The 1967 MG 1100 with modest 53,000 mileage due to being stored for years deserved its £8586, more than top estimate. Whilst much viewed was an always right-hand drive 1975 Alfa Romeo 2.0 Veloce Spider with 1980s to 2014 resto bills and photos, which achieved £24,380, double top estimate.

Elsewhere, Barons, Richard Edmonds and Charterhouse sold another 83 of the 163 cars they offered for £504,694 to achieve a 51% sale rate in Surrey, Wiltshire and Somerset.

Noteworthy valuations under Richard Edmonds canvas at Chippenham were the £20,350 paid for a refurbishment-ripe 1924 Austin 7 Chummy with scooped out scuttle and pram hood and the £14,300 given for the 1989 restored Chummy with original 1929 body that had resided in the Patrick Collection in Brum for many years. The £8470 raised by a grotty, but now as rare as the proverbial hen’s tooth 1962 Morris Mini Pick-Up that was last driven into a barn in 1962 was quite remarkable as was the £5060 paid for a part-dismantled 1960 Morris Mini 848 no hoper, albeit from the first year of production.

At the Shepton Mallet Showground finally, and in front of TV’s Shed and Buried cameras, the Charterhouse gavel finally crashed down on a derelict 1959 Messerschmitt KR200 Kabinenroller that had last taken off some thirty years earlier, but inspired one brave aviator to part with £13,542. Extraordinary optimism is alive and well in the shires.