Classic Auction Review

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Unsold Porsche hogs headlines in Monterey, where records were broken, but 80 less cars sold and prices fell by 26%

The bidding mix-up when the 1939 Porsche Type 64 drove on stage during the Saturday evening performance at the Monterey Convention Center certainly  made most of the Monterey auction week on-line and print headlines in the US and elsewhere.
For the RM Sotheby’s auctioneer surprisingly opened the bidding at $30m for a car that had been reported as being possibly worth $20m pre-sale, and then announced rapidly ascending bids from the rostrum, confirmed by figures displayed on monitors in the saleroom, before a new and much lower bid of $17m appeared on-screen. Indeed, the auctioneer remained at the $17m mark for several embarrassing moments, with no bidder apparent, until proceedings were terminated with a no-sale.
Although unfortunate for all concerned at the time, a misunderstanding between rostrum and back office during the auctioning of one car by the global market leaders is hardly auction industry-significant and is probably worthy of little more than the briefest raised eyebrow or two.
The 2019 Monterey Top Ten was a far more relevant reflection on which high value collector vehicles are currently rated by their buyers as being the coolest at this year’s California sales.

  1. 1994 McLaren F1 Road Coupe with factory fitted Le Mans specification engine and downforce upgrades sold for $19,805,000 (£16,240,100) at RM Sotheby’s
  2. 1958 Ferrari 250 California Closed-Headlight LWB-Spider sold for $9,905,000 (£8,122,100) at Gooding & Co
  3. 1962 Ferrari 250GT SWB Coupe sold for $8,145,000 (£6,678,900) at RM Sotheby’s
  4. 1965 Ford GT40 Prototype Roadster sold for $7,650,000 (£6,273,000) at RM Sotheby’s
  5. 1958 Ferrari 250GT S1 Closed-Headlight Cabriolet sold for $6,800,000 ($5,576,000) at Gooding & Co
  6. 1965 Aston Martin DB5 James Bond-Promo Fixed Head with Q Mods sold for $6,385,000 sold (£5,235,700) at RM Sotheby’s
  7. 1975 Ferrari 312T F1 Nick Lauda Single-Seater sold for $6,000,000 (£4,920,000) at Gooding & Co
  8. 1960 Porsche 718 RS 60 Works Race-Spider sold for $5,120,000 (£4,198,400) at RM Sotheby’s
  9. 1958 Ferrari 250GT Tour de France Coupe sold for $5,100,000 (4,182,000) at Gooding & Co
  10.  1951 Ferrari 340 America Berlinetta sold for $3,635,000 £2,980,700) at Bonhams.
But after immediate post-sales deals had been done, 769 of the 1315 cars consigned for the six Californian sales grossed $248.31m (£202.61m including buyer’s premium), the overall sale rate being 58% with an average of $322,290 (£264,278) paid per car.
The stats reveal that $122.6m (£100.53m) less was spent at this year’s sales than in 2018, when the six sales grossed $370.9m ($304.14m), 34% more than this year. For in 2018, 849 cars sold (80 more than in 2019) from 1378 offered (63 more than this year) and the overall sale rate was 62%, 4% more than in 2019. Significantly, and even taking into account four major world auction record prices set at the Monterey sale this year, an average of $114,559 (£93,938) more was spent per auction car bought in 2018, whereas the prices of cars sold this year were, on average, 26% less. 546 unsold cars was also a record for California in August. RH-E


£16.24m 1994 McLaren F1 and £2.89m 2006 Ferrari FXX break records in annual Monterey sales where 81 fewer cars sell than in 2018

The crowd were on their feet when 1994 McLaren F1 road car number 018 with 21,500k on the clock, one of only two F1s with factory-fitted LM GTR engine and downforce upgrades, was driven across the RM Sotheby’s stage in the Monterey Conference Centre 16 August. For as with the Bond DB5 the night before, it took another four and a half minutes for a US-based private collector to outbid three other competitors and win the world’s most revered modern supercar for $19.8m.
Although this was well below the $23m pre-sale estimate, the £16.24m including premium paid was still a new world record for an F1, which also became the most valuable McLaren ever sold at auction. The previous record holder was a standard McLaren F1 sold for $15.6m (£12.81m) by Bonhams at their Quail Lodge sale, also during Monterey auction week, 18 August 2017.
The 1965 Ford GT40 Prototype Roadster that was influential in the development of Detroit’s first purpose-built prototype class race car, famously winning the Le Mans 24 Hours for four consecutive years, also entered stage left during the Friday evening performance. Estimated to sell for $7m-9m, chassis GT/108 duly achieved a $7.65m (£6,273,000) result.
The star of the final night’s performance however was a Ferrari Classiche-Certified 1962 250GT Short-Wheelbase with all numbers still matching. Chassis 3359 GT with Berlinetta coachwork by Scaglietti, one of only 40 steel-bodied SWB-FHCs built in the final production run during 1962, exhibiting therefore the desirable aesthetic distinctions of the late-production cars, achieved $8,145,000 (£6,678,900).
More modern Ferraris were also in high demand on a Saturday night in Monterey, with an exceptional cache of seven all-red, high performance, low mileage supercars from the Ming Collection bringing strong prices across the group. Red Leader One was a statistically rare 2006 vintage FXX in ‘time capsule’ condition, which raised eyebrows and a steroidal $3,525,000 (£2,890,500 with premium) to set a new world record for the model at auction.
In the fossil-fuel producing and consuming US, where Trump still occupies the driving seat, climate change driven Democrat politicians have yet to gain much negative traction in greening society and applying the brakes to consumption of traditional automobiles. And so, for the foreseeable time being at least, the message from the annual Californian sales is that, though $122.6m (£100.53m) less was spent during auction week this year than in 2018 and the average price paid per lot bought fell by a whopping $114,559 (£93,938), plenty of changes of ownership nonetheless took place in the largest playground for classic cars and bikes on the planet. RH-E


While 1980s Porsche 911s seduce bidders in Scotland, Black Maria Albion with serial killer provenance is nicked for £21,525

Both Type 930 Porsche 911s from Scottish ownership sold under the Morris Leslie hammer at Errol in Perthshire during a 4½ hour Saturday 17 August sale for 170 classics, which included the locally-bodied 1951 Albion FT521 that transported Scotland’s worst serial killer Peter Manuel on his final journey to the gallows at HM Prison Barlinnie 11 July 1958.
American-born Manuel, dubbed ‘The Beast of Birkenshaw’ by Fleet Street and who was convicted of murdering seven people across Lanarkshire 1956-1958, was the third-to-last person to be hanged in Scotland. Having provided the City of Glasgow Police with secure prisoner transport between Glasgow Sheriff Court and jail for eleven years until retirement in 1962, the ‘JGD 426’ registered Black Maria was auctioned ‘Without Reserve’ here until captured for £21,525.
The Porsche Reading supplied 1984 911 Turbo with recent stainless steel heat exchangers and fresh front discs meanwhile made a mid-estimate £60,375 including 5% premium, the lowest rate for buyers in the UK. Whilst a ‘wide body’ 1987 911 with 31 mainly Porsche OPC service stamps, the most recent from Porsche Perth in March warranting 108,834 total mileage, made the necessary £40,000, the lower estimate, costing the successful bidder £42,000 with premium.
Among 50 or so changes of ownership concluded under the gavel, a US-supplied in 1970 Jaguar E Type S2 4.2 Roadster, repatriated in 1989 when converted to right-hand drive before further work including triple SU carbs in 2008, had been guided at £50k+. But following nearly 10 years storage and only some re-commissioning, the once San Diego resident was bid to £43,000, which was accepted, costing the buyer £45,150 with premium.
By contrast, a cosmetically rough Austin Mini non-running mis-match with 1963 dated 850 front shell, DVLA recorded as a 1965 Cooper S, had been optimistically estimated at £5,000-7,000 as ‘a source of spares only’, but did indeed fetch £6,930.
Although most of those attending had travelled often driven long distances from within Scotland, bidders also contested lots remotely from as far afield as Italy, the United Arab Emirates and New York. By Monday morning, the sale total had risen to 62 cars plus a £2,544 Honda Goldwing 1100cc Trike, an £8,056 Royal Enfield 692cc Constellation and a £1,070 Jon Pertwee signed Dalek, though in the days and weeks following their classic fixtures the Scottish auctioneers reckon on selling many more unsold lots. As yet therefore, neither the final gross nor percentage sold stats can be calculated from what are still incomplete classic prices north of what free marketeers hope will forever remain an invisible border. RH-E


007 movie DB5 and DB5 Estate become world record breakers when driven across RM Sotheby’s stage in California

“Bond DB5 sells for record $6.4m” certainly headlined around the globally-warmed planet. Although the $5,385,000 (£5,235,700) premium-inclusive total paid by the winning bidder attending the first night of the annual RM Sotheby’s auction at Monterey 15 August, when six contestants slugged it out in the room and on the phone in a four and a half minute competition, was all the more extraordinary as Aston Martin DB5/2008/R was only ‘as seen in’ the Goldfinger movie and ‘never actually appeared on set’ in Thunderball.
For the most valuable DB5 ever sold at auction, though built specifically for Eon Productions and outfitted with a full complement of Q’s finest gadgetry, never saw any action with Sean Connery on the big screen, but was actually one of two promo cars employed by the production company to launch the next 007 movie.
Surplus to Eon requirements by 1969, when acquired as a pair of DB5s by the then Anthony (now Lord) Bamford, 2008/R was acquired by B H Atchley, owner of the Smokey Mountain Museum of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, for $2,090,000 (£1,217,523) in the January 2006 RM Auction at Phoenix.
Subsequently fully restored in Switzerland by Roos Engineering, and with all Bond survival goodies functioning correctly, just as Q intended, the 007 promo-DB5 sold in California for 6.4% more than top estimate and £4,018,177 or 77% more than it did in Arizona 13 years ago, appreciating therefore by just under 6% per annum.
In 2019 to date, C.A.R. has tracked the auction performances of 9 other DB5s, 4 of which sold in Arizona, Norfolk, Sussex and Buckinghamshire, and 5 of which were unsold at Enstone, Brooklands, Stokenchurch, Goodwood and Silverstone. In January, a 1965 DB5 sold at Bonhams Scottsdale for $610,000 (£465,800) and a 1964 DB5 for £556,500 at ACA King’s Lynn. In April, a 1964 DB5 to Vantage-spec made £636,600 in the Bonhams tent at the Goodwood Members Meeting and in May another 1964 fetched a 2019 EU-leading £860,000 at the Bonhams AMOC Sale at Stokenchurch. The buying bidder of DB5/2008/R in the US therefore has paid £4.6m more for the Bond movie provenance and Q’s working goodies than the £684,367 average auction price for DB5s in the UK so far this year!
Another really high flier during RM Sotheby’s Thursday evening session on the Monterey peninsula was a three private owners from new in 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Shooting Brake, one of just 12 factory built cars, which had been forecast to make $1m-$1.4m, but which cost the buyer a record $1,765,000 (£1,447,300 with premium), making this the most valuable estate-bodied car of any marque sold at auction.
Stakeholders must surely be relieved that the most important week on the collector vehicle auction calendar had started with such spectacularly positive valuations. Stay tuned to this site for further and regular reality checks. RH-E


£62k Nissan Skyline GT-R headlines and Japanese Modern Classics nearly sell out in Midlands during largest CCA sale yet

All but one of a clutch of relatively modern Japanese classics sold out Saturday 3 August during the largest CCA sale yet at the Warwickshire Event Centre, where 181 cars came to market and there were buyers with nearly £1.9m for 107 of them. A 2000 vintage Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec with 40,000 mileage had been attractively guided at £30,000-40,000, but cost the winning bidder a suitably ‘Fast and Furious’ £62,715.
A second phase 2000 Honda NSX V6 manual with extensively serviced 33,055 mileage raised a more than estimated £53,280 and one of 1000 2003 Mazda RX7 Spirit R Type-A manual 2-seater with adjustable rear wing £41,625, again well over guide. A 2000 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI Tommi Makinen Edition in red fetched £27,750 and another in white £24,975, both way over their estimates. One of only 2,500 Paris-Dakar Pajero Evo 3.5 V-Tronics for homologation was rallied away for £9,102 and a two owner 1997 3000GT AWD AWS with 23,355 UK mileage looked well bought for £7,992.
Another UK supplied in 2001 Subaru Impreza P1 2-door made a more than estimate £22,755 and a 1999 Impreza WRX STI Type RA Version 5 4-door Japanese import £15,762, again more than forecast. A UK 2003 WRX STI 4-door that appeared to have been sympathetically refreshed cosmetically found £6,105 and a hill-climb spec, but not currently street-legal 1998 Subaru RX STI 2-door Japanese import was trailered away for £2,775.
Hot Hondas were cool, too, with £14,652 available for an ex-Japan 1997 Civic Type R, strong money, an estimated £8,880 paid for yet another Tokyo sourced 1990 CRX V-Tec S1 R and a more than forecast £12,432 for a 2000 Integra Type R DC2 Japanese import in trad white. A solitary Toyota Supra Twin Turbo from 1997, also in white, but with many front panels looking brand new for 64,472 mileage, did not achieve the £30,000 sought though.
Several low mileage cars did turn heads here, led by a 1972 Rover 3.5 Coupe with 20,403 warranted mileage and original interior. Well preserved by long term storage, but freshly recommissioned, and estimated at £25,000-30,000, the P5B was keenly contested until the tireless Jonathan Humbert’s gavel crashed down at £35,500. One of the finest examples seen on the auction circuit cost the new owner £39,405 including 11% premium.
An only 6,716 miles since 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 Gullwing with desirable 5-speed manual box flapped away for £24,250, the required money. A Peugeot 308 GTI 1.8 meanwhile, obviously carefully driven 15,200 miles from new in 1990 by one owner, deservedly made a more than forecast £12,432, whereas a ‘No Reserve’ Mexican-built in 2004 VW Beetle lefty with 435 miles indicated was acquired for a below estimate £11,100. The all black Wood and Picket upgraded 1977 Mini 1000 MkIV AP auto gifted by Bob Willis to his wife Cilla Black had been only recently restored and deserved its £20,535.
Although 74 cars had to be returned to their vendors unsold, many Jaguar E Types, XJS and XK8 among them, after some post-sales had been successfully concluded, the overall sale rate rose to 59% with 6 out of every 10 classics auctioned selling therefore for a far from depressing average of £17,569 with premium in a changing market. RH-E


Both Gullwing Mercedes-Benz flew away to new owners during 61% sold £6.05m sales over Silverstone Classic weekend

The star car in the Silverstone Auctions Saturday 27 July session, the 1954 300SL Gullwing that was owned by Team Lotus F1 Manager Peter Warr in 1989 had been pre-sale estimated at £850,000-1,000,000. But the bidding peaked at an applauded £740,000, enough for a delighted vendor in the saleroom, and the new owner gave what is still the most iconic Merc model a premium-inclusive £832,500 valuation. The same bidder, who was away on holiday, went on to also buy a 2010 vintage SLS AMG Gullwing homage that had been driven only 690 miles from new for £203,625, more than forecast, to complete his impressive pair of German birds.   
The once 1071-engined Mini Cooper S Mk1 driven by the late Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams to victory on the 1964 International Welsh Rally, the first of many international wins for the model, sold for a within estimate £65,250. Even with such significant provenance, this was strong money for a re-shelled Rally Mini that had been retrospectively upgraded to 1275+ spec with later safety equipment. Barrie’s previously restored 1972 Lancia Fulvia HF 1600 was still mint and warranted the £39,375 paid by the next owner.
With all 17 cars being offered at No Reserve, ‘The Property of a Gentleman’ section proved popular with bidders, who paid a more than forecast £52,313 for a 1972 Mercedes 280SE W108 3.5 Saloon and a top estimate £69,609 for a repatriated 1965 Ford Cortina Lotus Mk1 A-frame car from earlier residencies in California and New Zealand. £99,000 was paid for a 1991 Ferrari Testarossa, £70,875 for a 1974 BMW 2002 Turbo and £63,563 for a 1994 Lancia Delta HF Integrale ‘Bianco Perlato’. A Top Gear and Fifth Gear exposed 1973 Citroen DS Super 5, which had featured in at least 150 mag features and could still win concours tomorrow, was transacted here for £61,875.
A 16,500 miles since 2006 McLaren-Mercedes SLR realised a more than guide £187,875 and a less than forecast £160,000 was accepted for one of only 19 manual Jaguar E Type S3 V12 Commemorative Editions of the final 50 produced in 1974. A 87,000k 1985 Renault Turbo 2 Evo made the necessary £81,000 and the required £51,750 was also forthcoming for a 1983 Talbot Sunbeam Lotus S2 with only 7998 mileage.
The £200,000 or more sought for a very shabby 1985 MG Metro 6R4 Group B ‘original’, run for only 7 miles on stands, could not be achieved and the sale of the ex-Sir John Whitmore 1965 European Touring Car Championship winning Lotus Cortina Mk1 was abandoned with an insufficient £170,000 bid on trading screens. These and other no-sales confirmed that, statistically, competition cars continue to be the most sluggish category in the collector vehicle sector. Although after being acquired 27 years ago from the Bathhurst Museum, the 1988 Rouse Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth Group A track-only racer did change hands at Silverstone the next day in a £170,000 post-sale.
Also headlining during the Sunday 28 July session were a right-hand drive and only 78 miles from new in 2018 Ferrari California T 70th Anniversary sold for £270,000, while the 1970 Aston Martin Press Road Test DBS V8 manual consigned by actor Steve Coogan made £151,875. Among other noteworthy movers, an exclusive to the Japanese market 1999 Honda NSX Type S 3.2 manual was successfully shifted for £81,000, a 1995 Ford Escort Cosworth Motorsport ‘Big Turbo’ driven 2,500 miles by two owners for £68,063 and an unregistered  1978 VW Beetle Last Edition with 78 miles on the clock for £39,338.
Although vendors reserves for 47 cars were not met by bidders, signing up 20 cars ‘Without Reserve’ certainly helped the Silverstone Auctions stats. For including post-sales, 75 or 61% of the 122 cars in The Wing sold for a not inconsiderable £6,045,280 including premium, amounting to consumers spending an impressively bullish average of £80,604 per classic. RH-E


Vicarage 1959 Jag Mk2 3.4 manual o/d on wires fetched £33k to headline in 93% sold SWVA ‘Drive Through’ in Dorset

Vendor family owned since 1968, and bodily and mechanically rebuilt by the celebrated Wolverhampton transformers 2007/8 at an invoiced cost of £66,489.82p, the Jag had been driven from South Wales to auction 26 July, when, unsurprisingly, the £17,000-18,000 pre-sale estimated lot was the most viewed lot in the preview park.
Being on the damage alert register in February 1989 did not seem to impede a 1976 Aston Martin V8 auto from realising £38,340, but then gilt-edged bills from AML and Chris Shenton for more were on file. While a double estimate £33,480 was forthcoming for a Black Edition SL55 AMG with 550bhp complement of Brabus upgrades contributing to the potential for zero to 60 in 4.1 seconds and 206 mph top speed.
Converted from left to right-hand drive during a three year, photo-recorded restoration costing £21,232.65p, a 1958 Austin-Healey 100/6 went for £32,440, £2400 more than forecast, despite being thickly repainted. A 2001 Aston Martin DB7 Vantage auto with 62,000 warranted mileage also found a more than top estimate £23,760, and the same money was accepted for a previously resprayed and re-trimmed 1979 Porsche 911 SC Targa. After more than 40 years of vendor ownership, a 1959 MGA 1600 Roadster restored by Mike Rolls 2013/14 changed hands for £22,950 and £18,360 was available for a previously revived 1954 Triumph TR3 that was ripe for some more TLC.
Among transacted cars that caught your reviewer’s eye was a well presented 1999 Maserati Ghibli 2.8 that had been diligently serviced during 45,297 warranted mileage before changing keepers here for £14,580, double the pre-sale estimate. A Mini World Mag featured 1991 Rover Mini Neon Edition with 8668 mileage since a £20k upgrade that had included a 1380cc A+ motor made £12,960, deservedly £4500 above estimate. Another Archer Garage restored 1960 Austin-Healey Frogeye authentically replicating a Sebring Sprite appeared to have been a cracking buy for the £12,312 paid.
Even before any post-auction deals had been done, and boosted by 26 or 32% of entries consigned 'Without Reserves', the West Country vehicle auctioneers ‘live’ sale rate was a market stimulating 93% with only 6 cars unsold under the hammer. For on a Friday morning just outside Poole, long before the 10.45am start, another large crowd had turned out to witness 75 of the 81 lots sell in less than two hours for £620,179, a pre-'Deal or No Deal Brexit' average of £8269 including 8% buyer’s premium spent per car. RH-E


TR4 cop car is captured for nearly £34k in Derbyshire, where 31% of 108 sellers were also auctioned ‘Without Reserve’

One of 33 No Reserve cars in this H&H sale, and much viewed, the Triumph TR4 that had joined the Southend-on-Sea Constabulary in 1962 as a ‘fast pursuit vehicle’ and been restored by Revington TR fetched £33,750 in the Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, where 67% of the 157 lots auctioned 24 July fetched £1,302,344 including premium. On a sweltering Wednesday afternoon in the Peak District, the average spent per auction classic amounted to £12,059 plus ice cream.
The top sellers in the hall were a £84,375 1971 Jaguar E Type S3 V12 Roadster, left to right converted during back to bare metal resto following 28 years hibernation, and another 1973 E Type S3 V12 Roadster sold for £69,750. A 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Supersport 3.2 with 55,000 warranted mileage made £59,625 and a 1956 Jaguar XK140 Fixed Head to SE-spec with C Type enginet £39,375, all virtually achieving their guide prices with premium. For while 31% changed hands for within estimate band prices and 15% made more than their estimates, below estimate bids were accepted by the vendors of 23% of cars sold.
A Laguna Seca raced, though right-hand drive 1957 Morgan Plus 4 with aero-screens and high-rise roll-over bar had been estimated at £18,000-22,000, but cost the next owner-driver £22,781. Number 4 of 40 40th Anniversary Edition 1989 Lotus Esprit Turbos had been guided at £10,000-12,000, but sold for £15,975.  Whilst a 90 year old vendor owned from new Jaguar Mk2 2.4 auto that had been driven 78,129 miles since being in the window of Jaguar Piccadilly in 1965, and had been forecast to fetch £8,000-12,000, raised £14,288.
After many provisional bids had been converted into definite changes ownership, 108 classics were successfully rehomed and the sale rate was 69%, though 33 cars, 31% of the total, were unsold. RH-E


Restored TR3As fetch £32k and £27.5k in Dorset, where 1996 VW makes nearly £23k during 42% sold afternoon

For many market watchers, I suspect, the most educational valuation in the Charterhouse auction tent in the grounds of Sherborne Castle during 21 July Classic and Supercar Show Sunday was the £22,880 paid for a one family owned since 1996 Volkswagen Corrado VR6 manual. The model had previously zoomed below my radar without trace, although the sale car, originally supplied by the Leek VW dealer for £1000 over list, was reportedly the last British registered VR6.
There were buyers, too, for two out three 1961 Triumph TR3As with £32,190 for a concours winner that took 3000 man-hours to rebuild over 4 years and £27,500 for a £43,000 restored example. The £11,550 required was available for a Charles Ware revived 1965 Morris Minor 1000 Tourer on twin SU carbs with servo-assisted brakes and upgraded interior by Piper Trimmers. While a below guide £10,878 was accepted for a 1997 Lotus Elise S1 with 1.8 Rover K Series in the tail that had allegedly resided in a dehumidified garage and never been on track during 62,500 mileage.
A 1933 Austin 7 Box Saloon had worn well after an Austineers of Bradford-on-Avon restoration ten years and made a better than forecast £9,102 on a Sunday afternoon under canvas in Dorset. While the mortal remains of the Rolls-Royce Wraith 25/30 Park Ward Saloon originally ordered by aviation pioneer Sir Fred Handley-Page in 1939 were transported away for £8,325, again more than had been estimated.
After 11 lots had been hammered under the hammer and another 11 had sold immediately afterwards, 42% of the 53 cars displayed in an around the tent sold for £232,239 with premium, an average of £10,536 paid per classic. On the day, in the tent and on-line tough, the stark reality was that 31 of the vendor reserves were apparently too high for those in the market to buy. RH-E


1957 Austin-Healey 100/6 scores £52,250 result in West Country to top recent prices on provincial auction circuit

Four pages of illustrated small print in the DVCA 11 July auction catalogue for their latest Henstridge Airfield sale were not wasted on the locally sourced 1957 Austin-Healey 100/6, the restoration and upgrading of which had been most fully chronicled. Both vendor and buyer, who paid a within estimate band £52,250 with premium, lived only a few miles apart. First supplied to Bovril Limited of Old Bond Street for The Lord Luke in 1953, a Bentley R Type was acquired by the fourth owner for £32,000 here.
A 1971 Triumph Stag manual with overdrive and hardtop, that last changed hands 19 years ago and had been stored for the last 5 years, made £10,670, but did require full recommissioning. A telephone bidder beat off a challenger in the tent to win the keys of a £5,000-7,000 estimated 1937 Packard Super Eight Touring Limo that had appeared on set in ‘The Mummy Returns’ and ‘Churchill’s Last Stand’, but had to pay £7,840 to do so. Having been driven 58,000 miles by only two owners since new in 1940, an Armstrong-Siddeley 16hp with engine reportedly turning after long-term storage was taken on for £5,940, double the top estimate.
Although the £145,120 gross total for the afternoon and the £12,093 average paid per 12 auction cars sold in Somerset were impressive enough stats, on the day and in the tent, but not yet on-line, the reserves for 21 unsold classics were not met by those who were prepared to bid in what has become a much more selective playground. RH-E


Scuffed DB9 Volante without docs was front runner at Sandown, where 39 classics changed hands, but 45% did not

The going was statistically soft for Barons 16 July at Sandown Park during the ‘live’ auction, though after 12 provisionally logged bids had been converted into sales, new jockeys for 55% of the 71 runners paid £265,300 including premium for their 39 new steeds.
The most bid lot was a scraped and scratched, but running 2005 Aston Martin DB9 Volante with grubby hood and valid MOT that had been recovered from central London storage and which sold for £26,620, double the lower estimate. The oldest and largest classic displayed in the Surrey racecourse grandstand foyer, a 1930 Nash Ambassador Eight Sedan, restored in the US in the last century, made the required £26,400. There were also buyers with £21,450 for a 70,000m 2003 Bentley Continental GT and £19,800 for a post-sold 1962 S2 with previously refurbished bodywork and interior.
A more than top estimate £16,940 was handed over for a repainted 1970 Rover 3.5 P5B with Webasto sunroof and a Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG Estate, which originally cost £48,646 in 1998, sold for £6,050, also £2000 more than had been forecast. The quirkiest curio in the catalogue, a 58 year vendor owned 1961 Morris Mini Van project with side windows, Australian market wind-up window doors and one-piece lift-up rear door in grp was taken on for £3,750.  There were no takers however for 32 cars, 45% of the total. RH-E


DB4 S3 Aston fails to find £370k+ and Ferrari 550 £250k at Brooklands, where Porsche Leeds rebuilt £92k 911 Turbo tops £2.24m 64% sold day

The Porsche GB restoration award winning 1981 911 Type 930 3.3 Turbo, almost certainly better than new when completed in 2014, since when it had only done 1000 mildly patinating miles, achieved a within forecast £91,840 with Historics premium. The highest priced Ferrari was a 1990 348TB, one of 130 supplied in RHD to the UK, which exceeded top estimate to sell for £57,120.
Top selling Mercedes-Benz meanwhile was a rare in RHD 1958 220S Cabriolet in manual with recent paint and trim sold for £73,580, also bettering its guide price band. A lightly refurbished 1968 280SL left-hooker Pagoda-top with hood also made a more than top estimate £56,000. The highest priced Aston Martin was a £28,000-34,000 1975 V8 S3, described as a ‘rolling restoration’, which was taken on for £40,320. A 1991 Virage with valid MOT provided far more instant gratification for £24,338.
Jaguar prices were headed by a one California owner from new in 1968 until registered in the UK in 2018 E Type S1 4.2 Fixed Head lefty at £44,800, the lower estimate with premium, and a much upgraded 1957 Mk1 Saloon with 4.2 motor, Mk2 manual box with overdrive, power-steering and Coopercraft brakes overtook its £28,000-33,000 estimate to raise £38,360.
A within guide £72,240 was accepted for a relatively modern MP4-12C supercar from 2012 with full McLaren dealer service history and a previously restored 1972 Bristol 411 with the larger Chrysler 6.3 V8 cost the next owner £39,760, forecast money. While the going rate for a 1992 Peugeot 205GTI 1.9 on a Saturday afternoon in Surrey was £17,360, though the 130bhp pocket rocket had been driven flat out by The Stig on ye olde Top Gear.
One of just two Cobra 212 Supercharged Roadsters, AC’s press car in 2002, when driven by Jeremy Clarkson, Damon Hill and Mark Blundell, was given a £84,560 valuation by the next owner at Brooklands. The rarest headliner displayed in a larger, lighter and airier auction tent in the Museum car park than in previous years though was a 1959 Bocar, the 'Bo Car' coming from creator Bob Carnes. The Colorado-constructed, space-framed XP-5, a visual cross between a Maserati and a Devin road racer with twin headrests, packed a 283ci Chevvy V8 and realised £79,240, close to its lower estimate with premium. A Chevrolet-manufactured 1962 Corvette C1 327ci with hardtop meanwhile made the necessary £59,360.
One of only three, rather awkward looking Healey Sportsmobiles to survive from the circa 23 built by Donald Healey pre-1950 fetched a forecast £17,920 and when did any of you last see a 1970 Vauxhall Cresta, a barn-found 3.3 Powerglide PC, the last of the Sales Manager issue series, which was trailered away for £2128. A 1961 Ford Anglia 105E, that had also been asleep for many years, may also be revived having been bought for £1698.
By the time punters had exited what was once the pre-war Silverstone for the right motor sports crowd with no crowding and had survived another sentence in the M25 car park, and after only some of the post-sale deals had been done, 111 of the 173 cars in the still glossy catalogue had changed hands for £2,241,966 including premium, an impressive average of £20,198 spent per classic.
Historics sale stats were certainly helped however by 45 lots being consigned ‘Without Reserve’, which has to trend for vendors prepared to commit their classics to one-way journeys. Although when I shut down the much travelled laptop for the British GP, 62 cars auctioned were still available. RH-E


Pre-war Vauxhall 30-98 sold for £185,000 in Herefordshire, where buyers spent £1.72m on 123 of 170 cars auctioned at 72% sold mid-week sale

One of the earlier OE models with low radiator and low-set headlamps, the 1923-made Vauxhall OE50’s open four-seater body had been changed to Mulliner coachwork for two in circa 1934 and a replacement OD crankcase fitted during continuously charted history. Including 10% buyer’s premium, the £185,000 valuation by the new owner just cleared the lower estimate forecast in Brightwells HQ.
It was surely noteworthy that all of the higher value cars sold at Leominster. For although a front of house parked 1961 Jaguar XK150S 3.4 FHC with only 19,578 mileage ran out of bids at £75,000 'live', £35,000 short of its lower estimate, £107,500 was enough to buy it in an aftersale. A Guy Broad maintained 1959 XK150SE 3.4 DHC meanwhile, upgraded with Getrag 5-speed box and XJ6 front disc brakes, made a more than top estimate £71,500 under the hammer.
A nicely patinated John Chatham maintained 1966 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk3 on 6ins (too?) wide wires in front of the rostrum also sold for a just over top estimate £60,500. After 29 years residency in the US, the BJ8 Phase 2 had been repatriated and converted from left to right-hand drive during a nine year rebuild completed in 2004. From even earlier in the 1960s, one of the 52 known survivors of the 175 hand-made Bristol 406s cost a successful bidder £41,250, again just over guide, and £47,850 was accepted afterwards for a rare 1950 vintage Land Rover Series 1 Station Wagon by Tickford with dents and taped-up seats.
By far the oldest course on a menu for all budgets, and much viewed by diners, was a very exposed twin-armchair 17hp automobile made by the Maudslay Motor Company in 1909. With more user-friendly retro-fit dynostart and electric conversion to acetylene lamps, the VSCC Prescott and Curborough exercised artefact had been estimated at £35,000-45,000, but raised a thumping 3.3-litre ‘four’ £59,400. A 1928 Morgan Aero 3-Wheeler powered by water-cooled Anzani v-twin raised a forecast £23,000 for a deceased estate.
Even in the face of an Extinction Rebellion that threatens to stamp out all traces of a fossil-fuelled past, there were still buyers with a more than top estimate £52,800 for a 1938 Packard Super Eight Coupe-Roadster in right-hand drive once owned by Scottish entertainer Andy Stewart and a close to estimate £29,150 for a rather brightly turned out 1935 Railton Straight Eight Sports-Cabriolet.
A UK market 1968 Jaguar E Type Series 1.5 Coupe rust-munched project, albeit with numbers still matching, that had been disassembled some 35 years ago, was bravely taken on here for £11,660. Especially so, when you consider that £11,550 would have bought you a one family owned from new in 1964, so early ‘pull handle’ MGB Roadster with Oselli engine that had been last been restored in 1978 and was ready for the next far more instant makeover.
An interesting and well attended stand-alone sale, this, during which a more affordable average of £14,012 was spent per car and there were at least plenty of transactions at all price levels to stimulate a real world market. RH-E


Mansell ‘Red Five’ Williams-Renault makes £2.7m in close to £11m sale at Goodwood, where 53% of cars sell, 31 within or more than estimate

A world record auction price for a Williams F1 was set in the Bonhams sale tent during the Friday afternoon of Goodwood Festival of Speed weekend. The Adrian Newey designed, Renault TS3 3.5 V10 powered FW14B chassis 08 -  Nigel Mansell’s legendary ‘Red Five’, driven by the 1992 World Champion to victory in the first five races of the season, all starting from pole - excited a three-way international bidding battle eventually won by a major UK collector in the seats, who paid an applauded £2,703,000 with premium.
The New York Motor Show and Geneva Salon exhibited 2013 McLaren P1 XP, bid to £1.1m, sold during the sale and a 1958 Merc 300SL Roadster changed hands in a £600,000 post-sale. A 2001 Lister Storm GT1 Race Prototype on a plinth made a within guide £465,701 and a right-hand drive 1998 Jaguar XJ220 with 9346 mileage a much more reassuring £414,000 than the last two auctioned.
A 2011 Land Rover Defender SVX ‘Spectre’ Double-Cab, the only Landy to have been employed as an extra in two consecutive Bond movies, Skyfall and Spectre, made a block bustering £316,250 and a more than top estimate £255,875 was forthcoming for a 1933 MG J4 Midget with much period race history. Much viewed by grown men of a certain age meanwhile was the ex-BMC Team 1964 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk3 BJ8 ‘BMO 93B’, which had been show-standard restored and which rallied to a within guide £230,000 result.
After 6 post-sales had been concluded, 44 or 53% of the 83 cars in the weighty catalogue had transacted for £10,218,533, an average of £232,239 spent per auction car. Including £536,087 worth of automobilia, the overall sale total for the day amounted to £10.75m including premium – and, while 7 or 16% of cars sold fetched more their pre-sale estimates, 24 or 55% of cars did sell for within the guide price bands forecast and only 13 or 30% went for less than had been estimated. The reserves of 39 cars, 47% of the total for sale, were too high however for those of a nervous disposition who were prepared to catch the auctioneer’s eye.
By far the most thought provoking performance of all for petrolheads at this year’s Festival of Speed, I would suggest, was the electrifying 39.9 seconds taken to storm the 1.86k Goodwood House drive in relative silence during the Sunday Shoot Out by the Romain Dumas piloted VW ID.R 500kw (680 PS) Coupe, who beat the previous F1 McLaren-Mercedes record holder with deafening combustion engine by 1.7 seconds! RH-E

Gordini sold for 690,000 euros (£618,619), only just below estimate, to head Bonhams 2.94m euros (£2.64m) 59% sold sale at Chantilly

The now Type 15S Barchetta chassis 018 actually started life as Type 11 chassis 04 GC, one of five 1946/7-built T11 single-seaters raced by Gordini GP Team drivers Fangio, Wimille, Behra and Prince Bira. The monoposto was then transformed by Gordini himself into the current two-seater sports racer for the 1953 Le Mans.
One of only two such four-cylinder 15S remaining was treated to full restoration in Italy in 2005 funded by Renault F1 supremo Jean Sage before competing in the Mille Miglia Retro and Le Mans Classic. In the grounds of the French Chateau during chic Concours weekend, the winning European bidder was applauded for securing ownership of an historic French automobile which will remain in France.
An Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk1 2.6 Fixed Head supplied new in 1953 to a Belgian Baron was driven past the rostrum to make 207,100 euros (£185,583), forecast money, and a 1932 Invicta 12/45, originally for two, now for four, with uprated 4 1/2-Litre Meadows motor, raised 276,000 euros (£247,447), just under guide. One of the first Henri Chapron crafted Citroen DS Decapotable DS19 from 1962 with the more desirable 'ashy tray' wings found a forecast 178,250 euros (£159,810). While a recently restored 1965 VW Type 2 T1 21-Window Samba Microbus pulled 103,500 euros (92,762) and the 1965 Turin Show Fiat 500 Elegance Beach Car by Carrozzeria Cavio made a sunny 85,100 euros (£76,296).
Although 22 cars sold however, and the average spent was £120,139 per classic, 15 did not in what statistically remains a cautious EU mainland market for classics at all prices. RH-E

Even with further post-sales in the pipeline, ACA had sold 79% of the 202 cars on offer at their latest ‘Drive Through’ in sunny King’s Lynn

The double top estimate £24,380 valuation for a 2013 restored and still cosmetically sharp 1975 Alfa Romeo 2.0 Spider was a standout performance. A former Californian resident 1966 VW ‘Barn Door’ Camper with Pop-Top also exceeded estimate at £22,684 as did a freshly registered, 2015 imported and restored 1973 Datsun 240Z lefty sold for £17,596.
Although a more than forecast £16,748 was needed to land a 1987 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3 16v Cosworth with wing from more than three years storage, Saturday's prices were headed by a 1970 Porsche 911T for improvement that had been rallied in Northern Ireland, but unused since last MOTd in 2013, which fetched a forecast £45,500. £40,280, top estimate money, was bid for a once lhd 1965 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk3 with Denis Welch upgraded engine and gearbox.
A 1968 Triumph Vitesse 2-Litre Mk1 Convertible out-performed its estimate to sell for £11,342, a 1980 R-R Silver Shadow II from long-term ownership changed hands for £8692 and a 53,000 miles since 1967 MG1100 for £8586, both better than expected. A confident £36,040 meanwhile was invested in the future of a nearly 50 years stored 1960 Jaguar XK150 3.4 Drophead for restoration that was last taxed in 1974
This was a most reassuring afternoon for stakeholders in more affordable classics, when 1200 catalogues sold out even before 159 vehicles were hammered away for £1,200,418 including premium and an average of £7550 had been spent per car. RH-E

Bonhams newly launched MPH satellite will consign classics on-line and physically auction them in 'Drive Through' sales at Bicester Heritage

For the international auction house, their on-site MPH subsidiary at the former WW2 airfield not only provides them with a dedicated and more accessible entry platform into the growing young-timer and more affordable classics sector, but also marks a return to holding regular sales in Oxfordshire, which Bonhams used to do at Kidlington.
Operating as a distinct entity within the Bonhams brand and headed by Rob Hubbard, who relocates from New Bond Street, MPH will stage four ‘Drive-Throughs’ per year at Bicester, the first Thursday 26 September, another 26 November. MPH is the 41st collector vehicle enterprise to set up shop at the expanding motoring hub which is located within 90 minutes of 50% of the population.
Consigning classics will be on-line via the new MPH portal, a first for Bonhams. Sellers have a choice of three packages from £125+VAT for on-line catalogue description and half page entry in the traditional printed edition, which will be retained. Vendors pay 5% commission, successful bidders in the hangar 12.5% premium with no extra charge if buying on-line. RH-E

65 year old Ferrari 500 Mondial makes £3.2m and 1957 Porsche 550A £2.9m during £17.5m evening beside Lake Como where only 57% of cars sell

The 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider, period-raced, restored, Classiche certified, sold for a results topping 3,713,500 euros (£3,159,875 including premium, albeit £473,925 below estimate). The 1957 Porsche 550A Wendler  Spyder, driven past the RM Sotheby’s grandstand with the driver sheltering from a shower under an umbrella, made 3,380,000 euros (£2,873,000, just under guide price).
Although a 1965 Aston Martin SWB-Volante with hardtop did make 1,805,000 euros (£1,534,250, £271,450 more than forecast) and a 2010 Porsche 911 Sport Classic sold for 320,000 euros (£272,000), these were the only lots to  exceed pre-sale estimates. For while nineteen achieved their guides, below estimate prices were accepted by vendors of both speedboats and eight cars, including a 2019 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake sold for 511,250 euros (£434,563), well below cost.
Twenty-three classics did not sell at Villa Erba however, 43% of the total, among them a 2015 P1 with 194 mileage which failed to realise a less than retail 1,100,000 (£890,000). RH-E

Aston Martin DB5 and DB4 Convertible exceed top estimates in Bonhams auction tent during AMOC weekend at the Wormsley Estate in Bucks

A 1964 DB5 Fixed Head upon which £204,500 had been lavished since 2016 was applauded when sold for £860,600, £180,600 more than top estimate. Previously restored and Works Service maintained, a 1963 DB4 Series V Convertible also cleared its guide price by £60,200 to sell for an equally bullish £810,200 during a £3m Sunday afternoon. Although 20 Astons failed to sell.

Beside the remains of the Brooklands circuit the day before, Aston Martins also topped the Historics prices in the multi-storey Mercedes World showrooms, where a within guide £608,300 was available for a 1968 DB6 Volante auto in receipt of an 8 year restoration and the required £390,500 was bid for a 1960 DB4 Series 2.

There are still buyers in play who were prepared to part with over £4.3m for 118 cars, 73% of those in the catalogue, including £209,000 for a 99% complete Ferrari Dino 246GT in bits. Great enthusiasm is alive and well.  RHE

AC Greyhound was leader of the pack at Brightwells, who re-homed all but one of their headliners during a £1.25m 72% sold afternoon.

One of only six fitted with AC’s own 2-litre 6-cylinder engine, the 1962 GT for four with all numbers still matching streaked to a £82,500 result, £32,500 more than the top estimate. The Motor mag road-tested, TR2 engined Swallow Doretti that left the Walsall Airport works in 1954 meanwhile also flew well, making a mid-estimate £60,500.

There were buyers for both locally produced Morgan Plus 8s in the sale with the required £31,350 for a Sprintex blown, sub-13,000 mile 1990 car and £30,800 for a 1997 3.9i on wires driven 39,000 miles by one driver.

Of the 123 cars sold before many more of the provisional bids had been converted into post-sales, 30% were auctioned ‘Without Reserve’, so they were going to sell anyway. Guide prices were achieved for 31% of cars sold, while vendors were prepared to accept below estimate money for 23% and, surprisingly and encouragingly, 16% exceeded their top estimates. RHE

Both Jaguar XK220 super cats in the Silverstone Auctions sale at Heythrop Park purred into new ownership.

A Malaysia sourced right-hand drive car that had only done 700 miles since 1995 was bought by a UK collector for a within guide £337,500 with premium, while a Jaguar Classic Works refreshed 1997 lefty with 20,800k displayed headed to France for £303,750, only just clearing the lower estimate.

During a £2.04m Saturday afternoon in Oxfordshire, the £69,750 invested in the future of a stalled 1964 E Type S1 3.8 OTS restoration project was an extraordinary vote of confidence in an uncertain future.   RHE