Classic Auction Review

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2.88m euros (£2.52m) 1965 Ferrari 275GTB Alloy heads 10.6m euros (£9.24m) record Belgian sale for Bonhams at Zoute, where 71% of cars sell

This was a largely encouraging Friday 11 October night out for the collector Ferrari market with five Italian Stallions dominating the Bonhams Motor Cars Europe top ten, led by a 1965 275GTB Alloy ‘long nose’ being applauded when hammered down by auctioneer James Knight to a buyer in the champagne fuelled seats for 2,875,000 euros (£2,516,142 with premium).
Fully justifying its own catalogue and preceded by a video, the matching numbers and Ferrari Classiche certified 275GTB was one 60 alloy-bodied Berlinettas produced with penetrative nose, long bonnet, purposeful side-vents, high waistline and short be-spoilered tail. Already a podium finisher at Le Mans Classic in the hands of previous owner Gregory Noblet, chassis 08061 would be eligible for and competitive in all the Blue Riband Historic Races on both sides of the Atlantic.
The same buyer also paid 86,250 euros (£75,484) for a twin-engined 1964 Citroen 2CV Sahara AZ 4x4, one of only 5 believed to have been assembled in Belgium, and 46,000 euros (£40,258) for a 1955 Cadillac S62 Eldorado with Fleetwood Convertible bodywork that had been in Belgian Royal Family ownership of King Leopold III and his second wife Princess Lilian 1955-1962.
Bidding opened at 900,000 euros for a Ferrari Enzo with 26,707k under-wheel that was keenly contested on internet and telephone until sold to a European bidder for 1,506,500 euros (£1,318,458). But one of the only 400 homage models to Ferrari’s founding father had been first registered in tax-friendly Andorra since 2004, and both hammer price and buyer’s premium were therefore subject to customs duties and local taxes if the supercar with F1-derived technology were to remain within the EU.
A Classiche checked F40 also realised forecast money, a desirable ‘non-cat’ and ‘non-adjustable’ model with wind-up windows and air-con,  was fought over by two internet bidders from 770,000 euros until won by one of them with a bid of for 800,000 euros, costing the new owner 920,000 euros (£805,165) for starters.  An F12 in fully loaded special order spec that had been driven only 6000k from new in 2016 was valued by the second owner at £687,190 (£601,405) and a 13,000k 1980 512BB with Classiche ‘Red Book’ fetched the required 253,000 euros (£221,420).
Other top ten priced cars included a Mille Mille eligible 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster, the 152nd built with all number still matching, sold for a forecast 1,035,000 euros (£905,811) and a below estimate 330,000 euros (£288,809) was accepted for a 1971 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet with floor-shift.
An internet player meanwhile outbid those in the saleroom and on the phone to buy a 24,149k since 1974 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale for an estimated 402,500 euros (£352,250). A period-raced and Mille Miglia Retro eligible 1964 OSCA 1600 GT with distinctive ‘Double-Bubble’ top bodywork by Zagato sold for 379,500 euros (£332,130 euros), more than forecast.  A within estimate 281,750 euros (£246,581) was available for a Bristol-engined 1958 AC Ace Roadster, a left-hand drive US market model with overdrive and disc-brakes.
The final maths for the sale were 20 cars sold, 71% of the 41 offered, for 10,541,490 euros (£9,291,154) including buyer’s premium, an average of £363,500 euros (£316,295).
Pre-post sales, 12 of the cars in the catalogue therefore unsold included a 1930 Mille Miglia raced OM Type 665 Superba Supercharged Zagato Roadster which ran out of interest at an insufficient 1,050,000 euros (£913,000). The sale of a 1960 Ferrari 250GT S2 Pininfarina Cabrio was abandoned at 1,000,000 euros (£870,000) on the screen, an Invicta 4½-Litre S Type Low Chassis  with known history since 1931 at 780,000 euros (£678,600) and a Pennsylvania supplied in 1964 Shelby Cobra 289 Roadster at 730,000 euros (£635,100).  
After all four child’s car warm-up lots had sold for a very adult 67,830 euros (£59,379) however, 26,450 euros (£23,148) of it spent on an already green electric ‘Nick Lauda Ferrari 312T’, and a Belgian 1927 Gillet-Herstal 346cc Tour du Monde had been pushed away for 6900 euros (£6093), Bonhams 7th sale at Knokke-Heist beside the North Sea had grossed 10,616,220 euros (£9,236,111). With a surplus of Brexit-inspired depression on the other side of La Manche, this was a welcome Belgian aperitif for EU mainlanders during an early Friday evening session before dinner only 8km from the Zeebrugge ferry. RH-E


Jay Kay checks out £27,195 Capri 2000 V4 GT, one of 74 mainstream classics bought for £1.1m during 67% sold CCC sale near Leamington Spa

On a Saturday 5 October afternoon beside the Fosse Way in Warwickshire, Classic car Auctions’ top priced lot was a right-hand drive 2011 BMW M1. One of the must-have  Beema Coupes had been driven only 90 miles and had emerged from underground storage to fetch £59,385 with premium, beating an 18,700 mile 1994 Ferrari 348 Spider with manual-change sold for £53,280 to pole. The same money was forthcoming for the day’s top performing Fast Ford, a show quality 1974 Capri RS3100, one of just 50 of the AVO-developed Essex V6 powered Capris left in the UK.
An equally well presented 1994 BMW 850 CSi manual with 60,000 mileage found £44,667 and another of the 140 M1s, though driven 49,300 by three former keepers, went for £30,525. A freshly soda-blasted to bare shell restored 1975 2002 Tii Lux was sold afterwards for £22,000. £27,195 meanwhile was paid for a down to last nut and bolt restored Ford Capri Mk1 2000 V4 GT XL, that cost £1,310 in 1970, and £19,980 bought a front-wheel drive 1983 Escort RS1600i with 29,000 warranted mileage.
A close to top estimate £37,185 was bid for a 1968 Triumph TR250 that had been converted from left to right-hand drive during a chassis-up rebuild. There were takers, too, for both 1953 MG TDs. A previously left-hand drive Texan 1250, the subject of a body-off 5 year rebuild and totally mint, deservedly made a close to a top estimate £24,420, and another US-supplied and repatriated Midget with engine bored out to 1380cc and Ford Type 9 5-speed box realised £22,200, just over the guide price.
Selling for more than a forecast £26,085 was a locally supplied and serviced 26,000 mile 1992 VW Golf GTI Sportline Cabriolet and a 26,900 mile 1988 Audi UR Quattro on refurbished Ronals with ‘WR’ 200bhp 10-valve 5-cylinder motor and fully re-trimmed interior made the required £22,866.
A claimed to be genuine 1965 Lotus Seven S2, UK supplied with Ford Kent 1600cc before Australian residency, may have been good value for a Caterham-sized £16,872 as was a 1969 Morgan 4/4 with the same engine sold for £11,100, £3,900 less than the lower estimate. The once ‘Noel Edmonds House Party’ employed spoof 1992 Ford Sierra XR4 x4 Cop Car was well nicked for £5,500.
After half a dozen post-sales, 75 of the 112 ‘Everyman Classics’, all of which were displayed out of the weather within the Warwickshire Event Centre, had sold. The 67% sale rate was around the same as the national average had been at the 9 other collector vehicle auctions held in September. While buyers at this Midlands sale spent a premium-inclusive total of £1,120,905, an average of £14,945 per car bought.
Further analysis of the stats showed there were 7 ‘No Reserve’ cars, which were going to sell for whatever was bid, whereas 37 sold within their guide price bands and 8 made more than their top estimates. While below estimate prices were accepted by the vendors of 24 cars, on the day, the best bids for 37 unsold cars, just over one third of those in the catalogue, were not enough for their entrants who had to take them home again.
CCA’s next and final sale of the 2019 season will take place from 11am Saturday 7 December, again at the WEC, where cars for sale may be viewed 12-6pm Friday 6. C.A.R. will, of course, be there and will report back to you just after the book has closed. RH-E


Bonhams MPH chief Rob Hubbard sells 1950 MG TD for £18,000, one of 110 accessible classics driven past Bicester Heritage in debut sale

The newly launched Bonhams MPH held their debut ‘Drive Through’ in the Bicester Heritage hangar 26 September, when 63% of the 110 classics offered changed hands, the 69 vehicles selling for £1,314,181 gross, an average per car sold of £19,046 including premium.
Modern Classics prices were led by a 1993 Ford Escort RS Cosworth with factory-paint, twin headlight conversion and 38,207 mileage from 10 years storage sold for £49,500, top estimate money. A 2016 Audi RS6 TFSI 4-Litre V8 Quattro Avant driven 21,585 miles by one owner made £38,250, just below the lower estimate.  A rare in right-hand drive, two owner, 25,500 mile since 2006 Renault Clio V6 255 Sport meanwhile sold for a forecast £37,125, whereas a well below estimate £42,750 was accepted for a left-hand drive Ferrari 550 V12 Maranello Coupe, delivered new in 1998 to France and colour-changed at some time.
An already classic Morgan Plus 4 Roadster on wires of only 2017 vintage fetched £33,750, while £31,500 paid for an always right-hand drive 1968 Triumph TR5 with Surrey-Top on Minilites was more than expected and a Mulliner of Brum bodied 1954 TR2 ‘Long Door’ that would be Mille Miglia Retro eligible raised the required £21,375. A 1953 Land Rover S1 that had been restored in 2015 fetched £22,500, £7500 more than the guide price, and £14,062, £2062 over estimate, was forthcoming for a 1975 Leyland Australia supplied S3 2.6 ‘Six’ 109 Pick-Up.
Among older cars to be driven past bidders into new ownership in Oxfordshire were a Ginger Dann restored, right-hand drive 1936 Ford Model 68 V8 Cabrio with brakes converted to hydraulic actuation, which sold for £47,250, £7250 more than forecast, and a Kling US restored, left-hand drive 1939 Ford V8 Roadster with Offenhauser heads and 5-speed box, sold for £39,375, close to the top estimate. A 1930s-looking, though 1980-made Shay ‘Ford Model A’ Tribute with Pinto running gear, towing an older restored 1940 Swift 2-Berth Teardrop caravan went for £9000 and £3937 respectively.
After some successful post-selling, there were buyers for all but one very specialist Land Rovers from a small private army of military vehicles consigned from the Elite Collection. The coup-ready convoy was led by a 1993 Land Rover Defender 110 V8 Special Operations Vehicle SAS Truck with a brace of convincingly replicated GPMG machine guns and a 50 calibre machine gun copy, all of which mustered £49,500, albeit well below the £65,000 sought. Whilst a 1985 Defender 110 V8 SOV SAS Truck in desert disguise with camouflage nets, that reportedly had seen service in the first Gulf War and more covert action in Africa and Oman, found £48,375, again considerably less than the £80,000 or more suggested.
Bonhams provincial brand for more accessible classics at more affordable prices for most has therefore been launched and the void left by the regular bike and car sales previously held at Kidlington has been filled. In this, the MPH team’s first sale just off the M40 at Bicester, 12 classics were auctioned at ‘No Reserve’, 6 made over top estimate money and 19 sold for within their estimate bands. While the vendors of 32 cars were prepared to accept less than the guide prices, 41 reserves were however too much for those prepared to bid for non-essential vehicles in Brexit-battered Britain. The next selling and buying opportunity under the MPH gavel in Hangar 113 will be 26 November. RH-E


Supercars confiscated from son of African President in money laundering enquiry deal raise £19.19m for good causes in Bonhams Geneva auction

The cache of supercars owned by one Teodoro Obiang, the son of the Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, had been confiscated by the Geneva Prosecutor’s office after a deal had been struck ending a money-laundering and misappropriation of public assets inquiry.
The 25 supercars, hypercars and luxury saloons (plus one Geneva-made 1930 Motocsacoche 493cc CM3 motorcycle) - the ‘No Reserve’ centrepiece of the 29 September Bonhams auction in the deconsecrated 12th century abbey at the Bonmont Golf and Country Club in the village of Cheserex - had been consigned by the State of Geneva, who, the Swiss press report, will donate the proceeds to fund social programmes in the former Spanish colony. All but one of the Obiang cars, which were not Swiss registered, would be subject to import tax if they were to remain in Switzerland.
The jewel in the low mileage and mint Obiang portfolio was an ultra-rare 2014 vintage Lamborghini Veneno. The opening bid of 3m Swiss Francs drew a collective gasp from the standing room only audience who witnessed a seven minute nail-biting contest adjudicated in English by Bonhams Group Motoring Chairman James Knight, during which six initial contestants were bid-down to two. The eventual winner, a private collector, secured the coveted Roadster (one of only nine and considered to be ‘the ultimate’ Lambo) for 8,280,000 Swiss Francs (£6,789,600) to set a new world auction record for a Lamborghini.
Other stand-out performers from the very well stocked Obiang toy cupboard were a 2014 Koenigsegg One:1, one of just six cars produced by the Swedish manufacturer, which had covered just 597k and which realised 4,600,000 Swiss Francs (£3,772,000), and a c2015 Ferrari - La Ferrari, a 1000k example of the Ferrari F1 and GT inspired model, which achieved 2,185,000 Swiss Francs (£1,791,700).  
Obiang’s confiscated 2011 Aston Martin One-77, the 35th example of Aston Martin’s carbon fibre and aluminium flagship hypercar from a limited run of 77 realised 1,552,500 Swiss Francs (£1,273,050. While his 3000k since c2010 Bugatti Veyron inspired a bidder to part with 1,311,000 Swiss Francs (£1,075,020).
Noteworthy prices paid for the other 46 cars in this sale were the 1,955,000 Swiss Francs (£1,603,100) for a 2010 Lamborghini Reventon Roadster, one of just 15 produced, and a 1,150,000 Swiss Francs (£943,000) 1993 Porsche 911 Type 964 Turbo S ‘Leichtbau’ Coupe. 996,425 Swiss Francs (£817,069) was paid for a 2011 Ferrari 599 SA Aperta with factory hardtop and 508,875 Swiss Francs (£417,278) for a delivered new to Basle in 1963 Ferrari 250GTE S3 2+2 Coupe.
And finally, exceptional pop provenance was responsible for a No Reserve 1956 Lagonda 3-Litre Tickford 4-Door Saloon selling for 69,000 Swiss France (£56,580). Owned by Claude Nobs, founder and organiser of the Montreux Jazz Festival, the trusty Lagonda had been employed to shuttle a galaxy of superstars between Geneva Airport and their concerts, the Rolling Stones, Petula Clark, Aretha Franklin, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, Nina Simone, David Bowie and Freddie Mercury among them.
This was the first Bonhams collector vehicle sale to be held in Switzerland for ten years and the fourth sale for their motoring team in as many weeks. After a total of 72 cars had crossed the block, 61 of them, an impressive 85%, had changed hands for 35,587,325 Swiss Francs (£29,181,606 with premium). The average of 583,399 Swiss Francs (£478,337) spent per auction car was also quite extraordinary. 46 'No Reservists certainly helped the Sunday afternoon session to go extremely well and only 11 cars were unsold 'live'. RH-E

Over £2.3m spent on 96 classics during 67% sold Historics sale at Brooklands, despite simultaneous Ferrari and Porsche sales in Midlands

Aston Martins sold out at Brooklands Saturday 21 September where a French registered, though right-hand drive DB4 S3, appropriately retailed by Brooklands of Bond Street in 1961, since when it had been in receipt of sympathetically executed restoration with some patina surviving, fetched an only just below estimate £275,000.
A well below forecast £104,060 was accepted for a 1973 V8 S2 Fuel Injection auto from ‘nut and bolt restoration’, while a more than top estimate £68,750 was paid for a 1999 V8 Coupe auto demonstrator with service history by three owners and the required £70,400 was found for another three owner since 2010 DBS Volante.
An early Jaguar E Type S1 Roadster ‘Flat Floor’ in left-hand drive had been first supplied to Puerto Rico in 1961 and sourced in Germany before being auctioned here Without Reserve. With non-original 1963 3.8 engine, the correctly described as ‘running and rolling restoration’ was taken on for £71,500. Other Jaguar valuations were a restored left-hand drive 1952 XK120 Roadster sold for £78,100, an older restored and former 1962 Coupe and now Roadster E Type S1 3.8 for £66,000, an early 1964 E S1 4.2 2-Seater Coupe for £66,000, an always right-hand drive 1966 E S1 4.2 2+2 Fixed Head from 17 years vendor ownership for £33,880, and a former auto, now manual 1959 Mk1 Saloon with Mk2 engine for £33,000.
Mercedes-Benz prices were led by a cosmetically and mechanically sorted £49,500 1966 230SL Pagoda-Top lefty, a restored £38,885 1967 300SE Coupe and the ex-Sir David Frost £25,520 1967 250SE Coupe. A Mark Taylor of Chichester restored 1975 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow I meanwhile also presented well, hence the £20,900 result, and £31,900 bought a rally equipped 1965 Morris Mini Cooper 1275S in works colours that looked instantly ready for more historic events for £8100 below the lower estimate.
Other Minis to change keepers here included a 41,103 mile 1978 Austin Clubman 1275GT for £13,200 and three ‘Italian Job’ replicated Minis to pseudo S-spec for £9350, £8580 and £7766 respectively, which all fitted inside a specially converted Bedford YNL ‘Gold Bar Transporting’ Single-Decker Bus secured for a bargain £4620.
The going rate in the Brooklands Museum car park for a 1951 Bentley Special, one of 31 built by Geoffrey Shrive on a Mk VI R Type chassis with 4¼-litre engine, was £39,600, £5400 less than had been forecast. A recently chassis-up revived 1960 S2 Saloon straight from the set of the yet to be released Walt Disney ‘Artemis Fowl’ movie however did achieve the required £36,300 and £24,750 bought a 1953 R Type Standard Steel Saloon with power-steering.
The newest motor on the block was a 2011 Land Rover Defender 90 2.4TD XS with Twisted Performance P10+ upgrade to 182bhp via an auto-box landed for £36,850. Whilst both AC Cobra Reproductions, a 1996 427 Semi-Competition by Contemporary packing a correct Shelby-licensed Ford V8 for the late Liam Howlett (of The Prodigy ) and a 2014-dated Dax 427 with Chevvy 383ci, sold for £50,600 and £33,330 apiece. A dry-stored 1949 2-Litre Saloon abandoned project rescued for £3740 meanwhile may hopefully be resuscitated as a genuine AC-engined AC Sports-Saloon with its original registration intact.
After only a few preliminary post-sales had been tied up, 96 of the classics from the 144 offered had sold for £2,317,996 with premium, successful bidders spending an average of £24,146 per car bought. The Saturday attendance was good and the 67% sale rate was certainly boosted by 33 of the 96 cars sold being auctioned ‘Without Reserve’.
Further analysis shows that buyers paid within estimate sums for 28 cars and more than forecast money for 18 more, while the vendors of 17 cars were prepared to accept reality and below estimate returns. Whereas 48 cars, one third of those consigned and for sale, did not do so, potential buyers deciding that, in the metal and on the day, their actual cosmetic conditions and likely mechanical states did not warrant the reserved prices sought by vendors. There will usually be another day. RH-E

Carrrera GT sells for £607,500 to head £1.26m session at Warwickshire Polo Club where 14 well presented Porsches were rehomed

The clear top seller at The Silverstone Auctions 21 September all-Porsche sale was a 612bhp 5.7 V10 powered Porsche Carrera GT that was delivered to Germany in 2005 before Italian and UK residencies. With full carbon pack and £8k matching luggage, the supercar, which will almost certainly never do 205mph sadly being tucked up in storage like most of the others, was hammered down by auctioneer Jonathan Humbert for £540,000. The £607,500 with premium paid must have seemed considerably cheaper for a buyer paying in euros in Spain.
Yet another Jay Kay owned classic was dispersed during the afternoon session. The Jamiroquai front man’s 2015 911 Type 991 Turbo S cost the winning bidder a within estimate band £106,875. £72,000 was forthcoming for a 2015 bodily restored 1971 911 D Series 2.2S that would benefit from further detailing and the same money bought a 25,500m since 2010 911 997 Turbo S Gen 2 with 7-Speed PDK transmission. A PCGB endorsed Martini livery 1980 911 930 Turbo meanwhile realised £61,875 and a father and son in the saleroom were truly delighted to acquire a right-hand drive 1989 928GT manual for £51,750.
A 1991 944 Turbo Cabrio with Promax Stage 2 performance upgrade made a more than forecast £27,000 and a below estimate £21,250 was accepted for a 1994 968 Clubsport with sunroof and Variant 3 coil-over suspension. The lowest priced Porsche in the results was a 1994 968 Sport, one of only 306 in UK-spec, declared sold for £9000.
After the auction book had been closed, 14 or 47% of the 30 Porsches offered at the Polo Club had changed hands for £1,261,576 with premium, an average of £90,113 spent per car, though 16 Porsches were unsold and will have to be valuation-tested again. Analysis of the sale stats tells market watchers that while 1 Porsche sold for more than forecast and 8 did so for within estimate bands, only 2 sold for less than their lower estimates. In addition, the final prices for only 3 of the 5 No Reserve Porsches have been published.
With the Supreme Court Judges unanimously thwarting a minority administration, and Remain MPs doing their constitutional best to kill off Brexit before a General Election could redraw their political party lines, national uncertainty can only continue and all market sectors, including this one, cannot fly like Thomas Cook and hundreds of thousands of their clients used to do. RH-E

Although the going was too hard for Daytonas at Dallas Burston Polo Club, players still spent £1.75m on 15 Ferraris at Silverstone Auctions

Neither the 1973-75 Sir Elton John owned Ferrari 365GTB/4 or the Daytona delivered new in 1972 to Ecurie Ecosse driver Tommy Dickson cleared their vendors’ £425,000 and £475,000 fences during a Saturday 21 September canter in Warwickshire. Although a rarer in manual 19,000k since 2008 599GTB did sell afterwards for £360,000, and Jamiroquai frontman, Jay Kay’s 1972 365GTC/4 Coupe sold for £219,375 under the gavel, albeit less than it had cost to restore in carefree 2014.
More modern front-engined Ferraris were well received by Ferrari Owners Club members, whose freshly polished cars were lined up outside, a 2012 599GTB celebrating 60 years in F1 ‘Alonso Final Edition’ driven 8000 miles pulling £208,125 and an only 630 miles from new in 2009 F430 Spider F1 secured for £103,500.
After a very long telephone contest, a more than top estimate £153,000 was required to capture a 1995 512M 30,000k lefty and a 1996 355 Berlinetta with 30,000k cost a new rider £94,500, forecast money. A 2013 vintage FF 4WD 4-Seater was acquired for £112,500, an only 2500k from new 1990 348TB for £90,000 and a 2007 F430 60th Anniversary Edition Spider with Daytona seats for £86,000 afterwards.
Including post-sales, 15 or 44% of the 34 Prancing Horses in the Polo Club ring changed stables, their new owners paying £1,747,250 including Silverstone Auctions premium, a far from downtrodden average of £116,483 spent per Ferrari. Analysis of prices paid shows 2 cars sold for more than forecast and 10 did so for within estimate bands, while only 3 sold for less than their lower estimates. 19 Ferraris did not sell on this occasion however and may only sell for less next time around.
After the briefest pit stop for lunch, during which Ferrari Club members were replaced with those from the Porsche Club GB, 30 Porsches went under the gavel in the afternoon sale, analysis of which will follow this transmission after the last loose end has been tied. RH-E

All 124 ‘No Reserve cars’ from single owner Saragga Collection sell out during RM Sotheby’s first sale in Portugal for 10.19m euros (£8.97m)

Held on the owner’s estate near the beach resort region of Comporta 21 September, the 8 hour dispersal sale attracted hundreds of potential owners. Bidders from over 30 countries, 52 per cent of them new clients to the house, competed for cars and, significantly for the auction market I would suggest, 22% of them bid on-line.
The top priced 1931 Bentley 8-Litre had been in receipt of well documented restoration and encouraged spirited bidding until sold for 680,000 euros (£598,400). A matching numbers 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Touring with well documented restoration meanwhile, a benchmark classic in the depreciated investor category, made a nostalgic 602,375 euros (£530,090).
Local market interest boosted the performance of a former concours winning Delahaye 135M Cabriolet by Chapron that had been delivered new in 1938 to the manufacturer’s Lisbon showroom. One of only 30 surviving 1955 W D Denzel 1300s with Portugese provenance brought 314,375 euros (£276,650) and a one of a kind 1966 Mercedes-Benz 600 Sedan, coachbuilt by Parisian Chapron and resident in Portugal since 1972, was successfully re-homed for 342,500 euros (£301,400).
Other Portugese Porsche valuations here included a modern classic 1992 911 Carrera RS in hot Rubystone Red, which made 241,250 euros (£212,300), an even more modern 911 GT3 RS from 2010 174,800 euros (£153,824) and an old school 1960 356B Roadster 151,800 euros (£133,584).
An additional lot to achieve a strong price was a 1956 Lancia Aurelia B24S Convertible sold for 231,125 euros (£203,390), while a 1972 Alpine-Renault A110 1300 more than doubled its high estimate to realise 195,500 euros (£172,040) and a 1925 Amilcar CGS 100,050 euros (£88,044), again twice the high estimate. A 2001 BMW Z8 made the top ten with the buyer’s 165,600 euros (£145,728) valuation.
After their 124 sold from 124 offered and 100% sold stats, RM Sotheby’s final sale of the year in the EU, within which the UK will almost certainly still be locked, will be the London Sale, not in Battersea Park in September, but at Olympia London 24 October. RH-E

Pre-sold DB4GT and £1.5m Bugatti T57 top £11.7m Bonhams results at Goodwood Revival in UK’s highest grossing sale of year so far

After 28 years in German ownership, the Bonhams 14 September Goodwood Revival catalogue cover featured Aston Martin 1961 DB4GT factory demonstrator, first sold to Donald Campbell and estimated at £2.2-2.8m, was sold pre-sale after an undisclosed offer had been made which the vendor could not refuse. It was left therefore to the 1935 Bugatti Type 57 with Atalante Coupe coachwork from the late Barry Burnett Collection to make £1,499,000, top estimate money, and head an over £11.7m sale including automobilia (which included the ‘010’ registration, the tenth to be issued in Birmingham in 1904, sold for £97,750) and a £43,700 1962 Runabout by Pedrazzini of Lake Zurich.
The 1969 DB6 Mk2 Volante Convertible, one of only 36 made and one of eleven cars being dispersed from the estate of the late Peter Phillips, former owner of the Jones Bootmaker chain, sold for £743,000, close to top estimate. While a 1915 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost with replicated Alpine Eagle body went for a below estimate £264,500, his 1968 DBS Vantage replicating the ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ 007 by AM Works Service at a cost of over £190k in 2008 realised a more than forecast £135,700.
There were buyers, too, for the once Lagonda V12 factory 1938 press car, which was used by Earl Howe pre-WW2 and formed the basis of the ‘Le Mans Team Car’  recreated in the 1980s by the late Bentley specialist Stanley Mann. Acquired by Barry Burnett in 1989, the racey looking Lagonda Replica sold in the Bonhams tent for £207,015, while £180,400 was accepted for the West Country collector’s rare in right-hand drive 1963 Facel Vega Facel II. All the Burnett and Phillips Collections cars sold out.
The 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300B Short-Chassis, a former Saloon re-bodied as a Spider to concours standard in the 1980s and further enhanced during Bill Jacobs ownership in the US, was superbly turned out and sold for a within guide £408,250. Whereas a below estimate £207,000 was accepted for a 1924 Bugatti T23 Brescia with complete known history from new in Australia.
A right-hand drive 1960 DB4 S2 had been driven from Sweden to Goodwood in 2018 and sold here in 2019 for a within forecast £264,500 and one of the oldest surviving production Astons, a 1923 1½-Litre sidevalve-engined two-seater, that had been crashed into an obelisk in 1934 and re-bodied as a GP road car for two in the late 1970s, made £154,100, more than the top estimate.
Goodwood Porsche prices were £138,000 for a 1992 911 964 Carrera RS with Ninemeister upgraded 3.8-look bodywork, £124,00 for a 1959 356B 1600 Cabriolet by Reutter in recent receipt of no expense spared restoration and £57,500 for a No Reserve 2019 repainted 1988 911 930 Turbo.
Jaguar valuations here included a 1961 XK150S 3.8 DHC for £161,000, the Jack Sears 1954 raced XK120 Coupe sold afterwards for £133,333, the Franchorchamps Yellow 1952 XK120 FHC built for Peter Agg by XK Developments with many upgrades sold under the hammer for £97,750, another XK120 FHC in LHD for £60,950 and a Guy Broad built and upgraded 1959 Mk1 3.4 in BRG on wires evoking Mike Hawthorn’s Mk1 for £46,000.
Contrary to popular misconception, all the Ferrari Prancing Horses bucked recent form by changing riders at the Revival this year. For whilst a Classiche Certificated 1970 365GTB/4 ran out of puff with £400,000 on the trading screen, the RHD Daytona did sell afterwards for £437,500. A pro-restored 1975 365GT4 BB with 43,570 mileage meanwhile had already made £247,250, a 1990 TR Coupe driven only 16,500 miles by one owner £101,200, a 2004 575M Maranello with HGTC package £74,166  and a 32,500 mile 2003 F360 Spider £62,100. All but one, the Testa Rossa being a lefty, were RHD cars in an increasingly RHD UK market.
While the ex-Guy Griffiths 1950 Healey Silverstone without Riley 2.4 engine, into which a Jaguar 3.8 motor had been crammed, peaked at an unacceptable £125,000, the required £63,250 was available for a 1956 100BN2, uprated to ‘Le Mans spec’ and converted from left to right. A still left-hand drive 1964 3000 Mk3, repatriated from the US in 2015 and restored by 2017, was acquired for £35,650, but the £25,000 or more sought for a wire-wheels shod 1959 Bugeye with Blower, Sebring bonnet and hardtop was not forthcoming ‘live’.
A Danish 1967 Austin Mini Cooper S to ultimate Group 2 spec with Arden 8-port head and Lucas PI at the front had finished first in the pre-1971 under 1300cc category in the 2016 Copenhagen GP before raising £40,250 in West Sussex. 850 Mk1s meanwhile continue to defy most trends by performing strongly with £28,750 handed over for a very early and a former Beaulieu project 1959 Mini that had been totally rebuilt by Melvin Floyd at Just Historics and £18,400 for a refurbished 1959 Morris Mini that had served the same family for 54 years.
The ex-Ford Finland 1976 Escort RS2000 Mk2 Group 1, rebuilt in 2010 and winner of the Finnish Historic Championship in 2011 and 2012, rallied to a £48,300 result. A 2013 Goodwood Revival raced 1957 Rochdale GT with Climax engine was most unusual for £25,300 and an Italian restored 1960 Lamborghini DL20 2241R tractor harvested £23,575. While no Aston Martin collection can be truly complete without a No Reserve c1949 David Brown VAK 1 Cropmaster tractor picked up for £6,325.
As already reported on this website, the Sir Jack Brabham raced 1961 Cooper-Climax T55 Slimline F1/Tasman single-seater raised £244,375 for the Race Against Dementia charity founded by fellow triple World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart, who introduced the lot generously donated by Peter Livanos.
By the end of the Saturday afternoon sale, 64 or 61% of the 105 collector vehicles on offer had sold for £11.27m with premium, a not inconsiderable average of £175,404 spent per car. At the same sale last year however, 15 more cars sold and the 69% sale rate was 8% higher, while the average spent per car was £44,929 or 26% more one year ago (much the same as the percentage fall in prices at the recent California sales compared to the total for the same six auctions in 2018).
Nonetheless, whilst most prices continue to correct and confidence to buy has become noticeably subdued in the auction tents and salerooms of a divided nation, and although the price paid was undisclosed, the DB4GT 0161R has almost certainly been the second highest value collector vehicle consigned for auction and sold in the UK in 2019 (only just behind the £2.7m Mansell Williams at the Festival of Speed). While even down at a mere £11.7m (compared to a more heady £17.46m in 2018!), this year’s Revival sale has still been by far the highest grossing sale for classics in yet to Brexit Britain this year. RH-E

Sir Jackie Stewart movingly introduced Cooper-Climax raced by fellow triple World Champ Brabham which raised £244k for Race Against Dementia

Bonhams’ annual Goodwood Revival auction was preceded by the auctioning of the ex-works Cooper T55 ‘Slimline’ raced to victory in the 1961 Aintree 200 by Sir Jack Brabham, who also drove it in 1.5-litre Grand Prix before 2.7 and 2.5-litre Climax engines were fitted for the 1962 Tasman series.
One of only two T55s built for Brabham and teammate Bruce McLaren, Cooper F1/10/61 was restored by the late Urban Fassler of Hinwil, Swiss marque specialist, to the highest standards, but for static-display only as the owner never intended to race it. Before doing so, the next owner-driver would therefore have to have car, 2.5 engine and transmission fully recommissioned, and fuel tank and safety equipment updated for compliance with current FIA regulations.
Sir Jackie paid tribute to fellow World Champion Sir Jack and thanked previous owner Peter Livanos for his great generosity in donating the car so that all auction proceeds could benefit the ‘Race Against Dementia’, a charity he founded to raise money to fund breakthrough and innovative dementia research. He spoke movingly of how his wife Helen, his timekeeper in the pits throughout his illustrative career in Grand Prix, has been diagnosed with dementia.
The charity’s aim, Sir Jackie said, was to instill a “Formula One attitude” in attention to detail and urgency, to accelerate the pace of solutions development for dementia, which 50 million people around the world have. He warned that one in three people today will get dementia in their lifetime and a new person develops dementia every three seconds.  This was a crisis that cannot continue, he said.
Among F1 personalities who viewed the Cooper during viewing were Bernie Ecclestone and Christian Horner. Auctioned by Bonhams Group Motoring Chairman James Knight ‘Without Reserve’, the T55 Slimline quickly overtook the £100,000-£150,000 guide until the gavel finally fell after £212,500 had been bid in the seats. All the £244,375 premium-inclusive proceeds went to ‘Race Against Dementia’. On behalf of Sir Jackie and the charity, great thanks to all concerned. RH-E

After nearly 60 years with one UK family, Le Mans raced Bugatti is unveiled by Bonhams at Goodwood as their 2020 Retromobile headliner

The Louis Chiron/Count Bouriat-Quintart driven, works-entered Bugatti T55 2.3 Twin Cam Eight with 1932 Le Mans history, that was immediately re-bodied in Paris with striking 2-seater coachwork penned by Guiseppe Figoni and went on to win the 1933 Paris-Nice Rally and star in the Bois de Boulogne concours, has been consigned by Bonhams to headline at their 9 February Paris sale during 2010 Retromobile week.
The highest price paid for a T55 in public auction has been the $10,400,000 including Gooding premium paid at Pebble Beach for chassis 55213, the Jean Bugatti roadster driven by Achille Varzi and Count Castelbarco in the 1932 Mille Miglia. But this was in California in August 2016. More recently, again in the US under the Gooding gavel, though at Scottsdale Arizona in January 2018, there was a buyer with $4,070,000 with premium for the Jean Bugatti roadster-bodied chassis 55201, a French Cup winner at Pebble.
Essentially a Grand Prix Bugatti in sports car clothing, chassis 55221 is being auctioned for the first time, following 56 years in the ownership of one British family. With the Paris auction nearly five months away however, by when the last genuine T55 will have been auctioned more than two years ago, but with the state of the economies and the exchange rates between the major currencies impossible to predict by then, unsurprisingly no pre-sale estimate has been published.
Although as the Paris sale headliner was revealed in the Bonhams tent, and both Bugatti and historian Doug Nye were applauded for his researches during viewing at the Goodwood Revival, to predict that 4-5m euros (£3.5-4.5m), or even more, may be achievable for a Bugatti T55 with period Le Mans, Rally and Concours provenance and Figoni body beautiful can only be one pundit’s best guesstimate.
For can anyone on either side of the Channel really forecast with any accuracy what may or not have happened by November, let alone by February 2020? By then perhaps, over-inflated and increasingly incredible balloons in finance agreements may have finally burst and guarenteed buy-backs in PCPs could have become as historic as a 1932 Bugatti T55. RH-E

74% of cars in the Bonhams catalogue sell for just over £3m including automobilia at the annual Beaulieu International Autojumble

The top selling 1929 Bugatti Type 44 3-Litre Eight with Harrington four-seater tourer coachwork justified its Beaulieu sale catalogue cover status 7 September by selling for a top estimate £293,250 with premium before heading for Hungary. A stately Edwardian 1908 Napier 45hp Type 23 Six with Formal Open Drive Limo body by Burlington Carriage with benefit of Downton Abbey, Mr Selfridge and Peaky Blinders exposure was knocked down to an American collector via a telephone for £235,750, less than forecast. While £91,667 was accepted afterwards for a 1926 Frazer Nash 1½-Litre Super Sports from 42 years vendor ownership after £130,000 or more had not been forthcoming.
Bidding for a 1927 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Phantom I with replicated Gurney Nutting Saloon coachwork and Abdication Edward provenance was also abandoned at £130,000 and a 1979 Bentley T2 gifted to Maggie Thatcher in 1980 fell short of reserve at £9,000. The No Reserve 1952 Rover 75 that served actor Robert Hardy’s Siegfried Farnon well in All Creatures Great and Small on black and white TV did raise £6,670 however, despite requiring restoration.
A 1948 Bentley MkVI 4¼-Litre Park Ward Drophead Coupe, one of only 23 with this coachwork, made the required £78,200 and a left to right-hand drive converted 1952 Jaguar XK120 FHC with full complement of 4.2 and Getrag 5-speed upgrades by Fender-Broad £75,900. A 1986 Aston Martin Lagonda S3 in receipt of no expense spared 2008-2014 restoration, that had included conversion of the potentially troublesome instrumentation to even more modern LCD, had come to market after its late owner had died in a helicopter accident. This still futuristic looking William Towns styled wedge in light blue could still turn younger heads and was well bought for £36,800.
Also much viewed was the 1936 Austin Seven Formula 750 racer ‘Sacre Bleu’, which raced in the annual Birkett Six Hours in the 1960s, crashed at Oulton, was recovered from an orchard in 1993 and had been rebuilt by 1996. The £8,000-12,000 guide was quickly overtaken and the winning bidder had to pay £20,125. An unsold Ford V4 powered, grp-bodied 1971 Saab Sonett III in a weird shade of green meanwhile was swept up on the Sunday for £8,800.
Although a very neat 1964 Morris Mini Cooper 970S with upgraded 999cc block, Mk2 transmission and Taurus mods failed to raise the £32,000 sought, a Crayford 1964 Morris Mini Sprint, a concours winner at Beaulieu in 2016, did sell for £21,275. Both 850 Mk1 Mini projects meanwhile were trailered away, a 1959 Morris with holey floors taken on for £5,750 and, after a 21 year slumber in a barn in the New Forest, a 1964 Austin Super De-Luxe non-runner was acquired for £3,680 and remains in Hampshire.
There were fans for all three right-hand drive VW Beetles, one paying £10,350 for a 1200 that was made in Germany in 1977, since when it had only been driven 3,600 miles. A 1966 1300 with 27,000 mileage from the same vendor cost the next keeper £8,625 and an unrestored 1959 VW Beetle 1200 with three boxes of parts made £5,750.
Really very Beaulieu, and appealing to the very International Autojumblers with shed loads of euros who had made annual pilgrimage to browse several fields full of stuff, were a previously flood damaged 1984 Ferrari 512 BBi lefty with new ‘crate’ engine carried off for £51,750, and £16,675 rescued a once Swiss and a now very dusty 1963 Maserati Sebring Coupe in ‘barn found condition ’. A stalled Lotus XI project with well replicated chassis by Bill Needham, Coventry Climax engine, Sprite Mk2 box and some original bits, though no documents, was probably the most viewed lot in the tent, which explains the £16,100 result.
One of the most surprising performances was that of the 1582 numbered Vanden Plas Open 4-Seater Tourer coachwork that once graced Bentley Speed Six chassis LB 2350, but had been restored with replacement body covering fabric and woodwork repair. For what was only a body, albeit with running boards, rear wings and hood, flew past the £4,000-6,000 suggested to sell for £34,500!
As the Bonhams team vacated their Beaulieu tent and headed straight to Goodwood circuit to occupy another marquee for their next sale at the Revival meeting only five days later, 93 of the 125 cars auctioned in the grounds of the National Motor Museum had sold for £2,934,669 with premium (£3,243,846 in 2018). The sale rate at Beaulieu this year therefore was 74% (last year 81%), the average spent per classic £31,556 (actually up on £31,191 one year ago).
Although Brightwells and Bonhams bidders were not prepared to meet or better the reserves of 87 unsold cars within four days in Herefordshire and the New Forest, there were still plenty of buyers in play who were prepared to invest £4.78m in 217 classics. Our particular satellite would certainly seem to have sufficient oxygen to continue orbiting the badly managed planet. RH-E


DB4 from abandoned restoration doubled its pre-sale estimate to sell for £210k at Brightwells during £1.85m afternoon when 69% of cars sold

A stalled Aston Martin DB4 project was taken on for £210,560 with premium, more than double the £100,000 lower estimate, to become Brightwells top seller during their latest £1.85m sale for ancient and modern classics at Leominster 4 September. Considering the recent softening in many prices, this was a remarkable valuation for a left to right-hand drive converted 1960 S2, albeit with restored shell, all numbers still matching and full history known from new. Not that much more could land a complete and running DB4s, even if in need of some TLC.
A mid-estimate £84,560 bought a 1974 Jaguar E Type S3 V12 Roadster with upgraded 5-speed manual box that had only done 1000 miles since being treated to a £118,000 restoration, whereas a close to lower estimate £49,280 was accepted for a JD Classics 2017 rebuilt 1966 Austin Mini Cooper 1275S. There were buyers for both Jensen Interceptors with a £10,000 below forecast £70,000 for one of 320 1971 FF 4x4s from three-year restoration and £33,600 for a mellowed 1968 Mk1 manual, one of only eight survivors.
From the same ownership since 1989, the Sunbeam Tiger captured for £57,120 was the first ever right-hand drive production Mk1, upon which almost £40,000 had been spent on a back to bare metal restoration. A 1996 Ferrari 355 Spider treated to a £33,000 make-over cost the next owner £50,400 and a former 1969 Citroen DS20 Saloon, one of three converted to Decapotable by the Oxford French Company, changed hands for £39,200. While ‘Modern Classics’ were headed by a 2012 Maserati Gran Turismo S 4.7 V8 4-Seater sold for £32,480.
An always right-hand drive 1964 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk3 BJ8 Phase 2 ‘Driver’ that could be used as is or sympathetically improved over time might not have been unreasonable for £28,000 and a well presented 1934 Singer Le Mans offered more instant gratification for £24,640. The sole surviving Pass & Joyce bodied 1930 Austin 16/6 Magnet Coupe had taken 24 years to restore, and been driven only 800 miles since, before making a £4000 more than expected £20,160 here.
The going rate for half-timbered Minor Estates in the Welsh Marches was £7,280 for a locally sourced Traveller from same family ownership from new in 1969 and £6,048 for ‘Dorris the Morris’, a sprightly 54 year old. An early left-hand drive Saab 96 2-stroke from 1960 with only minor cosmetic decay, but great potential, raised £6,945, more than the guide. A ‘No Reserve’ 1987 Renault Alpine GTA V6 Turbo resto-project was towed away for £2576.
After a further 14 provisionally logged bids had been converted into post-sales, a total of 124 cars had sold, 69% of the 179 in the catalogue. For whilst the majority of MPs and unelected Lords continue to trash consumer confidence within the Westminster bubble, those inhabiting  the real world had parted with £1,845,984 including premium in Herefordshire, where an average of £14,883 was spent per classic in one afternoon. RH-E


Bank Holiday weekenders pay £1.43m for 181 classics at 76% sold ACA Drive Through, where 52 No Reservists included £12,505 1974 Fulvia

With not even a hint of a cloud in sight, another bumper entry came to market in King’s Lynn 24 August, when ice cream and gallons of mineral water were more popular than fish and chips, and an average of £7,922 was spent per classic motor car on what really was a super Saturday.
A healthy 76% sale rate under the hammer was certainly boosted by 22% of cars sold being auctioned ‘Without Reserve’ and below estimate hammer prices being accepted for another 20%. Determined bidding resulted in 23 cars making top estimate money or more, while 50 cars achieved within guide price band prices.
The 57 cars that were unsold after 8 post-sale deals had been done, although 24% of the 238 displayed at the auction centre, were considerably less in percentage terms than the 42% that failed to sell at the six much higher profile Californian auctions recently.
The day’s top selling 1965 Jaguar E Type S1 4.2 Fixed Head had been repatriated from the US and converted to right-hand drive earlier this century. Beneath age-crackled paint, the very original looking real estate appeared to be solid and many depreciated pounds had been expended on the engine and transmission. Much viewed when awarded a front of grid parking spot outside the auctioneers office and with numbers still matching, the Coventry Cat had been forecast to cost the next keeper £39,000-45,000, but deservedly fetched £47,700.  A 1972 S3 V12 2+2 FHC meanwhile had migrated from South Africa in 2018 to make a within estimate £38,160 in Norfolk in 2019.
Several transporters worth of cosmetically sharp and interestingly upgraded BMWs had come to market here, including a 1971 E9 3.0 CS left hooker with later 5-speed gearbox that had been resident in Germany and Canada before being landed here for £25,440. 20% of the £20,500 hammer price of a super-neat 1990 BMW E30 325i Sport with 110,825 warranted mileage was donated to the Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund.
Two head-turners were also particularly comment-worthy, I thought. A first Vauxhall owned and totally mint 1972 VX 4/90 demonstrator with upgraded body-kit and unfortunate button-velour upholstery, which had been driven only 18,916 miles by one owner and which sold for £12,296 - whilst an extraordinarily well turned out 1991 Saab 900 Turbo 16v Carlsson in receipt of recent respray after 148,490 mileage really did justify the fourth owner’s £14,204 valuation.
A dry stored in 1987 and little used since 1968 Triumph TR5 PI with galvanised chassis and renewed floors and sills was sold without reserve for £28,090 and a two registered owner, mainly unrestored example from the same year with £8k rebuilt engine went for a forecast £27,560. A once Texan 1966 Sunbeam Tiger Mk1, rebuilt with steering wheel on the right side, also made the required £31,800 as did a locally produced in 1991 Lotus Esprit Turbo SE with 53,700 mileage sold for £22,790.
Among the more unusual items, a 1936 British Salmson with Open Tourer accommodation for four realised a forecast £23,850 and a 2004 vintage Hummer H2 SUT, rarer in Pick-Up configuration and with flared wheel-arches, picked up a cool £16,324. And finally, the absolutely inevitable Sinclair C5, without which no collection or auction can be truly inclusive it seems, electrified the latest owner into parting with £700.
Pre-Brexit and/or the next General Election, the going for unnecessary classic vehicles was actually surprisingly good. Although much more sophisticated crystal balls than mine have become far too cloudy to reveal what might happen next. RH-E


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 34% less was spent this year

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