Brooklands. Motor. Museum. If these three words do not stir the heart of a classic car enthusiast, book an appointment with your GP and get checked out! This was the venue, what a venue, for Historics September auction. Read on to see how we get on.
Lot 133. The Mercedes Pagoda needs no introduction to our readers. This one had considerable sums spent on engine, gearbox and various ancillaries. It started life in the Channel Islands, then moved to the USA, was returned to the UK and stored for a good while. A good car at a good price. Sold. £50,400. Good value.
Lot 138. Austin A35 Van. They say there is a classic car for everyone. This little A35 is living embodiment of that. It had been repainted, poorly, we are sorry to observe, in a non-period dark silver with black roof. In our view, it would now need significant sums spent on the exterior. To its credit the interior was okay along with the underside. The MOT expired two years ago. The van was on offer with No Reserve. Despite our reservations the room took no prisoners. Sold. £7,000. Wow. Like they say, there is a car for everyone.
Lot 154. Mini 1275GT. It is becoming harder and harder to find these once ever common Mini’s. This one, presented in very shiny yellow came with MOT’s dating back to the early 80’s along with numerous invoices confirming it had been looked after. We suspect prices for these hard find GT’s are going one way. Up. Sold. £13,500.
Lot 157. Aston Martin V8 Series 2. This lovely and possibly historically important car came with an interesting story. It was rescued by a collector after languishing for nigh-on two decades in a garage. This was one of the first Astons built following the sale of Aston Martin by David Brown to Company Developments. A mileage of just 7,000 is believed to be accurate. The car spent three years in restoration by an organisation owned by the ex CEO of Renault. The organisation takes on restos by invitation only, if you don’t mind! The end result is a superb motor car. Sold. £106,000.
Lot 178. 1961 Austin Healey Frogeye. What is not to like. Presented in smashing period Leaf Green, and aside from a couple of modern updates the car was all as it should be including weather equipment and original buff log book. It was restored very well in the 90’s and was holding up exceptionally well, you would be hard pressed to spot it was completed so long ago. Great little car. Sold. £18,000.
Lot 187. 1968 Citroen DS Safari. Wow. What a stunning motor car this was in so many ways. UK registered RHD, with auto box and optional power steering. The docs showed the car had driven about 2,000m in the last decade or so. Probably our favourite of the Auction. Sold. £25,000.
Lot 220. 1961 Daimler Dart SP250. A very well presented 250 in light blue with contrasting dark blue trim. Restored over a five-year period, it was carried out very well too, with supporting photo history. It benefited from some non-period updates which did not detract in way at all. The bidding was very busy on this car. Not surprising given the increasing scarcity. Sold for a shade under £40,000. Great price.
Lot 238. 1991 Peugeot 205 GTi. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground with these lovely cars at the moment. They are either a bit of wreck or very, very nice. This fell in to the latter section. 48,000miles in very clean Steel Grey with black/green interior. It was a one owner car with everything in order as you’d expect. The Guide Price was £14-19,000. Sold. £21,000. A very hot, hot hatch.
Lot 256. 1978 XJ6 SII 4.2. It would be difficult for us to over-cook how smashing this car was. We’ll have a stab. 7,000 warranted miles. One owner. Despite being in storage from many years the fastidious owner of this and other Jaguars meticulously maintained the car, along with great record keeping. This was the best XJ6 we’ve seen for years. It had a remarkably low Guide Price of £6-8,000. Unremarkably the market ignored that ridiculous guide and it smashed its way, quite correctly in our view, to £18,000. You know when you regret not buying a car? This was it.
It is hard to benchmark a Historics Auction against the market. They do so much so well. Venue. Organisation. Professionalism. Cars. Oh, the cars. But the market is in a funny place at the moment so its only proper we give a view, heavily caveated with the fact that Historics do stand a bit above.
A good indication of the current market is the Mercedes Pagoda. They need no introduction from us. Two years ago, it would be hard to find a non-running wreck needing £30-40 grand spent on it for less than £50k. A nice one, not a top one, was £90k. Today, as witnessed by a very nice Pagoda at this sale, they can be picked up for half that. That is not a bad thing. It does not indicate the market is flat. Just realistic.
To provide a counter to the above, have a look at the A35 van. Being honest, this was a little rough around the gills! But the market piled in, big time. We thought that van was £1500quid. What do we know, huh! The market smashed it to SEVEN grand!
Well, you might say, in fact we can almost hear you saying it, if that at the mid-market things are realistic and at low market things are buoyant, what about the top end.
As we said, this is Historics and they do things well. But taking this sale and other indicators, we’d predict the upper/top end of the market is moving from near desolation to alive and kicking again.
Two very nice Astons support our view. Bear in mind, five years ago anything with an Aston badge started at £100k and went to £750k. Then 18-24months ago, all that nonsense stopped, abruptly and many caught a cold. The two cars we are referring to are these; a cracking V8 Series II. Twelve months ago, you’d struggle to sell one. Maybe £50-60K. This one today? £106,000. The second car was a stunning 1961 DB4 Series 3. Sold. £280,000.
To sum things up, we are very positive. We think the last quarter of this year will be good, despite turmoil in our politics. This is likely to finally end (we will be eating these words!) giving us a good spring board in to the first quarter of 2020. Happy days!
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