Market: restored Austin Westminster sells for £32,000!

By far the best-attended of the UK’s June auctions, ACA's Norfolk sale achieves remarkable prices for Practical Classics Westminster and many others

A 1968 280SL Mercedes-Benz 280SL (below) achieved £32,000 more than top estimate to head an 80 percent-sold ACA Drive-Through at King’s Lynn. Although rival attractions in the sunshine slightly reduced attendance at the Saturday-afternoon sale, more punters than at most of the other June sales added together lined the hall to see 213 classics sell for more than £1.9m with premium.

The day’s record-breaker was a 1958 Austin Westminster Countryman (top), one of ten Estates produced and the only one with auto shift. It had been treated to a stunningly executed seven year Practical Classics magazine restoration and raised an unprecedented £32,860 to benefit the Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund.

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Considering the 82,000 mileage – admittedly clocked up by only three owners since new in 1977, the most recent of whom had spent £15k on restoration since 1981 – the £22,790 performance of a super-mint Ford Granada 3.0 Ghia Mk1 auto (above) was another auction milestone.

The sale was a reality check for E-type Jags, though – even for Series 1 cars – as there was only one buyer for the four in the catalogue. They paid £25,016 for a 1973 S3 V12 coupé that had been stored for 29 years. A huge number of these models were made in the first place, and there are now too many survivors in unexceptional condition for those who are prepared to invest in the current market. However, a 2013-completed Heritage C-type rep (above) that had employed an XJ6 S2 donor with a 4.2 motor was much viewed, and duly delivered a £42,400 result for the executors of an estate.

Among the projects in search of a better future, the headliner was a no-reserve 1968 Triumph TR5 PI (above) with hard-top and numbers matching, that had last been MoT’ed by only the second owner in the early 2000s. It was taken on here for £40,280. An even more static 1976 Porsche 911 2.7 Targa that had been gathering dust since the late 1980s was transported away for £13,780.

Another extraordinary vote of confidence in the unknown was the £18,020 paid for a 1958 Morris J Type timewarp (above) that had last been usefully employed some 30 years ago. A similarly idle 1947 Fordson E83W project had been repatriated from Ireland to sell for £4452.

A UK market-leading 267 vehicles were auctioned during the six-and-a-half-hour sale, among them many affordable lots such as a 1973 MGB left-hooker (above) that returned home in 2016. It cost its new keeper £6572 with premium.

Unlike at so many provincial sales, though, where nearly all cars auctioned seem have ‘provisional bids’ logged, 156 models were sold under the hammer here, with just 57 provisional bids referred to vendors and converted into sales afterwards.

Classic Cars for Sale