Market: More classics go under hammer in UK than ever before

Over £23k paid for Morris Minor Traveller, while £56k is invested in first TR5 PI at Bicester Heritage – a sale that averaged nearly £22k per auction classic

During the busiest auction spring yet, with more classics going under more hammers in the UK than ever before, one of many headline performers was a 1969 Morris Minor 1000 Traveller.

Admittedly superbly restored to the highest standard imaginable, the half-timbered estate to which Brightwells had given a guide price of £9700-11,500 soared to a quite extraordinary £23,520 result. The Bicester Heritage event saw 65 per cent of a rather modest 62 cars in the vast World War Two hangar sell for £867,434 – an average of £21,686 spent per lot.

See also...

Triumph TR5 PI chassis number CP1 – recognised as the very first TR5 manufactured to production specification in 1967, and the subject of a 12-year restoration – also came to market here to sell for a punchy £56,000 with premium. Meanwhile, one of the last TR4As to drive off the line, in November 1967, raised £23,520. It had a fully charted three-owner history from new, and had been treated to a Triumph Club Concours class-winning restoration 18 years ago.

The £165,000 or more sought for a racy 1921 Vauxhall 30-98 E Type, which had been discovered languishing on an Australian farm in the early 1970s, was not achieved. However, £69,440 was handed over for a tired but potentially sporting 1933 Talbot AV105 VDP that had emerged from a 30-year hibernation and required full recommissioning at the very least.

The Oxfordshire sale’s top-priced pre-war star was another dashing open car from the 1930s – an Alvis Speed 20 of 1933 vintage that started life with VDP saloon coachwork and was then re-bodied by the same company in 1937. It sold for £79,520, which was forecast money. Only slightly less was required to become the next owner of a 1960 Jaguar XK150 SE 3.8 FHC that had been subjected to only 300 fine-weather miles since a 10-year restoration. It reached £77,280 with premium.

There were buyers for three out of four Land Rovers in the sale, led by an ex-estate manager 1970 Series 2A 88in soft-top with 2.4D motor, Fairey overdrive and free-wheeling hubs. This landed for £21,504, £7000 more than the guide. One of 300 County Heritage Edition 1999 TD5 Defender 90 hardtop SWBs, meanwhile, pulled a top-estimate £18,480, and a restoration-ready early Series 1 80in pick-up from 1950 picked up £14,560, £8560 above top estimate. Landie migration from farmyards in the diminishing countryside to green-welly suburbia continues unabated.

By far the most potent modern classic on offer was a 1999 BMW Z3M with appropriate M3-prefix reg. The Roadster packed a 339bhp M54 3.2 straight-six from an E36 M3 Evo, which could propel the lightweight Bavarian from 0-60mph in 5.2 seconds.

With the benefit of 19 service stamps in the book, the seriously upgraded M Roadster cost the next tamer £14,000 – less than the £15,000-plus that had been spent over the past two years to make it ‘better than new’. As with so many moderns that have reached the good-value crossroads, however, where will this attractive missile go next? As ever, it will be the market (that’s you) which will determine whether this was a great buy or a sensible sell.

Classic Cars for Sale