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.
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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
This 1939 Adler Trumpf Junior Convertible is an extremely rare garage find out of Texas and the ideal original candidate for straightforward restoration. Yellow with black interior. A very straight, solid, and honest original car that's nearly impossible to come across. A very unique and exciting opportunity. Price: $29,500