Eccentric Bremner collection to sell at Brightwells

A quirky classic car collection, accrued thanks to sheer curiosity helped along by the occasional glass of wine, presents an opportunity to bid on some very unusual automobiles …

The buyers of classic cars, and the reasons behind their purchases, are as varied as the range of historical automobiles that appear on the classic market. Some opt to buy classic purely with financial investment in mind, with the car of choice having been very carefully considered and then thoroughly inspected in person.

Others, such as Andrew Bremner, buy more on a whim, following gut instinct and curiosity evoked by a potential classic car purchase and, usually when a glass of wine is involved, all logic goes out the window. The car is often not scrutinized at all! Hence why Andrew Bremner became good friends with various shipping companies as they delivered an assortment of classic cars to the UK from the likes of Italy, Spain, Russia and New Zealand.

More upcoming auctions!

Speaking on the up-coming auction, Brightwells Classic Car Consultant Jim Henshaw said: “This is likely to be the sale of the year for lovers of Italian machinery and anything a little quirky. There really is something to interest all, from beautifully restored pieces, the work on which is some of the finest I have ever seen, to restoration projects in their raw state. There are lots of rare pieces, bits for the conventional investor and in contrast bits for the English eccentric. It is well worth a look!”

The cars were collected by Andrew, who enjoyed turning up at the local pub aboard his Lamborghini tractor just as much as he revelled in setting the slowest lap record of the Nurburgring; courtesy of his 1925 Dodge Roadster. Andrew’s purchases were unpredictable, unconventional and frequently arrived in desperate need of TLC, not to mention employing innovative tactics to source the necessary spares.

Sadly, Andrew passed away earlier this year but his enthusiasm for all things classic will live on in the vehicles going to auction at Brightwells Classic & Vintage sale on 26th September 2018. Here are three of our favourites …

1967 NSU Sports Prinz Coupe

Estimate: £4,000 - £5,000

This two-door NSU Sports Prinz is an intriguing blend of elegant Italian styling coupled with durable German engineering concealed beneath its pretty lines. Powered by a modest 583cc air-cooled engine, the NSU Sports Prinz was nowhere near as powerful as some of its rivals, but it could handle beautifully thanks to a particularly lightweight body and nimble steering. The delicate Prinz was a favoured driver's choice, but despite its popularity, production eventually tailed off in 1968 to make way for NSU’s Ro80.

For classic buyers here in the UK, one of the closest comparisons to the now rare NSU Sports Prinz is likely a Hillman Imp. This 1967 example is from the later production years and comes in right-hand drive specification. Benefitting from an engine rebore, new driveshafts and front wheel bearings. This NSU has just under 72,000 miles on the odometer and the most recent MOT certificate dates from 2015, prior to exemption.

Just as many were used as rally cars back in the model’s heyday, this Prinz participated in the lengthy 2008 Liege-Brescia-Liege rally with former owner Andrew Bremner behind the wheel and is now ready for its next adventure. Included in the sale are two engines and a generous selection of other spares as well as the original owner’s handbook, various sales brochures, invoices and copies of correspondence with fellow Sport Prinz enthusiasts.

1986 Renault 4 GTL

Estimate: No Reserve

It would take a significant level of insensitivity not to detect the palatable charm that simply oozes from this Renault 4. Some of that charisma results from the efforts of Andrew Bremner to decorate it as a mock police car! With no reserve and low levels of general appreciation for the Renault 4 in the UK, this 1986 GTL model could make for a somewhat endearing purchase at a very reasonable price.

Launched in 1961, the 4 was the first front-wheel-drive family car to be manufactured by Renault and it had been designed to compete with the extremely popular Citroen 2CV but be more spacious and potentially therefore be more practical than its rival. It was a bold challenge that paid off for decades to come, with the Renault 4 practically becoming the equivalent of lifeblood within the French motoring community, particularly in rural districts. The GTL edition arrived in 1978 with a 1108cc engine and the distinguishable features of a grey front grille and bumpers as well as grey plastic strips running along the door bottoms.

This particular GTL passed its last MOT in 2014 with minor advisories. It now requires some welding to get it back into shape for returning to the road but given how practical and fun this Renault 4 could be, at a fraction of the price that a British Mini of equivalent age would go for, this is a bargain French classic more than worthy of consideration!

1987 ZAZ SMZ Invalidka

Estimate: No Reserve

Possessing a face only its mother could love, and awkwardly angular in a way that distinguishes it from the rest of Andrew’s prized classics, we couldn’t help but notice this tiny ZAZ SMZ Invalidka from 1987 in its bright lime green paint. Commonly known as ‘motor-wheelchairs’ in the USSR, these Soviet micro-cars were specifically constructed to provide mobility transport for ex-servicemen in Russia. They were provided free-of-charge for a five-year loan before having to be returned to the state for crushing. Somehow imported from Lithuania by Bremner in 2016, it’s quite simply a testament to Andrew that this car even still exists!

Powered by a two-stroke 346cc engine and possessing 20,311 km on the odometer, equivalent to 12,600 miles, the speedometer goes up to a surprising 140kph! A top speed of 34mph is much more realistic.

With no documentation in tow, this little ZAZ has mostly only its charm to accompany it as it seeks a new owner on the lookout for a rare survivor and something somewhat eccentric.

Classic Cars for Sale