Market: strong results for UK's first sales, including £1m F40
All but four classics sold at the first UK auction of 2018 and an F40 occupies top price pole with a £957,500 result at the NEC
Those monitoring classic car market sentiment can breathe a sigh of consumer relief because there were buyers for 93% of the collector vehicles driven through the SWVA auction hall just outside Poole.
Though nearly £54,000 less was spent overall at this year’s sale than in 2017, the average spent increased by £1236 to £7641 per car.
The top-priced seller at the Dorset firm’s season-opener was a Porsche 911 Turbo that first took to the road in Australia in 1979, but had been previously owned in the UK for 30 years. It sold to an internet bidder for £56,700, nearly £8000 more than the guide price.
Formerly owned by a High Court judge and the conductor of a French orchestra, a 1958 Jaguar XK150 with modified 3.4 engine beneath a louvered bonnet motored past the rostrum to sell for £49,680, again more than £12,000 over the estimate.
Having been buried under storage boxes in a domestic garage for 20 years when the owners moved to France, a non-running 1973 Aston Martin V8 auto, apparently sound though shabby in close-up, had to be pushed through but still made a healthy £47,520, over £20,000 more than had been forecast.
A Mexican-built VW Beetle 1200 lefty by contrast provided instant gratification for £7668, some £2600 more than expected. Meanwhile a 1969 Triumph Herald with 32,800 warranted mileage and no repair panels or filler below partially original paint and all-original interior deservedly raised £8100, more than double its top estimate.
Unsold in October, but successfully shifted this time for a below-estimate £17,280, a 1972 Lotus Europa 1.6 Twin Cam had been treated to a new galvanised chassis during a £20,000 DIY restoration.
£12,744, nearly £2500 more than the guide, was handed over for a 63,000 miles-from-new 1997 Bentley Turbo R LWB with ten service stamps in the book and 12 old MOT certificates.
A Belgian-made and UK-restored (in 2002) 2CV of 1966 vintage, one of only three AZL models in right-hand drive that had been modified by Citroën in Slough from Nigerian-spec before being sold to a Westminster dealer, was hammered ‘Without Reserve’ for £3132.
The oldest lots to potter past the punters hailed from Longbridge, where once the largest British car factory was in business. A 1936 Austin Seven had been previously topped with a replicated van body when acquired in unfinished form by the vendor, who cashed in the completed project here for £11,016. That was £3216 more than had been estimated.
A nearly £2000-over-guide £5400 was forthcoming, too, for a running 1932 Austin Seven Saloon with two engines, both reconditioned, that had been found in a West Country barn, but was in need of some TLC.
A once Royalty-endorsed 1973 Reliant Scimitar GTE with working overdrive and lots of paperwork had been in receipt of many new and reconditioned parts before being taken on by the next development engineer for £3996.
Internet players bidding remotely meanwhile paid £8316 for a 1998 Jaguar XK8 convertible with repaired floorpans and £8100 for a French-restored 1972 MGB Roadster, which was being deleted by a vendor in favour of a brand new Harley Davidson.
The highest-priced collector cars sold at auction in the UK so far this year have been Ferraris, both during Autosport International at the NEC in Birmingham.
A 1993 F40 Michelotto in LM specification that had been extensively raced on the EU mainland was hammered by Coys for £850,000, the buyer in the hall paying £957,500 including premium plus VAT – and a 365GT4/BB, supplied new to Maranello chairman Ronnie Hoare in 1975, was knocked down for £270,000 to another Saturday afternoon shopper, costing them £305,000 with premium.