With no shortage of external factors buffeting the economy of late, it is no surprise that the classic car market has also experienced some turbulence with price corrections in evidence across the board. While pre-1980 cars have generally dipped or remained static, to offset this there have been steady gains in the values of more modern classics so the market has proved resilient overall in the face of uncertain conditions. While sale rates are down slightly nationwide, there are still plenty of buyers for the right stock at the right price. So it was at Brightwells’ September sale which attracted plenty of lively bidders who between them bought 80 of the 140 lots on offer for a total of £672,000.
Top price of the day went to a 1969 Jaguar E-Type S2 Roadster fresh from a total nut-and-bolt restoration and in sparkling condition throughout which had no trouble in fetching £72,800 despite being an American import converted to RHD.
Reflecting current market trends, pre-war cars found the going somewhat heavy but nonetheless seven out of the 13 examples on offer successfully changed hands. Top honours went to a rare and well-historied 1931 Austin Seven Ulster EA Sports which made an impressive £38,800. A 1933 Austin Seven Sports Type 65 also did well at £12,320, while a tidy little 1936 Austin Seven Ruby fetched £5,280. A fully restored 1928 Ford Model A Phaeton made a healthy £15,120 while a 1923 Ford Model T Pickup in military reconnaissance trim with a Lewis machine gun mounted on the back looked a lot of fun at £9,350. A delightful 1934 Lanchester Ten Mulliner Fixed Head Coupe which had recently undergone a £27k restoration looked like a super buy at £10,920.
Attracting a good deal of interest was an extremely rare First World War relic, a 1916 Crossley RFC 20/25 rolling chassis with a powerful 4.5-litre engine and distinctive twin rear wheels either side of the axle. One of fewer than a dozen thought to survive from around 8,000 built for the Royal Flying Corps as staff cars, troop carriers and tenders, it looked like a great project for someone at £13,550.
Among the early post-war cars, a nicely presented 1953 Riley RMF with the lusty 2.5 twin-cam engine did well at £15,680. An aristocratic 1956 Bentley S1 Saloon with scruffy paintwork but an excellent maintenance history looked like a lot of car for £17,920. Not quite so regal but stately nonetheless was a 1971 Rover P5B Coupe in pleasingly original condition and with only 51k miles under its Rostyle wheels which fetched a healthy £18,480.
All but two of the 11 MG models on offer found new homes, a nicely restored 1961 MGA 1600 Roadster with a 5-speed gearbox conversion leading the way at £23,520. A lovely 1957 MG Magnette ZB with only 44k miles from new deserved every penny of the £16,240 required to secure it. A 1954 MG TF which had been restored to concours standard in the mid-1980s and carefully used since made £15,300 while a tidy chrome-bumper-converted 1976 MGB GT V8 fetched £13,720.
Land Rovers also had a good day, all seven examples on offer being sold, top price going to a 2009 Defender 90 showing only 28k miles which made £24,800. A pair of ex-MOD Defenders also did well, a 1992 110” WMIK fetching £22,400 while a 1998 110” Wolf TUM made £14,430. A nicely restored 1988 90” turbo-diesel raised £14,170 and a tidy 1981 Series 3 petrol with a new galvanized chassis made a healthy £12,660.
Leading the way among the more modern classics was a lovely 2003 Bentley Arnage T with just two owners and 31k miles from new which looked great value at £24,080 especially when you consider that it would have cost over £160k new. Not far behind was an exceptionally clean and tidy 1998 Toyota Land Cruiser Amazon GX 4.2 turbo-diesel which hid its 60k miles remarkably well, hence the £22,400 result. Also noteworthy was a 1994 Renault Clio Williams 16v with just 31k miles under its gold alloys wheels which fetched £20,450, this era of car being perfectly in tune with current market trends.
The next Brightwells classic car auction will be on 25th October and the deadline for entries is 13th October. It will have a special Land Rover section which already includes some extremely rare and interesting ex-MOD vehicles. If you have a classic that you are considering selling, please do get in touch by calling 01568 611122 or by emailing [email protected]