Business is brisk as 80% of entries sell at Brightwells
Another huge crowd attended the Brightwells classic car and bike auction in Leominster on Wednesday 24th March in what proved to be the biggest sale in the UK so far this year. Of the 105 vehicles entered, no fewer than 83 changed hands on the day to give an impressive clearance rate of 80% in a sale which grossed £982,260.
Top seller was a magnificent 1937 Bentley 4.25-Litre Tourer, converted from a saloon to a Vanden Plas-style tourer in the late 1980s, which soared over £30,000 above its low estimate to finish on £116,200 inclusive of the 10%+VAT buyer’s premium. A largely original 1936 Lagonda LG45 Pillarless Saloon with a very well-preserved interior made a healthy £55,800 and a rare 1950 Jaguar XK150 3.8 SE Drophead Coupe that had been restored in the early 1990s and not used since fetched £42,400.
Most startling result of the day was the 1973 BMW 3.0 CSL Lightweight Coupe, one of only 500 made in right-hand drive, which had been off the road for 16 years and was in need of some restoration. With a pre-sale estimate of £8,500 - £10,000 it drew a round of applause from the room when it finally finished on a staggering £23,600. “This would appear to set a new benchmark for the model,” said Brightwells’ classic car expert, James Dennison. “The price paid is about what we would have expected for a fully restored example but clearly the market now values these rare and handsome coupes considerably higher than we previously thought. Although our car did need a fair bit of work, it was very original with a nice interior, a low mileage and good supporting history and will definitely make a fine example once restored.”
Another strong performer was a rare right-hand drive 1938 Mercedes-Benz 230 Saloon, restored some years ago and with a rather worn original interior, which finally fell to an Irish buyer for an above -estimate £26,200 after a prolonged telephone bidding contest with a rival bidder in Hong Kong. A fully restored 1969 Jaguar E-Type Series 2 Roadster also did well to raise £40,200 despite having been converted from left to right-hand drive, proving that these iconic sportscars continue to rise steadily in value. The same cannot be said of the E-Type’s successor, the XJS, which is still struggling to find its place in the market. A pair of quite tidy convertible V12 examples from the late 1980s fetched just £4,100 and £3,500 apiece – a lot of car for the money.
Other results of interest included a very pretty 1949 Lea-Francis 14hp Sports which made a well above estimate £16,700, a 1984 Ferrari 308 GTSi QV with just 31,000 miles on the clock which went to a New Zealand buyer for £24,500 and a well-restored 1959 MGA 1600 Roadster which made a strong £20,300 despite being an uncatalogued late entry.
“This was our 15th sale since we entered the classic car market back in 2005 and yet again we were delighted with the results,” said Brightwells’ James Dennison. “It is clear that the market is still rising for cars in fine condition, although anything needing work tends to struggle somewhat unless it has rarity or provenance on its side. European buyers were also slightly less in evidence at this sale than they have been in the past, so maybe the recent trend that has seen many good cars going abroad is beginning to slow down somewhat.”
To view the results in full, please visit www.brightwells.com and click on ‘Classic Vehicles’ or phone 01568 611122. Brightwells’ next sale is on 23rd June and entries are now being accepted.
Note to editors: All the prices given above include the 10% +VAT buyer’s premium. For hi-res images of any of the vehicles, or for more information, please phone James Dennison on 01568 611122 or email firstname.lastname@example.org