Bentley Continental tops the Sale
Bentley Continental tops the bill, with over 62% of the 115 Modern Classics entered finding new homes.
Post Brexit worries, combined with a softer pound and new global fears over a Trump victory, appeared to have slightly dampened buying habits in all markets, including the classic car. However, buyers turned out in force on both viewing and sale days, proving that people still have money burning a hole in their pockets.
Top price of the day went to Lot 92, a splendid Mulliner driving spec Bentley Continental GT. Packing a twin turbo 550bhp motor it’s no surprise the new owner fell for its muscular charms at £28,000 plus buyer’s premium. Lot 25, the Arnage Green Label looked extremely tempting at £16,000, huge value considering they were approximately £160,000 when new!
One of the surprises of the day, was the non-sale of the widely advertised 993 C4, despite bids reaching just shy of the reserve (unfortunately increased by £5,000 on sale day) the car did not sell, perhaps indicating that the perceived recent hunger and hyper-inflation of prices for late air-cooled 911s is in fact “cooling down”?
There were several Modern Classics which caused our phones to ring off the hook, one of which was Lot 10, the rather special Alfa Romeo GTV6, from long 26-year ownership and showing only 58,000 miles. It was no surprise that the car did rather well, and pitched at No Reserve, everyone is in with a sporting chance! Making almost £7,000 including charges, the vendor was as pleased as punch, particularly after entering the car into one of our inaugural sales of 2005 and it not making reserve (£3500!), a clear example of Modern Classics investment growth.
Top seller amongst the German contingent of entries (Yes, yes, we know Bentley is owned by VW!) was the attractive, low mileage water-cooled generation of 911, Lot 14 the 996 Carrera 4 which achieved an excellent £20,160 including premium. Its earlier sibling, Lot 63, the 3.4litre 996 Carrera 4, fitted with the desirable GT3 aero-kit, also made a decent £12,880 including premium.
The other German entry of significant merit was Lot 27, the BMW E30 325i Sport Alpina, which also caused your cataloguer’s phone to go into over drive from a hive of activity. Specified from new with over £4,300 worth of authentic Alpina mechanical and cosmetic upgrades, with all supporting documentation, this super little car came from long term 20-year ownership and appeared in excellent order throughout. Being a highly desirable manual transmission car, after quite a battle the car finally fetched £15,000 plus premium.
Continuing on the German theme, a rather appealing and restored low mileage Audi Quattro WR coupe needed £17,920 in total to secure it. The selection of Mercedes SL’s drew buyers from afar, with models of each generation finding new homes, including Lot 37, the white 300SL (R107) at £18,480, several R129’s and both silver 500SLs with their folding metal roofs. The other E30 in the sale, Lot 62, a charming 2 owner 325i touring with manual transmission proved an attractive prospect and made £5,040 including premium, proving that the markets hunger for good manual 6-pot E30s continues to thrive.
Two seaters also proved popular as ever with both SLK’s, one of the Z4 BMW’s and a Boxster on offer all finding new homes.
Local kit car company Raw from Herefordshire created quite a stir as a brace of un-registered Raw Strykers (Lots 3 & 7) drove through the auction hall, their Ford engines throbbing through the attractive exposed exhaust manifolds. Built for a Nigerian Zombie movie, these two cars were offered in right and left hand drive form, finished in matt black with unique headlights and options specified for the film, these cars were offered at No Reserve and fetched £4,600 and £3,200 under the hammer respectively.
Of the fast Fords entered, the pumped up Racing Puma, Lot 99, attracted considerable interest and achieved £6,400 plus premium, certainly one to watch. The rather unusual Q-plate Sierra Cosworth, Lot 74, made a reasonable £7,168 in total and representing the more modern fast Ford, Lot 101 a black Focus ST offered great value performance at £3,920.
The not-so-discreet turbo-charged all-wheel drive Saffron Gold Volvo V70 R made a heady £5,488 and the rare and ferociously fast Litchfield Type 25 Subaru Impreza achieved £12,320. Demonstrating once again, that good, low mileage examples of cult cars can make really good money at market specific auctions.
We were very pleased with the results of the sale and it’s encouraging to see that the market is back on track again after the Brexit blip and this new sector continues to grow.
It’s not long since our inaugural Modern Classics Sale and we are still learning and developing the strategy, but as both vendor and buyer demand grows and the auction matures in response to this, it’s clear that this is an exciting new sector to be in.
While all the signs are that the top end of the market has plateaued, the enthusiast driver wanting to work through their list of “must-haves” is still going great guns and there is clearly no shortage of buyers for good quality gear at the right price.
"With interest rates at an all-time low, there is no incentive to leave savings gathering dust in the bank fuelling someone else’s bonus and pocket, and as such, Modern classics remain one of the most attractive and enjoyable alternatives out there.” said Brightwells consultant Will Daniels.
To view the results of the December sale in full please click HERE or phone 01568 611122.
Brightwells’ next sale is on the 20th April 2017 and entries are now being invited with free valuations available by emailing email@example.com. The closing date will be early April 2017 so please do not leave it until the last minute or your entry may have to be deferred until our June 2017 sale.