This was not, as happened at another car-show auction recently, a Porsche day. In spite of lining up a super selection of 911s, almost in chronological order, Silverstone managed to shift only the road cars; the much-admired SWB 1968 911L, now on Webers, at £34,000 and an average ’84 3.2 Carrera Targa on later wheels at £14,513; but the two Tuthill-prepared rally cars plus a 964 Carrera 2 track day/racer remained unsold.
Confirming that competition cars are hard work at auction the star lot, the Lola T70 MkIIIB failed to sell at £530k, though the 1953 Connaught A-type GP racer ‘AL10’ apparently did for £175k on the phone (£193,500 including premium), well under lower estimate, though a Cooper Bristol passed, needing £140k to buy it. A rebuilt Sierra Cossie Group N rally car once driven by Gwyndaf Evans and Bertie Fisher was £40,050, and just right for the new RAC Rally Championship that caters for 2wd cars made up to the end of 1986.
Of the three competition-prepared Lotus Elans, only the cheapest sold at £19,350 on the phone, leaving the real 26R racer unsold against a desired tag of £120k and the shiny wannabe available for half that but unsold with no real bids. A road-spec Escort Mexico with ‘all the bits’ was £26,888, while a real RS1600, completely correct and restrained apart from its works forest arches, could not attract more than £27,000, though a Ford Falcon that company boss Nick Whale had raced sold for much less that its build cost at £63,700.
A 1972 Morgan 4/4 Sports looked a great deal at £23,625 even though its original BDA had been replaced by an almost period-correct Fiat twin-cam. A one-family-owned 1967 Aston Martin DB6 sold for £119,800, perfectly usable but reflecting the amount of work likely lurking under the shiny skin, and a restored and upgraded 1960 Jaguar Mk2 3.8, built from an unused shell and now with modern auto and air conditioning, was battled up to a £62,500 winning bid in the room (£69,750 all in) by auctioneer Jonathan Humbert after an insufficient £40k opener.
That was less than half it cost three years ago. Also looking a great buy at £16,650 was a Mk2 Mini Cooper S expensively restored and built into a rally car, much less than it must have cost to create - though it might have been worth more in its original guise as a police car judging by Silverstone’s recent form on these. A BMW E9 coupe restored as a CSL lookalike and fitted with an E34 3.8-litre M5 engine looked attractive as it couldn’t be replicated for the £21,375 that secured it by telephone, and by contrast a standard example did not sell for £15,200. A rare Lancia Appia Zagato looked the right money at £62,000, a 1968 Fiat 500 was £7313 on the internet and a Frogeye Sprite £9450.
A real Routemaster sold for £20,250 to a phone bidder and though the Only Fools and Horses Capri went unsold last month, an ‘All-white’ Mk1 VW Golf cabrio bought by principal actor David Jason for his partner bid up to a strong £10,125. At its last sale Silverstone sold a more-than-concours S1 Land Rover for £25k and here managed to top that for a less shiny 1952 80in at an astonishing £32,850, even though it was fitted with a later engine.
So, plenty of sales in the mid range but no interest in the top competition cars – slightly ironic at this auction held at a racing car show – leading to a 55% sale rate.