Whilst the gentlemanly etiquette of the classic community would ensure there was no repetition of Mad Friday shopping mayhem on the streets the day earlier, Historics at Brooklands pre-Christmas auction on Saturday, November 29th drew a full capacity, capped attendance of 500+ bidders and enthusiasts, who joined in a vibrant, £2.28 million sale from 111 classic motor cars in the contrasting contemporary space of Mercedes-Benz World.
Brisk bidding returned a 73% sale ratio, with 81 cars dispatched to new owners as dusk fell on the sun-drenched venue.
Despite capping consignments at its customary Autumn venue, the Historics' team assembled an eclectic mix of fine classic cars across a wide range of 86 marques, spanning nine decades, with estimated values to suit all pockets.
The enthusiastic timbre of the day was set with the hammer concluding
energised bidding on an immaculate Triumph Herald Convertible, resplendent in white coachwork and with a complete body-off restoration behind it. The multiple concours-winning car soared 75% above its mid-estimate to close at an all-in price of £14,000.
The momentum continued with a rally-spec'd 1965 1340cc Mini Cooper in classic green/white livery, with the 'full-monte' period Cibié rally lighting dominating out front, changing hands for a high-end price just shy of £20,000.
Minutes later, the sporting sister of the ubiquitous Ford Cortina - a superbly-presented 1965 Mk1 GT two-door - rewarded its vendor, who had signed off a complete engine restoration just the day before, with a hammer price of £17,750.
As sale momentum increased, a superbly original and immaculate 1968 Triumph TR5 soared to a hammer price of £29,500 before the action hall echoed to a hail of bids for a fascinating 1974 Ferrari 365 2+2 Coupe, re-bodied as an exact copy of an ultra-rare, righthand drive Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona Spider.
With the astral prices now achieved for the original car, a full auction hall and on-line and absent bidding, it was little surprise to witness a successive flurry of bids raise the price well behind its top estimate of £48,000, finally settling at an all-in price of £88,000 for the car, before it was readied by the new vendor for shipment to the Middle East.
An aura of appropriate tranquility announced the sale of a supremely-elegant 1962 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur by H.J. Mulliner, which cruised serenely to £80,640, whilst the next lot, a righthand drive 1967 Mercedes-Benz 300SE convertible - impeccably cared for by its fastidious owner - maintained its classic composure all the way to a very robust £76,160.
Composure was again on the menu when a fine 1972 Rolls-Royce Corniche came for sale. Generously donated to the auction by its vendor to raise funds for the Hospice in the Weald, with all revenue including Historics' commissions benefitting the charity, the sale was heavily applauded when it settled after vigorous bidding, on £28,000.
As befits an Historics' auction at Mercedes-Benz World, classic German motoring was well represented, with no less than 17 consignments of the marque dating from 1967 to 2007. The majority found new homes and of these, pride in the performance stakes was unquestionably taken by a 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. With 617bhp underfoot, and astonishing performance credentials, the 15,000 mile car moved with appropriate gusto under the hammer, settling at £159,000.
It was rivalled on the performance stakes, and beat it hands down as eye candy, by the newest consignment on offer, a bright orange 2007 Porsche 911/997 GT3 RS. The subject of a Category C insurance claim and then impeccable restored, the car's electrifying appeal found firm favour in the hall, settling above estimate at £79,500.
Elsewhere in the hall, a similar orange hue radiated from a fine 40-year old De Tomaso Pantera GTS. The super-low, stylish creation of Tom Tjaarda - standing just 80mm taller than then legendary GT40 - was in finest fettle after restoration, its 5.8 litre V8 primed to stun the senses, and landed safely in the hands of its new owner at £57,120.
Whilst Historics has long since been a good hunting ground for Jaguar E-Type enthusiasts, this sale produced a duo that took desirability to a new level. A 1975 Series III V-12 roadster not only stood out for its elegant blue coachwork and contrasting tan leather interior but also for the fact that it had yet to reach its 10,000 miles service in its 39 years since leaving the factory. Unsurprisingly, bidding was vigorous, closing at £72,000.
Some afficianados however, kept their wallets intact awaited the arrival on the block of a 1970 E-Type Series II roadster. On paper this bright red, righthand drive example was stunning. In the flesh, it proved simply exceptional in every respect, outside, inside and even beneath, the underside having been polished to the same impeccable standards as elsewhere. The care lavished by its owner on this Series II - most surely one of the finest worldwide - was rewarded with a sale price of £128,800 including commissions.
If the Jaguar E-Type stirred the senses, so too did a hand-built tribute to one of the USA's most famous sporting Fords, albeit in an entirely different way. The sheer muscle and driving promise of the 1968 Ford Mustang GT500 'Eleanor' recreation was clear to see, the car based on a genuine 1968 390GT Mustang Fastback. On close inspection, the superb engineering nous and attention to detail by its coachbuilder-trained creator demonstrated showed why this was a very special car indeed. Bidders felt likewise, helping to lift the car to a raucous £75,000 sale.
Later in the sale, further American car consignments included an excellent example of the post-war US motoring boom in the imposing shape of a 1948 Plymouth Special Deluxe Convertible (£32,480) and a very original example of the USA's favourite pony car, a 1967 Ford Mustang Convertible (£24,640).
For full results from the sale on November 29th and for further information, visit www.historics.co.uk.
Historics' next auction, at Brooklands Museum, is on Saturday, March 7th, 2015 for which consignments are invited. Meantime, Historics' welcomes all enthusiasts to their stand at the London Classic Car Show at ExCeL in London's Docklands, from January 8-11th, 2015.