Statistics tell the story of a fine year-end finale to Historics at Brooklands auction year at Mercedes-Benz World on Saturday 28th November. Gross revenue surged strongly from the previous sale in August to a shade under £2.5 million and, with bustling preview days and record sale attendance, also eclipsed Historics robust results at the same venue a year ago.
As ever, Historics stuck to their well-accepted mantra of something for all, from affordable classics for the first-timer all the way through to fine offerings for the experienced collector. Although space restrictions limited restoration projects that grace all Historics auctions, a 1917 American La France project requiring somewhat more than TLC was snapped up for £19,000 as proceeding began, and set the tone for the rest of the day.
Affordable Italian sports cars proved strong, with a charming 1968 Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider soaring 70% over estimate to settle at £18,000 on the hammer. A spectacular evocation of a 1972 Alfa Romeo 2000 GTAm at No Reserve proved it was a great deal more than eye candy and settled on a robust £32,500 whilst a 1300GT Junior from the same stable impressed as it nudged past its top estimate to settle at £15,750.
But its wasn't just affordable classics that proved popular here at Historics…There would be no dispute about the Alfa Romeo that took pride of place amongst consignments from this marque, as an exquisite Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Turismo by James Young - first registered in 1929 to an Inverness trawler owner and now arguably the finest of the few examples remaining - gracefully found a new owner at a hammer price of £150,000.
The Ferrari marque was well represented, with a brace of magnificent 1987 and 1990 Testarossas changing hands for £75,000 and £58,500 respectively; a 1986 328 GTS at £48,500, and a 1983 308 GTS Quattrovalvole at £64,000, whilst brisk bidding showed there no qualms about a 1998 Category D Ferrari 550 Maranello which settled at a shade under £65,000.
A pristine 1968 Triumph TR5 magnificently upheld the honour of British sportscars with an over top estimate sale at £32,000, joined by a TR6 seven years its junior at £26,500 and the last Jensen S-V8 to be manufactured, in 2007, which also soared higher than estimated to £25,000.
A charming Sunbeam Alpine of 1961 caught the eye and settled at a very affordable £7,100, as did a Series 4 Lotus 7 ten years its senior at £11,000, and a Lotus Elan S2 at £24,500. Higher up the British sports car hierarchy were a number of Jaguar E-Types. A1972 SIII FHC burst through its estimate to finish 40% higher, at £22,500, a 1963 Series I example soared over estimate to £76,000, with a Series I Roadster powering to £55,000. Offered at No Reserve, a 1984 XJS-C sporting a unique Burberry interior was snapped up for just £4,000 and in contrast a supremely elegant 1959 XK150 DHC to S-specification changed hands at an impressive £85,000.
There was much interest in the 'Wood & Pickett' Mini Collection, offered for sale by the present owner of the coach-building company. A 1969 Mini Traveller charmed its way to £6,700, a 1963 Mini van in W&P livery settling at £10,000, the same price as a unique 1981 Mini 85L pick-up, while a 1971 Cooper S, the prototype for the Japanese market, scythed its way to £16,000 with an ex-Nick Mason 1990 Cooper 'S' model in its wake at £10,000.
Proving that Europe can never steal all the auction limelight at Historics, their offering of a magnificently presented 1931 Ford Phaeton De Luxe doubled its estimate at £30,000, whilst a raucous 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am 400 perfectly reflected Historics' broad consignment vision as it rumbled to an over-estimate £14,500.
Finally, the Mercedes-Benz marque is traditionally well-represented at Historics auctions, and the many and varied examples on offer here again proved popular. Highlights included a pair of 280SE Coupes, of 1970 and 1971 vintage. Both performed strongly, at a hammer of £67,000 and £42,000 respectively, as did a 1960 M-B 220SE Ponton that cruised serenely to £75,000. In contrast, a stunning and shatteringly fast modern classic, a 525bhp 2006 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG, with an additional factory option F1 performance package, delivered exceptional value and performance for the money at just £27,000.
Consignments now invited for the next major Historics sale at Brooklands Museum on Saturday, March 12, 2016. Tel: 01753 639170 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full results from the November 28th auction and all previous Historics' sales are available to view at www.historics.co.uk.