Historics buck the trend at Brooklands

There’s no doubt the classic car market is somewhat depressed at the present time, but that was not apparent at Historics’ autumn sale which they held at Brooklands Museum, near Weybridge, on September 22. With a record number of visitors on the preceding two viewing days and some 900 potential buyers through the gate on the Saturday for the sale itself, plus telephone bidders, it was a popular event and bidding was brisk. Furthermore, around 70% of the 160-plus vehicles on offer sold on the day, or found new owners in post-auction deals. Words and pictures: Richard Heseltine.

While the majority of cars consigned to Historics are European classics and supercars, there is usually a sprinkling of American vehicles to bid on and September’s sale was no different, with a selection of Cadillacs, Chevrolets and Fords on offer. Of these, a particularly rare (an estimated three in the UK) 2006 Cadillac XLR Roadster, registered new in the UK, thereby meeting strict European regulations, failed to reach its lower estimate of £20,000. The same nearly happened with a beautiful metallic blue 1959 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe in excellent condition. It did not meet its reserve on the day, but I understand sold early the following week in a post-auction deal.

Of the four Chevrolets on offer, three were Corvettes. A fabulous 1958 C1 in silver blue with white coves, a small-block V8, matching hardtop and disc brake conversion, sold mid-estimate at £71,200. An as-yet-unregistered 1966 light blue Corvette Stingray convertible also found a new home, nearly achieving its top estimate with a final price of £37,520. Not so fortunate was the 1963 Stingray convertible, recently imported from Florida and estimated at between £38K and £44K, which remained unsold, despite its deep blue paint and excellent condition. Perhaps unsurprisingly, an attractive 1927 Chevrolet Capitol Tourer Convertible, in white with a tan top, but re-motored with a 1600cc Ford Pinto (Cortina) engine, also went back home, despite a reasonable-sounding estimate of £9K to £12K. Too specialist perhaps, but an ideal wedding car! Fords made up the remaining Americans on offer. An outwardly clean and allegedly one-family- owned 19641/2 Ford Mustang notchback presented well in Wimbledon White with a black interior. As prices for Mustangs continue to rise, the estimate of £18,000 to £24,000 nevertheless proved optimistic, as bids only reached £16,000. Likewise a recently imported ‘survivor’ 1956 Thunderbird, complete with ‘porthole’ hardtop, could only achieve £18,500 on the day, though estimated at between £20K and £25K. Perhaps the original paintwork, much of it cracked and peeling, deterred more aggressive bidding, but it appeared otherwise solid and original, needing only a respray.

A well-known, award-winning, 1966 ‘A’ Code GT Fastback Mustang, in gleaming black with red striping, did find a new owner, and deservedly so, as it was near immaculate. Nevertheless the winning bid of £36,000 was short of its lower estimate of £42,000, so someone grabbed a bargain!

The surprise sale was an admittedly spotless 1961 Falcon four-door sedan. This early example had allegedly been restored from the ground up, regardless of cost, for an estimated £100,000! With an immaculate interior, gleaming six-cylinder engine and non-original, three-speed floor-mounted shifter, it sold for £18,750, despite being short of its £20,000 lower estimate. A decent price for an otherwise somewhat mundane and often overlooked classic.

1958 Corvette C1

1958 Chevrolet Corvette C1

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