Private and trade buyers flocked in notable numbers to bid on the fine array of 86 cars and 95 collectors’ motorcycles assembled by H&H Classics at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford yesterday (April 19). By the time they and their counterparts on the telephone and internet had finished competing for the eclectic lots on offer, new homes had been found for no less than £2.4 million worth of classic vehicles.
Not for the first time in recent H&H sales, the best performing motorcar was an Aston Martin DB6; this time a 1970 MK2 Vantage that had never been restored and had covered just 38,800 miles from new. Keenly fought over, it finally sold for £210,000 (NB H&H currently holds the record for such a model at auction – £242,000). The delightful 1935 Singer Nine Le Mans ‘Savoye Special’ that had competed at La Sarthe no less than four times and won its class there in 1938, changed hands for £128,800.
Only slightly less – £123,200 – was paid for another low mileage Aston Martin, this time a V8 Vantage Volante X Pack model that had been upgraded to 6.3-litre specification and driven no more than 32,000 since leaving the Newport Pagnell factory in 1988. A superbly presented, Claret-coloured 1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Long Wheelbase Limousine by James Young, that had appeared at the Earls Court Motor Show of the same year and had one owner from new, fetched £64,166, while an eminently usable 1932 Lagonda 2 Litre Continental made £62,720.
The non-British sales of particular note included a 1972/1981 BMW ‘Batmobile’ evocation that had been winning races for over 30 years and made £134,400. One of the 200 mid-engined, fourwheel drive 205 T16 specials with which Peugeot homologated its all-conquering Group B rally car of the 1980s and had covered only 8,045 kilometres from new returned £112,000. Among the surprises of the day were two No Reserve lots. The Caterham Super Seven simply roared up to £15,344 (more than it had cost new in 2003!), while the undoubted bargain of the sale, the perfectly presentable Porsche 924S, was knocked down for a seemingly impossible £1,904; £1,736 less than was paid for a 1947 Morris Eight Series E. The collectors’ car market never fails to surprise!
Motorcycles and automobilia
Three collections accounted for the majority of the 95 motorcycles on offer, the best return from which was provided by a 1939 Brough Superior SS80 that was pretty much on the money at £42,500. The pleasingly unmolested 1951 Vincent Rapide Series C fetched £28,476, while the 1913 AJS Model D that had been the veteran of 15 Pioneer runs was purchased for £21,280. The biggest surprise of these lots was provided by a 1956 Douglas Dragonfly that trebled its estimate to return £13,440. The best performers among the automobilia section were a restored electric petrol pump from the 1940s/1950s and a large ‘winged B’ Bentley bonnet Mascot by Lejeune, both of which fetched £2,070.