Chris Adamson reports for ‘Wheels-Alive’ (and didn’t come home with another classic…).
MGs dominated at the recent South Western Vehicle Auctions quarterly classic car and motorcycle sale in Poole Dorset, with no les than 12 of the 75 lots carrying the Octagon badge.
Pride of place went to an immaculate black 1948 MG TC which had spent most of its life in South Africa, until March 1989 when it was purchased by a ‘long term owner’ who in 1995 had the car extensively restored in Milan.
Hardly used since then, prior to some recent re-commissioning that included four new tyres and wire wheels, hence just 6,169 miles showing. It attracted a hammer price of £25,650 (including fees) against a reserve of £21,500.
This made it the top sale item on the day when other fancied entries, notable a fully restored 1971 VW Campervan, failed to reach its £29,000 reserve (but later sold for £26,833) and a rather fine 1937 Rolls-Royce 25/30 Windovers Limousine sold for £23,760 against a catalogue guide of £23,000 before fees.
Among the other MGs was a slightly tired ex-USA 1979 Primrose yellow 1979 MGC GT complete with black leather interior, wire wheels, and manual overdrive gearbox that topped its £10,500 estimate to sell for £11,988.
Among a strong collection of MGBs the top selections were an extensively restored, Irish registered, 1973 Brooklands Green Roadster (including all new Heritage panels) that went to a new owner for £9,882 (which was more than £2,000 above its guide price) and a nicely presented 1975 Roadster in popular red and benefiting from extensive restoration, which found a new home for £10,044.
Another favourite British brand, Morgan, also starred in the auction when an uprated 1982 Plus 8 in a lurid purple colour scheme went for just shy of £24,000. However an older 1979 Morgan 4/4 failed to sell with the top bid of £16,000 short of the £18,000 reserve.
Elsewhere, one of the best presented lots was a top-of-the-range 1974 Land Rover 88 in the seven-seat Station Wagon configuration with deluxe seats/headlining/door cards, four individually folding rear seats and a ‘tropical’ ventilated roof.
It hadn’t travelled far, having been first registered in Dorset, and flew past its pre-sale estimate of £7,500 when two rival bidders (one in the hall and one on the internet) pushed the final price to £12,582.
Hopes had been high that an art deco inspired 1947 Armstrong Siddley Lancaster would do well but the hammer went down in the hall at £9,650 – well shy of the £12,000 reserve, but it was later sold by the auctioneers for £12,960.
Another pre-war favourite was a 1939 Standard 8 D/L which until recently had been stored for 20 years and was being offered with a spare engine. It went to a telephone bidder for a very reasonable £3,834.
The trans-Atlantic attraction of the sale was a 1967 Ford Mustang that came with bills for over £30,000 worth of restoration and a 300 photo record of the work. It was a surprise when it sold for just £14, 458, the new owner obviously getting a bargain.
There was plenty of interest in a rare, untouched 1970 Austin 3 Litre that had been laid up for more than 20 years until being put back on the road in 2005. Bidding started at £3,000 and ended at £5,616.
An older Austin, in the shape of a two door (‘Forlite’ in Austin parlance) Big Seven saloon, attracted a bid price of £4,428. If you are wondering why this model was designated ‘Big Seven’, it was given a longer wheelbase than the normal Seven Ruby of the time, and under the bonnet was a 900cc engine (compared with the Ruby’s 747cc) which developed 25 bhp and described as ‘Potted Power’ by the Austin Motor Company. The two door versions are less numerous than their four door counterparts.
For those preferring a Morris, on offer was a four door Eight ‘Series E’ dating from 1947, a very useable compact classic for a family, and which sold for £5,724.
Among the more unusual lots were a restored 1956 Beardmore London Taxi, one of only 700 made, that just squeezed past its estimate to sell for £5,500 and a left-hand drive 1986 Trabant P601 Kombi, powered by a two stroke twin cylinder 594cc engine, that reached £2,376.
Proving that British Leyland’s once-derided production line can still attract enthusiasts, a 1987 Austin Maestro L with less than 40,000 miles on the clock and two lady owners, the second since 1989, fetched £1,150.One that ‘got away’ was a tidy-looking three door Peugeot 205…
Of the 75 lots going under the hammer a total of 66 sold. The next SWVA Classic Auction is on Friday 27th January 2017. For more information please go to the SWVA website at: https://www.swva.co.uk/