Proof that the traditional auction’s in a good place
A 1963 Jaguar E-type Series I 3.8-litre fixed-head coupé for restoration attracted competitive bidding in a packed Anglia Car Auctions hall at King’s Lynn on 9 April. The winning contestant for that car was prepared to take on the still fashionable project for £72,450, but it’s how ACA goes about its business that fascinates me.
It is one of the few vehicle auction firms that still conducts its sales off-line, which means you have to make the journey to check out the metal and documents and bid live or by telephone. Record numbers attended on the pre-sale Friday afternoon viewing and another very large crowd lined the drive-through for a marathon sale day, despite a rain-dampened start to what was Grand National day. One party had even flown in by state of the art helicopter with a carbon-fibre finish, while judging from the registration plates on cars lining every available kerb, some Eurozone mainlanders had travelled a very long way to play in Norfolk.
Three quarters of the classics for sale, some of them increasingly near-contemporary, were hammered away to new keepers, led by a wing of Mercedes-Benz SLs. A stunningly mint 1969 280SL Pagoda-top auto in right-hand drive that clearly had been maintained and detailed regardless of cost by John Haynes fetched £102,900 and a 1960 190SL manual left-hooker that had only clocked