WORK­HORSE WON­DERS

It’s one sec­tor of the mar­ket that’s con­sis­tently strong – clas­sic vans and pick-ups are be­com­ing an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant part of the auc­tion scene

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

‘Sur­vivors are very scarce, and that means firm val­ues’

While val­ues of clas­sics can fluc­tu­ate, the one cer­tainty is the strong value of car-de­rived com­mer­cials. From pre-war Austin Seven vans to Sierra-based Ford P100s, there’s an ap­par­ent soft spot for small vans and pick-ups.

The com­bi­na­tion of us­abil­ity and driv­abil­ity – along with value re­ten­tion – means any car-based com­mer­cials hit­ting the clas­sic auc­tions will gen­er­ate plenty of busi­ness. The in­vari­able hard liv­ing means that sur­vivors are, in­evitably, very scarce, and that trans­lates into val­ues stay­ing firm.

One of the most out­stand­ing car-based com­mer­cials of­fered last year – and one that set the web alight with dis­cus­sions about its orig­i­nal­ity – was the 1929 Austin 16/6 that had been con­verted to a coal truck af­ter the war. In re­mark­ably orig­i­nal con­di­tion, right down to the hob­nail boot scratches in the floor, it was landed an £8000-10,000 es­ti­mate, yet was ham­mered away for £19,500.

The Mor­ris Mi­nor-based pick-ups and vans - known as the Quar­ter Ton and 6cwt mod­els - are par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar with pun­ters. Be­ing good to drive, sim­ple to main­tain and with great spares sup­port, they’re hard to beat for the en­thu­si­ast on a long-term parts­gath­er­ing mis­sion, but prices of MoT’d, us­able ones aren’t as low as those of scruffy sa­loons.

At the end of last year, DVCA’s 1972 Austin 7cwt van, up­graded with front disc brakes and elec­tronic ig­ni­tion, and in good all-round con­di­tion, was sold for a healthy £10,450.

CCA’s Septem­ber sale did well with another two BMC car-based com­mer­cials; a 1962 Austin Mini pick-up made £8800 and a 1967 Austin A35 van £5830. An Italderived Mor­ris 575 pick-up was sold for £6720 at His­torics’ Au­gust sale, with ACA al­most dou­bling that with a 1972 Mor­ris half-ton pick-up, which was away for £11,200.

One of 2016’s most un­usual of­fer­ings was a 1962 Tri­umph Her­ald

Courier. Pre­sented in good or­der in­side and out, it was al­most a bar­gain at £6615. Mini vans are also pop­u­lar. Mor­ris Les­lie’s Fe­bru­ary sale saw two – one from 1971, the other from 1979 – mak­ing £3780 and £5040 re­spec­tively.

BMC of­fer­ings re­main the most pop­u­lar, but any­one af­ter Ford, Hill­man or Vauxhall mod­els will have to search harder. Anglia and Es­cort vans, as well as Hill­man Huskies (in ‘Se­ries’ Minx and Imp guises) and HA Viva vans are rarer, but like their BMC ri­vals, just as full of char­ac­ter.

THE BIG STORY

This 1962 Tri­umph Courier, sold by Anglia at its fi­nal 2016 auc­tion, was a good buy at £6615.

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