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
‘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.