The ‘no reserve’ gambles pay off
Of the 63 cars in the Bonhams catalogue at the Spa Classic 29 were offered without reserve. And another 23 out of 161 at Historics’ Ascot Racecourse sale were similarly bravely auctioned, achieving 100% sale rates for their vendors within 73% sold sales in Belgium and Berkshire.
A No Reserve 1958 MercedesBenz 300SL being sold for €980,000 under the hammer, costing the buyer €1,127,000 (£968,183 with premium), was unprecedented in Euroland.
A pro-dusty 1967 Aston Martin DB6 MkI auto, inactive since last taxed in 1982, and a barn-found 1972 BMW 3.0CSL Lightweight project were also hammered away for £145,200 and £52,800 apiece by Historics at Ascot Racecourse without their vendors having the comforts of reserves.
Apart from coming to market on a one-way journey from a deceased estate, the main reason for auctioning anything without a safety net is, of course, to definitely liquidate an asset that may have become a liability. The price achieved for a ‘n/r’ car may or may not be higher than if it had been offered a reserve can also be gamble. For if unsold, an entry fee and return transporter charges will still be incurred, with VAT on everything.
Consumers can only hope however that ‘no reserve’ really does mean that, and punters who wave their bidding paddles only compete with other registered bidders, rather than with vendors or fictitious offers taken from the proverbial chandelier.
Guaranteed income from selling n/r lots will offset some of the auction house costs and be beneficial to overall stats. And 49 such cars auctioned in one weekend might be a cash-inwhile-you-can signpost for more bearish trading conditions on both sides of the EU Channel.
‘This might be a cash-in-whileyou-can signpost for more bearish classic trading’
Unprecedented: no-reserve 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL made €1.12m.