Fewer reserve prices are being met
Sale rates in public auction are the most accurate barometer of the true state of the classic car market and the current trend seems to be that fewer cars are selling – and, where they do sell, most are achieving prices below their pre-sale estimates.
For the same weekend as the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where Bonhams sold 70 per cent of the 86 cars in its Friday sale, and 26 of them did not sell, there were buyers for only 52 per cent of Artcurial’s 122 cars on the Sunday in Monaco, and 59 were unsold.
Whereas the following weekend at Brooklands, 101 of the 128 classics consigned by Historics changed hands in Surrey during a 79 per cent-sold Saturday session, although 27 of the reserves set by vendors were too rich for the registered bidders, more than 200 of whom were competing for cars online. By the Wednesday afternoon at Leominster, however, 75 of the 123 cars in the Brightwells sale sold, and on Saturday afternoon at Blenheim, attendance in the Coys tent and sales appeared to be well down on past pitches there.
There were buyers for only 38 per cent of the 55 cars offered at Charterhouse’s Classics at Sherborne Castle event. At Sandown Park the following Tuesday, Barons’ sale rate was 48 per cent, with the premiuminclusive prices paid for 15 of them exceeding their pre-sale estimates. A restored 1970 Jaguar E-type S2 4.2 FHC sold for £6700 more than its £51,700 top estimate, and a mint and upgraded 1964 Jensen CV8 made £48,950, £950 above estimate.
These lower sale rates may just be a blip, although the glut of unsold cars may be a timely reality check for auction car reserves, so many of which are no longer achievable.
‘The glut of unsold cars may be a timely reality check for auction car reserves’
Jag made £6.7k more than top estimate.