Auc­tion View

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - by Richard Hud­son-Evans

The ‘live at­ten­dance’ of 115,000 at Auto e Moto d’Epoca in Padova was im­pres­sive, the sub­ject­fo­cused turnout ex­ceed­ing those of some F1 and Moto GP races at what has be­come Italy’s al­ter­na­tive to Essen, Rétro­mo­bile and the up­com­ing Clas­sic Mo­tor Show at the Birn­ing­ham NEC.

Bon­hams’ in­au­gu­ral sale at this Padua event were not hid­den away in an auc­tion hall, ei­ther; vis­i­tors could see and hear the auc­tion process (quite pos­si­bly for the first time) as they strolled be­tween halls, only need­ing a cat­a­logue to gain ac­cess to cars and bid­ding within the sale area.

The cat­a­logue cover fea­tured a cos­met­i­cally sharp 1960 Maserati 3500GT with Spy­der body­work by Vig­nale, sold to a bid­der for €638,250 (£563,700) dur­ing a €3.3m (£2.9m) af­ter­noon. A Nor­we­gian reg­is­tered and Dan­ish res­i­dent Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Road­ster orig­i­nally US-sup­plied in 1957 and in un­ex­cep­tional cos­metic or­der was knocked down for €897,000 (£795,038) with charges to an in­ter­net bid­der.

Bid­ding on­line rather than just view­ing cars be­ing auc­tioned in ad­vance or fol­low­ing sales ‘live’ is cer­tainly in­creas­ing. H&H, which has just launched its own on­line plat­form, say that 15-18 per cent of the cars and mo­tor­cy­cles it auc­tions are now be­ing sold on­line. Pre­vi­ously, on-line pur­chases have at­tracted an ad­di­tional sur­charge of 1-3 per cent, de­pend­ing upon the third party plat­form han­dling the bid.

But now, those who regis­ter with and use the auc­tion firm’s own plat­form, pow­ered by Bid­path in­line ser­vices, will have no in­ter­net charges for bid­ding on lots di­rectly via its web­site, just as would be the case for those who have made the jour­ney to phys­i­cally bid in the hall.

You can only per­son­ally check out the metal and all-im­por­tant (and hope­fully hard copy) pa­per­work first-hand if you are there in per­son though – call me old fash­ioned, but I can­not imag­ine any­body com­pet­ing by mouse for the Paul New­man Rolex Cos­mo­graph Day­tona watch that has just been ham­mered by Phillips in New York for a cool $17.8m (£13.5m)!

‘Vis­i­tors could see and hear the auc­tion as they strolled be­tween Padova’s halls’

In-depth anal­y­sis from our man on the global clas­sic auc­tion floor

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