Market watch Russ reckons you should buy a mint MKI MX-5 now – if you can find one – and sheds light on a forthcoming auction comprising plucky, pint-sized Italian rarities
Russ Smith notes a couple of rag-tops on the rise: the early MX-5 and Triumph Herald convertible
After a so-so start to 2017 in Scottsdale – average sales rates and largely unexceptional prices – the auction season really kicked off in the UK. Lots of enthusiasts turned up at South West and Anglia to forget Brexit, Trump and general doom and gloom. Instead, they had their buying trousers on. SWVA failed to sell just one of the 71 classics on offer in Poole, then the next day up at King’s Lynn ACA fielded a well-varied 234 cars and sold a very healthy 82.4%. That figure was no doubt helped by offering 40 cars with no reserve, but most made good prices and more significantly two-thirds of the cars sold went for above or within their pre-sale estimates.
A couple of those are covered in detail below, but the overwhelming trend is a continuation of what we saw last year: the strong sellers are cars with a good story. Whatever make or model, buyers will pay over the odds for anything with low mileage, a quality restoration or super history. Put all three of these together and you can really hit the jackpot, like the 1965 Singer Vogue estate that made £14,700.
Triumph Herald convertible
Keep an eye on these. The Herald’s sharp edges and little fins are looking cooler by the day, and they are almost as well served with parts and specialists as the Morris Minor. Pick of the bunch is the 1967-on
Herald 13/60, whose 61bhp will show a clean pair of over-riders to any cuddly Morris. It comes with disc front brakes and is all the better for longer journeys. This year we’ve already seen one – an older restoration in nice condition – make nearly £7000. If you’re looking to buy one it may be time to get your skates on; they’re not getting cheaper.
Mazda MX-5 MKI
Not convinced? With rust now taking its toll on Mkis and low prices meaning people are buying them to run into the ground, it has suddenly become pretty hard to find top-quality early MX-5S (the purest pre-1994 cars). Think back to when MGBS were scorned and sold for pocket money. Well, there are already premium prices being paid for low-mile first-year MX-5S (with a G- or H-plate) and that’s only going to spread.
These cars will become the MX-5 equivalent of ‘pull-handle’ MGBS. If you own one, it just became an investment. If you’re in the market for one, keep an eye on non-specialist sources as they do still emerge from uninformed sellers. But don’t hang about – you won’t be the only person looking for them.
Mint MKI MX-5S are hard to find so prices are on the up