A strong sale for the classic car market’s go-to barometer points towards all-round good health
1967 Aston Martin DB6 MKI £147,840 Historics at Brooklands, May 20. The demand for barn-find DBS is as strong as ever, and there seems a limitless supply to feed it. Or is there? This DB6 was what you might term a rebarn-find, having been rescued four years ago and popped into another barn until now. Last taxed in 1982, there’s evidence it’s since had some level of engine rebuild, though it will almost certainly need to come apart again. Add in body and interior needs and this is going to wind up pricey.
1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona £633,000 RM Sotheby’s, May 27. Much was made in the catalogue of probable past ownership by the Shah of Iran’s elder sister. It’s debatable whether that actually adds value. Of more interest was the restoration done five years ago in Germany. It was good but not the best out there, which makes the just-over-estimate price paid significant. Daytonas have long been regarded as a reliable barometer for the market and this was up.
1973 Lotus Europa Twin-cam Special £13,830 Bonhams, May 21. A left-hooker that has spent all its life in Belgium and France, this Europa Special – the 126bhp big-valve model – was restored in 2010 then given a further mechanical overhaul three years later. It presented well – bar blue silicone engine hoses perhaps – with matching numbers and in original Carnival Red. All told, it looked good for a figure around Bonhams’ £17,400 low estimate, so the price paid at Spa feels like an absolute steal.
1964 Alvis TE21 Drophead Coupé £156,800 Historics at Brooklands, May 20. Some auction results just defy logic. After all, this TE21 was valued 30 months before the sale by the Alvis Owners Club at the £85,000 top estimate. So why did two suitors go ‘money no object’ on it? A two-owner car still wearing the first lady owner’s personal plate, it had recently been bodily restored by Aston Martin Works, then painted and trimmed by other top names. It’s probably the best, but that still looks crazy.
1979 Aston Martin Lagonda £28,750 Bonhams, April 13. One of the first wedge Lagondas built, and described as the ‘first real production car’, Hoping that would attract serious collectors, Bonhams gave it a £30-80k estimate. Helping the case was its 1986 restoration by Aston Martin. But that was over 30 years ago and despite the digital dash still working, another round of heavy expenditure is probably on the cards. The seller wisely took what was offered.