Stan­dard Steel RR&BS still go­ing for £30k... for now

Classic Cars (UK) - - Chasing Cars -

While watch­ing an episode of Columbo with my wife re­cently, she re­marked that the vil­lain’s Bent­ley S2 looked re­ally cool. Mrs is a good judge of such things; in­deed ev­ery year John Blatch­ley’s per­fectly pro­por­tioned shape ages with in­creas­ing grace.

The trade is now pitch­ing nice Sil­ver Clouds and S-se­ries Bent­leys at £65k with ex­cep­tional ex­am­ples head­ing for £100,000. But you can still find well-kept or re­stored cars at less than £35k. His­torics’ July sale saw a lovely Sage Green S2 with 89K and £13,000 worth of re­cent bills make just £28,000. An Ox­ford private seller has a sil­ver ’62 Cloud with 47,000 miles for £27,950 and at a re­cent Sil­ver­stone auc­tion the very same ’61 S2 that my wife and I saw in that episode of Columbo made £24,950, repa­tri­ated from LA, re­sprayed, re­trimmed and recom­mis­sioned. What are the chances of that? I pre­fer the V8s for their ex­tra heft but the sixes are silky smooth. Re­mem­ber that they all need power steer­ing (op­tional on early Bent­leys). Only buy proper cars with per­fect bod­ies and fine leather and wood. His­tory makes a huge dif­fer­ence to val­ues so a solid sheaf of in­voices go­ing back sev­eral decades is ex­tra de­sir­able. Brisk and re­li­able enough for mo­tor­way work, th­ese old Stan­dard Steels are huge lumps of clas­sic value in to­day’s mar­ket. You’ll need a siz­able garage and a cou­ple of grand put aside each year to keep the old girl mint, like an old manor house. But find a good one and there’s no more im­pres­sive way of ar­riv­ing down the crunchy grav­elled drive of a coun­try ho­tel.

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