Practical Classics (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Russ rounds up of the lat­est buy­ing trends in­clud­ing the ‘ones to watch’.

Bon­hams’ re­cent sale at the Beaulieu Au­to­jum­ble de­liv­ered three im­por­tant re­minders. Firstly, that the chance of bag­ging a real no-re­serve bar­gain is one of the main things that makes auc­tions so ex­cit­ing in the first place; also, that what­ever any­one says, the days of such deals are still (or at least back) with us. And fi­nally, that it’s al­ways worth hang­ing around for the tail-end Char­lies in the last half-hour of any sale. And yes, that’s ex­actly what I didn’t do; this col­umn is be­ing writ­ten from the land of missed op­por­tu­nity.

The par­tic­u­lar car caus­ing me to rest fore­head on solid oak desk­top is the thor­oughly named 1967 AMC Ram­bler Amer­i­can Rogue Hard­top Coupe that formed Lot 617 at the sale. But it was, to be fair, an easy car to pass by. The es­ti­mate looked a bit steep at £8000-£12,000, es­pe­cially for a car whose V5C had been mis­placed. Though that’s not nec­es­sar­ily a deal-breaker – there was plenty of other pa­per­work and the car had been with the Uk-based ven­dor for 44 years.

Yes, some of the pan­els were a bit wavy, a bit of trim was ab­sent, and there was a split in the driver’s seat side bol­ster, but this was still a lovely old smoker with a 4.7-litre V8 that looked like it had rolled out of a Dirty Harry movie.

The owner had even re­sisted the temp­ta­tion to fit al­loys and left it on lovely low-rent hub­caps. Yet some­one smarter and ei­ther braver or savvier than the rest of us took that Ram­bler home for the de­risory sum of £2070. And no, there re­ally isn’t a digit miss­ing from that num­ber. What it is, is next to noth­ing for a car like that. Oh, to have been there.

‘The Ram­bler was, to be fair, an easy car to pass by’

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