Russ Smith on an emerging buyer’s market for classics including the Ferrari 348, but it’s not all good news for the Triumph Stag
Expensive classics are still selling, but buyers are being pickier than ever
We’ve written several times recently of the growth of interest in affordable classics contrasting with the resetting of higher-end values. There was clear evidence to support that observation at Brightwells’ September 26 sale in Leominster. Just under 60% of the 165 cars sold, which is a reasonable tally at the moment. But the numbers look very different when you dig a bit deeper. Roughly splitting the catalogue in half between cars over and under £10k produces a stark contrast. Some 75.9% of the four-figure cars sold, but only 44.2% of the five-figure lots. That can partly be explained by 20 of the cheaper classics being sold with no reserve, which applied to just four in the higher range, but even if you discount those it still leaves a vast gulf between the two camps. People are largely buying affordable cars to have fun with, not as part of a portfolio.
1983 Opel Manta GT 1.8S £14,080 CCA, Leamington Spa, September 15
This result put me in mind of the old property adage of there being a price limit on any street no matter how good the house is. Neither we nor CCA, who estimated £10-12k believed a non-gte Manta could go this high, even with one-owner history and sub-14k miles. Bidders were obviously happy to overlook its 90bhp for its rarity – there are just 14 of these left on UK roads, and this must be the best of them.
1968 Rolls Silver Shadow Convertible £33,600 Historics, Brooklands, September 22
Offered with a fair estimate of £10-15k, all the uplift for this soft-top Roller comes courtesy of its first owner, Michael Caine. Now rather down at heel and unused for five years, it’s going to need a tidy sum spent to bring it back, on top of what would normally buy you a good-to-mint one of these. But this isn’t just a classic, it’s a piece of film star memorabilia, dating from Caine’s golden years.
This 46,500-mile Stag was one of the cars that failed to find buyer