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

Classic Cars (UK) - - Contents -

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

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