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And the records tumble... - Report: Brightwells, Leominster, Sep 23

  • 1955 Swallow Doretti - 0
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Swallow Doretti leads the charge to a bumper bundle of great results...

Over 1500 people flocked to Leominster to see several record prices being set at the Brightwells classic vehicle auction. A beautifully original 1925 Austin 7 Chummy shot way beyond top estimate to fetch a stunning £18,400 – smashing a record that had stood since the height of the classic car boom in 1989 when another Chummy famously made £16,000, about double the going rate even then.A very rare 1948 Alvis TA14 Duncan Sports Saloon, one of just 27 examples made, also nearly doubled its estimate to make £29,200. It will now be joining one of the largest private collections in the UK, along with a superbly restored 1955 Swallow Doretti, one of just 276 known, which made a record £36,200 – not bad for a machine based on humble Triumph TR2 mechanicals. A time-warp condition 1974 MGB GT V8 that had covered just 10,000 miles from new also set a new benchmark for the model, netting a healthy £12,900. Perhaps most surprising of all was the price realized by the quirky 1965 Panhard 24CT Coupe, powered by a tiny 850cc twin-cylinder air-cooled engine, that trebled its low estimate to end at £12,200 after a fierce duel between two private collectors.Other notable results included the £17,800 paid by a Norwegian collector for a lovely 1912 Buick Model 34 Roadster and the £15,400 that a Dutch buyer stumped up for a well-restored 1949 Triumph Roadster. A beautiful 1972 Triumph TR6 also did well to fetch £12,200 and a superb 1945 Willys MB Jeep soared beyond top estimate to finish on £13,600. Good Austin-Healeys are always hotly contested and a very nice 1965 3000 MkIII made a solid £29,600 while its little sister, a cute 1959 Frogeye Sprite with an uprated engine made £10,400. At the more affordable end of the scale a beautiful low mileage 1992 Jaguar XJS V12 made £6,100 – a sign that this once unloved Big Cat is now enjoying something of a renaissance – while a mint 1977 Mercedes 350SLC in rare manual form made a well deserved £7,400.Bargains were few and far between but a two owners from new 1970 Aston Martin DB6 in unloved automatic guise looked good value at £48,500 while a tidy 1977 Porsche 911 3-Litre Turbo with a rebuilt engine was surely worth every penny of the £12,600 that it finally raised – this being one model that many pundits are tipping for a dramatic price rise in the future. Among the motorcycles a pristine 1955 Ariel HT5 Trials made a healthy £7,600 while a virtually one owner from new 1938 Triumph Speed Twin made an easy £14,700 and a restored 1932 Sunbeam Model 9 romped home at £8000.In all 58 cars and 11 motorcycles changed hands on the day to give an impressive clearance rate of 70% in a sale that grossed over £700,000. 'This continues a trend that we have noticed over the past couple of years which has seen good cars fetching ever higher prices. This partly reflects the escalating costs associated with bringing an average car up to top condition, and also the inherent investment potential of certain classics which are showing steady year-on-year price rises and are also a great pleasure to own – much more fun than leaving money stagnating in the bank or trusting to the casino mentality of the stock market,' said Brightwells’ classic car expert, James Dennison.

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