On my calendar there are several dates marked in red. On 13th and 14th November, two red crosses were on my calendar because that was when the Silverstone auction at the NEC in Birmingham (UK) was held, where the cars on offer included the most desirable versions of the youngtimer class, a paradise for those who grew up on bread and Gran Turismo.
138 cars on offer with an estimated value of £8,742,000 (€10,282,300). 110 were sold (79.71%) with an average price of £74,399 (€87,169) per car. The 110 sold brought in £8,183,900 (€9,588,630) in sales or 93.62% of the maximum estimated value. A very nice result indeed, demonstrating without a shadow of doubt that in my paradise, there are many of us.
I chose a few cars to look at more closely: the star lot of the event was unquestionably the Subaru Impreza 22B STI from 1998. If the 22B is already the Holy Grail of the Subaru world, this particular model was even more special, if that’s possible: of the 400 produced only 16 ended up in the United Kingdom (376 in Japan and 8 RoW) and the first owner was a certain David Darling. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, he was the developer of the video game Colin McRae Rally Series. The car had covered just 15,500 miles from new and when we discovered the estimate, more than a few murmurs were heard here at TCCT: £230,000-£280,000. The current record for this model is £171,000 (€198,830), set at a Silverstone auction in May. Even if it had a higher mileage, how could the price rise by 35% within six months? In fact, the offers stopped at £200,000 (€235,250) and it went back to the seller. With commissions it would have been £225,000, a huge leap forward, however, which suggests that the seller will just have to wait to get what he hopes for it.
At the other end of the spectrum came the the Mitsubishi Evo VI Tommi Makinen Edition from 2001. Offered in the typical red/Ralliart livery with black interior, it was a great example of the model, but it had covered almost 60,000 miles from new. In the 90s the world was split between fans of the “Scooby” and those who preferred the “Evo” but compared to the 22B the TME has not gone up in prices anywhere near as much – also due to the greater number of examples produced. Offered with an estimate of £40,000-£50,000, after an endless series of small raises, it finally changed hands for £73,125 (€86,000), almost double the minimum estimate. Fun fact: the current world record for an Evo VI Tommi Makinen is £146,250 (€171,330), set at the August Silverstone sale.
More than a few eyes were focused on the Ford Sierra RS, another fixation for collectors (mainly British). The world record for this model was set last year at this very same auction. On that occasion, a 1987 RS500 with 12,000 miles on the clock changed hands for £103,500 (€121,750). Unsurprisingly, 5 Sierra RS models were presented this time. And things went to plan with a white “non-500” RS with 10,490 miles on the clock (the current model record: £84,800 for one with 7,300 miles), a second a black one with 15,000 miles on the clock, about 3,000 more than last year’s. Already the estimates made it clear where they were positioned: £80,000-£100,000 for the white one and £100,000-£120,000 the black model. And in fact, both set a world record: the RS500 went for £110,250 (€129,675), increasing the previous record by 6.5% while the “basic” RS changed hands for £103,500 (€121,750), a rise of 22% compared to the previous record.
Among the curiosities of this auction was the Bentley Continental GT Speed from 2008 that once belonged to Cristiano Ronaldo when he played for Manchester United. Kept in excellent condition, certainly super-equipped, it had covered just 38,000 miles in 13 years. Sold perfectly within its estimate of £40,000-£50,000 at £48,375 (€56,900). A price that’s well within the norm: this time CR7 did not score.
The calm returned to the market for the top of the range Jaguar E-Type too. We haven’t seen a Jaguar E-Type with Outside Bonnet Locks for sale in England for at least two years and the price seemed like it was going to align with those of models without this truly special feature. For this reason, owners of this model will have breathed a sigh of relief with the sale of the model at Silverstone: a very beautiful example, estimated at £275,000-£295,000, it sold for £297,000 (€349,330), more than double the other two examples without the Outside Bonnet Locks (sold for £144,000 and £130,500 respectively). Now that’s what I call an alignment!
And finally, we come to the surprise of the auction: a 1993 Mercedes-Benz 600SL Roadster. UK supplied to a foreign head of state for occasional use when in London, it had covered just 5,037 miles from new. The Mercedes R129 series (to which this one belongs) is rising considerably of late, especially due to the rise of the previous R107 series. The £27,000-£30,000 estimate for such an interesting car seemed quite conservative but, in my opinion, it should not have exceeded £35,000 And instead, the bids kept coming and it was sold for £69,750 (€82,040), over 2.5 times the lower estimate. Well, to err is to be human…