Market and auctions

Bargains in the UK. This time I’m buying one!

Cliff Goodall’s view

Photo credit: ACA Anglia Car Auctions, Brightwells

This week we want to take a look at the “minor” auctions at the other end of the spectrum to millionaire ones that require bloated wallets. This is a topic that interests everyone, so I selected ACA held on 29th January, and Brightwells on 16th February. The first offered 212 cars for sale worth £1,317,250 (about £6,213 per car) and sold 193 of them for £1,672,489 in total, equivalent to somewhere around €2m. The result? A splendid 91% of the lots were sold, for a very impressive 127% of the estimated value with an average price per car of £8,666 (€10,365).

Bargains in the-UK
Just like being behind the wheel: everything you need to know to fully understand the situation
Just like being behind the wheel: everything you need to know to fully understand the situation

Brightwells offered 125 cars worth an estimated £1,180,250, equivalent to £9,442 per car, taking home 98 sales for £910,644 (€1,089,105). That equates to 78.40% of the lots sold for 77.16% of the overall value, with an average price of £9,292 (€11,112) per car. 

Just like being behind the wheel: everything you need to know to fully understand the situation


Just like being behind the wheel: everything you need to know to fully understand the situation

But let’s take a closer look at the cars:

The most expensive lot from both auctions was a 1992 Honda NSX. Red with black interior, in perfect condition, one owner from new and 11,567 miles (about 18,500 km) on the clock. The estimate was correct at £55,000-£65,000 but bids quickly rose to a very impressive £110,880 (€132,610), setting a record both for the model and for the Marque.

Of the nearly 300 cars sold, this was the only one that went for more than £100,000 or €120,000.

1992 Honda NSX sold for £110,880 (€132,610)

The top lot at ACA was a 1959 Jaguar MkI 3.4. Purchased new by the muchloved entertainer of the 1930s and 1940s, George Formby, it was the victim of a violent accident and was abandoned until 2002 when it was restored. The £30,000-£50,000 estimate was soon exceeded, with the car changing hands for £87,480 (€104,625), a new record for the model; although we suspect that its “GF 2” number plate had something to do with it, as it’s a highly coveted detail in Great Britain.

1959 Jaguar MKI 3.4 sold for £87,480 (€104,625)

Another record was set for a Ford Capri MkIII. The 2.8i Special from 1985 had recently been restored with all work painstakingly documented. The car was offered without reserve and without an estimated value and the person who bought it wasn’t a speculator but rather an enthusiast, paying £42,660 (€51,020) for it and setting a new record for this series in the process.

1985 Ford Capri 2.8 Injection Special sold for £42,660 (€51,020)

And now let’s move on to the cars that could be bought with a “bucket of coins”, certainly more fascinating.

At ACA I would have bought a Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG – I think it’s fair to say that model with a 5.4-litre V8 engine pumping out 342 horsepower has never cost so little. Indeed there were two of them, both from 2000. The first with 107,000 miles on the clock changed hands for just £4,104 (€4,908) while the other, with just 32,102 miles on the clock, went for £11,664 (€13,950).

2000 Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG sold for £4,104 (€4,908)

No particular budget problems arose in the choice between the 2004 Audi TT MkI 3.2 prepared for track days and the 2000 Ford Focus MkI 2.0 Rally version. Which one then? Perhaps both because Audi changed hands for £2,800 (€3,348) and the Focus for £2,744 (€3,281); together that’s £5,544 (€6,630)!

2004 Audi TT 3.2 (MkI) sold for £2,800 (€3,348)
2000 Ford Focus Endurance Rally Car sold for £2,744 (€3,281)

For those who could not afford the Honda NSX, why not aim for the Toyota Celica 2.0 GT from ACA? Built in 1991, and presented in red with 155,000 miles on the clock, it might not have a mid-mounted engine nor be linked to the legendary Ayrton Senna but what do you expect for £2,592 (€3,099)?

1991 Toyota Celica 2.0 GT sold for £2,592 (€3,099)

Alternatively, you could have opted for a 1985 Porsche 924. Sure, Guards Red isn’t the most flattering of colours and this was the “basic” version producing just 125 horsepower, but with prices of Porsches currently rising vertically, finding a car with the horse on the hood for just £5,040 (€ 6,027) is nothing short of miraculous.

1985 Porsche 924 sold for £5,040 (€6,027)