Anglia Car Auctions, or ACA as it’s more commonly called, in Kings Lynn, England, is an auction at “popular prices” with a tradition that was once again confirmed by the results: 270 cars offered, 230 sold for an excellent percentage of 85.18%. Then, £1,664,000 (€1,982,112) in presale estimates with £1,706,419 (€2,032,640) in takings, an impressive 102.54% compared to the estimated value, giving an average price of £7,419 (€8,837) per car sold.
These numbers look like identical photocopies of last year, when they sold 206 of the 236 cars on offer for a total of £2,022,763 (€2,409,461). The percentages of cars offered without reserve were also similar: in 2021, it was 25.42%, this year it rose slightly to 26.30%.
The novelties at this auction included a number of owners who decided to donate the proceeds from the sales of their cars to charity, with £5,000 going to worthy causes.
The top lot of the “non-profit cars” was a 1983 Audi 100CS. Red with black interior. Offered without reserve, it fetched £2,754 (€3,310) with the entire proceeds going to the Lennox Children Cancer Fund. The value matters a lot less than the gesture, with each pound well spent. Thank you.
Moving on to the other side of the spectrum, we find a 2004 Bentley Continental GT. This lot was very interesting as it gave us valuable insights into one or two dynamics of the current market. First of all: what do you notice about it? Tacky wheels, eccentric paint job to say the least and, after reading the catalogue, one or two electrical problems. Expensive to buy, with huge devaluation, these cars have trouble justifying the cost of spare parts and maintenance “by Bentley” (the coat of arms above the grille costs £450 alone). This one was estimated at £11,000-£13,000 but no one dared exceed £9,828 (€11,818), given the inevitable official Bentley maintenance bill that will mount up alarmingly.
Staying at the lower end of the scale for a minute, I would like to present you a Fiat Seicento Sporting from 2001, sold for £860 (€1,034). Yellow, 1108cc with just 54 hp which, given that the car weighed just 810 kg seems much more, a lot of fun to drive (trust those who made it). At that price, it’s the perfect model to enter the world of collecting.
The Honda S2000, on the other hand, has already become a collector’s car in all respects. The price of this model is rising on the wave of the youngtimers and, if we exclude supercars, the S2000 is among the most desired cars out there (thanks to the 2.0 V-TEC aspirated engine producing 240 hp). The one on sale at ACA was a 2004 post-restyling model and, just like the Bentley, over the years it had been “subjected” to further restyling by an imaginative previous owner. The collectors’ market, rightly, only wants original things so in addition to the £12,420 (€14,935) it was sold for (against an estimate of £11,000-£13,000) the new owner will have to add a few pieces and spend a few evenings in the garage, but then the investment would double or perhaps even more. A bargain.
The Mazda MX-5 MkI 1.8 from ACA had a story of its own to tell. This model was from 1997, and therefore it was one of the last of the “glorious” first series but it has had 14 owners. Considering that it was 25 years old, that means it had changed hands almost every two years for its entire life. Some details were not original (roll bar, wheels, steering wheel) but with 98,000 miles on the clock, this is a car that deserves to be used rather than restored. Offered without reserve and sold for £2,592 (€3,116) (that’s right, raises of one pound!)
I will close with a “clash of titans”. With the arrival of the good weather, I would like to offer you another option (and we are at three open models!) no, two alternatives. I couldn’t decide between the 2001 Lexus SC430 and the 1993 Mercedes-Benz SL320. The first one was technologically refined over ten years, offers a delicious engine and is much rarer. The Mercedes, on the other hand, is a great classic, indeed I would even go so far as saying that it has entered the sights of collectors and its price is rising accordingly.
Speaking of which, there wasn’t much difference between them at ACA: £4,428 (€5,324) for the Japanese car (offered without reserve), and £5,400 (€6,493) for the German model (estimated at £6,500-£8,500). Which one to choose? A matter of personal preference.
There are no longer any excuses: even with a modest budget you can find convertibles for the summer and no one forbids you to move on to something else next year…