Today, I’d like to talk about auctions “within reach”, or rather auctions where the prices are affordable and the opportunities more than possible: the British ones in May with Historics and Sllverstone.
Before giving you an overview of the results and presenting some interesting lots to capture market trends, I’d like to point out one episode in particular: a Subaru Impreza P1 from 2000, offered by Silverstone and estimated at £25,000-£30,000, went for £50,063 (€58,428), setting a record in the process. And there’s more: just a few weeks earlier, a similar exampled arrived at auction with the same estimate and set a new record at £45,000 (so +10% in a month!). The story might have ended here but there’s something important I need to tell you. In one of the first pieces I wrote for TCCT (March 2020), for space limitations, a “purchasing guide” related to the P1 was cut out. At the time, it was sitting around the £20,000-£25,000 mark, so I went to re-read what I wrote and I realised that it was the same car sold today at Silverstone. In 2020, I recommended buying it at £24,750 because, as I wrote at the time, “it will have a great future, if not in terms of price increase at least in terms of fun” (actual words). I don’t want pat myself on the shoulder, but I would like to emphasize that the cars we propose here as “cases” are always chosen in view of their future potential. Nothing is certain, let’s be clear, but certain rules are almost always confirmed.
For example, the comparison between Ferrari and McLaren at these two auctions: the top lot at Historics was a 2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale, practically perfect, with 3,792 miles from new, estimated at £295,000-£350,000 and sold for £379,220 (€442,970), a number that I would even go so far as calling low.
But I wish to focus on its poor “sister”: an incredibly beautiful and aggressive 458 Italia in its “stealth” livery (black with black interior) and with just 11,800 miles to its credit. Estimated at £125,000-£150,000, sold for £156,800 (€183,160).
I mention it to make a comparison with McLaren MP4-12C offered at the same sale. A 2011 example with 11,000 miles on the clock in Volcano Red changed hands for £83,768 (€97,850), in line with its £75,000-£85,000 estimate. We are comparing two cars with perfectly comparable original prices and characteristics. The name Ferrari and its Cavallino are as important as ever, but the difference is truly considerable: a decade after registration, one costs almost twice as much as the other (more than double if we consider the one sold at Silverstone for £63,000, with 35,000 miles on the clock), and it is clear that the other is not worth half. I don’t know but given the difference, I might spare some thought for the English supercar…
Another big duel took place between the “no reserves” at Historic (Silverstone had no reserves and this did not play in their favour). Hot hatches are, well, hot at the moment, but three in particular reached really high numbers compared to the market averages.
A 1983 silver Ford Fiesta XR2 MkI with 60,000 miles on the clock sold for £20,720 (€24,205) while a 1983 Vauxhall Astra MkI GTE, again in silver with 20,700 miles to its credit went for £19,244 (€22,478).
And then there’s the 1987 Volkswagen Golf MkII GTI 16V, in perfect condition and even though it had covered 38,200 miles, it was sold for £32,828 (€38,346). Here again, a new record was set and it makes a certain impression to think that just a couple of years ago a similar example with 22,000 miles on the clock was sold for £22,500 (€26,282).
Another record? The Silverstone team managed to sell the most expensive Mini (road version) ever sold at auction. This was the last Cooper S produced, which was given to Mrs. Cooper, the wife of John Cooper who created both the Formula 1 team and the model in question. The car, with only 952 miles on the clock, therefore had a symbolic value that the estimate of £50,000-£60,000 reflected. However, as is often the case with unique examples, it went further: £64,125 (€74,904), 16% more than the previous record.
To conclude, here is the overall data: Historics offered 192 cars and sold 143 (74.48%), equivalent to £4,943,581 (€5,769,660) in turnover. Silverstone, penalised by the absence of cars without reserve, stopped at 48 lots sold out of 86, generating a turnover of £3,557,783 (€4,152,295). Silverstone, however, redeemed itself with the average prices: £74,120 (€86,505) against Historic’s more modest £34,570 (€40,346).