Classic car sales highlight both personal taste and what the market is doing, and the H&H Classics sale on Sept 8th at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford was no exception.
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Read on for some of the best auction success stories:
Perhaps one of the biggest surprises was the tooth and nail tussle between collectors in Hong Kong, Australia, Dubai, India, Singapore and the UK to secure the long dormant 1966 Mercedes-Benz 300 SE Cabriolet, which trebled its pre-sale estimate to fetch £108,100. This was in its day the preferred option for any self-respecting German tycoon who wished to be whisked in luxury along the autobahns in a manner that spoke both of his status and good taste. It was a sensibility echoed by the wealthy around the world. And it has kept its magic as this sale showed clearly. Damian Jones, Head of Sales at H&H said with a smile: “The owner was very pleased with the result.” I bet he was!
For F1 drivers of the 1950s, there was just one road car that united a good number of them, the Lancia Aurelia B20 GT. This one sold for £98,900.
The road car choice of contemporary F1 drivers Juan Manuel Fangio, Jean Behra and Mike Hawthorn, the sleek, fastback Coupe bristled with innovation including independent front suspension, a compact V6 engine, rear-mounted transaxle and potent four-wheel drum brakes. Evolving through six series, a mere 3,121 had been sold by the time that production ceased in June 1958. A rare beast indeed, chassis B20-3624 is understood to be one of just twenty-five Aurelia B20 GTs to have been officially imported by Lancia England.
Designed by the legendary Vittorio Jano, the Lancia Aurelia B20 GT proved a formidable competitor distinguishing itself on the: Mille Miglia (2nd overall, 1951), Le Mans 24-hours (class win, 1951 and 1952), Targa Florio (outright win, 1952), Liege-Rome-Liege Rally (1st overall, 1953) and Monte Carlo Rally (outright win, 1954).
Motor Sport Magazine described it as: “truly genuinely brilliant - one of the most captivating Lancias ever - and so by definition one of the most enthralling of all road cars.”
Carroll Shelby, the distinguished American racing driver turned constructor, would no doubt have been pleased to see one of his signature creations make top dollar at the sale as they say in the US. The Shelby Cobra is arguably one of the world's most famous and recognizable sports cars ever made.
The 1965/2004 Shelby AC Cobra 427 CSX4000 Series Car offered was one of only 10 to be bodied in carbon fibre. It sold for a near top estimate £149,500.
Showing just 1,300 miles to its odometer, the two-seater was powered by Ford’s legendary 427 cu in (7 litre) ‘side oiler’ V8 developing a claimed 409bhp and 462lbft of torque. Factory-finished in Guardsman Blue with Wimbledon White stripes, it had been signed by Carroll Shelby himself and was accompanied by a Statement of Origin from Shelby Automobiles confirming it be an official CSX4000 Series car.
Without doubt one of the most beautiful cars in the sale, and the Aston Martin model that author Ian Fleming originally envisaged James Bond driving, the lovely 1959 Aston Martin DB2/4 MKIII sold for £138,000.
A late example complete with factory-fitted Lucas Le Mans headlights and overdrive, the loss of its original engine may have deterred the ‘matching numbers’ brigade but it was a well sorted car.
Restored over a period of ten years by Stamper Aston Martin and Chris Shenton Engineering, work was completed just in time for it to contest the Highland Millenium Jog, where the car finished with no issues.
A project when acquired by the current owner in November 1990, the Aston Martin had since become a much-loved member of the family and was seen off in force. It came with a large collection of paperwork, including the original logbook, continuation book, a copy of the original specification sheet, photographic history of the restoration and receipts totalling nearly £80,000.
Another British car that just continues to feed the appetite of collectors was this 1967 Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Coupe which sold for £117,300.
It had just emerged from an extensive, three-year, bare metal mechanical and cosmetic restoration and featured matching chassis and engine numbers plus all original panelwork. This was an exceptionally sharp car which would not have disgraced a concours field.
Completed on 15th August 1967, chassis 1E34597 was supplied new to Lieutenant Commander Robert H. Dumbaugh of the US Navy. Taken off the road during the late 1990s, the two-seater spent almost twenty years in store with an Oklahoma-based restoration company before being imported to the UK.
The next auction is set to take place on Wednesday 6th September at the Pavilion Gardens, Buxton. Click here to join the success and consign your classic car with H&H.