The H&H Classics auction at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford on March 21st, showed once more why classic cars dominate the alternative asset investment market.
There were hundreds of buyers on hand to vie for the stunning collection of vehicles. Recent analysis of the art and collectables market shows again and again that classic cars dominate the alternative investment market - with the additional pleasure of the fun of owning and driving one of these beauties. A Picasso just hangs on a wall.
Among the H&H Classics offering yesterday the following group provided some of the highlights and some of the strongest bidding.
The lovely 1966 Aston Martin DB6 was estimated to go for £170,000 to £210,000, but made £235,750. Finished in Silver Birch, the same livery as James Bond’s iconic DB5, the four-seater grand tourer is understood to have covered just 81,000 miles from new. It was “put out to grass” albeit in a warm heated garage in 1979 and had been tenderly looked after since 1972 by its long-term keeper a veterinarian.
The car has matching chassis and engine numbers, and the preferred ZF five-speed manual gearbox. Taken off the road in 1979 and reupholstered by Chisholm to include headlining, door cards, carpets and boot it was treated to a bare metal repaint some eight years ago plus new windscreen, unleaded cylinder head conversion (Aston Engineering), fresh tyres and electronic ignition.
The Aston was owned by a retired vet who was born in the village of Glamis in Scotland where his father, the village bobby was one of two policemen detailed to look after security when the Royals were in residence at Glamis Castle.
An American diplomat in Paris spent years collecting classic cars and trucks from his native land, vehicles that spoke to him intimately of his own heritage. H&H sold six of his cars for a total of £230,575, led by this cream 1951 Nash-Healey Roadster which made £82,800. One of only 104 Nash-Healey Roadsters bodied in alloy by Panelcraft (of which just 20 survivors are known to the Nash Healey Register). Arguably, America's first post-WW2 sportscar pre-dating the Ford Thunderbird and Chevrolet Corvette. Potentially eligible for the Mille Miglia Storica and Le Mans Classic. An exciting restoration project and offered for sale with a brand new alloy cylinder head.
The other five in the collection included a 1924 LaFayette Model 134 Coupe, a 1913 Rambler Model 83 Cross Country Tourer, a 1946 Nash P1 Pickup prototype, a 1951 Nash Rambler Country Club Custom and a 1948 Diamond T Model 201 Pickup.
Damian Jones, Head of Sales at H&H Classics, says of the collection: “They are all interesting vehicles with unusual provenance and history. And the way they sold underlined that.”
The Jowett Jupiter was an innovative sportscar produced by JOWETT CARS LTD of Idle near Bradford that proved a surprisingly effective circuit mount. The model achieved competition success with a record-breaking class win at the 1950 Le Mans 24 Hour race, a class one-two in the 1951 Monte Carlo International Rally, an outright win in the 1951 Lisbon International Rally, and a class one-two in a gruelling four-hour sports car race on the public road circuit at Dundrod in Northern Ireland in September 1951.
Those who drove a Jupiter when new were enthused by its performance, especially in view of the "well-known ... verve of the Javelin engine" and its "susceptiblity to power output increase". Other features drawing particular praise included quick, light though highly geared steering and gear change linkage which was "unusually positive for a steering column layout".
The sale car had been raced in period at Silverstone, Isle of Man and Dundrod and had just emerged from a meticulous ‘chassis up’ refurbishment.
One of two Land Rovers used in the just released 'Peter Rabbit’ film was sold for £11,615. TV or film provenance has proved to be a certain thing over the years when it comes to investment value and this Land Rover with its link to the much loved children’s books (and the film now) will doubtless only appreciate.
The animated film was shot in Australia of all strange things and features Domhnall Gleeson (Mr McGregor) and Margot Robbie (Flopsy) and James Corden as Peter Rabbit himself. The Land Rover was beautifully finished in pastel green with refurbished tan seats and it featured a 2250cc petrol engine.
A sympathetic update of its much-loved predecessor, the Land Rover Series II was introduced in April 1958. Available with a choice of 2.25-litre petrol or 2-litre diesel engines, the Series II accounted for some 62,000 sales in its first two years of production. In 1961, the subtly upgraded Series IIA benefited from an improved cooling system and is thought to have been the most successful variant, with sales around 1969/70 believed to have reached 60,000 units a year.
The vendor confirms that this lovely-looking 88-inch Series IIA is something of a movie star; being one of two used in the forthcoming 3D live-action animated comedy film Peter Rabbit based around the famous characters created by Beatrix Potter.
The Land Rover was used for location shots in the Lake District wearing a false registration. Mr McGregor, played here by Domhnall Gleeson in his feud with the famous rabbit voiced by James Corden will be released in UK cinemas shortly, having been on worldwide release since February.