There was another huge turnout at Brightwells of Leominster on Wednesday September 22 as a very large crowd gathered to see some 127 cars come under the auctioneer's hammer on a warm and sunny autumn afternoon.
By the end of the day over 80 cars had found new homes in a sale which grossed over £1.16m. Top seller was a highly original and unrestored 1956 Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupe with just two owners from new which soared way beyond top estimate to finish on £95,700.
A very tidy 1972 BMW 3.0 CSL which had been extensively restored in the late 1980s and little used since also did exceptionally well to fetch £31,460 - again well above top estimate and proving that this model has increased sharply in value in recent times.
Other strong prices included the £55,000 paid for a rather tired 1934 Riley Imp, reflecting the fact that fewer than 200 of these beautiful pre-war sports cars were ever made and survivors are always keenly sought after on the rare occasions that they come to market.
A quartet of other pre-war Rileys also did well, a beautifully engineered 1936 Riley Racing Special fetching a well-deserved £51,700 while another 1936 Riley Racing Special made £36,300 and a rare 1933 Riley March in excellent restored condition made £30,250.
Even a rather shabby 1932 Riley Nine Gamecock fetched a healthy £16,720 showing the high regard which this illustrious marque still enjoys amongst collectors.
A pair of Alvis cars from the collection of ex-TVR boss Peter Wheeler also did well, a nicely restored 1938 Speed 25 Charlesworth Saloon fetching £40,700 and a 1959 TD21 Drophead Coupe raising £30,800.
Sticking with top drawer marques, a handsome 1961 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II with a retrimmed interior made £25,300 while a very sharp 1997 Bentley Brooklands made a strong £17,600.
Italy's most famous marque also did predictably well, a 1989 Ferrari Testarossa with just 21,000 miles on the clock fetching £35,200 while a pair of 1991 Ferrari 348 Targa Spiders fetched £25,300 and £20,680 apiece. A 1990 Ferrari Mondial T with just 22,000 miles from new also made a respectable £14,300.
Jaguar E-Types are always popular at auction and all five examples at Brightwells sold well, a 1970 Series 2 Roadster that had been restored in the late 1980s and little used since making £37,850, a 1970 Series 2 Coupe £18,700, a very smart 1970 Series 2 2+2 Automatic £17,820 and a low mileage unrestored 1973 Series 3 V12 Coupe £17,600.
Even a very scruffy 1969 S2 Coupe made a more than forecast £14,960. A pair of Jaguar Mk2 3.4 Saloons were also sold, a very nice 1963 example securing an above estimate £15,620 and a late entered 1961 model raising £10,120.
Two Austin-Healey 3000 MkIIIs also found buyers at well above their pre-sale estimates, an older restoration non-overdrive 1964 model making £27,060 while a more recently restored overdrive-equipped 1967 example made £33,000 - both results showing how highly the market continues to value these iconic British sports cars.
Other results of note included £22,000 for a very tidy 1974 BMW 2002 Turbo, £20,020 for a fabulously patinated and original 1931 Sunbeam 18.2HP Saloon and £15,400 for a competition- prepared 1927 Austin Seven Gordon England Cup with a rebuilt and uprated engine.
As usual bargains were hard to spot but a one-owner 1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth with only 40,000 miles on the clock looked a shrewd buy at just £12,100 while a mint 2002 Maserati 4200GT with less than 10,000 miles under its wheels was surely good value at £19,360.
"Overall we were delighted with the results of the sale and we feel that it revealed some important clues about the way the market is heading," said Brightwells' senior consultant, James Dennison.
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