With 16 Aston Martins offered in the same Historics auction last Saturday, you might be forgiven for thinking that owners were desperate to turn their cherished classic cars into cash.
I don’t think so. The three late-model Vanquishes offered at the sale may have had their heads on the block due to a known hot-starting problem. However, the two 1960s DB5s sold for £525,000 and £560,000 inclusive, while a later, 1989 V8 Vantage Volante X-Pack made £294,320.
As the UK sinks into a morass of self-inflicted damage, mass unemployment and a collapsing currency, the people with pounds wisely want out of them and into non-depreciating assets.
Hence an extraordinary Spyker C8 Laviolette LM85, a work of art in itself, sold for almost £100,000 over its estimate at £225,000. A limited production Ford Focus RS500 sold for £56,560, nearly double its estimate. A cross-eyed Morgan Aero 8 Series 3 made £52,640, which is £20,000 above its top estimate.
And what is claimed to be The World’s Best Triumph TR6 sold for the World’s top price for the model of £57,732, but that spectacular result was only achieved because the selling owner had spent £70,000 perfecting it.
How long classic cars will provide a hedge against falling paper currency is another matter. It’s notable that the motors making the most at this auction were the faster ones, and actually driving them fast – or even driving them at all – might not be allowed in the not too distant future.
I’d have thought that the breathtakingly beautiful, totally unique 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Tourer being offered last Saturday made more sense as a static investment because you wouldn’t need to drive it.
But it bid to a mere £122,000, a massive £50,000 under its lowest estimate.