Honest John's classic auction guide

Is it still worth investing in historic cars rather than sterling? After recent stabilisation, classic car prices are rising steeply again

1964 Aston Martin DB5 at Historics classic car auction 
This 1964 Aston Martin DB5 was one of two that sold for way over half a million

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.

This 2007 Morgan Aero 8 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. 

This immaculate 1972 Triumph TR6 achieved a record price for the model - not least because the seller had spent £70,000 on it...

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.

More details and full results of Historics Summer Sale of 185 Classic Cars

HJ's style... with question marks over performance cars, this rather more sedate 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Tourer would be right up his street

For tips and advice, visit our Advice section, or sign up to our newsletter here

To talk all things motoring with the Telegraph Cars team join the Telegraph Motoring Club Facebook group here

A-Z Car Finder