Tim Hutton looks at a selection of cars at this year’s Bonhams auction at Goodwood Festival of Speed.
It’s officially summer and that can mean only one thing, it’s time for the Goodwood Festival of Speed, an annual pilgrimage for thousands of motoring fans all over the world. Thumbing through the auction catalogue it felt like prices have calmed down a little in the last six months, with cars listed at prices that are perhaps more representative of their true value. We picked out four cars ahead of the auction and charted their progress during the sale on Friday to see how the estimates and sale prices compared.
1985/88 Lister Jaguar 7.0 Litre Le Mans
This really is a beast of a car. One of around two dozen to feature the full body kit this car was actually on the cover of Autocar & Motor in 1989 and accelerated from 0-60 in just 4.5 seconds. Since then the car has been treated to twin supercharges, one of only three built to this ‘ultimate’ specification. This car was restored over a five year period finishing in 2006. Although not in its original colour this is a true representation of the ultimate in 1980s excess. In total over £250,000 has been spent to make this car what it is today, with a reserve starting from just £40,000 this is a fascinating opportunity to buy a rare stand-out car from a period where huge gains are being seen with the values of cars. Remarkably, for whatever the reason the car went unsold. When this happens – especially on such a rare car – I would always advise to put in a cheeky offer direct, you never know the situation of the seller and can often easily snap up a real bargain.
1984 Ferrari 400I GT Coupé
A classic V12 Ferrari with a manual gearbox for just £30,000, I need not say much more on the matter. The 400I has been one of the last unloved Ferrari models to see its value rise but in recent years the cars have doubled in value. This car is freshly imported from California and the odometer reads just 29,976 miles, completely standard apart from a Borla exhaust this is a real catch with a reserve starting from £30,000. On the sale day the public seemed to agree and pushed the car up to a price of £49,450 including premium. Realistically this was probably a fair price given the quality of the car and the fact it was a manual.
1992 Lamborghini Diablo
Ten years ago the unloved Diablo could be picked up for under £40,000, I know, I turned one down myself. Today they have enjoyed a stable rise in value alongside their older brother the Countach. Originally registered in Dubai then shipped to California and brought into the UK in 1999. Because the Diablo was at one point a cheap entry into supercar ownership so often you will find these cars are tatty and run down with the bare minimum of servicing covered. This one is quite the opposite and has been part of a small private collection for a few years. £100,000 seems fair and worth the investment. Remarkably the car sold with premium for just £102,300, a really great purchase for the lucky bidder on a car that is sure to continue to appreciate.
1972 Porsche 911T 2.4-litre
A two owner 911 in original condition that can be used without the worry of losing value. At a reserve of £50,000 you could buy this car, enjoy some fine road trips, tours and events and then move the car on in a year or two having at the very least covered your costs. Not many things in life can offer such an opportunity. On the day the car sold very strongly with a final price of £70,940 including premium, at this value it becomes a little trickier to feel like you can use the car and not worry about affecting its value too much.
It’s clear there is still interest in the classic car market, buyers continue to get more selective and the good quality original cars will always be strong sellers, less original cars are more of a gamble but can be enjoyed with less worry of affecting future values.
About the Author
Tim Hutton has been involved in the automotive industry for 17 years, creating ideas and content for premium brands. When not writing about cars, you will find him driving them all around the world. Having learned to drive at seven in a racing car, petrol is very much in his veins.
*June 2016 monthly average GBP to USD exchange rate used
© Bonhams 2016