This year the Salon Prive celebrates its 10th anniversary. Now one of the stand-out events on the calendar, it has come a long way from its early days at the Hurlingham Club in West London. 2015 saw a move to Blenheim Palace, and the second appearance of the Silverstone Auction sale. Some of the real stars of the auctions went unsold, but there was still plenty to celebrate for vendors with a few cars going close to, and even above, their highest estimates. Here are a few of our favourites.
2003 DB7 Vantage Volante
The Aston Martin DB7 has been a bit of a bargain for some time, with early examples hovering as low as £15,000 in recent years. An early Ian Callum design, the smooth and elegant lines were an instant hit around the world. The DB7 has always been subject to much discussion, whilst not as pure as its predecessors it marked a new dawn at Aston Martin. The DB7 allowed them to take the challenge to manufacturers such as Porsche in terms of performance and reliability.
This 2003 example benefits from 9 years of development. It features a 420bhp V12 engine, an uprated chassis, body styling and a luxuriously-trimmed interior. With a reserve of £40,000 – £50,000, we think the vendor will have gone home very happy having seen the hammer drop at a very strong £61,875. This goes to show that if you seek out the later cars with a manual box, you could see some great returns.
1999 Ferrari 550 Maranello
You simply can’t talk about great auction results and not discuss Ferrari, but, for a change, we are looking at two modern models. Firstly here is a stunning 550 Maranello. In recent years these cars have almost doubled in value. This manual example had a very reserved estimate of £65,000 – £75,000, and quite rightly smashed the top end, with a hammer price of £110,250. These cars are simply sublime to drive and will swiftly cut a dash across Europe, from Portofino to St Tropez. If you can find one, now is the time to purchase a 550, and with more and more cars no longer having manual gearboxes, it is becoming clear these are the ones that are becoming more collectable.
Ferrari 456 GT Manual
In 2012 Chris Harris famously wrote an article on Pistonheads about a £17,000 Ferrari that had popped up in the classifieds. It was a 456 with a manual gearbox and in need a bit of TLC. Three years later the owner still has the car and it hasn’t financially ruined him. So, this EU registered example, with a supposed 50,000km and a patchy history sold very well, fetching £39,375; just £625 short of its top estimate. Not bad considering this car is also left-hand-drive. It might considered to be the ugly brother of the 550, but the market is still very strong for a good V12 Ferrari.
Lamborghini Diablo SV
Finally, there is this rather special SV Diablo. The Super Veloce is a rare version of the Diablo, and this particular car looks absolutely stunning. With just over 31,000 miles on the odometer this is a fantastic example of one of the last of the truly mad supercars. With wild styling and serious power, it’s certainly not for the faint hearted. Selling for £185,000, £25,000 over its highest estimate, this car has more than doubled in value in recent years. If you know of one tucked away somewhere, I suggest you go and make an offer soon!