Records Tumble at Brightwells Auction

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LEOMINSTER, ENGLAND (September 29, 2009) – Over 1,500 people flocked to Leominster on a warm autumn day to see several record prices being set at the Brightwells classic vehicle auction on 23rd September. A beautifully original 1925 Austin 7 Chummy shot way beyond top estimate to fetch a stunning $29,400 – smashing a record that had stood since the height of the classic car boom in 1989 when another Chummy famously made $25,000, about double the going rate even then.

A very rare 1948 Alvis TA14 Duncan Sports Saloon, one of just 27 examples made, also nearly doubled its estimate to make $47,000. It will now be joining one of the largest private collections in the UK, along with a superbly restored 1955 Swallow Doretti, one of just 276 known, which made a record $57,900 – not bad for a machine based on humble Triumph TR2 mechanicals.

A time-warp condition 1974 MGB GT V8 that had covered just 10,000 miles from new also set a new benchmark for the model, netting a healthy $20,640. Perhaps most surprising of all was the price realized by the quirky 1965 Panhard 24CT Coupe, powered by a tiny 850cc twin-cylinder air-cooled engine, that trebled its low estimate to end at $19,500 after a fierce duel between two private collectors.

Other notable results included the $28,480 paid by a Norwegian collector for a lovely 1912 Buick Model 34 Roadster and the $24,640 that a Dutch buyer stumped up for a well-restored 1949 Triumph Roadster. A beautiful 1972 Triumph TR6 also did well to fetch $19,500 and a superb 1945 Willys MB Jeep soared beyond top estimate to finish on $21,760.

Good Austin-Healeys are always hotly contested and a very nice 1965 3000 Mk III made a solid $47,360 while its little sister, a cute 1959 Frogeye Sprite with an uprated engine made $16,400. At the more affordable end of the scale a beautiful, low-mileage 1992 Jaguar XJS V12 made $9,760 – a sign that this once unloved Big Cat is now enjoying something of a renaissance – while a mint 1977 Mercedes 350SLC in rare manual form made a well deserved $11,840.

In all, 58 cars and eleven motorcycles changed hands on the day to give an impressive clearance rate of 70% in a sale that grossed over $1,120,000. “We were delighted with the turn-out and with the result, which proves that even in these difficult times there is plenty of money out there for interesting vehicles in good condition,” said Brightwells’ classic car expert, James Dennison.

“This continues a trend that we have noticed over the past couple of years which has seen good cars fetching ever higher prices. This partly reflects the escalating costs associated with bringing an average car up to top condition, and also the inherent investment potential of certain classics which are showing steady year-on-year price rises and are also a great pleasure to own – much more fun than leaving money stagnating in the bank or trusting to the casino mentality of the stock market.”

To see all the results, visit www.brightwells.com. Brightwells’ next auction is on Saturday, December 9, and entries are now being invited.

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