Since we came on our recce of Techno Classica in 2013, everything has got a lot bigger and that includes Coys auction that takes place here on the Saturday afternoon. And for once, bigger seems to be better – certainly the auction experience. In 2013, the venue was cramped, there weren’t enough chairs and the auctioneer’s assistant was making apologies for her poor German.
How different this year – occupying the same location in Hall 11, there were cars outside in the hall (the inventory was as bloated as many sales these days), a screen broadcasting the sale to the hall and more cars inside. But the big improvement was the use of an upstairs theatre venue for the office administration and the sale itself.
That gave lots of seating and, as proved useful out for the early part of the sale, plenty of standing room. From his elevated position on the stage, the auctioneer had a great view of bidders and was able to establish some good bidding rhythms. – not common at a Coys sale! The gaffes were limited to inadvertently calling bids in pounds instead of euros. And the auctioneer’s assistant was excellent maintaining a relevant and timely bidding commentary even in the most fraught moments. It made a long sale a lot easier.
The afternoon got off to a good start with a 1965 Lotus Elan sold without reserve and the bidding was lively up to a sale at €22,000, a vintage motorbike maintained the frothy start which continued on with the sale of a 1977 Zil Limousine at €35,000 – one only hopes the buyer has a big transporter to get her home! Even a couple of “not solds” in succession didn’t dampen the mood because there were bidders for everything. The sale reflecting the character of Techno Classica insofar as every car, however odd, finds someone to love it!
The first car labelled Aston Martin was an Evanta DB4GT Barchetta – sadly a no show. And the news didn’t improve for the 1983 Lagonda V8 which reached a bid of €50,000 but it didn’t find a new home! In fact the bad news for Newport Pagnell was compounded with the final Aston, a left hand drive 1994 Virage Volante which was bid to €61,000 but not sold.
But bad news on a pretty eclectic bunch of Astons should not detract from the overall feel of the sale. With predominantly left hand drive cars and a fair sprinkling of home product, the enthusiasm of the bidding was a good indication of a lively market and, as usual, there was a scramble for the exceptional. A 1980 BMW M1 went to a telephone bidder who had interrupted his race activities at Silverstone to bid for the car whose €410,000 on the hammer beat top estimate by some €60,000!
It is too early to be empirical about comparative values – given the panic when the auctioneer made his gaffes on currency, the euro trade made for value for money purchases. But in spirit and in price vs quality this sale at Essen was a cracker.