Historics at Ascot 27th May 2023


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So much right but still room for improvement

The term grandstand is used all over the sporting world but there can be few Grander than the temple of horse racing at Ascot.  An outstanding choice of venue by Historics and their presentation was worthy of their surroundings.

Oil trays on vehicles displayed indoors or out – sparkling in the seasonal sunlight the whole display is a credit to Mark Perkins and his hard working team. But do inventories of this scale make sense – with withdrawals there were still 160 lots to be presented and inevitably the sale was already over an hour behind schedule when your correspondent had to draw stumps with other commitments.

Many of you will remember the TV programme “Never mind the quality, feel the width” – Historics have got the quality sorted, they just need to address the volumes.

And they need to compliment the quality of the product with an understanding that the job is to sell – the auctioneer should be leading the audience, controlling the sale – it is not a question of just presenting, intoning the bids – it is engaging the buyers, entertaining them, relating to them and, importantly constantly feeding facts about the product.  Historics will report sales at 72.5% - excellent compared with some recent auctions.  But over 42% of those sales were “No Reserve” in other words “No Effort Required”.

We were on parade especially for the Astons and from a sales point of view, it was not a “red letter” day for the marque – first on parade was a DB7 Vantage – a Touchtronic model presented in Solent Silver with 67,000 miles on the clock, the hammer price of £12,000 seemed a bargain.  The car was marked by Historics as “sold” but as you will note from our results table, like many under bid cars, the final with premium price is not a matter of record – clearly Hisotrics had to concede ground with Buyers to record many of the sales.

She was followed a few lots later by a well presented 2006 Vanquish S – finished in Black with just 30,500 on the odometer, the hammer price of £54,000 was at least realistic but did not make the sold column.  The same fate awaited the very nice Black 2008 DBS Manual that was bid to £56,000 a price which was more disappointing than realistic.

Next on the Aston Martin inventory was a nicely presented 1956 Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk II – cosmetically attractive but with some flaws, it was the normal very average auction result for a Feltham car - £95,000 (£110,000 with premium) – at least one for the sold column,

The third “modern” Aston was a 2006 “Baby” Vantage – well presented, and like the Vanquish and DBS finished in Black – she was bid to £18,000 (£22,250 with premium) and sold. 

Not so the 1988 Aston Martin Lagonda Series IV Saloon = these William Towns designed beauties have begun to find favour recently but the £63,000 bid fell short of estimate and reserve and she remained unsold.

 The auctioneer made a bit of a faux pas on the next Aston – a Virage Volante 6.3 Cosmetic – referring to the car as a 6,3 litre.  It didn’t help the car’s cause because the bidding stalled at £54,000 consigning another Aston to the unsold column.  But better news for the immaculately presented 1974 Aston Martin V8 Series III that found a new home at a good price of £65,000 on the hammer (£73,580 with premium).

That left one last Aston, a 2006 DB9 Volante with a realistic estimate but no buyer – but something to take account of in the Home Counties and London is the advent of expanding ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone).  It means that “useable classics” are impacted with anybody in Greater London or the outskirts possibly affected and with a knock onto values.

Check the results by following this link – we are not sure there is a harder working team than Historics in the auction business and we wish them all the best but please, quality wins over volume.



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