Historics Auction at Mercedes Benz World


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So much right, it deserved an even better outcome

Dedicated, as it is, to the ultimately professional presentation of a brand, Mercedes Benz World was a fitting platform for the professional and hard- working crew from Historics.

Led from the front by the boss, Mark Perkins, who at times resembled the Duracell Bunny with his constant involvement in the sale, the building had been converted into what was an enormous showroom of superbly presented cars and it was interesting and rewarding to see the levels of attendance.  At the 09.30 am start, the seats in front of the rostrum were full and at teatime, with 20 lots still to go, there was still not a spare seat.

Speaking to some of our contacts since, who only viewed online or results, there was a sense that the sale was a limited success – although the 69% lot sales rate would not seem to support that view.  But it is a false perspective to play the event down – the enormous inventory reflected the current market – too many cars chasing too few buyers.  And of course, the grand divide between seller expectation and buyers’ perspective.

But ask yourself – could selling 114 varied lots really be considered anything but a success?  And scan the results, plenty of provisional bids were turned into sales and among them, you will note those sold but without Historics recording the finances.  That reflects a team wanting to put buyer and seller together, if necessary, helping to bridge the gaps.

But what about the Astons – it is why we keep an eye on these sales! The first one up, a 2001 DB7 Vantage was withdrawn so we had to wait some time for a 2005 Vanquish S – 3 former keepers and an immaculate service record saw the hammer fall at £53,000 (£59,360 with premium). A sale on the board but the next Aston, a DB7 Vantage Volante Automatic was bid to £15,000 and remained unsold.

Then came Lot 161, catalogued as a 1976 AM Vantage – beautifully restored and presented, it saw the hammer fall at £69,000 (£77,280 with premium). And the sales continued with a “barn find” DB2/4 Mk II, elegantly held together on display with copious wrapping of cling film - £52,000 on the hammer translated to £59,176 with premium, sold online to someone described as a “Surrey bidder”.

There were disappointments – a 2005 BAE Vantare, a coach built model based off a DB9 chassis and designed to resemble an updated James Bond DB5, fell way short of its optimistic estimate only being bid to £110,000 and a more traditional DB6 Automatic Saloon failed with a top bid of £130,000. But in between those two was a 2007 Vanquish S Ultimate bid close to its estimate with the hammer falling at £126,000 (£141,120 with premium) it found a new and happy owner.

That positive note did not carry on to a beautifully presented DB Mark III that was bid to £120,000 and not unsurprisingly remained unsold.  The same fate awaited a very exciting entry – a 1968 DBS Prototype. The bidding was opened at £170,000 and stalled at £185,000 well short of estimate,

The penultimate Aston was a 1975 V8 Saloon Series III – with bidding opening at £50,000 the top bid of £64,000 was not enough to secure the sale. And she was immediately followed by a 1998 V8 Volante Long Wheel Base.  Sadly, the top bid of £85,000 did not secure a sale.

So, a mixed bag of results for Aston but that does not tell the whole story.  Chatting to one of the auctioneer’s principals, we noted how fickle the current market appears – 6 months ago, Land Rovers, VW Campers, Mini Coopers and Porsches flew out the door – on Saturday, the campers did not sell and neither did several of Stuttgart’s finest while Land Rovers and Minis were hard work.

Large numbers of “No Reserve” lots clearly drew the bargain hunters and the buyer of the SAAB 95 Hearse at £600 (£683 with premium) was the biggest winner of the day.

But we must get the crowds back in live auctions – it’s not just a standardised process like so many others nowadays, if some of the online bidders had been able to see the quality of what was on offer, they may have bid a little more.  The online trends are interesting – the biggest auction operator in the UK, BCA, who sell thousands of standard cars, have announced they are reverting to live auctions. When you see the plethora of pure online auction sites, we really do not know the statistics and what they offer the market beyond perceived convenience.

Saturday was an event – great venue – plenty of refreshments and food (RM Sotheby’s please note) and a knowledgeable and supportive back-office team.

More reliable than click and collect!

For full results follow the link





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