Bentley bonanza at Brightwells

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Bentley bonanza at Brightwells

Posted: 27/03/2007 13:39:49


A freezing cold start to the day proved no barrier to bargain hunters as hundreds of people descended on Brightwells for their Classic Car and Motorcycle Auction on Wednesday 21st March. Tempted by an amazingly diverse selection of over 100 classics, bidders enjoyed an action-packed four hour sale that saw 74 vehicles change hands by the end of the day.

Undoubted star of the show was the magnificent 1927 Bentley 3-Litre, chassis number TN1556. In the same ownership for the last 30 years, this well used but well cared for machine had started out in life as a Mulliner-bodied saloon but was rebodied in the late 1970s as a Vanden Plas-style four seat open tourer.

"Although it was a relatively late entry and had received minimal pre-sale publicity, we knew it was going to go well and it certainly didn't disappoint," said Brightwells' classic car chief, James Dennison. Estimated at £70,000 - £90,000 the car sparked off a fierce bidding war that finally saw it knocked down to a private phone bidder for a spectacular £92,000 plus premium.

Even more sensational in its own way was the interest generated by the second pre-war Bentley in the sale, a 1937 Park Ward 4.25-litre saloon. A beautifully executed home restoration, the car was expected to fetch between £25,000 - £28,000 but quickly soared beyond this to finish at a dazzling £35,000, drawing a spontaneous round of applause from the room.

Other strong performers included a sound but scruffy 1976 Alpine-Renault A110 1300 which found a new French owner at £15,000; a barn-stored 1962 Lancia Flaminia Convertible that made £17,000 and a sympathetically restored 1954 Sunbeam Alpine Roadster that appealed to a Swiss buyer at £16,000. The £15,900 paid for a 1960 Austin-Healey 3000 MkI with paint defects was also a good result, as was the £14,100 that a well-restored 1972 Triumph TR6 secured.

At the bargain end of the spectrum a 1965 Porsche 911 race car looked good value at £16,100 as did a very smart 1968 Triumph TR250 at £9,800 and a 1984 Bentley Mulsanne Turbo at just £4,650. A 1974 Ford Escort RS2000 for £3,700 seemed like a good buy as did a 1967 Porsche 912T at £5,700.

Star performers among the bikes were a fine 1950 Vincent Rapide Series C which found a trade buyer at £16,500, a well used 1966 Matchless G85CS which made £8,000 and a stunning 1958 Norton Model 50 with a Manx Inter 500 engine which fetched £5,500.

"Overall we were absolutely delighted with the way the sale went," said James Dennison. "The feedback we had from both buyers and sellers alike was overwhelmingly positive with several saying it was the best classic car auction they had attended in years. Our catalogue was especially singled out for praise, as were our extensive facilities which make the whole business of moving and storing the cars so relaxed and easy, unlike the pressure you get at other venues where everything has to be in and out more or less overnight."

"The results seem to confirm the market trend at the moment, with good cars and rare cars making exceptionally strong money while scruffy or more commonplace models struggle to attract much interest."

Brightwells' next classic car sale is on July 11th. To see all the results of the March sale visit or phone for a list on 01568 611122.


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