Silverstone Auctions – classic car auction preview – November 2020

Last week I viewed Silverstone Auction’s latest auction, just before lockdown and on the same day that I viewed the Anglia Car Auctions’ November auction. As always, there was a fantastic selection of cars on offer. So many wonderful cars, in fact, that it becomes a bit difficult to know where to look first. As with the ACA auction, I’ve filmed a walk around video for anyone considering bidding this weekend, as well as picking a few (ok, more than a few), of my own favourite cars. It can be a bit hard to find something that seems realistic for the average classic car buyer, as Silverstone operate at a higher level than most of us can afford, but that does mean they include plenty of dream cars for us to gaze at.

The first lot in the running order that piques my interesting is this 1968 Lancia Fulvia F&M Special. It isn’t cheap with a guide of £35,000 – £45,000, but there is quite a lot to see about this unusual little Fulvia. It probably wouldn’t be unfair to say it loses some of the original car’s delicate and pretty aesthetic, but it also allows the Fulvia to appeal in a new way. Not a tall car originally, this Fulvia looks dramatically low with the combination of a lowered ride height, and the more obvious removal of the roof, turning this car into something resembling a speedster. To say that is all that was done to recreate the racing car that it so closely resembles would be to sell it short, as the chassis has been shortened as well as many other modifications, meaning that this car should be in the region of 200kg lighter than a standard car, and a Fulvia was hardly a heavyweight to begin with. This is a stripped back racer that must surely thrill anyone who drives it, what a special little thing.

Despite rarely reading anything good about the Renault Sport Spider, every time I see one it always strikes me as a special little thing, and I always consider that I simply must own one. If anyone owns one and is happy to provide an ownership experience, then I would absolutely love to hear it, whether positive or negative. Silver certainly wouldn’t be my first pick for a Sport Spider, but it certainly wouldn’t put me off. The guide of £25,000-£30,000 doesn’t seem too unfair to me, and as Mr Whale would be quick to point out, the car will be on sale at the lower guide, which would be a nice price to buy it at (though don’t forget to consider the commission you’ll have to pay). A Sport Spider isn’t the most useable of cars in the UK, but this example is fitted with the optional windscreen, which makes it easier to use more often. Just one of 60 original UK cars, and with only 14,500 miles from new, you could be reasonably safe in the belief that you’re unlikely to see another on the road, which is another reason to use it even more and put some proper mileage on it. You can view the full listing here.

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I can’t say I ever expected to say I thought that a car colour including the word ‘beige’ would make a classic more desirable, but this Apricot beige 964 is very appealing. I like a 911, and the 964 generation cars strike a nice balance between being modern, and still small enough to be a great B-road car instead of falling more into a GT category. This Carrera 4 is believed to be the only UK, RHD car built in this colour, which probably isn’t surprising, but a nice detail for the new owner. When new it was apparently offered as an Official Porsche Competition prize for a hole-in-one at a golfing tournament, and whether that was due to it being hard to sell, I’ll leave to you to decide. The current mileage reads just under 87,000 miles, with the engine having been rebuilt by Specialist Cars of Malton at 78,500 miles. The original Mahogany interior was replaced with a black interior, which perhaps makes this car less challengingly specified for some buyers. The guide is £40,000 – £50,000, and you can read the full listing here.

This is no ordinary 911 Targa, which helps to somewhat justify the £70,000-£80,000 guide. This is a Supersport Equipment Targa, and has only covered 30,168 miles from new and with only one owner. The Supersport Equipment offered not only the wide arched glory of the Turbo cars, but also a limited slip differential, stiffer suspension and superior braking too. A wrap around deep-chin spoiler, tea-tray rear spoiler, and wider Fuchs alloy wheels also feature. These ‘C16’ SSE cars are quite rare, which may come as no surprise given that that the upgrade cost £10,000 when new. Only 220 UK spec RHD SSE Targa cars were built, and I think the aesthetic provided by the wide arches and Targa roof is one of the best from that period. You can view the full listing for this car here.

Bond’s BM. That is immediately what springs to mind when I see a Z8 (which is sadly not often enough), rather than the BMW 507 which its designers hoped to emulate. Plenty of people will have been as horrified as I was to see Bond’s car being chopped in half by a helicopter in ‘The World Is Not Enough’. It is a testament to the design of this car that it still looks fresh and modern no less than eighteen years after it was built. It seems a shame that the car has only covered 29,688 miles from new, but for people interested in collecting special cars, it will make it more desirable. The guide of £160,000-£180,000 puts this particular car far out of the reach of most of us, but if you’ve just won the lottery and are considering bidding, you can find the full listing here.

I may be accused of including too many V12 Ferraris in this and the ACA post, but they’re fantastic and I just can’t not include them. Though this 412 is an automatic and not the most desirable colour, it still easily pulled my eyes away from the car surrounding it. Ordered new in UK-RHD specification by the Sultan of Selangor and is reported to have covered only 17,800 miles since it was new in 1987, though the car was first registered in the UK in 2019. Recent work by Ferrari Specialist Terry Keys has totalled some £7,000, and Silverstone Auctions are happy to welcome any inspection of the car. Guided at £53,000-£60,000, this V12 Ferrari is just begging to be used for grand touring just as it was intended. You can view the full listing here.

The styling purity of an original Range Rover is still a wonderful thing today, and prices of most 3-doors has skyrocketed in recent years. This 1979 Suffix-F model should certainly be considered a project with a reasonable amount of money still to be spent, but a lot of the hard work seems to have been completed. It does strike me as a little odd that the interior is fully fitted in such poor condition considering that a lot of mechanical and body work has been completed already. I think the £12,000-£15,000 guide is reasonable, though I’d definitely have a chat with a good trimmer who should be able to give you an idea of how much it will cost for a full re-trim that this car needs. I really like the colour and the registration too, not that those details matter too much. You can find the full listing here.

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The first lot in Saturday’s sale that I’ve decided to feature is this 1983 Renault 5 Turbo 2, which amazingly looked less bonkers than usual due to the cars is was placed with. This is probably one of my very favourite cars of the era and one I really hope to be able to own at some point. The guide of £55,000-£65,000 means it isn’t even in the realm of being an affordable hot hatch, but it is far beyond that now. The car has covered less than 30,000 miles in its lifetime and has recently benefitted from an inspection, service, and other general maintenance. A mid engined Renault is a fantastic thing, and something we’re unlikely to see again sadly, though we can dream. White paintwork may not be the most adventurous choice, but the red velour livens things up in true eighties fashion. A special little car, and you can see the full listing for it here.

Next up is quite possibly my favourite modern car, and certainly one that falls in my top ten modern cars. The utterly gorgeous Mercedes SLS AMG, presented in the best colour available at the time. Sadly this car has only covered 6,915 in its nine year lifetime, which results in the guide of £130,000-£150,000. If I were fortunate enough to own it, I’d be driving this car as much as possible to just enjoy how fantastic it is. Prices for the SLS have remained strong for quite a while by now, after the initial depreciation when new. You can find the full listing for this car here.

I think that the Virage may be starting to be appreciated (potentially for the first time ever). Of course, this is no ordinary Virage, its a 6.3 litre Widebody Volante, and in fact it was the third one built to Widebody specification for sale in the UK. It has only covered 10,878 miles in its lifetime which is a crying shame, especially given the original sale price of £195,236 in 1994! It must be rare that this was specified with a black interior as most Virages that I’ve seen seem to have a light coloured interior. The car is guided at £80,000-£100,000, but is being offered at no reserve, so there may be the opportunity to snag a bargain. You can see the full listing for this car here.

Ok, its another V12 Ferrari, but I’m sure I’m not alone in my appreciation for the 550 Maranello, even if this one has been fitted with pimp tints. Argento Nurburging with a gorgeous Bordeaux interior is exactly what I would choose if I had the chance to purchase one, although red and tan may also work. This particular car has covered just over 60,000 miles and was first owned by none other than Martin Brundle in 1999. The cambelt was most recently replaced in 2019, and the car is said to have comprehensive service history. The guide price is £55,000 – £65,000 and I’m certainly curious to see how well this and the other Ferrari 550 Maranello in the auction fare, as both are at similar guides. You can view the full listing for this car here.

I really struggled to pick just one car out of the fantastic selection of race cars being offered this weekend, but in the end I settled for this 1987 Renault 5 Turbo ‘Superproduction’, simply because it was slightly more outrageous than my other favourite. Offered with a guide of £300,000-£350,000 this little Renault is more than just a car, it is an extremely limited run of cars built by Renault to try and win the production class 1985 season of the French Supertourisme Championship, and even more fantastic history besides. Owning a race car is probably not a hugely attractive proposition for most people, but it definitely made me day dream about a potential road going car that would seek to emulate it. You can see the full details for this car here.

When did you last see a BMW M1. Or, indeed, have you ever seen one? Far from the horrors that BMW now seems keen to inflict upon us with their beaver-inspired iX, this was a time when BMW meant something, and the M1 was the highlight of a generation. The car offered here, with a guide of £385,000-£435,000, is no ordinary M1, as it was upgraded by BMW Motorsport to include the wider, more aggressive aesthetic of the race-bred M1 Procar. This work was carried out by the first owner, a German record producer. Even forty years after this car was built, it still amazes your eyeballs with a sharp edged design that is a great example of the period. Hopefully the new owner drives this car, as seeing this on the road would be enough to make anyone stop and stare. You can see the full details for this car here.

Despite the financial wounds suffered by my own Maserati, I am still very much a fan of the brand and would always hope to be able to own one. I was keen to see this gorgeous RHD Mexico as soon as I spotted the listing, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. It is a 4.7 litre, manual gearbox car, RHD from new and one of only six cars built to that specification, and considering it has had a £150,000 restoration, the guide of £95,000-£110,000 seems completely reasonably compared to cars of a similar age from the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini. You can see the full listing for this car here.

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I’m reasonably certain that I wouldn’t fit comfortably in this tiny and unusual Alfa Romeo, and even more certain that I wouldn’t be able to change gear, but I liked it nonetheless. This ‘Speciale’ is believed to have been built in the sixties, and is now registered in the UK as a 1953 Alfa Romeo 1900. The hand formed aluminium bodywork is wrapped around a steel birdcage, allowing for a unique aesthetic. The car looks as if it could use some recommissioning works to bring it back to its full potential, and perhaps some work could be done to give the paintwork more lustre. Whether the car is worth the £60,000-£70,000 guide is entirely up to the bidders on Saturday, but it is doubtful that you could build a handcrafted Italian sports car for less. You can see the full details for this car here.

The Mexico above certainly isn’t the only gorgeous Maserati on offer this weekend, as this utterly stunning 1962 3500 GT Spyder by Vignale surely must be one of the highlights of the sale. Again I’d make the point that this is undervalued compared to Ferraris of a similar era, even if the guide is still a huge amount of money at £525,000-£595,000. I’d be very surprised to hear that this car will see the road often, but whoever buys it will be fortunate enough to be able to just sit and admire the beauty of it. You can find the full details of this car here.

Finally on my list is this 1980 Ferrari 308 GTSi, which started life in California, before being imported into the UK in 2015. Possibly the most affordable way to Ferrari ownership at this current point in time, this 308 is offered with a guide of £30,000-£35,000. Of course, the Giallo Fly paintwork helped to catch my attention as I’m very much a fan of yellow Ferraris. The last major service and belt change appears to be in 2016, so that should be something for the new owner to budget for, but otherwise this looks like a reasonable car for the money, though I am sure I’ve seen it at an auction or two previously. It is also one of the last lots in the auction, so there may be a chance to get it at a cheaper price than if it was earlier in the sale. You can read the full details for this car here.

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