I always like having a wander around at ACA’s classic auctions, as there is always a real mixture of cars – everything from rare and high priced genuine classics, all the way through to bottom of the barrel, scrapyard finds. Watching the prices they manage to make sometimes is always interesting, and I’d be curious to see some sort of analysis of how well they’ve done being online only, instead of a mass of people. There were certainly a few cars that caught my attention, and you can find them all below. I wouldn’t say that the majority of them make any financial sense, but they’re interesting and cars I’d quite like to take home (for the right price). It’s nice to dream!
First up is the car that looks like it would be most likely to cause financial ruin. This 1990 Aston Martin Virage has corrosion *everywhere*, and that’s without considering it was never a highly desirable car to begin with, even with the Aston Martin badge. That said, there is just something about these that I find appealing. I’d really love to find just how terribly they drive, and also if there is anything that can be done about that. There are a few warning signs with the car beyond the obvious bodywork issues, as the MOT history, whilst not terrible for condition, does jump around on the mileage. In 2011 the MOT states the car had covered 551,758kms, with over 507,000kms covered since the previous MOT! Obviously a few issues there, and perhaps a little difficult to gauge the car’s true mileage, though perhaps the paperwork tells a different story. Another warning sign could be that this car was long term owned from 2001 – 2020 (with bills for over £27k, according to the listing), but was sold last year and has now surfaced at auction. It may be nothing, but it’s worth considering the potential expenses of this car. This Virage is guided at £16,500 – £20,000, and at the lower guide it doesn’t seem like too bad an idea – or at least it wouldn’t until you bought it. (I still want it, though)
The next vehicle that caught my eye whilst wandering around was this 1973 Ford Transit drop side. This Transit was in storage, and has spent the previous 4/5 years being restored by CL Panelcraft. It isn’t perfect, but it does present nicely, and it’s nice to see that someone has put time and money into restoring what is essentially a work tool. I’m not entirely sure what you’d do with a very nice condition Transit, but perhaps there is a a collector or enthusiast out there who is looking for just this sort of thing. It’s guided at £14,500 – £16,500. This, or a Virage?
I can’t help but feature a project. There was a whole glut of options to choose from, with plenty of rusting hulks that are potentially far beyond saving. The (first) one I’ve picked is this 1974 Jaguar XJ6 4.2, a handsome series 2 car that caught my eye because I could easily see just how gorgeous this car would have been when it drove out of the showroom new. As I later discovered, this car has only covered 29,182 miles (which is warranted, too). It has had three registered owners, but according to the listing the first owner is also the third owner, after he brought it back from his friend. This is a car that deserves to be made good again, although it will be costly for whoever does it. This car is offered at no reserve.
Ok, so there was a second option that caught my eye. I don’t think I could bring myself to buy it, but there was something I like about it. This 1983 Mercedes 380 SEC is no ordinary GT, as it had its roof chopped off at some point after leaving the factory, and a massive soft top added. The problem is, a car modified in such a way, and in such a poor condition, can be something of a big problem. Finding or manufacturing parts for the roof mechanism could be problematic and expensive, as could the roof skin itself. The listing describes the interior as needing replacement, and somehow that is still an understatement, as it is in truly disgusting condition. The question is whether you could throw a fortune to put this car right, and then it still end up being worth less than a standard car? I wish it was a 500 rather than a 380, but the thought of a big convertible Mercedes with V8 power is appealing nonetheless. I’m really curious to see how much this sells for, as it’s offered with no reserve.
There is less American cars on offer at this weekend’s ACA sale than you’d usually find, and this 1970 Chevrolet Camaro SS really caught my eye. It stood out amongst the other classics in the sale for me, both for the aesthetic it presents, for the cool factor and also because this is a manual gearbox car, which appeals to me greatly. This particular Camaro was imported to the U.K. in 1971, and stayed with that owner until 2018. It has had little use in recent years as part of a collection, and for some reason that reminds me of another Camaro at another sale, but I can’t quite put my finger on it at the moment, I’ll have to do some digging. It’s guided at £22,000 – £24,000.
Another 1970 car which I really quite liked is this Land Rover 88” Series IIA pick up. Described as a long term restoration with many new parts, and a restoration bill for £7,440, which seems cheap all things considered. Guided at £12,000 – £15,000. A sweet little Landie that anyone could enjoy.
Now for my favourite car of the entire auction, the utterly gorgeous 1962 Aston Martin Lagonda Rapide. Quite possibly one of the loveliest saloon cars you could ever hope to clap eyes on, this RHD, manual, overdrive car was bought by the vendor in 1997. It was unused from the 1980s to 1999 following a restoration, and had 10,004 recorded miles. There is some mention of repairs and replacement parts by Stratton Motors in 2020, so hopefully the car is ready to be enjoyed just as it should. Guided at £120,000 – £160,000 this is by no means cheap, but when would you see another?
Lot 392 is a Renault Clio RS 172, with only 15,050 miles from new. I don’t usually take much interest in low mileage cars as you never want to use them and always end up worrying about where you leave them. I’m a sucker for a fast Renault, though, and though I know this no reserve car won’t sell cheaply, I can still pretend it might. Recently serviced including the cambelt. The closest you could probably get to a new RS 172? Maybe!
Directly after the little Clio is another big convertible Mercedes, but this one is as the factory intended, and even in its dilapidated state it loses none of its class or appeal. One of only 192 RHD cars built, this 220 SE cabriolet is undoubtably beautiful and ready for restoration too. Would it be a crime to just get it mechanically spot on, sort the chrome and interior and enjoy it? It would, but I’d still like to do it. Offered with no reserve too….
Following on from the 220 SE is…..another Virage! You rarely see one, and then two turn up at once. This Virage is in decidedly better condition than the other car offered this weekend, but by no means perfect. From the reg you may recognise that this car has been for sale before recently, and for a reasonable amount of time in the last few years. Despite being a better condition car, I think I actually prefer the blue car from earlier in the auction. This car has reputedly covered 35,000 miles, but has had intermittent dial and display faults. Given other recent Virage prices, I’ll be impressed if this makes near the higher end of the guide price.
My penultimate pick is this strongly guided 1972 Peugeot 504 coupe, which is priced between £12,000 – £15,000. This LHD car looks to be in reasonably nice condition all round, though the tops of both seats have been poorly patched. It is still a lovely looking car, and one I’d love to drive.
Last up is an affordable little Lancia, and possibly the only car I’ve seen in recent times where the application of a Martini style livery hasn’t made me turn away in disgust. This 1991 Delta HF Turbo IE is no Integrale, but it still has bags of charm and appeal. The £5,000 – £7,000 guide doesn’t seem too unreasonable, and on the face of it, this looks like a solid little car.