It is party time on the classics auction calendar
British motoring enthusiasts, and enthusiasts for British motoring, are marking some significant anniversaries this year and next – and they are about to get significant help to get into the party mood.
We are helping make sure they don’t miss the bus by drawing up an interesting mix for our next sale, to be held at Athelhampton House, near Dorchester, on September 13.
The big news this year has been the 70th anniversary of Land Rover, launched at the Amsterdam Motor Show on April, 30th, 1948. And to help mark that, the sale includes a 1968 Series IIA hardtop with windows and rear seats in the classic colour combination of Bronze Green and Limestone (guide price £12,500-£14,000), now restored on a galvanised chassis so it should have no problem reaching its own 70th birthday another 20 years down the road!
Launched alongside the Land Rover was the Morris Minor, which seems to have taken a back seat in celebrations compared with the Land Rover. But sure to help redress that is a 1968 Morris Minor 1000 6cwt pick-up with canvas tilt (£7,500-£9,500), possibly the rarest of all the Minor variants on the road today.
The year 1968 also saw the launch of the Triumph TR6 – the auction marquee will be home to a 1973 TR6 (£16,000-£18,000), the perfect open car to enjoy an Indian summer should we get one.
The Americans always like to go one better and this year sees the 110th anniversary of Buick, the founding marque in the General Motors stable. Not to be outdone, Brian Chant of DVCA has lined up a 1962 Buick Electra 225 convertible (£8,000-£10,000), perfect for cruising while listening to the throaty burble of its 401 cu in Nailhead V8.
The Electra celebrates the 60th anniversary of its launch next year, as does the original Mini, two of which feature in the DVCA sale. Both have Heritage replacement bodyshells, which Brian Chant points out gives them possibly a stronger chance of longer life than a restored shell with unknown weld repair qualities. The first is a 1984 Mini 25 (£8,500-£9,500) marking the time when the Mini was just 25 years old and the second a 1990 Cooper (£12,000-£14,000) in the perfect combination of British Racing Green body with white roof.
Italian motoring fans have the chance to bid for a 1992 Alfa Romeo 75 Twin Spark limited edition (£5,000-£7,000) which was created to mark the 75th anniversary of the Italian brand that built the career of Enzo Ferrari, who managed its pre-war racing team.
Anyone planning a party for their classic might be interested in the 1971 Leyland Leopard bus with a body by coachbuilders Alexander (£12,500-£13,500). There can hardly be a better way to ensure they all arrive than going round to collect them! Keen show enthusiasts who want to take both a pristine car and the family to events might also be tempted by the 2007 Renault Mascott vehicle transporter (£7,000-£10,000) which has a six seat crew cab plus a tilt and slide rear body with electric winch and peel-back canvas cover for the car.
Motorcycle enthusiasts will find appeal in the 1957 BSA Road Rocket (£5,500-£7,500) which has had a meticulous rebuild. The engine and gearbox are yet to be run in and the triple chrome-plated fuel tank alone incurred a £2,000 bill from a specialist builder!
“I am now looking at further entries for the sale and won’t stop just because we have a bus and recovery truck to get into the venue,” adds Brian. “Both the bus and the Buick are great for the basis of a wedding business but I’m not wedded to the idea that they have to be sold together!
“I have more lots arriving soon and it would be good to add a Jaguar XJ to the assembly as the car also celebrates its 50 years since launch in September.”