The hills are alive with with the sound of Healey
West Country hills will be alive with the sound of automotive music this summer, courtesy of a newly-acquired 1957 Austin Healey 100/6 modified for the ultimate driving experience.
The new owner bought the “Big Healey” at the DVCA sale held at Henstridge Airfield on July 11, a venue fairly local to his home, for the princely sum of £52,250.
A burbling V8 under the bonnet of a 1971 Triumph Stag will also be making suitably summery, if more subdued, sounds having found a new owner who bid to £10,670 to acquire the car, which last changed hands 19 years ago. With the optional factory hardtop included, it promises all-year-round practicality.
More sedate progress is likely to be made by the owner of a 1953 Bentley R-Type, but having successfully bid £32,000 for his new carriage he is unlikely to subject it to hard use although as a compact luxury saloon it was highly regarded for its handling in its day. That was no doubt appreciated by its first owner, Lord Luke of the Bovril company, who was part of the International Olympic Committee charged with bringing the Games into the modern era.
The appetite for postwar classics was clearly demonstrated by the demand for the two Alfa Romeos in the sale, a 2003 156 3.2 V6 GTA Sportwagon achieving £7,150 and a 2005 GTV 2.0 TS that sold for £1,760, a result sure to bring a smile to the new owner’s face.
Equally As pleased will be the bidder who parted with £1,320 to take ownership of a Volkswagen Golf 2.3 V5 five door automatic, a rarity among the wider family of Golf variants. A 1968 Triumph Vitesse Mk II saloon, renowned among enthusiasts for its smooth small capacity in-line six cylinder engine, was bought for £4,600.
Pre-war cars also found their supporters. First away was a 1940 Armstrong-Siddeley 16hp Light-Six saloon for £5,940, among the last to be built before the factory ceased car production and turned to war work when hostilities got under way at the end of the “Phoney War”.
Two lovers of American heavy metal fought it out for a 1937 Packhard Super 8 Touring Limousine with the telephone bidder defeating his rival in the marquee to get the car for £7,480. Two 1930s Morris models also appealed. A 1933 Morris 10/4 Fixed Head Special Coupe went home with the bidder paying £10,230 while a 1932 Morris Minor Fixed Head Special Coupe was sold for £2,900. A 1936 Austin Seven Opal Tourer proved the car’s evergreen popularity, selling for £8,360.
Motorcycles also found their following, with a 1938 Triumph Model 6S 598cc bought in a Salisbury auction in 1982 showing 11,000 miles selling for £9,020 after a restoration and only another 600 miles adding to its total. A 2003 Suzuki SV650S K2 sold for £1,430 and a 1976 Bultaco Sherpa T350 needing to be road registered for £1,375.
“The sale was my 50th and it was good to be able to present a widely varied mix of cars and motorcycles,” said Brian of DVCA. “I was confident the Austin Healey would perform as well in the sale as it does on the road, so I wasn’t disappointed and the new owner will surely be equally happy!
“Modern classics and cars with potential are also finding their following among a new class of bidders who want to own the models they were possibly too young to insure when the cars were new, and the two Alfa Romeos that sold are clear examples of what buyers seek.
“The same applies to the Triumph Stag and Vitesse, both high end cars in their day and appreciated over several decades on the classic car scene. The pre-war cars were a mix of those ready to hit the road today and others needing some TLC. Anyone with garage space and a set of spanners can fettle these cars, getting real enjoyment out of preparing them for the road once more.”
The next sale will be at Henstridge Airfield between Shaftesbury and Sherborne on Thursday October 24th.