Autumn 2018 Preview Part I

Whether you are a fan of two wheel transport or prefer the stability of a wheel at each corner, there’s a host of delights at our forthcoming sale.

Freshly lined up for the marquee at Athelhampton House, near Dorchester, on September 13th is a 1985 Jaguar XJ Series II HE V12 saloon (guide price £5,000-£6,000), widely regarded as the best of all the early generation XJ saloons which celebrate the 50th anniversary of their launch during the sale month.

The last design to come from the superb imagination of Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons, the Series III answered all the criticisms of the cramped earlier cars by having a raised rear roofline and making the long wheelbase body standard. Coupled with the silky-smooth V12 engine from the XJ-S sports car, it was a model to match the likes of Rolls-Royce and Bentley for genteel travel and the big Mercedes-Benz saloons for performance and handling.

Other British icons celebrating anniversaries this year include the Land Rover and Morris Minor. Both are represented at the auction with a sympathetically-restored 1968 Series IIA 88inch Hardtop Land Rover (£12,500-£14,000) and perhaps the rarest Minor of them all, a 1968 6cwt pick-up with canvas tilt (£7,500-£9,500).

In the same year as the XJ launched, Triumph gave the world the TR6 and there is a 1973 example (£16,000-£18,000) in the sale. Triumph fans could also be tempted by the 1977 Stag Mk II (£11,000-£13,000), still an open car but with four seats and a burbling V8.

Minis mark their 60 years next year and there are two in the sale, both with Heritage replacement shells. The 1984 Mini 25 (£8,500-£9,500) celebrates the car’s first quarter century while the 1990 Rover Mini Cooper (£12,000-£14,000) comes in the sought-after British Racing Green metallic with a white roof.

The anniversary mood for the sale is not done yet, because a 1962 Buick Electra 225 convertible brings a touch of American muscle from the marque that founded General Motors 100 years ago this year. Alfa Romeo’s 75 years are marked by a 1992 75 Twin Spark special edition (£5,000-£7,000).

Classic car enthusiasts with an automatic-only licence can get among the most famous of British cars because the 1971 MG B GT in the sale (£4,500-£5,500) has an automatic gearbox as well as the attractive Rostyle wheels that suit its shape so well.

Helping celebrate the unusual is a 1978 Austin Allegro Vanden Plas (£3,250-£4,250), reflecting the British taste for luxury even in small cars, a 1971 Leyland Leopard bus with Alexander body (£12,500-£13,500), about which buyers can be assured there won’t be another one along in a minute, and a 2007 Renault Mascott 160 DXi vehicle transporter with crew cab and canvas load cover (£7,000-£10,000) that regularly delivered an entry to the London to Brighton Commemorative run. Those who can’t resist a luxury bargain will find it hard to keep their hands in their pockets when the 1998 Mercedes-Benz E240 Elegance automatic saloon (£4,000-£5,000) is offered from the rostrum.

“I wanted to add a Jaguar XJ to complete the anniversary cars line-up in the sale and to get a Series III V12 HE into the catalogue really is the pinnacle,” says Brian Chant, of DVCA.

“There’s quite a fun mix of cars and motorcycles, with the addition of the bus and transporter just to give an eclectic touch. There truly is something for everyone, from those who want to relive their ton-up days to those who are happy to remember faster times while enjoying four wheels and a touch of luxury. If they want to do it in the company of friends, the bus should have enough seats!”