Opal will be an Auction Ring Gem

Blue skies and a blue Austin 7 Opal Tourer could make the perfect combination for motoring this summer.

The car has just been confirmed as the launch entry for our summer sale, to be held at Athelhampton House, near Puddletown, on June 7.

With its highly appropriate COR number plate, the car (guide price £10,000 to £14,000) promises to be a real eye-catcher.

First registered in 1938, this 80 year old Austin proves the durability of the little 7, introduced in 1922 with a side valve engine so strong that it went on to be the foundation of the 750 Motor Club and its many race series. Not that this little Opal will have its buyer wanting to rush anywhere as it’s the type of car in which to savour a jaunt to a country pub or historic garden.

Keen summer motorists were also in evidence at the same venue for our March sale, where a 1985 Mercedes-Benz 380 SL saw strong bidding push its price to £17,600. Those with a more robust attitude to open air motoring competed for a 1928 Delage special fitted with a later Austin engine, with the hammer falling at £15,950.

Rainy summer days will be no problem for the new owner of a 2001 Aston Martin DB7 coupe which featured in the sale and saw the price accelerate to £26,400. Showing an equal turn of speed among bidders was a 1999 Lotus Elise Sport 135, one of only 83 cars built from late 1998 which drew a successful bid of £17,050. Open air fans who wanted a slower pace snapped up a 1973 Honda C70 moped for £1,100 and a 1985 Yamaha electric scooter for £230.

A 1966 ex-Military Land Rover sold at £4,950 after being refurbished to withstand many more tough years. Rather more genteel were the two Rolls-Royce models, a 1969 Silver Shadow and a 1983 Silver Spirit, that serenely sailed to £6,160 each but, reflecting the nostalgia driving the classic car market, a 1966 Ford Anglia 1200 Super sold for £9,240 at Athelhampton, not far from the English Ford dealership in Bournemouth where it was first purchased.

An exciting life probably awaits the rally-prepared 1958 Riley 1.5 saloon which matched the Anglia’s price. Built on a Morris Minor platform, it had MG mechanicals to give it that vital extra spark that made the early cars international successes.

Not that international success is a stranger to us. A 1952 left hand drive MG TD found a buyer from the Czech Republic after the auction closed while later sales were also concluded for two Royal Enfield motorcycles, one from 1966 and the other from 2014.

We have a handful of other cars from the auction still on offer for private treaty sales. Among them is a pristine, multi-concours award winning Swedish 1964 Volvo 122 saloon that has never left the same family since it was bought new.