Seventh heaven for car dreamers

Classic and historic car dreamers can take off for seventh heaven at the next Dorset Vintage and Classic Auctions sale.

The sale, on the first day of Spring, March 21st, takes place at Henstridge Airfield, midway between Shaftesbury and Sherborne, and auction director Brian Chant has lined up six Austin 7 derivatives for the catalogue.

In age order, they are a

1930 RK Fabric saloon (guide £7,000-£8,000), subject of a body-off rebuild five years ago;

1932 Austin 7 Four Seat Tourer (£12,000-£14,000) owned by the same family for the last 55 years

1933 “Box” saloon (£6,500-£8,000) with a tidy interior and sliding roof

1935 Pearl cabriolet (£8,000-£9,500), virtually a Ruby saloon but with a roll-back fabric top

1936 Opal Tourer (£8,500-£10,500) a desirable carriage for two people

1938 Ruby saloon (£5,500-£7,000) that was road tested by Classic Car Weekly in 2016 (it was reported to run beautifully).

All the sevens also appear on the registration of an Alvis TA21 project (£3,000-£5,000) consisting of a rolling chassis bearing the registration FDP 777 and fitted with a later TD21 engine known for its smooth and powerful performance.

“The rolling chassis has been stripped of a body that was beyond saving but it is ready to clothe with a special body to the owner’s design, as has happened with a number of these old Alvis models,” explains Brian, himself a well-known racer of an historic Alvis.

Those with a limited budget need not be left behind this summer. Enthusiasts could snap themselves a classic 80s bargain in the form of a white Alfa Romeo 33 1.7 Cloverleaf Veloce (£3,000-£4,000) while moving into the new millennium is an Alfa 2002 GTV Twin-Spark Lusso (£3,000-£4,000). Vauxhalls have a growing fan base and a black 1991 Astra GTE (£2,000-£3,000) makes a great alternative hot hatch now that performance Ford prices are accelerating at an alarming rate.

But for buyers keen for a dash of Ford hot stuff, there’s a Daytona Yellow Mk 1 Ford Capri (£13,500-£15,000) with a 2.6 litre Cologne engine that formed the basis of the revered RS unit. The iconic model celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

“All these cars are later additions to a catalogue that already embraced a 1904 Oldsmobile 7hp Curved Dash Runabout (£50,000-£55,000) which successfully completed the London-Brighton veteran car run last November and is unusual in its ability to have extra passenger seats added at the rear, making it easy to share this unique experience!” adds Brian.

Not much younger is the Darracq 10/12 hp Two Seater (£25,000-£35,000) while the 1921 Jouffret Four Seat Tourer (£25,000-£35,000) in the sale is the only known example of this maker’s six year output.

On a more regal level is the 1932 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Limousine (£26,000-£30,000) with a distinctive black over primrose body built by Vincent of Reading – a decade later the same factory would be secretly turning out Spitfires for the war effort.

The 70s’ and 80s’ relish for the style of 1930s cars gave rise to models such as the white 1982 Beauford Open Tourer (£9,000-£12,000) which joins a 1977 Royale drophead coupe (£20,000-£24,000) and is possibly a perfect wedding car pairing with a white 1958 Bentley S1 (£8,000-£14,000), among the last of the six cylinder cars from the Crewe factory and now wearing a Rolls-Royce grille, a common conversion 20 or more years ago.

A 1968 Mercedes-Benz 230 saloon (£3,750-£4,750) offers a return to the swinging 60s, as does a 1964 Ford Zodiac Mk 3 saloon (£6,500-8,000).

There’s also plenty of attention among car enthusiasts for Citroen in this, its centenary year, and a left field choice is a rare 1984 Acadiane (£3,000-£4,000) van, based in the Dyane developed from the revered 2CV and now converted to right hand drive to become a perfect business promotional vehicle.

 “There’s continuing appetite for interesting cars that catch the eye of bidders in Dorset and much further afield, reflected in our November sale bringing a world Top 50 price for a Jaguar E Type,” says Brian.

“The wide and varied mix in the next sale will help this season take off. Keen enthusiasts who want to bid but lead a busy life can eschew the telephone and fly in to Henstridge Airfield, which now has an upgraded clubhouse and facilities, to secure their purchase in person if they wish!”