Silverstone and Historics. Boat trip

  • 14 June 2023
  • 3 min read
  • 9 images
Silverstone and Historics. Boat trip image

Photo credit: Historics, Silverstone

Cliff Goodall’s view For a long time, Silverstone Auction and Historics have been direct competitors (often “colliding” in my pieces), but the “cold” numbers speak for themselves: Silverstone presented 110 cars, with 71 successfully sold (64.55%), a similar percentage to Historics at 64.52%, with 100 cars sold out of 155 on offer. However, the similarities end there, as the disparity becomes evident. In terms of value, Silverstone offered £9,304,000, more than double that of Historics (£4,140,000). At the end of the sale, the revenue gap widened even further, with the “chic” one reaching £5,760,622, while the “popular” Historics stopped at £2,468,778, a difference of 130%. Naturally, with fewer cars on sale and a higher revenue, the difference in average sales prices was astronomical: £81,135 and £24,687 respectively.

Silverstone, Sywell, 20th May Historics, Ascot, 27th May

When we examine the cars sold, the two British auctions on 20th and 27th May reflected their distinct characters. Among the delights on offer at Silverstone, there was an iconic 2000 TVR Cerbera Speed 12, a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. For those who may have missed the recent buzz, let me reiterate its exceptional attributes: a monstrous 7.7-litre engine, 840 hp, and rear-wheel drive, earning it the title of "the world's most dangerous car" according to the automotive press at the time. However, it was presented without an estimated value, and it changed hands for £601,500 – a truly remarkable deal in my opinion (considering it is just a fraction of the price of an equivalent Porsche 911 GT1 or Mercedes CLK GTR, not to mention the legendary McLaren F1). Nonetheless, its track record may have lacked the corresponding accolades.

1 2000 TVR Cerbera Speed 12 sold for £601,500 (€703,850)

In comparison, the star of Historics pales in comparison: a petite (in every sense) Dino 246 GT. It's a model we know well, as it is quite common at auctions, allowing for numerous comparisons. This particular one was right-hand drive, with only one owner since 1990, and presented in a ruby red exterior with black interior. The average price for this model over the past year has been around £250,000, so with an estimate of £195,000-£215,000, there was some room to improve upon the car's good but not exceptional condition. However, after a flurry of bids, the little beauty from Maranello changed hands for £254,240. And then there was another small satisfaction for Historics: another Dino 246 GT for sale over at Silverstone, but that one didn't meet its reserve price.

2 (1) 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GT sold for £254,240 (€297,500)

On the other hand, another car we had previously mentioned from Silverstone fared quite well: it was the ultimate Jaguar E-Type S3 V12 Roadster built before the Commemorative Editions began, making it the very last of its series. The estimate of £160,000-£200,000 was right on the mark, with a final selling price of £180,000. However, what truly redefined the market was lot 179, a 1996 Ford Escort RS Cosworth Lux. Well, calling it “just” an Escort Cosworth would be an understatement – it was the finest RS Cosworth on the market. With a mere 76 miles on the clock and just two owners from new, it was emphatically described as “the lowest mileage example to be offered this century.” Initially estimated at £150,000-£180,000, it was eventually sold for £163,125. The market for this model had recently shown signs of cooling down, but this could be the breakthrough that reignites its value. A record-setting moment for the model, of course.

3 1996 Ford Escort Cosworth Lux sold for £163,125 (€190,900)

Historics also had its "moments of glory." One such example was the sale of the 1976 Lamborghini Urraco P300 - a model conceived during the challenging years of the oil crisis when renowned manufacturers ventured into producing "smaller" sports cars. Around fifteen years ago, this particular model lacked any general appeal and struggled to find a market, with prices hovering around €20,000-£30,000. However, times have changed, and the Urraco offered at the auction was a truly stunning example, featuring a stunning silver exterior with a tobacco interior, and boasting an impressive mileage of just 63,500 km, it captivated the bidders. Despite its left-hand drive configuration, which could have potentially dampened its success, the Urraco defied expectations. The estimate of £64,000-£74,000 was pulverized when the gavel finally fell at an astonishing £112,000.

4 (1) 1976 Lamborghini Urraco P300 sold for £112,000 (€131,000)

Silverstone also brought a bull to the table, and it's the car I would have taken home with me. This is no ordinary baby-Lamborghini; it may be marketed as such, but it packs a powerful punch: a V10, 5.0-litre engine producing 500 hp. You guessed it – I'm talking about a 2007 Gallardo with just 24,000 miles on the clock. The colour was a beautiful shade of dark grey, a far cry from the flamboyant hues typically associated with Lamborghinis, making it suitable for everyday driving as well. Let’s just say it's more of a competitor to the 911 Turbo than a 430 Scuderia. And the price? A steal at £64,125 (estimated at £62,000-£70,000). With the same amount, you could buy an Escort RS Cosworth or one of the finest Clio V6s. But mark my words, the value of this "baby Lambo" has just hit rock bottom; next stop: a six-figure number.

5 2007 Lamborghini Gallardo sold for £64,125 (€75,000)

What about the 2005 Aston Martin V8 Vantage from Historics? The price spoke volumes, as you could have taken home this exquisite Aston for just £22,250 (estimated at £21,000-£26,000). Back in the day, the design was met with mixed reviews – some called it “beautiful yet ordinary” or even “dated”. However, in the present context, these descriptors have taken on a whole new meaning. The once-perceived ordinariness has evolved into a distinctive trademark, even considered “iconic”, while the notion of being “dated” has gracefully transformed into being hailed as a “classic”. This particular model, equipped with the exceptional 4.3-litre V8 engine, also featured the incredibly rare 6-speed manual transmission, making it an exquisite piece for any discerning collector. In keeping with tradition, neither of the two auction houses shied away from their “humble origins,” offering two gems that could be taken home for less than £10,000. At Silverstone, below this price range, there was one of the 75 examples of the Maserati 3200GT Assetto Corsa sold in the United Kingdom. With over 47,000 miles on the clock and an estimated value of £16,000-£18,000, it went under the hammer without a reserve as the very first lot of the auction, ultimately selling for £9,900.

6 2001 Maserati 3200 GT Assetto Corsa sold for £9,900 (€11,500)

Historics, had a much wider selection, and among them, I would have loved a Mini. We all know that the Mini has been produced in countless versions. The latest ones combine the beauty of the design with the reliability of modern engines, so why not opt for a 1997 Rover Mini Cooper? Its modest 1.3i engine may lack the power of larger displacements, but its lightweight and compact nature make it the perfect car for city driving, with style. Don't focus on the £9,622 spent; instead, relish the thumbs-up you'll receive at the traffic lights, as if you were a famous influencer…

7 (1) 1997 Rover Mini Cooper sold for £9,622 (€11,250)