Silverstone Auctions’ £15m July-August 2020 online sale
Topped by the headlining £1.9m Lamborghini Miura SV, provincial auction house Silverstone had a good couple of days selling 73% of its 226-car catalogue. Smart presentation, a generally high standard of entries and entertainment from the man on the rostrum clearly paid dividends for the Midlands-based firm.
The sale replaced Silverstone’s traditional end-July date at the Silverstone Classic historic festival. It was conducted in the main by the lively auctioneer Jonathan Humbert, aided by Silverstone boss Nick Whale and replaced occasionally by Whale’s son, Harry. No clients were in the ‘saleroom’; bidding was either online or over the telephone; cars could be viewed pre-sale in two easily accessible venues.
It had a dynamism similar sales lacked, and was nearer to a physical event than others we have witnessed, no doubt helping the results.
At a glance:
* Gross (motor cars): £15,051,206
* Percentage sold by number: 73%
* Top-selling car: 1972 Lamborghini Miura SV £1,912,500 gross, £1,700,00 net (est. £1.8m to £2.4m)
* Well sold? Given that it had been through its fair share of dealers and auctions, the red Miura SV at a market-correct price
* Well bought? The LHD 1970 Citroën DS21 EFI Décapotable at £135k all-in. It required a degree of recommissioning, but was undoubtedly cheaper than had it had been offered in mainland Europe
At £1.9m with Silverstone’s’ standard 12.5% buyer’s premium, the Miura SV sold for the equivalent of just under $2.5m at today’s rates.
It was a decent European-specification car in as-delivered Rosso Corsa with split-sump and A/C. An early conversion to right-hand drive, and never fully restored, the outside colour and a retrim to non-standard Alcantara chipped away at the final price, but at least four bidders were on it on the day. Although RHD for most of its life, the new owner should at least consider a reversion to LHD and correct black imitation leather with beige cloth inserts.
Several collections were included in the catalogue, including one dedicated to Porsche, with cars mainly from the 80s and 90s. The result of one man’s dedication to the marque, it had been sold recently en masse to a dealer who consigned the collection to this auction. Like all entries in the sale, the guide prices on these cars were accurate and nearly all cars sold near or just above low estimate.
Although Silverstone has made a name for itself with selling fast Fords, rally cars and more modern competition machinery, the catalogue included a variety of more traditional cars and these sold too: another Citroën DS Décapotable, this time a rare RHD DS19 manual for £148.5k all-in; 1954 Swallow Doretti Roadster (£74,250 gross); and a 1972 Bentley Corniche convertible that achieved a colossal £158,625 with premium. The latter RHD car (est. £80k to £90k) came with recent restorations bills to the tune of £110k. For once, the vendor got some of that money back. A 1969 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman was also accompanied by big service receipts, but sold under low estimate for £157,500 with premium.
The Midlands isn’t Monterey, but there was a degree of feel-good factor on preview day worthy of the better worldwide events, with some expensive new cars in the car park owned by younger viewers attracted by Silverstone’s more on-trend catalogue. Whale’s team is onto something of a winning formula; a £15m gross would not disgrace a top-level European sale by any of the international houses. Remember, though, the auction would have been nothing without good-quality entries, a factor competitors might wish to take heed of.
Silverstone Auctions Silverstone Classic Live Online, 31 July-1 August 2020 – results
Total gross cars: £15,051,206
Number of cars not sold: 60
Number of cars withdrawn: 0
Total number of cars: 226
Number sold: 166
Percentage cars sold by number: 73%
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 62%
Percentage of cars sold below low estimate: 57%
Percentage of cars sold not met avge of estimates: 70%
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 19%
Average value of cars sold: £90,670
Average year of cars offered: 1980
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 16%
Photos by K500