For the latest classic car news, features, buyer’s guides and classifieds, sign up to the C&SC newsletter here
Exciting bidding took the price of this beautiful 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing up to £832,500 by the time the hammer fell on Saturday at the Silverstone Classic, making it the event’s top lot by quite some margin.
Yet despite achieving a figure that’s way out of reach for us mere mortals, it still fell short of its £850,000-1,000,000 pre-sale estimate.
The two-part sale was Silverstone Auctions’ ninth at the Silverstone Classic, this year with sales on both Saturday (27 July) and Sunday (28 July).
The glorious Gullwing was bought by a British buyer and it’s quite some car.
Having been painted silver and shipped to New York when new, it came to the UK in 1989, now red, and its first owner here was Lotus Team Manager, Peter Warr.
It was sold with a substantial history file and has been enjoyed on European driving holidays, which we hope will give inspiration to its next owner – wouldn’t it be amazing to spot this car on a sun-kissed road trip?
Not only did this Mercedes not achieve its anticipated price, many of the sale’s other higher-priced lots failed to sell at all – both trends seen in other recent auctions.
The lot with the second-highest estimate, a fresh-to-the-market 1965 Aston Martin DB5 that it was thought would hit £575-675,000, didn’t sell.
A 2018 Ferrari California T ‘70th Anniversary’ with the third-highest guide price did sell, and within its estimate when the gavel came down at £270,000 (£255-285,000).
However, running down the list of estimates, the next three were unsold: a 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300b Cabriolet (£200-250,000), the seven-mile 1985 MG Metro 6R4 (£200-240,000) and the ex-John Whitmore 1965 Ford Lotus Cortina (£190-220,000).
Of course, that’s not to say there wasn’t some success. All the cars consigned to the sale from the estate of the late Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams found new homes, the Lancia Fulvia HF 1600 reaching £39,375, £65,250 for the 1963 Austin Mini Cooper S, Williams’ kart selling for £3600 and his Gilera Stalker Paddock Bike fetching for £731.
And it was a day for classics with famous former owners: the ex-Steve Coogan 1970 Aston Martin DBS V8 hit the middle of its predicted £145-165,000 when it was sold to a bidder in the room for £151,875, yesterday.
Other interesting lots that are heading to new keepers included a no-reserve 1994 Lancia Delta HF Integrale ‘Bianca Perlato’ that, after a tense war between bidders on-site and on the phone, went for £63,562, and an 81-mile 1978 Volkswagen Beetle that smashed its £25-30,000 estimate to sell for £39,938.
If you’d like to see the full results from the weekend’s Silverstone Classic Silverstone Auctions sale, please click here.