The first sale of the year was relatively modest in scale at Brightwells with a slimmer catalogue than usual as many sellers prefer to wait for the Spring before bringing their classics to market. Nevertheless, there were still plenty of interesting vehicles on offer and the buyers were out in force so trade was reassuringly brisk. By the time the dust had settled, 64 of the 84 lots presented had been successfully sold for a total of £650,000 giving a healthy clearance rate of 77%.

Top seller of the day was an extremely rare and nicely presented 1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Mulliner Convertible which had been in single-family ownership for 57 years. One of only 49 made in RHD and looking splendid in light blue metallic, it oozed old world class and deserved every penny of the £103,400 required to secure it.

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Oozing class of an entirely different order was a brash-as-they-come 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback with a thunderous 5.7 V8 under the bonnet which shook the whole building on start-up. Looking very Miami Vice in white with a white interior, it looked like a lot of fun for £39,200 although the buyer’s neighbours might not see it that way when it fires up of a morning!

The English equivalent was an arguably rather more sophisticated 1969 Jaguar E-Type Series 2 2+2 Coupe coming from 16-year ownership and in everyday usable condition which fetched £31,670. Sticking with the Jaguar theme, a unique 1957 MkVIII with a 1936 William Arnold Derby Bentley body grafted on proved a real talking point during the viewing. Known as the ‘Jentley’ with a Jaguar dash and Bentley seats, this one-off special was generally considered to be a happy union and successfully changed hands for £21,280.


Modern Range Rovers have been in the news a lot lately as the most stolen car in Britain – a barbed tribute to just how desirable they are – and their older antecedents are equally highly coveted. A nicely restored 1972 A-Suffix example in cheerful Masai Red was hardly a steal at £33,600 but at least the new owner will be able to sleep at night without worrying too much that it might be kidnapped by some drug baron in Uzkyrgyzstan…

The Japanese equivalent was a 1964 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40, an immensely rugged and capable 4x4 that has developed a cult following of late. A two-door soft-top version with an indestructible 3.8 petrol engine, power steering and front disc brakes, it looked very business-like in olive green and comfortably beat its estimate to finish on £26,320. Given that these hard-as-nails off-roaders already fetch twice as much in America, it could yet prove a canny buy at that level.




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Six of the eight MGs on offer found new homes, top honours going to a smart 1968 MGC GT with some choice mechanical upgrades which made a healthy £20,160. A 1972 MGB GT V8 with interesting Costello connections made £12,320 while a pin-sharp 1972 Midget MkIII made £11,300. It was instructive that the two that didn’t sell were both early post-war models, this being a market sector that has been somewhat depressed of late.

The same is generally true of the pre-war market, but on this occasion Brightwells bucked the trend and all seven of the pre-war cars successfully changed hands, albeit at modest money. A nicely restored 1931 Austin Seven Chummy fetched £10,750 while an ‘oily rag’ 1930 Chummy made £7,560 and a smart 1929 Swift P3 Tourer raised £8,960. A 1932 Nash Standard 8, a 1924 Buick Series 24 Tourer and a 1937 Riley 12/4 Sports Special were all in the £7k - £8k range, rather less than they would have made a few years back.


More in tune with current market trends was a thoroughly usable, easy to maintain and nicely retro-looking 1968 Volvo P1800S. An older restoration in generally good order throughout, it finished on £25,760. Equally usable and just as stylish was a 1988 Lotus Esprit X180 which had attracted a huge amount of pre-sale interest due to the extraordinary tale behind it. Restored at a cost of over £75,000 ten years ago, it had then been left outside under a sheet which had clearly done it no favours. On offer from a deceased estate at a very modest guide price, it was hotly contested to a £15,900 finish and had the makings of a very fine car indeed. Potentially the bargain of the sale, we would love to know what becomes of it!

The next Brightwells Classic Vehicles auction will be on 27th March with a closing date for entries of 15th March so if you are thinking of selling, please don’t hesitate get in touch by calling 01568 611122 or by emailing for a free, no obligation valuation. The market seems to have plenty of life in it and Spring is in the air!

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