Brightwells rounded off another busy year on 6th December by selling 62 of the 104 lots on offer for a total of £723,000.

The top seller of the day was also by far the most modern car in the catalogue, an ultra-luxurious 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV with 56k miles under its enormous 22” diamond cut wheels. Marred only by slightly stained front seats and a couple of minor paintwork blemishes here and there, it made a mighty £173,600, this being about half what a well-optioned new one would cost today.


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Possessing an equally prestigious badge was a 1969 Aston Martin DBS Vantage in desirable 5-speed manual form and with just three owners and 80k miles from new. Slightly scruffy around the edges and grubby inside but in good running order, it soared way beyond its £30k bottom estimate to finish on £46,600, leaving plenty of scope for the remedial works required given that a really nice one would still be worth perhaps twice that amount in the current market.

The most startling result was achieved by a humble 1984 Ford Capri MkIII 2.0S which also trounced its £25k bottom estimate to finish on what must be a record price of £39,980. The explanation being that it was a two-owner car that had covered a mere 1,938 miles from new. Find another, as they say…

Japan’s answer to the Ford Capri was the Datsun 240Z, a model which has seen an equally bullish rise in value of late. The 1970 example on offer, a former rally car subsequently converted for fast road use with various useful upgrades, made a healthy £24,750. Similar in spirit was an exceptionally smart 1974 MGB GT with the rare factory-option 3.5 V8 engine and desirable chrome bumpers which made £15,450.

Attracting much pre-sale interest was a 1973 Jensen Interceptor MkIII from 40-year ownership and in need of recommissioning following several years in storage. Looking cosmetically smart but finished in a rather marmite shade of ‘70s Havana Brown, it flew well beyond its £15k bottom estimate but still looked good value at £21,670 which should leave plenty of scope for the recommissioning work required.

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Utterly different in every possible way was a 1961 Messerschmitt KR200, a spartan bubble car with a tiny 200cc engine which had spent the last 40 years in storage. A two-owner example with a heroic 50k miles on the clock (people were tough in those days!) it was in running order and looked smart enough, hence the £17,360 result. Only slightly more civilised but equally good fun was a 1968 Mini Moke, one of the last made and recently restored, which made £18,250.


Unusually for Brightwells there were relatively few pre-war cars in evidence and of the ten on offer only two were sold which says a lot about the current market. The early post-war cars faired slightly better but prices are markedly down from what they would have been a few years back. A very presentable 1948 Jaguar MkIV 3.5 Saloon looked great value at £18,000 while an equally charming 1954 Alvis TC21/100 Grey Lady DHC made £22,400 and a scruffy but usable 1955 Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1 changed hands for £27,000. These prices are at least 30% below what one would have expected at the height of the market in 2016 and one wonders whether they will rally again any time soon...

The next Brightwells Classic Vehicles auction will be on 14th February 2024 with a closing date for entries of 2nd February so if you are thinking of selling, please get in touch by calling 01568 611122 or by emailing We wish you all a very merry Christmas in the meantime and a happy and prosperous New Year.

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