Brightwells had assembled an interesting catalogue for the second sale of the year with a pleasingly eclectic mix of machinery on offer. By the time the dust had settled, all but 24 of the 111 lots on offer had been successfully sold for a total of £1.125m to give a clearance rate of 78%.

Top price of the day went to a gorgeous 1959 Aston Martin DB MkIII in desirable ‘High Power’ triple carb form. With just one owner for the last 50 years and beautifully restored within the last 15 years, this rare ‘matching numbers’ Aston ticked all the right boxes and had no problem flying way beyond its £148k top estimate to finish on £176,500.

Next best was another beautifully presented British sportscar, a 1960 Austin-Healey 3000S Sebring. One of only six made in 2020 by Healey guru, John Chatham, with an aluminium body and many mechanical and cosmetic upgrades, it too comfortably beat its estimate to end on £88,930. In similar vein was a stunning 1970 Jaguar D-Type Recreation, one of only 12 made in the early 2000s for racing purposes by Revival Motorsport of Kirkby Mallory. Fitted with a 4.2-litre Rob Beere race engine with a Tremec 5-speed gearbox and many other racing goodies, it looked a million dollars and deserved every penny of the £67,200 required to secure it.

Other British sportscar results of note included a 1968 Jaguar E-Type S2 Coupe which had spent most of its life in sunny Australia, hence the good state of structural preservation. Hampered by a rather curious chassis number which bore no relation to those usually issued by Jaguar, it nevertheless had no trouble in finding a buyer at £44,800 although no doubt it would have made a bit more with a ‘no stories’ identity. A smart 1968 Jaguar E-Type S1.5 2+2 Coupe also found a new home at £39,310.

A rare 1954 Sunbeam Alpine MkI Special, one of only around 90 made with an ERA-tuned engine, was also successfully sold, although it could be judged well bought at £43,680 given that it had recently had an £80k restoration and Brightwells had sold two similar cars in the past which both made well over £50k. A sign of the times perhaps, as cars from this era are no longer quite as sought after as they once were.  

Having said that, all but one of the eleven pre-war cars on offer were successfully sold, top price going to a delightful 1930 Austin Seven Van which more than doubled its estimate to finish on £24,300. A nicely patinated 1927 Austin Seven Chummy in need of recommissioning following several years in storage fetched £10,860 while a 1927 Humber 9/20 Tourer in similar condition made £11,200.

Pre-war in looks if not in reality was a 2004 Morgan 4/4 in basic ‘Runabout’ spec which had no trouble in selling for £28,220 thanks to its sub-12k mileage and the fact that the cheapest four-wheeler Morgans are now over £70k new from the factory!

Fast Fords are also famously pricey at the moment so it was no real surprise that the 1980 Ford Escort Mk2 RS2000 in unusual Base Model spec readily found a new home at £36,000 thanks to its sparkling condition. Another blue-collar icon to men of a certain age is the venerable Ford Transit Mk1 van, and the two-owner 1967 Camper conversion on offer was snapped up for £11,200. Had it been a standard panel van in similar condition it would doubtless have made rather more as these are now very thin on the ground and increasingly sought after: a mint 1972 Transit LWB with only 7k miles on the clock recently made a scarcely believable £60k at auction…

At completely the other end of the spectrum, Rolls-Royce cars continue to be amazingly good value considering the excellent craftsmanship with which they were made. A really smart 1976 Shadow 1 looked great value at £14,670 while a nicely restored 1952 Silver Wraith Mulliner Limousine looked a steal at just £29,160, the price representing a mere fraction of its restoration cost.  

Utterly different in every conceivable way was an amazing 2015 Volkswagen XL1, a car which was so futuristic it looked like a machine from a century yet to come. One of only 250 made and powered by a hybrid electric/turbo-diesel engine capable of over 300mpg, it could be deemed well bought at £62,270 considering it would have cost almost double that amount when new and will drop jaws wherever it goes.

Elsewhere in the catalogue, a really smart 1967 Jaguar Mk2 340 which had spent most of its life in New Zealand fetched an impressive £25,760 while a cute and nicely restored 1972 Fiat 500L made an equally impressive £13,660, helped along by the fact that it was a relatively rare factory RHD example.

The next Brightwells classic car auction will be on 10th May and will have a special section devoted to iconic Japanese cars which have been shooting up in value of late. The deadline for entries is 28th April so if you are considering selling, please get in touch by calling 01568 611122 or by emailing


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