March 2022 auction results: Californian Datsun avoids rusty ravages

Simon de Burton on the auction world’s big buys and bargains, including a pristine 240Z

1972 Datsun 240Z
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1972 Datsun 240Z

Sold by The Market, £24,000

Datsun’s 240Z might have been the best-looking, most practical GT car to have come out of Japan – but most of the few originally exported to the UK soon suffered the ravages of rust. This example, however, was in superb shape having arrived from California four years ago after being given a quality repaint in its original white. A tidy engine bay and an immaculately re-trimmed interior (complete with original wood-rimmed steering wheel) added to the appeal, as did the of-the-era Konig alloy wheels and push-button radio. It was certainly a great way of avoiding the London ULEZ charge.


1972 Lancia Fulvia S2

Sold by Historics, £19,244

Competition-car looks but this appeared more or less standard underneath, meaning it could have made a cool road car or served as the perfect blank canvas from which to create a bespoke track tool.


1970 Plymouth Road Runner Superbird

Sold by Bonhams, £95,625

This NASCAR-bred Superbird had been in the same ownership since 1984. Barn-stored for the past 30 years, it looked superbly complete and original.


1971 MGB Roadster

Sold by H&H, £2250

If you thought the days of auction bargains were over… Offered for sale at no reserve having been dry-stored for 13 years, it was running, had 82,500 miles on the clock and came with a hard top.


Aston Martin DB2

1953 Aston Martin DB2 Vantage

Sold by H&H, £161,667

This beautifully presented DB2 was offered for sale a couple of years ago with a price tag of almost £260,000. The subject of an older but meticulous restoration and since benefiting from improvements to the tune of £100,000, it had been lightly tweaked and subtly modified to create a competitive long-distance rally car.


1960 Jensen 541R

Sold by Historics, £31,360

Offered at no reserve this dusty Jensen must have piqued the interest of numerous bargain hunters in search of a worthy winter project – but its rarity, originality and completeness drew plenty of bids.


1989 Westfield SEI

Sold by Bonhams MPH, £5625

The fact that this Westfield wasn’t registered for the road may have put some people off but it offered great value for money as a trackday and hillclimb car, not least since it had been recently rebuilt.


1959 Citroen 2CV

Sold by CCA, £9990

About as minimal as a car can get, this 425cc Deux Chevaux featured cut-down doors but came with an additional full-sized set. Features included the correct hammock seats and corrugated bonnet.


Forthcoming car sale highlights

Gooding & Company, Geared Online
Scottsdale, US. Ends January 28

Gooding & Company continues the successful series of online sales that were originally prompted by the first Covid lockdowns. This first edition of 2022 includes everything from the well-patinated (Porsche 356 Speedster and Ford Bronco) to the meticulously restored (1970 Maserati Ghibli 4.9 SS, 1952 Alfa Romeo 1900 Sprint). Look out, too, for some early Corvettes.

Paris, February 4

Following the cancellation of Rétromobile in 2021, hopes are high that all will be back to normal this year – which will mean live bidding at Artcurial’s official sale, for which a host of interesting lots have been consigned including 19 rally cars from the estate of Belgian driver Baudoin Lempereur, a 1950 Gordini driven by Juan Manuel Fangio and a 2011 Peugeot 908 Le Mans Prototype.

Sparkford, Yeovil, March 3

Great things still turn up at the smaller regional auction houses – as evinced by some of the lots in the first Charterhouse sale of 2022 that’s at the Haynes Motor Museum in Somerset. We like the 1966 Ford Anglia that’s being sold complete with an old-school notebook recording every fill-up, oil change and expenditure, and the 1974 Porsche 914 that was meticulously restored during a decade-long ‘retirement project’.

RM Sotheby’s
Fort Lauderdale, US, March 5-6

If you believe the ultimate American automotive status symbol is a pink Cadillac, this sale could be for you. Among the star lots is a 1960 Eldorado Biarritz Convertible – all 18ft 9in of it. What better car in which to enjoy the gentle sun of a Florida spring day? Other open-toppers include a white 1953 Buick Skylark Convertible and a nail-varnish red 1936 Packard Twelve Coupé Roadster.