Two UK records at Silverstone Classic auctionsby Michael Thorogood on 2nd August 2017
Fast Fords, classic Beamers and a World Rally classic sell big at Silverstone
Another year, another extraordinary array of cars; the only thing more breathtaking than the machines at this year's Silverstone Classic auctions were the prices...
When the final hammer fell on July 30 at the climax of a third day of frantic bidding, £5.5 million worth of classic and sports cars had changed hands.
Top of Thursday's race car auction was Juha Kankkunen's Lancia Delta HF Integrale Group A rally car. Piloted by the four-time World Rally champion to fifth position at the 1000 Lakes in 1990, the Finn's car went for a headline-grabbing £225,000. That's almost double the lower estimate.
It wasn't the only car to blow its valuation out of the water. Fast Fords were especially in demand this year and a 1987 Ford Capri 280 Brooklands more than doubled its estimate with an eventual sale of £55,125, but king of the Fords was an '87 Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500. Quick-fire bidding pushed its auction into six-figure sums, an online bidder from Australia eventually snapped it up for a remarkable UK auction record price of £114,750. It wasn't just originals that were selling big, either. Safir built a range of GT40 Mark V Continuation models in the '80s to satisfy demand for Ford GT40 look-alikes and at Silverstone last month one sold for a remarkable £225,600.
The bright red Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona that Sir Elton John bought to celebrate the success of his album 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' stole the honours as the auction's biggest sale, hitting its estimate at £551,250. But how about parting with almost £40,000 for a 1988 Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9? For many the hottest of hatches, one sold for £38,480 at the auction.
Classic BMWs rounded out the big sales, with £146,250 enough to secure Tim Harvey's 1991 BTCC season-finale winning BMW E30 M3, although his iconic Labatt Ford Sierra RS500 didn't sell. Meanwhile, a rare 1973 BMW 3.0 CSL proved the auctioneers wrong, with a bidding war between the auction room, phone and online bidders stretching the auction £10,000 past its upper-estimate. The car eventually sold for an astonishing UK record price of £137,250.
The eyes of the auction world will now turn quickly to California, where this month's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance could make this £5.5 million look more like petty change.