The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Monday, October 18, 2021

Classic car buyers maintain their passion despite pandemic - H&H Classics 2020 overview
1926 Bentley 3 Litre Speed Model Tourer - 178,250.

LONDON.- For many of us Collector Vehicles, be they Cars or Motorcycles, engender a sense of freedom and enjoyment that even the harshest pandemic lockdown cannot quell. Interest in restoration projects increased markedly this year and certain bidders exhibited a ‘carpe diem’ mentality when pursuing their chosen lot.

By the end of 2020, Covid-19 had infected over 80 million people worldwide and claimed some 1.8 million lives. Governments were borrowing at nigh-on wartime levels and many a stock market had been left with concussion. Pandemics have ever been a part of human history inspiring as much resilience and ingenuity as they do fear and anguish.

The H&H sale calendar was disrupted but the company adapted to the ‘new normal’ better than most because its Live Auction Online platform had been operational for over a year by the time that Covid-19 struck. Thanks to the support of clients and a huge effort from the H&H team the company sold 83% of all the lots it was entrusted with during 2020 for a combined total of 12.5 million, including almost 900 vehicles.

Below some highlights from the 2,861 lots sold:

1938 Lagonda LG6 Drophead Coupe - 209,300
Supplied new to Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, beautifully restored by the late Peter Whenman and featured in Bernd Holthusen’s authoritative tome ‘Lagonda’, ‘GPH 299’ was a true Post Vintage Thoroughbred

1926 Bentley 3 Litre Speed Model Tourer - 178,250
Supplied new to a prominent London surgeon and later owned by Le Mans winner and Hawker Hurricane test pilot Johnny Hindmarsh, ‘RK 8140’ was crashed in the 1930s, raced in the 1950s and given a home restoration in the early 2000s.

1934 Alvis Speed 20SB Vanden Plas Two-Door Saloon - 103,500
Proof – not that any was needed – of H&H’s international client base, this gorgeous Speed 20SB was consigned by a New Zealand collector and bought by a British one.

1969 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI - 86,250
Acquired by Mohamed Al-Fayed in 1996 and re-liveried in the colours of his world-famous Harrods store as part of an extensive mechanical and cosmetic restoration. Mr Al Fayed amassed a fleet of eight such Phantoms for VIP usage. Later part of a major UK collection.

1948 Bristol 400 - 73,600
Supplied new to (Lady) Diana White of Bristol fame and consigned from the estate of an ex-Works Porsche driver. The most expensive 1940s car sold at public auction in 2020.

1974 Ford Escort RS 2000 - 66,700
Fitted with steel bubble arches by Broadspeed when new, this exceptional RS2000 had had just two owners and benefited from a nine-year restoration

1984 Ferrari 308 GTS QV - 41,400
Stating a previous owner ‘drove the shit outta that car’ is unlikely to endear it to potential purchasers unless of course the reckless pilot in question turns out to be legendary punk rocker Iggy Pop! Not the best 308 and LHD to boot, ‘B762 HFE’ nonetheless sparked an international bidding war.

1925 Brough Superior SS100 - 188,800
Restored by Tony Cripps and a former Brough Superior Owners’ Club award winner. A beautiful looking example of what many consider to be the ultimate pre-WW2 motorcycle.

c.1923 Chater Lea Blackburne 348cc - 56,640
A decidedly rare machine restored by the National Motorcycle Museum and entered from their Reserve Collection. Quadrupled its pre-sale estimate.

1929 Scott 596cc Works Isle of Man Senior TT Race Bike - 49,560
Ex-Phil Vare and the only surviving 1929 Isle of Man Senior TT Works Scott for which a complete, documented and continuous history is known to exist. Mechanically overhauled and modified for road use but left in ‘oily rag’ cosmetic condition.

1939 Vincent-HRD 500cc Series A Comet - 46,200
A rare survivor with a well-documented history including several atmospheric black and white photos that had been nicely restored by its previous keeper in 1999-2000.

1990 Norton F1 - 39,100
An un-registered example showing just 57 recorded miles. Unrestored and in almost ‘as new’ condition. Complete with original documentation.

1967 Bultaco TSS 250 - 26,700
Purchased by Frank Sheene for his son Barry and raced by the future World Champion during the 1968 season. Owned by the vendor since 1985 and in largely original condition.

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Classic car buyers maintain their passion despite pandemic - H&H Classics 2020 overview

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