Despite all the challenges faced by the business world in general and the classic car auction world in particular H&H Classics
have emerged from the second Pandemic lockdown year in a very good place.
To quantify this one has only to consider the figures: The company sold 70% of all cars offered this year for a staggering £13.1m. Bikes sales were 80% for £3.35m, and Automobilia 97% for £300,000. This gives a total of 85% of items sold on £16.75 million.
Managing Director, Colette McKay, comments: As a company we were most fortunate to have completed our planning and implementation of our online auction model which had had two very successful real world sales trials. This meant that the hold placed on face to face physical sales was not any great problem for us. It has been an outstanding year by a great team.
Some years ago the belief was that nobody in their right mind would pay good money for object that they could not first see feel and touch. But every aspect of the auction world showed this to be a false assumption with painting selling for millions of pounds in the cyber world and classic cars the same. The days of needing to kick tyres it seemed was over. And so it has proved.
Many auction houses saw the percentage of online sales rocket as bidders could not buy from anywhere in the world on their phones or laptops. The nature of the auction buying audience also changed with younger more IT savvy buyers entering this market.
For decades, the auction world seen as very traditional and conservative and set in its ways underwent a technological revolution overnight and has emerged stronger, as H&H Classics have just shown.
Besides the powerful classic car sales, motorcycle sales set some record results too. Rare historic motorbikes at the National Motorcycle Museum sold for £1.86 million with 91% sold.
The success of online sales have not detracted from the real love of being in among the cars on sale and physically in the auction room as the first Duxford sale showed in May 2021.
SOME CLASSIC CAR HIGHLIGHTS 2021
1952 Bentley MKVI 4.5 Litre Drophead Coupe Sold for £98,333
An older restoration and 1 of just 57 such cars bodied by Park Ward to its design number 99, the drophead coupe was among five Bentley MKVI to sell at IWM Duxford.
No less elegant in its way was the 1952 Daimler DB18 Special Sports Drophead Coupe which sold for a record breaking £43,875 (over twice its pre-sale estimate).
Another decidedly strong result was £92,250 for a gorgeous but rebodied 1929 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Tourer
1955 LANCIA AURELIA B20 GT IN SINGLE FAMILY OWNERSHIP FROM NEW - £96,750
The road car choice of contemporary F1 drivers Juan Manuel Fangio, Jean Behra and Mike Hawthorn, the sleek, fastback Coupe bristled with innovation including independent front suspension, a compact V6 engine, rear-mounted transaxle and potent four-wheel drum brakes. Evolving through six series, a mere 3,121 had been sold by the time that production ceased in June 1958. A rare beast indeed, chassis B20-3624 is understood to be one of just twenty-five Aurelia B20 GTs to have been officially imported by Lancia England.
Motor Sport Magazine described it as: truly genuinely brilliant - one of the most captivating Lancias ever - and so by definition one of the most enthralling of all road cars.
1965/2004 Shelby AC Cobra 427 CSX Carbon Fibre sold for £146,250
Carroll Shelby, the distinguished American racing driver turned constructor, would no doubt have been pleased to see one of his signature creations make top dollar at the sale as they say in the US. The Shelby Cobra is arguably one of the world's most famous and recognizable sports cars ever made.
The 1965/2004 Shelby AC Cobra 427 CSX4000 Series Car offered was one of only 10 to be bodied in carbon fibre. It sold for a near top estimate £149,500.
1959 Aston Martin DB2/4 MKIII sold for £135,000
Without doubt one of the most beautiful cars in the sale, and the Aston Martin model that author Ian Fleming originally envisaged James Bond driving, the lovely 1959 Aston Martin DB2/4 MKIII sold for £138,000.
One of just 185 'Series IV' cars sold for £360,000
This stunning 1962 Aston Martin Series IV was supplied new by Callanders Garages Ltd of Glasgow to Alexander Whyte Esq of the Whyte & Mackay whisky dynasty one of just 185 such cars made. It sold this week as the leading lot with H&H Classic in Duxford for £360,000, the first of all the top estimate cars to find new buyers at the sale.
1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL LIKE THE ONE CHOSEN BY grace kelly - A rare and truly exceptional RHD example sold for A RECORD £219,375
There are some cars that just speak to your heart because of their beauty, history, lines, classiness, and aura of something special. Such is this 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL that has had a meticulous top to bottom restoration and it sold for £224,250.
It was one of just 562 such models built across all right-hand drive markets and one of just 3,332 190SLs made during 1957. Albeit the Mercedes-Benz was not UK road registered until April 1958.
1925 BENTLEY DESIGN THAT CAPTURED LE MANS VICTORIES sells for £211,500
One of just twenty-four Bentley 3 Litre cars known to have survived with its original J. Gurney Nutting coachwork, CR 9914 also boasts matching chassis, engine, bonnet, steering box, rear axle and gearbox numbers
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Actress Jennifer Saunders Absolutely Fabulous 2005 Porsche 911 Carrera 2S Made £22,000
Owned by the celebrated actress, comedian and screenwriter Jennifer Saunders since it was just under a year old, this tempting 2005 Porsche 911 Carrera 2S sold for £20,000.
Although, the multi award-winning actress, comedian and screenwriter Jennifer Saunders is perhaps best known for Absolutely Fabulous and French & Saunders, her current, fifteen-year long ownership of LS55 MYK suggests that she is a petrolhead too! Certainly, few enthusiasts would argue with her choice of a rear-wheel drive, manual transmission 911 Coupe.
1977 Lynx Jaguar D-Type CHASSIS NUMBER FOUR BUT THE THIRD CAR COMPLETED SELLS FOR £213,750
This rare early 1977 Lynx Jaguar D-Type was the fourth chassis number allocated and the third one built at No Reserve, it was an attractive opportunity considering one was bid to $280,000 recently in the US. It sold on the day with H&H for £213,750
The fourth chassis number allocated and the third Lynx D-Type to be completed, it was supplied new to Blair Hamilton, a personal friend of company founder Guy Black.
It was initially built to long nose, high tail 1955 specification and subsequently updated by Lynx to Works 1956 trim, complete with a wraparound windscreen and two doors. Its aluminium body was crafted by Williams and Pritchard and it raced in Canada, Europe, and the UK but it has since been converted to fast road specification.
POP LARKINS (DAVID JASON) BELOVED CANARY YELLOW ROLLS-ROYCE FROM ITV SERIES DARLING BUDS OF MAY
1926 Rolls-Royce 20hp Landaulette by Park Ward sold for £63,000
Pop Larkins (David Jason) beloved Rolls-Royce 20hp Park Ward Laundalette that starred in ITVs The Darling Buds of May made £63,000 at the H&H sale in Duxford.
And some standout bikes include:
1938 Brough Superior SS100 Sold for £218,500
For motorcycle enthusiasts the Brough Superior is the Holy Grail of collecting. No less than four of this superior breed were offered tp be sold by H&H Classics at their Motorcycle Sale at the National Motorcycle Museum on December 19.
1937 Indian Four 437 sold for £95,450
Top selling bike at this hugely successful £1.2M sale on June 9th at the National Motorcycle Museum was this lovely 1937 Indian Four 437 above. The 1937 Indian Four 437 had been in its current ownership since 1967 and was estimated to sell for £45,000 - £50,000, but after stiff competition was knocked down for £95,450.
1914 Sparkbrook Vee Twin sold for £43,700
Another rare bike sold was a 1914 Sparkbrook Vee Twin reputed to be the only one from 1914 known to have survived. It was estimated to sell for £22,000 to £24,000 but made £43,700.