Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Auction fever!

I had a day off yesterday, shock, horror! I have been on the trail of the one off Triumph prototype the Zest for some years now. It had been on sale in Classic car specialists Sherwood Classics in Nottingham (where else!) for approaching 5 years with a price tag of about £22,000. I had been up to give the car the once over about 2 or 3 years ago. The car is in fantastic condition allthough it has been customised by it's previous owner with some pretty tacky non original aditions, allthough fortunately nothing that couldn't be put right with a little work. I entered into a little preliminary negotiation and the price quickly fell to £20K, ahh I thought that was easy leave it a couple of months and it's a £17-18K car for cash after some serious haggling. Anyway that couple of months came and went and in the meantine we bought the Spitfire ADU 4B and that blew the car budget for a couple of years! Zoom forward to yesterday, I had found out that the vendor had given up on selling through a showroom and entered it in H & H Classics Auctions sale at Buxton in Derbyshire. Permissions were sort from her indoors and off we went to do the deed, or so we thought! The catalogue estimate for the car was £17-20K, right on the nail for what I originally thought it was worth. Only problem was there was a 10% sellers premium, plus VAT, no problem I thought serious buyers will have seen it's previous sale price (nearly five years at about £20K!) and factor that in. We got to the sale room as lot number one went through (the Zest was lot 61), allthough the room was full of punters most lots were struggling, and very few made reserve, allthough a lot were selling a little later at their preliminary bids, some real bargains were being had, how about a decent BMW 633 Coupe for £800! Things were looking good! All to soon it became the Zest's turn to go under the hammer, at first any potential punters showed little interest in raising their hands so the auctioneer started the things rolling with £12K to which someone to my right flicked his hand in the air, I quickly made the auctioneer aware of my interest and got the second bid in on £13K. The guy on the right nodded and it was now £14K, I have always found it best to bid confidently and quickly it shows you mean business so I nodded again and we were at £15K. Only trouble was my rival had the same atitude and he countered so we were now at £16K! My pre auction limit had been £17 1/2 K which would have brought the end price (with commission, and VAT) out to what I could have bought it for easily for when it had been at Sherwood Classics. Only trouble was the bids were going in £1K increments, so I nodded again knowing that this would be my last bid at £17K. Then it went quite, just for a minute or so I thought it was mine, OK it was more than I had wanted to pay but hey ho. It seems my rival had backed out, but then a new bidder came forward, and someone on the phone, and very quickly the car shot up to £21,000 plus commission, and VAT, which I make a grand total of £23467.50, bonkers! So that's nearly a couple of grand more than the car had been advertised for the previous 5 odd years pre negotiation which would have easily made it at least £4K more expensive, so that's why they call it auction fever! No time to sit around licking our wounds or watching any further lots go through as our car park ticket had run out 10 minutes previously and a fine would have really topped the day off nicely. Just time to exchange pleasantries with noted classic car journo Malcom Mckay on the way out (he had thought the car was going to make about £13K pre auction!)and off we went back into the fog and rain back accross the moors. Oh well at least the car fund is growing nicely!

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