Runcorn – Manor Park Classics’ enduring recipe of frequent sales at its Cheshire base, with a diverse mix of good-quality sub £100k vehicles, reeled in the usual healthy mix of in-person, online and telephone bidders at its Autumn sale.

Illustrating buyers’ growing demand for uncorrupted, genuine turn-key cars was the 2007 Morgan Aero 8 that achieved a bang-on estimate £50,625* after a brief but rapid bidding war. No surprise, either, since this well-presented aluminium space-framed, BMW-engined modern classic had covered just 28,000 miles with a full history from day one. That the 8 was bought new for £62k 14 years ago, also showed how solid residuals are for this model.

Another well-preserved, ready-for-use gem was first on the block yesterday: a fastidiously maintained 1995 Mercedes-Benz E 220 Coupe with previous ownership going back 20 years, and a history from new. The car had been dry-stored for the last two decades and with its mileage at just 86,000, its no reserve attracted a flurry of bids, topping out at £6,412.

“A new kind of buyer is emerging,” said Julian Royse, MPC’s auctioneer who led yesterday’s sale. “They may only have had a passing interest in classic cars until recently, but as we see some light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, they now want to take the plunge and own something themselves. But they want a car that’s not too old, original, with a well-documented history and – most importantly – ready to be used without too much fettling.”

And Lot 60, a stunning 1991 Peugeot 205 GTi 1.6, provided just that for one lucky buyer. Totally original, in previous ownership for 12 years and with MOT certificates from first to last, the little Pug smashed it’s £9k upper reserve with a winning bid of £13,500. It also proved that values for the 1.6 GTi are no longer in the shadow of its big brother 1.9 model.


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But it wasn’t just modern classics ruling the roost. Evergreen favourites from the sixties came in the shape of an honest and usable ’61 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk.ll in previous ownership for 22 years and with sensible upgrades, that found a new home for £28,687 – right on estimate. And a fully restored ’64 Jaguar Mk.ll 3.8-litre, with JD Classics’ upgrades including Sport front seats, air conditioning and upgraded suspension and brakes breached its upper estimate at £50,287.

A 1955 Ford E83W van – possibly the finest example in existence – would have been a perfect asset sign-written up for a new business, and buyers seemed to think so, too, with strong bidding pushing it to £16,875, comfortably above its upper estimate. From the same era, a ’57 Triumph TR3 complete with BMIHT certificate and matching numbers had no problem reaching its estimate, leaving the hall at £24,750.

And as we head towards the long-awaited release of the latest Bond film, it would be rude not to mention two fine 21st century Aston Martins that are now in the realms of affordability. A 2006 V8 Vantage with 46,000 documented miles and bills for £10,000 from last year looked like a steal at £28,687, as did a 2008 DB9 with full main dealer history, which captured one buyer’s inner-007 at £29,250.

There was also a heady mix of left-field offerings at yesterday’s sale. The slightly sinister, but magnificent 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 B Adenauer– essentially, a 300SL with handsome saloon bodywork – was original and believed to have covered just 29,000 miles from new. With its restored black coachwork and period features like a working valve radio, sun visors and wind-deflectors it exceeded its lower estimate to reach £42,750. At the opposite end of the size and price spectrum was a dinky, Toyota FJ-40-style 150cc petrol jeep that would just about fit inside the Adenauer’s boot. Complete with electric 2000lb winch, inertia-reel seatbelts and even a trailer, it may well have been a lucky child’s early Christmas present. Either way, it managed to double its upper estimate, selling at £4,837.

“Manor Park is rapidly growing its reputation in the auction circuit,” said Sam Grange-Bailey, MPC’s Sales Director. “Unlike many other auction houses, we offer buyers the luxury of unhurried viewings at our inspection ramp-equipped facilities five days ahead of sale, and allow them a reasonable time frame to collect the car after purchase. Our facility is a genuine one-stop-shop, and our ability to store all cars inside will be a real boon through the winter months.

“But our message to vendors is to price their cars realistically. If reserves are set too high, there’s a risk that bidding will collapse before it gathers momentum, and that helps no one. Genuine, sensibly-estimated vehicles will always gain traction, as will those with no reserve at all. And don’t worry, we’re always here to provide expert advice if you’re unsure.”

Manor Park Classics next auction will be held at its Runcorn HQ on Saturday, November 20th at 1pm. For more details, and to view vehicles already consigned, go to:
*All prices include 12.5% (+VAT) buyer’s fee.