Barn-find Maserati trebles estimate


A 1962 Maserati 3500GT that was recently pulled out of a lockup has beaten its (admittedly conservative) estimate by a factor of more than three, eventually selling for £117,600 at Anglia Car Auctions' 13 June sale.

The car was imported into the UK in 1972 and bought by the vendor’s husband in 1986, when its fluids were drained and it was placed into long-term storage. A tempting estimate of just £25-35,000 was quickly surpassed by eager bidders and an expectant crowd, setting a new record as the auction house’s top sale to date. 

More of a shock was a 1987 Ford Sierra RS Cosworth, which had also spent a number of years tucked away in the dark. The highly original car had been used sparingly since 2002 and, apart from a new cambelt, fresh oil and a new battery, had received little attention prior to crossing the block. Incredibly, it far exceeded its £15-20,000 estimate to sell for a whopping £47,250. It seems as if the sky is the limit for fast Fords. 

A 1967 Mercedes-Benz Pagoda – a model that has done well at ACA in the past – was also a strong performer, fetching £81,900. 

The Pagoda was followed by a ’57 190SL, which sold above its lower estimate at £61,950. 

Away from the headline-grabbing Maserati and Mercedes figures, a number of other interesting classics also got away in Kings Lynn, including a first generation Honda Insight. The 70mpg modern offered a rare opportunity to buy a pioneer of hybrid technology, and was well bought at £4200. 

A 1984 Mercedes-Benz 190E that had covered just over 33,000 miles fetched £3570. The car had been with the vendor for the past 25 years and was described as being in immaculate condition. 

A 1979 Triumph Dolomite 1500HL sold for £1600, and appeared to be in tidy condition. A full 12 months’ MoT, several old tax discs and a handful of receipts were included. 

Also from the Triumph stable was a ’72 GT6. The Mk3 example had been fully restored between 2001 and 2003, and had been used sparingly since. It achieved £17,325. 

Considerably newer, but just as interesting, was a 1994 Volvo 480GT Limited Edition, which fetched £2415. The quirky hatchback had 37,000 miles on the clock and boasted a tidy grey leather interior, plus a service book containing 17 stamps and recent bills for more than £1500. 

Much less complete was a 1969 Austin Mini Cooper restoration project, which seemed to have been abandoned part-way through. It came complete with a rebuilt engine and sold for £1512 above its upper estimate of £4000. 

A 1968 Austin Mini 1000 looked like much better value, having sold for £7560. The car appeared to be in tidy condition while, according to the catalogue entry, the engine and gearbox had been overhauled less than 1000 miles ago.

Selling for just under its lower estimate was a 1971 Lotus Elan Sprint, which had more than £21,000 lavished on it over the past 12 months. As well as a full respray, the car had been fitted with a new dashboard, shock absorbers, brake discs and callipers, plus an alloy fuel tank, hood and new carpets. It sold for £29,400. 

Just a year younger, a Marcos GT also sold for less than its lower estimate, this time getting away for £9975. It was expected to sell for between £12,000 and £14,000, making it one of the bargains of the sale. 

Even more unusual was a brace of Studebakers, which included a 1958 Hawk that sold for £1200, and a later 1962 President that made £1000. Both were described as being known to the Studebaker Club, though only the younger car was in running order. 

Much more practical was a 1973 Triumph 2000 saloon which, though it had won several concours prizes in the past, hadn’t been used in five years. It beat its estimate to sell for £3255. 

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