Celebrity buyers swept up the key lots at the Salon Privé sale last night.
Disc jockey Chris Evans appeared in the tent moments before the Stradale Collection's 1971 Ferrari 365GTS/4 Daytona Spyder came up, bidding it to £1.98million (£2.27million all in) and then disappearing just as quickly, but as the proud new owner of a real rarity to add to his ever-fluctuating collection.
It was then the turn of Jamiroquai frontman and noted enthusiast Jay Kay – whose Embiricos Bentley rep was on the showfield – who bid on several classics and scooped the 1960 Ferrari 250GT PF S2 Coupé for £615k (way over the £425k upper estimate and over £700,000 with premium) and shelled out £880k (£954,500) for a delectable midnight blue 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback.
The singer also snapped up a well-bought 1960 Facel Vega HK500 for an under-estimate £125k.
The Silverstone Auctions-run event had got off to a storming start with a succession of good hammer prices – £21k for a Mk1 Mini Copper 'S', the same for a 1944 Willys Jeep and trailer despite no evidence of war service, £18.5k for a V12 Jaguar XJ-S convertible, and £65k for a Fiat Dino Spider – before bidding cooled and the pace slowed slightly.
Just 10 lots in, however, came on of the evening's big lots. The 1963 Ferrari 250GT/L 'Lusso' fell well short of its £1,750,000 lower estimate, but was sold for £1.65million on the hammer, meaning an overall price of £1.89m.
Despite some debate over the historical importance of production Range Rover chassis number 1 (many older pre-production cars exist), it didn't douse the bidding fever and the immaculate vehicle made a mid-estimate £115k on the hammer (£132k).
There was mixed success with Henry Pearman's much-vaunted Stradale Collection, the £170k (£195,500k) raised for a 1973 Porsche 911S Targa (a fixed-head later sold for £140,000) and £850k for an Aston Martin DB6 Mk2 Volante both looking very strong results, but of the big lots, neither the Ferrari F40, 365GTB/4 Daytona, Lamborghini Miura, nor Blower Bentley found new homes.
Although there is a lot of work to be done, the ex-John Surtees 1951 Jowett Jupiter Special was an interesting piece of history for £33,500. We also thought the £58k bid on a 1951 Jaguar XK120 fixed-head was an excellent buy, as was the £69k that secured a 1965 S1 4.2 E-type fixed-head.
If auction prices for remarkable examples are any indication of a classic throwing off traditional stigma and being on the cusp of a big price hike, then the £63,000 paid for an immaculate 1989 M-B SL500 with fewer than 1000 miles on the clock was worth noting.