Bicester Heritage’s first classic auction generates $1.24 million

Cars are maneuvered into place for the auction | Bicester Heritage photos
Cars are maneuvered into place for the auction | Bicester Heritage photos

Bicester Heritage, the former British RAF military base turned into a 348-acre business campus focused on the restoration, storage, maintenance and enjoyment of vintage vehicles, generated more than £1 million ($1.24 million) at its inaugural collector car auction last week.

The auction, featuring a docket of 60 vehicles, was conducted in conjunction with Brightwells Auctioneers & Valuers and featured the sale of a 1923 Vauxhall OD 23/60 Kington Tourer for £71,500 ($88,767). Prices reported include the buyer’s fee.

Docket included this vintage rally car
Docket included this vintage rally car

Another significant pre-war vehicle sold was a 1927 Delage DIS Colonial Tourer still sporting its original Phizakerley of Sydney coachwork in a powder blue color and with a milled-aluminum dashboard. The car sold for £49,500 ($60,335), which Bicester Heritage said was well beyond its pre-auction estimated value.

Among post-war cars, a 1955 Jaguar XK140SE coupe in dark red with tan hide interior sold for £55,000 ($68,282) and a 1971 Jaguar E-type S3 V12 automatic coupe with a specially tuned 350-horsepower 5.7-liter V12 engine brought £42,900 ($53,260).

“Brightwells created a remarkable atmosphere inside one of our historic hangars in order to demonstrate their 150-plus year auctioneering expertise and experience: judging by the buzz on the day and the results, this clearly met with the firm approval of buyers and sellers alike,” Daniel Geoghegan, managing director of Bicester Heritage, was quoted in a news release.

“For an engaging and unintimidating way to buy and sell at auction at a central location, look no further.”

The scene in the auction room
The scene in the auction room

“Our hard-working consignors had assembled a wonderfully diverse and intriguing selection of cars including some real rarities that have never been seen at auction before,” added Brightwells’ joint managing director Richard Binnersley. “We were delighted with the results of the sale and we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, as did the hundreds of enthusiastic bidders who attended.

“The atmosphere in the magnificent surroundings of Bicester Heritage was truly something to savor and we feel privileged to be playing our own part in the development of this marvelous venue, which is fast becoming the most exciting hub of the classic car movement in Europe.”

Bicester Heritage and Brightwells announced their next auction will be June 24-25 in conjunction with the Flywheel Festival.

Even the auction tent was inside a massive WWII aircraft hangar
Even the auction tent was inside a massive WWII aircraft hangar

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