Cheffins Cambridge Vintage Sale at Sutton on Saturday 22nd April, saw a record sale total of over £2m, making it the largest collective vintage sale in Europe. Showcasing a number of the world’s most unusual classic and vintage tractors, motorcycles and steam engines available to purchase at auction, a number of record prices were achieved across various lots. With over 4,000 people in attendance, buyers came from across the UK and abroad, including from Germany, USA, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and the Sudan.
April’s sale saw one of the highest consignments of vintage and classic tractors ever recorded in terms of value and quality and this ignited the market with stellar sales across the board, achieving over £1.135m in total over 260 lots. The first four tractors alone achieved a hammer price of £190,500 within the starting ten minutes. A 1963 Matbro Mastiff was bought for £86,100, which smashed its guide price of £40,000, making it a UK record price at auction for a vintage tractor. A Lanz Bulldog D9550 crawler tractor sold for £75,600 to a buyer from Germany and a 1957 David Brown crawler tractor achieved £63,000, which are both record prices for these types. Also on offer was a virtually untouched, rare County 954 Super-Six which was discovered on a county council farm in Hertfordshire. Dating back to the 1960s, the Super-Six is a rare model which smashed its guide price of £12,000 and finally was sold for £19,500. Classic commercials were also the toast of the day with a 1920 Albion Model A16 Charabanc, previously owned by the High Commissioner of New Zealand and which has starred in the TV series Houdini and Doyle attracting huge crowds and finally selling for £73,500.
Cheffins also saw a large consignment of classic motorcycles. With over 71 available to go under the hammer, the highest price achieved was £11,340 for a 1938 499cc AJS Model which represented a rare opportunity to purchase one of the pre-war AJS models. This was closely followed by a magnificent 1927 Scott Super Squirrel which sold for £9,396. The sale rate for motorcycles was second-to-none with 92 per cent of lots selling for well in excess of their guide prices as private buyers competed against dealers due to a lack of stock in the market. Classic cars also saw stellar prices across the board with £14,700 for a 1966 Mini Cooper Mk1, £35,700 for a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25/30 Light Tourer which has a four ¼ litre engine and £12,600 for a 1926 Bullnose Morris Cowley.
The sale included an impressive collection of steam engines for sale, with the most important example being a 1918 pair of John Fowler Ploughing Engines known as ‘Horsa and Hengist’ which were sold to a collector for a total for £147,000. Another lot of interest in this category was the iconic 1919 Wallis and Steevens Traction Engine. No. 7683, named ‘Eileen the Erring,’ which was sold within reserve. Whilst a Fowler Class DNA ‘Hercules’ steam tractor which was in dismantled condition sold for £31,500 to an enthusiast who intends to rebuild the machine. A series of rare and collectible vintage living vans also achieved significant interest with £9,900 achieved for a 1914 Burrell living van which is known to be one of only three in existence and £14,850 achieved for a 1934 aluminium clad timber frame living wagon.
Other items included over 2,500 lots of memorabilia, spares and implements. Of the more unusual lots a steam launch boat known as “Sir Lancelot” achieved £8,800 and a Rudge Penny Farthing bicycle dating back to 1882 which sold for £2,805 and a recreation of an NGK garage forecourt clock which sold for £2,200. The models also saw competitive bidding with an enormous £14,300 paid for a 4.5ins scale Burrell Agricultural Engine, and steam accessories were a popular section on the day with lamps top of the shop in terms of prices with £2,310 paid for a pair of Eli Griffiths examples.
Bill King, Chairman, Cheffins comments: “It is impossible to describe the excitement and buzz of the day at this truly exceptional sale. We were honoured to have sold some of the world’s rarest and highest value classic tractors, steam engines and motorcycles and our total sales result of £2m makes this easily the largest collective auction of items of this type in Europe. We saw hordes of buyers from all over the world with some travelling from as far away as New Zealand and Australia to see these machines being sold. The prices achieved were second-to-none and this really goes to show how vintage machinery continues to be one of the most popular alternative investment types in the UK. In spite of economic turmoil with an inbound General Election and the looming triggering of Article 50, people are still willing to part with some serious money for these desirable items. Rarity was the order of the day, with the least common models smashing UK records for prices paid.”
To view the full results for the April Vintage sale please click here.
The next vintage sale will be an onsite auction for S & T Johnson, in Burnley, Lancashire on the 24th June.
The next Cambridge vintage sale will take place on Saturday 15th July.