An original 1946 Scammell Showtrac was sold for a record price of £167,500 at the Roger Austin Collection, hosted online via Cheffins auction house, on 25th November – 30th November. The vehicle had been estimated to sell for £100,000 - £120,000 and was bought by a local collector with associations to the original owners.
This was one of only 18 Showtracs ever built by Scammell and was liveried for its first owner, Flanagan’s Amusements of Watford. The Showtrac was tenth off the production line and is an important historical vehicle, being one of only 17 surviving examples.
The Showtrac was part of a collection being sold on behalf of the family of Roger Austin, who was one of the leading collectors of Scammell vehicles and fairground memorabilia worldwide. Based in Raunds, Northamptonshire, Mr Austin, who ran a car salvage business, was a devoted supporter of the Fairground Heritage Trust and started his large-scale collection in the 1980s, encompassing many hundreds of pieces of fairground memorabilia at its peak, alongside the 27 vehicles and trailers which were offered at the sale.
Also offered as part of the collection was a Parnaby’s ballast tractor, which prior to its current guise, was the first Showman’s Tractor ever built and precedes the famous Showtrac vehicles, it was owned by Hoadleys, as confirmed by a letter from The Scammell Owners & Enthusiasts Club. The lorry was a ground-breaking vehicle at the time and was offered as a restoration project with a pre-sale estimate of £15,000 - £20,000, it was sold for £20,636 to a private collector from southern England.
Another important lot in the auction was a 1938 Scammell Highwayman and tandem axle fuel tanker which had a starring role in the TV advertising campaign for the launch of the Ford Mondeo mk2 in 1996 where it was cast as driving on the opposite side of the road of the featured car. This vehicle was purchased by Mr Austin in 1988 and was sold for £25,994 to a private buyer.
Also offered at the sale were a series of other vehicles, trailers, spares, tankers, tractor units and spares.
Jeremy Curzon, Director at Cheffins comments: “The price achieved for the 1946 Scammell Showtrac is a new record, setting the bar for values for these hugely collectable vehicles. This vehicle represents an important historical development in the history of the British funfair, which was reflected in the tons of pre-sale interest we saw in the sale from across the UK. There is an active market of collectors for fairground heritage pieces and commercial vehicles and Roger Austin’s reputation, as one of the leading owners in the field, helped to ensure that bids flew in from far and wide for the best items in the sale. Anyone who might have missed out on items in this sale will be pleased to hear that we will be offering the second part of the collection in 2022, which will include a series of historic rides, figures, rounding boards, signs and other fairground memorabilia.”
For more information, please visit www.cheffins.co.uk, or call Cheffins auctioneers on 01353 777767.