Cheffins’ Cambridge Vintage Sale at Sutton, near Ely on the 20th October 2018 made a total of £1.3 million over 2000 lots. Showcasing a number of the world’s most unusual classic cars, motorcycles, tractors and steam engines, the sale was a major event for collectors and enthusiasts from across the country.
The headline lot of the day was a 1920 Crawley Agrimotor which sold for double its presale estimate at £67,725. This important early British tractor is a well-known example and is one of just six Crawley Agrimotors known to have survived preservation. Going full circle, the Agrimotor was originally invented and manufactured in Saffron Walden, Essex in 1920 and is returning to the town having been bought by a local vintage enthusiast. Other strong sales within the tractor section include a 1916 Overtime Model R which sold for £35,700; a 1929 Rushton 14-20 making £21,000; a Fendt Favorit 614LS which made £21,000; a 1984 Ford 7810 Silver Jubilee which sold for £19,110 and finally a 1984 Ford 6710 which sold for £17,325.
The iconic Jack Richards Collection of classic commercials were completely sold out and grossed a total of £147,658, selling to a range of enthusiasts, many of whom had a connection to the haulage industry. The leading lot from the collection was a 1973 ERF A series flatbed diesel tractor which sold for £23,100. Another highlight of the collection was the 1946 Seddon MK5 lorry which is believed to be the second oldest example in the UK, this sold for £14,840.
The strong market for vintage motorcycles also saw no sign of abating with some high prices paid for the best examples. A 1949 HRD Vincent Rapide sold for £37,260; whilst a 1928 Norton CS1 made £22,140 and a 1968 Triumph Bonneville made £9,504. Amongst, the cars, a 1924 Stanley SV steam car was the highest value lot, making £51,000. This was closely followed by the 1899 Locomobile which sold at an estimate busting £36,225.
The models also saw high values with a model of a 1922 Douglas Sports motorcycle selling for £5,940, which is almost the same price as a full-scale example; whilst a 1931 Brough Superior BS4 sold for £4,840. These prices were well in advance of the pre-sale estimates of £3,000 apiece. Other popular models included a 4-inch scale model Titan 10-20 tractor which made £14,300 and an Allchin 1.5inch scale Royal Chester traction engine which sold for £4,730 and a Shand Mason 1.5-inch scale horse-drawn fire engine which made £2,750.
Bill King, Chairman, Cheffins comments: “This year’s sale yielded one of the best recorded results for an October vintage auction to date, proving that the market for classic agricultural machinery and collectors’ items continues to thrive.. The Agrimotor was the highest result of the day and it was great to see this important machine returning to its home town of Saffron Walden. As one of only six of these original tractors still in existence, the Agrimotor generated much interest ahead of the auction and sold for over double its pre-sale estimate after competitive bidding from a series of buyers. The Jack Richards Collection was a complete sell out, partly due to the massive interest in the lorries before the sale with buyers including local enthusiasts and commercial lorry collectors.”