Cropredy Bridge Newsletter – May 13

springSpring is well under way. This is a traditional time when nature awakens and people replace New Year resolutions with more sensible plans: once the last of the bad weather leaves the UK (!) it is also time to get your classic car out of the garage and onto the road. Cropredy Bridge’s bookings for routine servicing and maintenance are up, and we are working on some 20 Interceptors in our workshops at the moment.

An Overview of the Classic Car Markets
Florida: the 14 most expensive classic cars were sold at the Amelia Island in March, during the Concours d’Elegance weekend which takes place there every year. Of the top ten, six were Ferraris but second and fourth place were taken by British cars: a 1928 Bentley 4 ½ litre Semi-Le Mans Tourer in great condition had an estimate of £1.33m/£1.66m but sold for £1,833,000. The 1929 Rolls Royce Phantom I Brewster Derby Speedster with offers to a new record £1,320,000 – with an original estimate of £433,000/£567,000 – was the fourth most expensive car to pass hands.

The 1966 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage got another record for the model, £326,000.

In the UK, only two auction houses recorded a 70% sales conversion rate: Historics was one. It sold (among others) a 1964 Alvis TE21 DHC for £70,000, a 1958 Jaguar XK150 FHC for £56,000, a 1958 Roadster for £92,960 and the sporty 1947 Allard K1 for £ 54,880. Overall sales? £1,350,000 (barely the price of one of the beauties sold in the States).

It was replica time at Bonhams, the second auction house to sell well this spring: a Ferrari 365 with a 250GT SWB body sold for £253,500. A replica BMW 328 went for a whopping £135,900; and the original 1935 Aston Martin MkII Long Chassis Open Tourer was on the money at £100,000.
Finally, Morgan cars, which for years have been sold at around £30k/£45k, seem to be gaining momentum: the Plus 4 Super Sport sold for £68,700, over the estimate £55k/60k.

Another great classic that had seemed to be stalling for a while (at least in the UK, as they are very popular in the USA), the E-type, sold well: the 1970 E-Type S2 Roadster went for £64,220 (perfectly within estimate range, £60k/70k).

The 1974 Interceptor Roadster (chassis 9422) remained unsold at Historics. It had been estimated to sell between a conservative £28k/34k. It is true that long gone are the times when one could pick up a bargain at auctions, but nowadays it is not unusual to see Roadsters priced well into the £‘40ks.

The 1957 Jensen 541 Coupé (chassis 1435803) was a restoration project and sold at Brightwells for £6,930 (estimate, £5k/£8k). It would be the perfect car to bring to Cropredy Bridge to be restored to its former glory.

Spencer Haze pushes on with his FF
Autocar journalist and Independent columnist James Ruppert, the creator of award-winning cartoon character Spencer Haze, has ambitious plans to add more adventures for Spencer in 2013. Needless to say, Spencer will drive the Jensen FF in proper Seventies’ playboy–style. And you will learn how Cropredy Bridge looked after his car during his forced 40-year hibernation.

A MKI love affair
Here at Cropredy Bridge we respect and try to preserve originality as much as we can. Interceptor MKIs are therefore a favourite version of ours. The one about to leave the premises had a full, sympathetic restoration recently, and has come back to have adjustable dampers and upgraded brakes; neither will detract from its originality, but both will improve the driving experience.

More love affairs… with a C-V8
The C-V8 that was sent to our workshop last year for a brand new engine and a re-spray had no ordinary task ahead: it was to be used as a wedding car: from Blackpool to Inverness, the fast GT did a grand job, looking the part and making the couple feel very special. It’s now back with us, and it will get a full re-trim whilst the owner is on a cruise this summer.

A cultural approach to Jensen
We are the proud sponsors of an exclusive event at the beginning of July, in Bedfordshire: The Old Bedfordians’ Club hosts a classic car show on the grounds of the 500-year-old Bedford School for Boys, and Cropredy Bridge has been invited to attend with a special car.  The newly restored Jensen C-V8, recently used as a wedding car by its owners and back from its Blackpool-Inverness trip, will take pride of place on the school’s immaculately manicured lawn. The private party invitation is extended to classic car lovers and owners who attended the school, most of whom have collections of their own.

In the press
Watch out for Cropredy Bridge featuring in the press: Spencer Haze and his Jensen FF are in www.AROnline.co.uk. Cropredy Bridge and its work are featured in the brand-new classic car website created by the famous Telegraph columnist and classic/used car expert Honest John, www.classics.honestjohn.co.uk. One of our Interceptors, for sale by Cropredy Bridge, is to be the star of “Driving your Ads”, a brand new column in Classic Cars.

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