NEWS: Collectors Flock to Classic Car Auctions in May and June

thesaleroom.com, Europe’s leading marketplace for art and antiques auctions, has seen bidders flocking to classic car auctions on the site in May and June.

Six auction houses have listed over 1,000[1] classic cars and motorcycles on thesaleroom.com in the past two months, with those auctions receiving as many as three times the number of bidder registrations as other categories on the site.

The sales have also achieved high sell-through rates, even though in most cases bidders have been unable to see the lots in person. This has resulted in over £2.5 million[2] of classic cars and motorcycles being sold through thesaleroom.com and its sister sites i-bidder.com and BidSpotter.co.uk.

The figures reflect a recent boom in the classic car market, which has thrived during COVID-19 lockdown as many collectors have found themselves with time on their hands and money to spend in lieu of luxuries like holidays. Auction houses have responded to the demand by moving their planned auctions entirely online for the first time, with great success.

Richard Lewis, COO of Auction Technology Group (ATG), which owns thesaleroom.com, said, “At the start of the COVID-19 crisis, several auction houses came to us to help them move their classic car auctions entirely online. There was a sense that rather than stifling demand, the lockdown was actually lifting it. That forecast turned out to be spot on, and auction houses that have held classic car auctions entirely online in the last few month have seen some bullish bidding activity”.

Two auctions are of particular note. Mathewsons’ ‘Classic Vehicles Auction’, held on 6 June, attracted an astounding total of 1,245 bidders through thesaleroom.com and its sister sites – three times the average for auctions on the sites in May and June – and saw twice as many bidders per lot compared with the average for thesaleroom.com. And Charterhouse Auctioneers and Valuers’ ‘Classic, Vintage & Supercars’ sale on 30 May, which also attracted twice the number of bidders per lot than usual.

Silverstone Auctions, Classic Car Auctions, Bonhams, Charterhouse Auctioneers & Valuers, Mathewsons Auctioneers, and Anglia Car Auctions have all held classic car and motorcycle auctions on thesaleroom.com and its sister sites i-bidder.com and BidSpotter.co.uk in May and June. The auctions have featured a wide range of automotive favourites, from historic competition cars and grand tourers, to modern classics and affordable convertibles.

Lewis continued, “The timeless classic models, as ever, have done well throughout the last two months. Porsche, BMW, Chevrolet, and – in the bike category – Royal Enfield have been among the most watched names on thesaleroom.com”.

Among the lots that have piqued the most interest[3] with bidders on thesaleroom.com are a 1993 Porsche 911 (933) Carrera Coupe in Charterhouse Auctioneers’ ‘Classic, Vintage & Supercars’ sale on 30 May; a 1988 Porsche 911 (930) Turbo in Anglia Car Auctions’ ‘2 Day Classic Car Auction’ on 20 June; and a 1967 Sunbeam Alpine in Mathewsons Auctions’ ‘Classic Vehicles Auction’ on 6 June.

Image: 1967 Sunbeam Alpine in Mathewsons Auctions’ ‘Classic Vehicles Auction’ on 6 June (sold to a bidder on thesaleroom.com for £5,600). 

Five more classic car auctions are scheduled on thesaleroom.com in July and August. For the latest catalogues of upcoming classic car auctions visit:

Auctions during COVID-19

Since lockdown was imposed in March, many auction houses have changed their sales to ‘live online only’, with live bidding conducted online via thesaleroom.com (as well as the usual commission bidding and phone bidding), or to ‘timed online sales’ rather than live sales – a familiar format that has been growing steadily in popularity over the past year.

During COVID-19 restrictions, auction houses are going the extra mile to give buyers confidence in what they are purchasing and making the process easy for them when bidding online. For example, providing extra photos of each lot/item, remote viewing via video calls, online payment and ‘no contact’ delivery solutions, as well as generous terms for storage.

[1] Total 1,049 lots

[2] Total £2,647,020 classic cars sold in May and June through thesaleroom.com, i-bidder.com and BidSpotter.co.uk

[3] Based on the ‘most watched’ lots on the site.

Featured Image1988 Porsche 911 (930) Turbo in Anglia Car Auctions’ ‘2 Day Classic Car Auction’ on 20 June (sold to a bidder on thesaleroom.com for £63,000)