Motoring legends from the '80s set record prices at Silverstone
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If someone had told you at the end of the 1980s that in less than 30 year's time a Ford Sierra would be worth £115,000, a Vauxhall Lotus Carlton could set you back £72,000 and a Peugeot 205 GTI would ring in at almost £40,000, you'd have probably doubled over in hysterics.
But an almost unfathomable spike in classic car values in recent years - and a rich dose of 1980s and early 1990s nostalgia - has made these sums a reality, with three boy racer poster cars, a Sierra RS500 Cosworth, a Peugeot 205 GTI, and a Lotus Carlton achieving astonishing sale prices at auction last weekend. So who's laughing now?
Here's a closer look at some of the 'classic' cars - including a 2010 Ford Focus - that sold for formidable figures among the £5.5 million worth of motors offered at last weekend's Silverstone Auctions sale.
The $200,000 Ford Sierra
That's right, someone genuinely paid £114,750 (NZ$204,300) - a new British record - for a Ford Sierra.
Okay, it's far from any normal Sierra. This one is a rare RS500 Cosworth with a paltry 10,733 miles on the clock. In fact, since it was last MOT'd in September 1991, it has covered just 666 miles - that's around 26 miles a year on average.
As the name suggests, just 500 we made, but few will be in as original and unused condition as this one, which was eventually bought by an Australian bidder who paid $35,500 over the lowest estimate set by the auction house.
Easily recognisable by the passenger jet-sized rear wing, the RS500 was one of the race-car-for-the-road versions of the family hatchback that Ford was struggling to sell in the early 1980s.
This 1987 example has remained in single ownership for 26 years, kept by 'one of the world's wealthiest men who had extensive business interests in Ireland and India', according to Silverstone Auctions. No more clues to who that mystery man is were given.
Along with the low mileage car, the winning bidder also got the well-documented history file including a 'Ford Safety' recall note, copies of the DVLA paperwork from first registration to current date, and a parking ticket - the new owner best hope has been paid - dated 2nd June 1990 and issued by Surrey Constabulary.
It also comes with a period 'International Driving Permit' for its affluent former owner.
Record-breaking Peugeot 205 GTI
Silverstone Auctions couldn't confirm it, but we're pretty sure the £38,480 (NZ$68,400) paid for this 1988 Peugeot 205 GTI is a new world record - especially as one that sold for $12,000 less last year took the crown back then.
And the little 205's near $70,000 sale price is a clear sign of how competitive the classic car market has become.
Granted that this is the sought-after 1.9-litre version of Peugeot's much-loved hot hatch with just 5,726 miles on the odometer, but it's still almost double the price of what classic car valuation tools are estimating for 'concours' condition examples.
Everything is as it was from the showroom - a 128bhp engine, Alpine White paintwork, red ‘Quattro’ velour and grey leather seating, lightweight Speedline alloy wheels and no sunroof - parfait! (The sunroof while desireable on 205s, is a notorious spot for leaks)
Proving just how much it has appreciated in the last 29 years, Silverstone Auctions confirmed it was offered by Peugeot as a prize in association with Grattan, the catalogue clothing retailer and won by a lady from Ipswich. However, she didn't have a driving licence, which lead to a local newspaper running the headline: ‘Winner of £10,000 car cannot drive’. Let's hope the new owner has the relevant paperwork to get behind the wheel today.
Almost $100,000 for an old Ford Focus
You read that correctly, someone has genuinely paid £54,000 (NZ$95,970) for a 2010 Ford Focus.
Yes, it's a limited edition RS 500 model. Yes, it has covered just 128 miles. But that's a massive £18,250 more than it cost new seven years ago. It means this car has increased in value by $4,600 every year since it came off the assembly line. The steering wheel is even on the wrong side of the car (the left), as this one was originally delivered to Switzerland. And don't forget, it's a Ford Focus.
Low-mileage Lotus Carlton
Just 284 Lotus Carltons were made for UK customers, and this is number 28, with just 4,500 miles on the clock.
The collaboration between Lotus and Vauxhall's take on an executive saloon was hugely controversial. It's renowned for its brutal performance - back when the car first arrived on the market in 1990, the Daily Mail said the 176mph top speed was 'too fast for British roads'.
This is a 1991 model finished in the obligatory Imperial Green paint that's absolutely blemish free. That's because it has spent a good portion of its life in dry storage. It was even sold on the set of original tyres, which the auctioneer suggested were changed if the new owner wanted to drive it away after handing over £72,000 ($128,000) for the keys.
Capri 280 Brooklands does the unthinkable
Just last year, a 936-mile Brooklands smashed the world record fee paid for a Ford Capri with a £54,000 (NZ$95,970) selling price. That figure was eclipsed again this weekend, with this E-reg 280 Brooklands model ringing in at £55,125 (NZ$97,970).
Silverstone Auctions declared it's 'the best Capri Brooklands we have ever seen'.
The 1987 model has been owned by the previous keeper for eight years and has a total of 14,680 miles on the clock. Its history can't be disputed - it has every MoT and tax disc ever issued for it and a full dealer service history, including an 'immaculately presented and extremely comprehensive' A4 binder full of documentation and receipts. The condition is deemed 'exceptional' - not bad for a car that has never been repaired or resprayed in 30 years.
- Rob Hull, Daily Mail