A 1956 Vauxhall Cresta E that is one of only three remaining on the road in the UK and has covered only 90,000 miles sold for a world record £48,000 at auction in the UK last weekend. Including commission, the price paid by the buyer was £53,760.

There cannot be a better Cresta E anywhere in the world after the painstaking rebuild by the vendor between 2012 and 2015. Starting with a relatively rust-free, New Zealand-assembled Cresta, it was a labour of love to recreate the example he owned and fondly remembered from new back in the 1950s.

He is believed to have spent £50,000, plus countless retirement man-hours restoring the car to its breath-taking perfection. No detail was missed, from the “speedbird’ badge on the front to the chromed exhaust deflector at the rear.

Yet, despite its spectacular condition, it is not a “trailer queen”, arriving at shows on the back of a truck. The vendor drove it to and from the classic car events and it won first in class at the Vauxhall National Rally in 2015. 

The Cresta's painstaking restoration is clear for all to see

Despite having spent £53,750, the purchaser at the Historics auction at Ascot Racecourse last Saturday is reported to be delighted with the car, one of only three Cresta Es still on the road in the UK.

The bargain of the day was probably £55,468 for a 10,000-mile, 2006 Bentley Arnage RL that originally cost £250,000.

There were some slight slight disappointments, with a 40,000-mile 1959 Facel Vega HK500 from 1959 fetching only £113,200. However, the buyer of a 1931 Talbot AM50 with a beetleback drophead coupé body by Offord made a solid investment for his £61,600.

This example of the wonderful Facel Vega HK500 fetched only £113,200

Although some cars failed to meet the expectations of their vendors, the sale rate and prices achieved at this Covid-19 auction show that people with money would rather protect themselves by investing in the right classic cars than leave their Sterling vulnerable and depreciating in the bank.

Some other significant prices achieved at Historics’ sale were:

£57,680 (including commission) for an 88,000-mile, 1969 Ford Mustang 428 CobraJet, 

£29,430 (including commission) for a 56,000-mile, 1996 Jaguar XJS Celebration convertible,

£70,184 (including commission) for a 10,000-mile, 1989 Mercedes-Benz R107 300SL, 

£20,160 (including commission) for a 48,000-mile, 1996 Alfa Romeo Pininfarina Spider

£57,120 for a 131,000-mile VW Type 2 T1 21 window Samba campervan.    

This 1969 Ford Mustang 428 CobraJet fetched £57,680


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