The 2020 NEC Classic Live Online Auction (November 13 -14), being Silverstone Auctions’ last sale for 2020, was another stunning success with a sales rate of 78% and clearing £8 million in sales.
On the first day of the sale, they opened with an automobilia auction of which included the auction of the private registration number ‘O 10’. The registration has been held since 1902 with this being the first time it has been offered for sale, and unsurprisingly, it sold for an incredible £128,800.
The first car offered at the auction was a No Reserve 1980 Volkswagen Golf Mk 1 GLD with only 738 miles on her and was sold for £15,570.
Not long after the Golf was sold a stunning example 1988 Porsche 928 SE which was one of only 42 UK right-hand drive cars sold for £129,375.
Other interesting lots from the Friday sale included Lot 242, the matching numbers 1956 Jaguar XK140 3.4 SE Roadster Manual which was sold for £83,813, a 1971 De Tomaso Pantera (Pre-L) which was sold for £67,500, and a bidding battle ensued for the 2008 Damon Astoria Pacific Edition 3772 Motorhome which eventually sold for £79,875.
“This is another great result for Silverstone Auctions, we have had a great year after quickly adapting to ensure we could safely operate during the global pandemic. The Live Online format is safe for everyone involved; our vendors, buyers, and of course the team.”
Silverstone Auctions Managing Director Nick Whale.
The Sir Stirling Moss OBE Collection opened the second day of the sale. It was an exceptional and one-of-a-kind collection of personal items that were formerly owned by the British racing icon, as well as a few limited-edition collectibles. The most notable lots were the solid gold twin bar watch band which Stirling wore for 38 years, selling for £67,850; and with a winning bid of £37,950, the period Patey race helmet was sold.
Spotlight on the 1982 Renault 5 Turbo Group 4 and Alfa Romeo 1900 Speciale
Two highlights on the second day of the 2020 Silverstone Auctions NEC Classic Live Online Auctions were Lot 434, a 1982 Renault 5 Turbo Group 4 which sold for £337,500 and selling for double its pre-sale estimate was a 1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 Speciale (sixties recreation), which sold for £166,500.
1982 Renault 5 Turbo Group 4
Sold for £337,500
Renault introduced the Renault Turbo 5 Group 4 Rally car in 1982. The R5 was built to be a race car and not simply a ‘homologation special’ of a production car.
It produced 270 bhp with its 1.397 cc, turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine. Other features included Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, rear-wheel drive, five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel disc brakes, and independent front and rear suspension with anti-roll bars.
This example, Chassis B0000454, was delivered new to Renault’s dealership in Chartres in 1982, and they were eager to enter the car immediately into events.
At the time, Renault was focusing solely on their efforts to win the Formula 1 World Championship and had no capacity for anything else, but they did offer design, technical, and parts support to Renault Chartres. The Chartres team was very fortunate to have secured the expertise of famed rally driver Jean-Luc Thérier to drive the R5 and he then proceeded to tap Michel Vial to be his co-driver.
They joined the 1982 French Rally Championship and tackled the first event in March being the Critérium de Touraine. In April, they took overall victory at the Critérium Alpin de Grasse, and they also competed at the Tour de Corse in May. As the season progressed, they secured second-place at the Rallye de Mont-Blanc and obtained overall victories at the 1000 Pistes and Terre de Biarritz.
Thérier and Vial faced the most challenging event of the year in September with the Tour de France Automobile. The race was more than 3,140 kilometers long and 540 of them were competitive stages. 84 crews started in the race, and it was so grueling that only 38 finished.
Despite the task that lay in front of them, the all-French team was undaunted. The team finished second overall and it paved the way for them to secure the 1982 French Rally Championship.
Thérier entered the R5 in three events during the 1983 season: d’Antibes, the 1000 Pistes, and Varand. The season highlight for the team was the overall victory that they claimed at the Rallye d’Antibes.
This R5 has been driven to numerous victories by a few of the most successful and notable drivers in the sport, making this R5 one of the most historically significant competition car from Renault.
It was during the Paris Motor Show in 1950 that Alfa Romeo introduced their latest Saloon, the 1900 Speciale. What set it apart was that it is the first Alfa Romeo to be totally assembled on a production line. It was initially available in two or four doors and under the hood was their new 1,884 cc, 90 bhp 4-cylinder twin-cam engine.
The 1900, designed by Orazio Satta, was simple and sporty, but quick, and just like everything in Italy that has two or four wheels, it was raced. It enjoyed some successes in the Stella Alpina, Targa Florio, and other competitions.
The short wheelbase 1900C was introduced in 1951 and was joined by the 1900TI which had a much more powerful 100bhp engine, bigger valves, twin carburetors, and a higher compression ratio.
After two years, they also introduced the 1900 Super and the 1900 TI Super, which had a 1975 cc engine, two twin-choke carburetors, with 115 bhp. The standard version had a 4-speed manual gearbox while the Super Sprint was equipped with a 5-speed manual gearbox. All versions were equipped with independent front suspension, drum brakes, and a live rear axle.
At the time, the Alfa Romeo General Manager, Iginio Alessio, was worried about the future of the Italian coachbuilding industry because it seemed that the ‘Carrozzerie’ business was being threatened with the arrival of the ‘unibody’ chassis design.
Alfa thus decided to generously offer official contracts to known coachbuilders. They tasked Touring to build the sporty 1900 Sprint Coupé, while Pininfarina was tasked to build the elegant four-seat Cabriolet and Coupé.
With a suitable chassis readily available, a lot of other coachbuilders made their versions of the 1900. Carrozzeria Zagato made a small series of coupés that were designed for racing, giving it a lightweight aluminum body, and their trademark double-bubble roof. They even gave it an unofficial name of 1900 SSZ.
There were also numerous one-off specials like the famous Bertone ‘BAT’ series of aerodynamic studies.
This example of a nice Alfa Romeo-powered Sports Coupé does not have any concrete history. It is speculated to have been built in the mid-sixties by ATL (Autotecnica del Lario) in Lecco in Lombardy.
From the style hinting of other known Italian 50s and 60s Grand Touring Cars, the gorgeous example seems to have been developed similarly to the Alfa Romeo 2000 Sportiva Prototype that was made by Alfa Romeo in 1954.
Its chassis has steel tubing in varying diameters and also has boxed-in sections where all the mechanical ancillaries are connected. Suspended atop of a steel birdcage similar to the patented Touring Superleggera that was used on the Maserati 3500GT of the Aston Martin DB Series is the curvaceous bodywork that is hand-formed in 12/10 gauge aluminum.
All four wheels have independent suspension with coil spring shock absorbers and are equipped with disc brakes and beautiful period wire wheels.
Under the hood is the Alfa Romeo’s classic four-cylinder 1900 twin-camshaft unit that came from the 6C, an excellent compact engine with a lot of power.
The powerful engine coupled with the lightweight build of the car equates to an extremely fast sports car. Matched with its well-spaced 5-speed gearbox, and its poise, the example produces a charming ride along the twisty Targa Florio style roads.
Further information regarding the 2020 Silverstone Auctions NEC Classic Live Online Auction Results may be found at Silverstone Auctions.
For now, Silverstone Auctions are looking ahead to 2021 as they prepare for their first sale of the year, ‘The Race Retro Live Online Auction’. The event is scheduled for February 26-27, 2021.