Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Sunshine and Showers for Beaulieu 2013

Autojumble stand

The Practical Classics Team with Lord Montagu
Sunshine and showers were the order of the day for this year’s International Autojumble, held on the 7th and 8th September, but despite the shortcomings of the weather, the genial atmosphere for which this event is renowned was still very much in evidence. Exhibitors, on the whole, reported good sales and visitors enjoyed their annual pilgrimage to rummage through the many hundreds of stands selling all things motoring related.  The event retained its cosmopolitan feel with thousands of European and overseas motoring enthusiasts joining the British contingent for the 47th International Autojumble, held in the parkland of the National Motor Museum.

Total visitor numbers over the weekend were 37,553 a little down on 2012 but very much on a par with recent years. The autojumble was another sell-out for stand spaces with a waiting list of hopeful exhibitors, which is a very healthy sign for the future of the event. The final total number of stands was 2,397 which included 216 cars for sale on the Beaulieu Arena and a good number of classic cars for sale in the Dealermart.

Beaulieu’s Events Manager, Judith Maddox said: “We are always looking to improve the event for both exhibitors and visitors and were delighted to be told by one frustrated show visitor of long standing that - for once - he couldn’t find anything to complain about!

“There was very little theft from stands this year but unfortunately, despite an increased police presence, warning notices and announcements, some visitors were targeted by professional pick-pockets. This very unwelcome activity has been seen at many major shows around the country this year, for the first time, and we ask all our visitors to take extra care when carrying large sums of money.”

Despite heavy showers on Sunday morning, usually a deterrent for Trunk Traders who have no cover, a good number turned up to trade and were eagerly pounced upon by exhibitors and visitors alike, rummaging through the booty for hidden gems.

There were plenty of interesting vehicles ready to be snapped up in the Automart, including a beautiful 1960 Austin Healey ‘Frogeye’ Sprite selling for £11,950, an un-restored, showroom condition 1958 MGA Coupé at £24,950, a cream 1969 Jaguar SII E-Type FHC at £34,500, a fully restored 1949 Citroën H Van at £50,000 and a stunning red 1959 Daimler Dart with cream leather interior, which the seller had spent 2,000 hours restoring to sell at £50,000.

Every age of vehicle was available to buy, from a classically elegant burgundy 1934 Sunbeam 25 HP at £35,000, to a blue five-litre supercharged 2010 Jaguar XFR for £27,500.

1958 Ford Thunderbird four seat convertible
American cars included an eye-catching red 1958 Ford Thunderbird, at £32,000, one of less than 100 1958 four-seat convertible Thunderbirds left in existence.

Restorations were also on offer, including a Ford T Model body priced at £3,500, found by the seller in a hedge in Cyprus, and a 1959 Citroën 2CV chassis at £625.

Some brisk business had already been done by as early as mid-morning on Saturday, with a 1970 Austin van selling for £5,250, a Rover 3500 selling at £775 and a 1964 Morris Mini Moke which sold in two minutes for £19,500.

Highlights of the Bonhams sale, held on Saturday, were a 1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 which sold for £152,700, reaching almost double its estimate, a world record price for an Alfa Romeo 1900 at auction. A 1926 Sunbeam 3L Super Sports ‘Twin Cam’ sold for £158,300 and a 1924 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost with an unusual body sold for £113,500.

One of only a handful of its type produced in right-hand drive, a 1991 Ferrari Tesarossa Coupé, with a low mileage of only 23,000, sold for £68,700. All lots in both the Ron Hickman collection and another private collection were sold.

Bonhams Motor Car Specialist, Rob Hubbard said: “We were delighted with another excellent Beaulieu sale with 139 vehicles for sale, including more complete vehicles of a higher quality this year, and with over 80% of the lots sold on the day a Premium total of £2.7 million was reached.  As always, the Beaulieu Autojumble weekend supplies buyers for all types of motor cars, bikes and automobilia and continually achieves record prices and a high level of sales.”

The winners of the Best Stand were – for the third year in a row - SU Carburetters. The stand of the Salisbury based family business, run by John Burnett and his sons, Mark, Jamie and Andy, which specialises in S.U & Amal carburettors, fuel pumps, service kits and spares, was simply the best! It was imaginatively designed to another WWII theme, complete with desert camouflage, a large gun mounted on the back of a truck and the family kitted out in soldiers’ uniforms and (the ladies) 1940s dress. They were also commended by the judges again for their professionalism and outstanding customer service.

Lord Montagu presented the Burnetts with a trophy donated by Lolly Lee, in memory of her father, Terry, a keen autojumbler who spent his life looking for rare items of interest. In addition to the trophy, they once again receive a free stand at next year’s International Autojumble.

The event’s media sponsor, Practical Classics, was busy all weekend putting the finishing touches to its latest project, renovating an MGB GT LE. The car, formerly owned by Lord Montagu and driven by his son Ralph was found on ebay.  It was a stalled restoration which the PC team thought would make an excellent project to complete over the Spring and International Autojumble weekends, using parts purchased on the autojumble fields. By close of play on Sunday the vehicle was almost in roadworthy condition and sporting a gleaming re-spray in Pewter Grey. The car will be the editor’s transport for the next couple of years although Ralph Montagu said he could be tempted to buy it back.

The show’s other sponsor, Ringwood Brewery, ran a popular bar throughout the weekend, inviting visitors and exhibitors to try out their award winning local ales.  They also donated three hampers of their products, two for free draws, one for visitors and one for exhibitors, plus one for the quirkiest stand, which went to R405, Andy Lee R&D Classic Car Spares, for his interpretation of Alcatraz!

The International Autojumble 2014 has been provisionally scheduled for the 6th & 7th September. These dates will be confirmed as soon as possible, please check the Beaulieu website nearer the time.

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