Confiscated cars sell at Chateau Impney auction

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2012 Ferrari Caiifornia sells for $142,370
Bidders take a look during the H&H Classics auction preview | H&H Classics photos
Bidders take a look during the H&H Classics auction preview | H&H Classics photos

Admitting that the docket offered something of a “pre-Christmas garage sale,” H&H Classics wrapped up its 2016 auction calendar this week, selling some 90 collector cars and more than 300 items of automobilia for £2,000,000, slightly more than $2.5 million at the current exchange rate.

The sale, held at Chateau Impney in the British Midlands, featured a group of low-mileage luxury and sports cars seized by the British government from a Middle Eastern sheikh in what H&H termed “a financial dispute.”

“The sale today provided a chance to acquire some stunning cars with incredibly low odometer readings which have been kept garaged in some of London’s best postcodes,” Damian Jones, head of sales at H&H Classics, was quoted in a news release.

2012 Ferrari Caiifornia sells for $142,370
2012 Ferrari Caiifornia sells for $142,370

Pre-sale publicity focused on vehicles such as the 1952 Bentley R-Type Straight 8 Special, a car inspired by the famed Bentley “Scalded Cats,” a car loaned to Prince Phillip several decades ago which Bentley had a hard time getting returned because he liked it so much. That car sold at Chateau Impney for £64,410 ($81,150).

“But it was the opportunity to acquire one or more of the personal private collection of the Middle Eastern sheik’s classic modern classic car collection, stunning high-end examples of marque leaders in eye-catching livery, that really set the room alight,” H&H reported.

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The total hammer price (before buyer’s premiums were added) for the seized cars was £782,000 (more than $985,000).

Among those cars, a 2012 Ferrari California with only 500 miles on its odometer sold for £113,000 ($142,370) and a 2012 Bentley Continental GTC with only 500 miles from new went for £95,760 ($120,000).

H&H Classics opens its 2017 auction schedule in February at Donington Park.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.