WW2 hangar provides showplace for Brightwells, Bicester auction success

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One of the pre-war classics offered at the auction | Bicester Heritage photos

Bicester Heritage, located at a former RAF bomber training station in Oxfordshire, England, wants to be the focal point for the British classic car community. It took another step in that direction this week when it was the site of the largest ever Brightwells collector car auction, with 105 cars on the docket and with sales of nearly $1.85 million.

Seventy percent of the cars were sold at the sale, which Bicester Heritage noted drew a packed bidding room and with offers made that the sale from as far away as Abu Dhabi and Australia.

Pre-war cars were especially sought after, with an 87 percent sell-through rate.

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Ferrari is the highest seller at $176,500

The highest sale of the auction was a 1976 Ferrari 308 GTB Vetroesina, one of only 154 such fiberglass-bodied cars with right-hand drive. With a strong service record and only 51,500 miles on its odometer, the car sold for more than $176,500.

“A one-acre WW2 hangar seems the perfect environment for an auction with both the viewing and sales days packed with people,” Dan Geoghegan, Bicester Heritage managing director, was quoted in a news release. “The buzz was very noticeable with excellent results.”

“Bicester Heritage continues to draw in a new and enthusiastic crowd for us and we are well on the way to establishing our Bicester sales as a regular calendar fixture,” added Brightwells consultant Matthew Parkin.

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“Although we remain very good at dealing with sports and classic cars from the 1950s onwards, our experience and perhaps the location at Bicester Heritage has allowed us to build our strengths in the pre-war sector, which is something that we both enjoy and understand very well.

“As always it is quality that sells best, but we aren’t shy of offering a wide range of vehicles, as long as it is interesting and quirky.”

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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.

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