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Barn finds highlight British Buxton auction


Three “barn-found” cars highlighted H&H Classics’ recent collector car auction at Buxton, Derbyshire, England, where a 1962 Jaguar E-type roadster that had been in storage in Scotland for 35 years nearly doubled its pre-sale estimated value by selling for £77,000 ($101,125), the auction company announced.

The car was found in original condition — H&H called it a “delightful sleeping beauty” — and with only 66,551 miles on its odometer. Its pre-auction estimated value was £40,000 ($52,500) and it was offered for bidding with no reserve price.

“The joy of this job is that now and then you stumble across a car that you just know is going to excite other car lovers as much as it excites you,” said Roger Nowell, the H&H Classics team member who discovered the car in Moray, Scotland. 

Mini went into storage when owner became too weak to drive

Also beating its pre-sale estimate was a one-owner 1967 Mini 850 deluxe that had been in storage since 1983. The car, driven only 36,000 miles before being parked, sold for £15,525 ($20,390).

“My father purchased GBV121E brand new in 1967 for his early retirement,” the consignor told H&H Classics. “The car was used mainly for holidays; my parents loved touring the Highlands of Scotland as well as North Yorkshire.

“My father was diagnosed with ME (chronic fatigue syndrome) in the early ‘80s. The Mini was very little used and in 1983 it was taken off the road. It was sheeted and raised off the floor supported with wooden blocks under the sub frame to keep the weight off the suspension and wheels and never moved again until this year.”

Mercedes 300SE in storage since 1981

Also selling, for £14,000 ($18,390), was a 1965 Mercedes-Benz 300SE coupe that had been stored in an underground garage in Manchester since 1981. The car was one of only 270 produced with right-hand steering. 

The story wasn’t so happy for another car sold at the auction. Brian Griffiths spent more than £120,000 ($157,500) to restore the 1963 Rover 95 P4 that his father originally owned. The car sold at the auction for only £17,365 ($22,810).

“One can only surmise that he (the son) felt a great deal of sentimental attachment to the car and was in the fortunate position of being able to spend that sort of money on its refurbishment,” said Damian Jones of H&H Classics. “For some enthusiasts the value of their car is measured in things other than money.”

Son spent six figures to restore car worth not nearly that much

Larry Edsall
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.


  1. "“For some enthusiasts the value of their car is measured in things other than money.” Yeah, no. What he meant to say was "As long as you value your own time and effort in a restoration at zero, any restoration is cheap".


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