Not only did H&H Classics report the results of its recent collector car auction at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, UK, but the auction company issued a second news release assuring classic car owners that they should not panic because of the spread of E10 fuel at British petrol stations.
“Recent news about the E10 fuel pumps starting to take over at UK petrol stations has left some classic car owners concerned,” the company noted. “The UK’s standard unleaded petrol has changed with the introduction of E10 fuel from September 1st, and filling stations around the country are now required to sell the new formulation of fuel. There are fears that this development has serious implications for drivers of older cars.”
Increased use of ethanol in such fuels is known to cause corrosion in vintage vehicles’ fuel systems.
“Most classic cars are indeed incompatible with the new E10 petrol,” noted Damian Jones, head of sales at H&H Classics. “However, you can still buy E5 petrol, albeit it in more-expensive, higher-octane guise as Super Unleaded. There are no plans at present to stop selling Super Unleaded, which most petrol stations stock. There was a similar ‘concern’ when leaded fuel was phased out during the 1990s.”
The E10 formulation, with 10 percent bio-ethanol components, is being introduced in the UK as part of an effort to reduce CO2 emissions.
“All cars built after 2010 are designed to run on E10 and most cars built since 2000 are also compatible, but owners of cars older than that could run into problems if they use E10 for prolonged periods, say the experts,” H&H Classics reports. “But with E5 petrol still freely available, there is no need to panic.
“Classic cars will continue to be seen on our roads and at classic car events, fully fueled and going strong.”
Among those vehicles are those that were sold at the recent H&H auction, which posted nearly $3.5 million in sales.
The top sale of the auction was $207,000 paid for a 1965/2004 carbon-fiber-bodied Shelby 427 AC Cobra CSX4000 series car. One of only 10 produced, the car had been driven just 1,300 miles.
Selling for $191,075 was a 1959 Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk III under the same ownership since 1990.
Another top sale was that of a 1967 Jaguar E-Type 4.2 coupe that originally was owned by a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy and had been in the US but off the road since the late 1990s until undergoing a recent restoration and returning to the UK. The car sold for $162,415.
In what H&H said came as a surprise, a 1966 Mercedes-Benz 300 SE cabriolet sold for $149,675, three times its pre-sale estimated value. The car had become the object of a bidding battle involving collectors from Hong Kong, Australia, Dubai, India, Singapore and the UK before being hammered sold.
“The owner was very pleased with the result,” Damian Jones noted.