A lost collection of classic cars that have been stored on a farm for years has been uncovered – and all 20 vehicles left in fields and barns are set to be sold at auction.
The selection of motors has been amassed by a petrolhead with a keen eye for old American muscle cars as well as some modern classics, from Fast Fords to Mercedes SLs and even Porsches.
The auction house set to offer them to the highest bidder tells us the location and owner of the cars – and the reason they’ve been neglected for over five years – cannot be disclosed, but the availability of these motors means 20 new owners will ultimately have substantial restoration jobs on their hands.
Barn find beauty: Classics Car Auctions says this 1966 Corvette Stingray C2 Convertible is the ‘star car’ of the vehicles found languishing at the farm in the UK
Each one of the cars recovered from the UK estate will be sold as separate lots with no reserve at the Classic Car Auctions Christmas Sale on Saturday 9 December.
Each is said to ‘need copious amounts of TLC’ but provide ‘an unrepeatable opportunity to secure a car enthusiasts have been dreaming of with the chance to save the vehicle and put their own stamp on it’.
Undoubtedly, the star car in the ‘Stoneacre Collection’ is a rare sixties Chevrolet Corvette.
The wonderful 1966 Corvette Stingray C2 Convertible is finished in Stealth Black with a black leather interior and is fitted with a ‘Big-Block’ V8 engine that once would have delivered 425bhp via its four-speed manual gearbox.
It can definitely be categorised as a barn find, as evidenced by the straw and bird droppings as seen in the images.
Imported around 25 years ago, there is no history file but the V5C is present and the VIN (vehicle identification number) confirm the car as a 1966 car built in St Louis.
The auction house says this is a bona fide barn find, as you can see from the layer of dust and bird droppings on the bodywork
While the interior of the Corvette isn’t as grubby as the outside, it will still take some effort to bring it back to pristine condition. A ‘concours’ – museum quality – example today is worth around £128k, though this one could sell for as little as £25k
‘This is a car upon which much attention deserves to be lavished, and once fully prepared, it should reward such effort with an excellent outcome,’ the auction house says.
CCA expects it to go for between £25,000 and £30,000, though full restored it could be worth up to £128,000, according to classic car valuations experts, Hagerty.
And it’s not the only American muscle car uncovered in a barn on the estate.
A 1960 Cadillac Coupe-de-Ville – first registered in the UK in 1992 – was found alongside the Corvette in the barn and is set to be sold to a new keeper at the auction for between £3,000 and £4,000.
This 1960 Cadillac Coupe-de-Ville was also found in the barn alongside the Corvette. CCA says it was first registered in the UK in 1992 but there is little detail on the vehicle’s recent history
Also offered as part of the Stoneacre Collection is a 1985 Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera, which has been kept in storage for six year.
The 3.2 Carrera was widely regarded as the ultimate development of the 911 prior to the arrival of the 964.
The all-alloy, fuel-injected, flat-six-cylinder engine would have generated 231bhp offering 0-to-60mph in 5.6 seconds, making it one of the fastest sports cars of its era.
Looking purposeful with its ‘tea tray’ rear spoiler, Fuchs alloys and a valuable ‘911’ personalised number plate, it was first registered back in 1986 and has clocked over 123,000 miles, according to the odometer.
Unlike other motors in the collection, this Porsche has an extensive history including a stamped service book showing meticulous maintenance during its early life.
However, it was declared a ‘Cat C’ write-off in 2000, but has plainly been through extensive restoration since.
It should sell for between £20,000 and £25,000, though a pristine example is – according to Hagerty – worth around £65,000 to collectors today.
This 1985 Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera left out in a field to brave Britain’s mixed climates even comes with a very desirable number plate, C911 TJB
This era of 911 is well known for its massive ‘tea tray’ rear spoiler. This example appears to be in good condition, though its history file shows it has been repaired having previously been a CAT C write-off
This 911 was first registered back in 1986 and it has clocked just over 123,000 miles, according to the odometer reading in the relatively tidy interior
And it’s not the only Porsche left abandoned on the farm.
A 1992 911 (996) Targa is also part of the collection, which was last MOT tested in 2017 with only 75,300 miles on the clock and today shows just 76k having been kept off the road since at least 2018.
In top condition, one of these today goes for a fee of between £50,000 and £70,000, based on recent auction sales and insurance quotes. Yet CCA reckons this one – with a service book including 11 Porsche stamps and a documented history file – could be sold for just £8,000 to £10,000.
Also found in the farmer’s field is this 2002 Porsche 911 Targa, which appears to be in good all-round condition based on the photos of the vehicle
In top condition, one of these today goes for a fee of between £50,000 and £70,000, based on recent auction sales and insurance quotes. Yet CCA reckons this one could be sold for just £8,000 to £10,000
This car was last MOT tested in 2017. It has covered only 76,000 miles, according to the Classic Car Auctions lot description
The pair of Porsches were found alongside a 1996 Aston Martin DB7 Coupe, which has a guide price of £10,000 to £14,000. While this might sound low, the DB7 hasn’t amassed the appreciation other Astons of yesteryear have mustered, with Hagerty saying a stunning, low-mileage version would go for up to £30,000 today.
Arguably one of the most attractive Aston Martin’s produced around the turn of the century, this example of Ian Callum’s superb ’90s modern classic is powered by a supercharged 24-valve, in-line six cylinder petrol engine with 335bhp.
It comes with an ‘impressive’ service history, with stamped Aston Martin records up to 66,000 miles approximately. It was last MOT tested in 2017 at 87,506 miles – and with just 88,211 on the clock now it was barely used for those proceeding 12 months.
It was added to the Stoneacre Collection only very recently in the ‘last few years’, CCA says.
Whilst showing signs of minimal use recently, it does run and drive. The paintwork would ‘benefit from a refresh,’ says the auction house, though says the interior remains in relatively good condition.
This Aston Martin DB7 was found in the haul of vehicles and hasn’t been used for over five years. We don’t think it’s been cleaned in that time either…
While the DB7 is arguably one of the best looking modern-era Aston Martins, that’s not been reflected in demand from collectors. Even a pristine example – which this is not – would sell for around £30k – that’s less than a new Ford Kuga
This Aston Martin has covered just over 88,000 miles in its lifetime. It is one of the most recent additions to the Stoneacre Collection – but has clearly been neglected for some time
There are numerous other motors that will be available as individual lots, including a selection of Mercedes-Benz SLs, pair of eighties Ford Escort RS Turbos, a 1992 Toyota MR2 Turbo and even an ex-military armour-bodied Land Rover Defender.
There’s a 1969 Lotus Elan, low-mileage 1972 MG Midget and 2001 Jaguar XKR for fans of classic British motors.
This 1979 Mercedes-Benz 380SL (R107) has a 3.8-litre V8 engine under the bonnet producing – when new- 215bhp and 224lb/ft through a 4-speed automatic gearbox. It has covered only 75,000 miles and could sell for £4,000 to £6,000 – though a good one would be valued at over £43,000 if sold to a collector
Left: A 1992 Mercedes 500SL is one of a number of old Mercs left to endure the conditions in the farmer’s field. It has cover over 150k miles and was – like a lot of the other cars here – last MOT tested in 2017. In stunning condition, it would be worth £32k (estimate £3k-£4k). Right: A 500SL from a year later, this 1993 top-of-the-range example of the R129 also has over 150k on the clock (estimate £3k-£4k)
The owner of this neglected car collection clearly had a keen eye for a Mercedes SL from this era, with another pair parked up on his land. Both are estimated to sell for £2,000 to £4,000
This late 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1 has certainly seen better days. CCA says it has covered just 33,000 miles, though its MOT record is a little sketchy. A very good example of an Escort RS Turbo is worth between £25,000 and £35,000 today, though you could pick this one up for around £6,000 to £8,000 says CCA
This later 1988 Ford Escort RS Turbo was found parked up in the field amongst the bushes. In pristine condition, it could be worth up to £26,000, according to classic car valuations specialists. CCA expects the winning bid to be in the region of £3k to £4k for this neglected example. However, with just 3,312 miles on the clock – according to the auction house -this could be a very good restoration project guaranteed to make profit
This 1998 Toyota MR2 was found in the field with almost 59,000 miles on the clock and showing plenty of signs of neglect. A good example of this car would be worth around £7,000 to £13,000 to enthusiasts, though CCA reckons it will go for £4,000 to £6,000 when the hammer drops in December
Among the stash of vehicles found at the farm that will shortly head to the block is this ex-military armoured Land Rover
However, the most unusual model in the collection is a Crayford Argocat eight-wheeled amphibious ATV (all-terrain vehicle).
Also in desperate need of restoration, this rare piece of machinery should go for just £2,000 to £2,500.
The Crayford Special Equipment Company of Westerham were agents for the Argocat, made by ODG, who also operated in Canada.
The all-terrain vehicle was made from high-density polyethylene and designed to haul logs or game across boggy countryside, deep snow or even when climbing the sides of mountain.
This blue 1969 Lotus Elan +2 S Coupe is another classic of good value found stored away in one of the farmer’s barns. MOT records show it has covered just 87,000 miles in its lifetime. Fully restored and kept original, it could be worth up to £37,600, Hagerty says. CCA says it will go for £5,000 to £8,000, so could be a good investment for a collector
This 1972 MG Midget has certainly seen better days. Parked up in the storage unit alongside a selection of motorcycles, #MOT records show it was last tested in November 2019 and had just 39,335 miles on the clock. A good example of this car today is worth up to £13,500, though CCA thinks this will go for just £2,000 to £3,000
This 2001 Jaguar XKR is another British sports car example from the collection. It comes with a valuable registration plate ‘K12 XKR’. Last MOT’d in January 2018, it 122,500 miles on the clock. Even in pristine condition, it would only be worth £11,000, according to Hagerty’s valuation tool. CCA says a bid between £3,000 and £4,000 should be enough to win it
The most unusual model in the collection is a Crayford Argocat eight-wheeled amphibious ATV (all-terrain vehicle). Also in desperate need of restoration, this rare piece of machinery should go for just £2,000 to £2,500
Commenting on the availability of the 20 vehicles, Gary Dunne, sales manager of CCA says: ‘This is an incredible Collection of cars, plainly assembled by somebody who knew what they were picking.
‘Whilst they may be in need of work, restoration or recommissioning, they all offer great merit in a classic car sale.
‘Offered as they are at no reserve, we know that they will achieve plenty of attention and, as such, at sale they will sell for whatever the market decides they are worth given their current condition.
‘Some of these cars may need very little work to return to the road, other much more, but they will all be sold and we hope that they prove to be a part of a very successful sale.’
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