A crisp, sunny morning just east of Perth gradually turned grey and rainy outside, but this came to pass quite unnoticed as scores of people milled around the two main halls of cars at the Morris Leslie auction. On the approach to the 11am start, many crowded around the auctioneer’s stand in anticipation, while some others more interested in just observing keenly watched the screen placed in the other hall, just metres away from the main stand.
The first car to really grab the attention of bidders was a 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC. Despite its high mileage and left-hand-drive configuration, two hall bidders fought against each other, with two phone bidders, bringing the price quickly up to £2000, then an online bid continued the momentum up to £2950, before finally taking it at £3150. The appetite for German cars continued through a 1998 E55 AMG that went from £2400 to a provisional £4000, and a 2004 SL500 with a mere 25,727 miles that caught an online bid of £11,600. Older SL models were also present, while BMW was represented by an E39 5-Series in unusual specification, two E46 3-Series and even an Isetta from 1958.
British classics were in force too, with a 1969 Triumph Spitfire stirring interest up to a strong £1600 and a 1953 Mayflower securing a provisional £2700 from an online bidder early on. Around noon, the MGs made an impact, with a 1975 V8-powered MG B GT finally fetching £12,300 after a prolonged bidding war, followed immediately by a choice-specification MG TD that sold for a provisional £10,400, then within minutes a 1960 MGA soared from a £15,000 starting bid to a final price of £20,100. Two other MG B GT models with the 1.8 four-cylinder also got strong interest.
The 1958 Riley Two Point Six sold for £4876, a good result, while some bargains were certainly had with a 2004 Jaguar XJ8 in fine condition selling for £3650 and a 1960 Bentley S2 taking a provisional £22,000. Meanwhile, two Ford Sierra Cosworths – one with a particularly low mileage of only 36,791 and some choice modifications – took provisional bids of £17,000 and £15,000. Other Fords, including a 1980 Granada L, 1989 Orion Ghia, and 1974 Escort L didn’t quite catch the interest of the bidders as much as we expected either.
Some surprise successes included a 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII with low miles and Japanese import history that took a provisional bid of £10,250 after a run from £8000, a 2002 Land Rover Discovery that sold for £3100 and a 1956 Morris Minor that, after the hall was informed of its noisy first gear, climbed determinedly back up to £800 after initially failing to attract a bid. These are just some of the examples of excellent cars, not to mention the late arrivals including a pristine 1999 Mercedes-Benz W210 that staffer Aaron was particularly partial to. For the full results or to consider any of the cars at future auctions, see www.morrisleslie.com.
Two very different ways to exploit performance through four wheels, and two very different shades of blue. The Sierra XR4x4 took an initial bid of £1700 but quickly shot up to £2600 on account of its quite brilliant condition. It must have been an ideal car to drive home in the rainy weather after the auction.
This 201,518-mile 300SL-24 didn’t catch the interest I had hoped for it, despite carrying an impressive service history and presenting rather well. The car in the background, a 1993 SL280 with half the miles, took a healthier £3100 in the end.
This 1958 BMW Isetta 300 inspired some excitement in the auction, with two hall bidders and two phone bidders battling it out, pushing the initial bid of £9000 to £15,200 – a good £1200 over its top estimate range. A great little piece of history here. It was good to see it generate so much interest.
In its striking pastel yellow, this early water-cooled 911 convertible with desirable hard-top roof caught the attention of enough people to send it up to £16,000. The winner got up excitedly with his family and strode towards the auction office, clearly keen to start the summer off with a drop-top Porsche.
With 44,103 miles and original service book, we expected this 1992 Cavalier 1.8 GL to go for more, but its climb from £1700 to £2150 still showed some interest worthy of its condition and modern classic status.
The eternally classic shape of the Bentley S2, or Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud, was present here in the form of this 1960 Bentley, with recent provenance in BBC filming and wedding service. The car took a provisional bid of £22,000.
The new owner of this MGB GT enthusiastically follows it out of the hall as it’s guided out by the marshal. In remarkably good condition and featuring a Webasto roof as well as an oil cooler, it took a very reasonable £6500 winning bid.
These two seemed to attract a good deal of attention and performed well at auction. The 1977 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II has been kept by one family until now, remains thoroughly original and sold for £9000. The 1996 Bentley Brooklands with only 10,000 more miles at 50,580, sold for a solid £10,200.
Gregor Leslie took the hammer for a particularly heated session in the middle of the auction, seen here taking bids from the hall for a Ford Escort Mexico.