Sheppard's is entering the classic cars market, with a section of its forthcoming auction devoted to this niche area of collecting.
Classic and vintage cars are widely collected in Ireland, but traditionally change hands through dealers or via private sales. In a first for an Irish art and antiques auction house, Sheppard's will offer a small selection of cars on Wednesday, June 29th, at the end of its two-day "Great Country House Collections" auction in Coolattin House, Shillelagh, Co Wicklow.
Auctioneer Philip Sheppard said "this initiative is in response to clients' expressed interest in both acquiring and selling cars of exceptional quality and collectability".
If the auction is a success it is likely to become an annual event.
While only seven cars are included in the first sale there is serious money involved as the combined top estimate is over €500,000 – equal to the value of perhaps 500 lots in a routine art and antiques auction.
In a report four years ago on the alternative investments (in art, antiques and collectibles) of the world’s super-rich by Barclays Bank (which included Ireland), it noted that the “most costly pursuit is the ownership of classic cars”.
The top lot at Sheppard's is an "extremely rare" Porsche 911 (964), a right-hand drive model registered in 1991.
It is described as “Engine capacity: 3299. Fuel type: Petrol. Transmission: Manual. Mileage displayed: 89,000 miles. Body colour: silver. Full body metal”.
The estimate is €120,000-€180,000.
According to a catalogue note, the German-made car was imported into Ireland in 2005, and has undergone a “full engine rebuild by Belgard Motors, Dublin”.
Sheppard’s said it was one of only 260 right-hand models of this variant of Porsche made and “one of only three in Ireland”.
Increase in value
It said “these cars have increased dramatically in value in the last 10 years and show no sign of slowing and are expected to double in value over the next 10 years”.
Considerably more affordable is an “Alfa Salfa Spider Series 2” – estimated at €15,000-€20,000 – which is left-hand drive, was first registered in 1975, and has been “fully restored by the award-winning Portuguese Alfa Romero Classic specialist, Luis de Jesus”.
Essentially for a country house sale, there’s a Rolls Royce – a 1976 silver-grey four-door saloon Silver Shadow which sounds like a comparative bargain at €20,000-€30,000.
This car was originally owned by David Williams, a crime writer who died in 2003 and who was best known for his novels featuring a merchant banker called, appropriately, Mark Treasure.
The cars will go on public view in the grounds of the auction venue for three days from next Saturday (June 25th) from 10am–5pm.
A digital catalogue for the cars (and the other lots in the auction) is online at sheppards.ie