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2014 Houston Classic Car Auction

The Houston Classic car auction by Worldwide Auctions was held during the weekend of the Concours d’Elegance of Texas along with an attendant driving tour, charity golf tournament and educational programs that continued to mark the rise of this event on the annual automotive calendar.

Along with the expected cadre of auction ready European sports and classics from Ferrari, Maserati and Porsche, there was a surprisingly broad selection of British sports cars on hand, all of fine quality and from the affordable end of the price spectrum.

1951 Nash-Healey Roadster(N2041) This 1951 Nash-Healey roadster was reportedly the subject of a full rotisserie restoration in 2007 at a cost of more than $200,000 and it has held up very well over the ensuing years. The Mint Green paint and panel gaps are well presented with only some dry rubber, seat facings and aging bright work detracting from the overall package.

A fine example of a concours restoration being driven down into exceptional driver status, this was sold way above the available book valuations but below the excessively optimistic auction estimate at a final price of $170,500.

Considering that this very same car was sold five years ago for $67,000 it would have to be considered well sold but in the final calculus the buyer got a very fine car here.

1972 Jaguar XKE V12 2+2(30867S109829) It is shocking to some (especially the author) that even previously unwanted and unloved Series III 2+2 examples of the immortal E-Type are on the same meteoric rise that has lifted very fine examples of the earlier cars into the six figure firmament.

Despite an exterior color that is not high on the list of most desirable Jaguar colors and a restoration that is on the older side of recent, this 1972 Jaguar XKE V12 2+2 coupe has good quality paint, sound panel gaps and a straight body to speak well of itself. While there will likely never be the coterie of enthusiasts out there clamoring for these later, larger cars, it was still a sound investment given that the money to restore this car likely far exceeded the $57,200 that it took to buy it here.

All the money? Probably. But a very good buy nonetheless for a properly restored XKE that can be driven with impunity and abandon.

1953 MG TD competition Roadster(TDC21415) While the prices for the MGTF 1500 have risen over the past few years and those of the earlier TC have stagnated, prices for the TD have fallen to levels that haven’t been seen in more than a decade. Not fast enough to keep up with the later TFs and MGAs (and thus less useful for touring and driving events) and less overtly anachronistic as the seminal TC, these in between cars have languished in comparison.

An exception to the trend was this 1953 MG TD competition roadster that was a high-quality driver with an older restoration that still presented well. The paint, interior and engine bay were all clean and presentable and the enhancements to the running gear likely upped the performance of the car to a level acceptable to the patient driver. Sold well but also bought fairly, a good deal for both sides.

1962 MGA 1600 Mk II Roadster(GHNL2103298) A lightly worn driver quality MGA that was recently given a fresh coat of paint and a new interior in advance of sale, despite the addition of several non-original components this was an attractive car that presented itself well in person as it did in photographs.

The wooden dash, however, was in need of refinishing and the engine was ostensibly improved with the addition of Weber carburetors and a Cannon intake manifold along with some non-standard items like an aftermarket valve cover.

The chrome 60-spoke wires and body colored brake drums were non-original, but contributed to the eye appeal of the car.  There were better, more correct cars out there but this wasn’t a bad example by any stretch and this 1962 MGA 1600 Mk II roadster was sold right at the middle of the market for $28,600.

1967 Triumph TR4A IRSIt is rare to see cars from the affordable end of the spectrum subjected to concours levels of restoration, but this 1967 Triumph TR4A IRS was excellent in almost all respects. While it was not quite in concours fettle it was close with exceptional paint and panel gaps – far better than when new on these body on frame cars – and the brightwork was completely replaced or replated.

The rubber trim, convertible top and interior panels were also completed to a similar level of quality and this car was one of the best examples offered in recent years (including the black surrey top TR4 sold at Gooding in Scottsdale this January). Given that the cost of restoration was likely a multiple of the sales price it has to be considered exceptionally well bought at $18,700.

All images courtesy of Worldwide Auctions.


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