Bonhams' Goodwood auction showed that the great classic cars are achieving great prices – but apparently no-one is interested in Lotus's recent history.
A Ferrari Daytona Spider made £225,000 (13% above top estimate) and an Aston Martin DB6 Convertible made £404,700 (also 13% above top estimate). However, most modern Lotus models either failed to sell or sold below the bottom estimate.
A 1986 Esprit Turbo with only 15,000 miles sold for 5% under its low estimate at £18,975 – that is half what a low-mileage Ferrari 308 of similar vintage would be worth. The M250 clay prototype (an intended Boxster rival, and very pretty too) sold for just £4,600 – under 25% of the bottom estimate, while two other Lotus modern prototypes were unsold.
Overall the top prices were made by the 1912 "Corgi" Rolls Royce Silver Ghost (£4.7 million) and the 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C driven by Tim Birkin and his friend Earl Howe (£2.7 million). Other notable cars included a 1929 Bentley 4½-litre Four-Seat Tourer with coachwork by Vanden Plas, which was originally owned by the Maharajah of Bhavnagar.
Perhaps most surprising was a 1907 Daimler TP 45 Tourer. It had no particular historical merit apart from being old and having a prestigious badge, but sold for £359,900. Clearly very old cars are now part of the same market as old paintings.