With the market for 1950s and 1960s sports racers reaching new highs at the moment, it was perhaps predictable that the ex-John Horridge ‘Ecurie Bullfrog’ Lister Sports Racer ‘DEN 275’ would sell well.
Beginning its period racing career with a 1.5 litre Riley engine but ending it with a 2.0 litre Bristol unit, the Lister had been in single family ownership since August 1969. Stored in an old mill for much of the past four decades, it was among the more intriguing restoration projects that H&H has ever had the pleasure of offering.
Eagerly contested by two telephone bidders and a gentleman in the room all of whom could see past its dented aluminum bodywork and likely £100,000 refurbishment cost, the ex-John Horridge ‘Ecurie Bullfrog’ car generated a round of applause when auctioneer Simon Hope brought his gavel down at £115,000. Indeed, the premium inclusive price paid, £126,500, was a new auction world record price for a Bristol-powered Lister and more than two and a half times the £50,000 starting figure suggested by the catalogue.
The new owner reportedly plans to have ‘DEN 275’ running in historic events as early as autumn next year.
The Lister was not the only competition car to change hands with the 1949 H.R.G. 1100 Alpine Rally Team Car (£31,900), 1958 Fiat Abarth 750GT Zagato ‘Corsa’ (£30,800), 1957 RGS Atalanta MG (£26,950), historic rally car converted 1950 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible (£19,800) and 1970 Piper GTT (£18,700) among others all finding new homes.
Headlining the road car results was the highly original 1961 Aston Martin DB4 Series III at £110,000 followed by the former concours winning 1965 Rolls-Royce Phantom V Limousine at £71,600. Polar opposites in terms of condition, the delightfully careworn 1928 Lagonda 14/60 Semi-Sports Tourer and freshly restored 1933 Riley 9 Lynx Tourer made similar money at £24,200 and £23,100 respectively.
Proof that strong prices are being achieved at all levels if the car in question is deemed sufficiently special, the ‘cute as a button’ 1937 Fiat 500 Topolino raised more than a few eyebrows when it commanded £11,550 against a saleroom estimate of £5,000 – £6,000, while the highly presentable 1931 Austin Seven Saloon found its way into a notable collection for £7,700.
For more information, visit www.classic-auctions.com.
[Source: H&H Classic Auctions]