Recent classic vehicle auction reports

Posted by Chris Graham on 6th June 2023

We report from a couple of recent classic vehicle auction, at which some interesting commercial and light commercials found new homes.

classic vehicle auction

Classic vehicle auction: This 1958 ERF KV44G was sold for £7,500 (plus premium) by Mathewsons.

As viewers of the Yesterday channel on TV will be aware, Mathewsons of Thornton-le-Dale holds regular classic vehicle auctions, though Bangers and Cash tends to concentrate on a few specific vehicles rather than showing just how many are actually sold there. The programme also, quite understandably, tends to concentrate on the cars, because that’s what most viewers can relate to. 

classic vehicle auction

1930 Dennis restoration project; £5,000 plus premium (Pic: Mathewsons)

Mathewsons does, however, usually offer a selection of commercial vehicles alongside the cars, and a recent event – held on March 17th-18th – included a fine selection and some equally impressive sale results. 

classic vehicle auction

1960 Ford Thames Trader 6×6 AWD; £10,000 plus premium (Pic: Mathewsons)

These days, Mathewsons sales are held behind closed doors with online, phone and proxy/advanced bidding only, although full, in-person viewing of lots beforehand is offered and encouraged. We would say that this is especially good advice as far as the lorries are concerned because, by their own admission, the Mathewson staff aren’t that knowledgeable about commercials. Some aspects of the descriptions do seem to bear this out. For example, we noticed this comment in the Atkinson’s online video: “I think you have to wait until that buzzer stops before moving it”…

classic vehicle auction

This 1972 Atkinson Silver Knight and tanker semi-trailer didn’t sell. (Pic: Mathewsons)

Anyway, the March sale included four heavy commercials and, depending on exact definition, between 10 and 15 LCVs. Three of the four ‘biggies’ found new homes, starting with a 1930 Dennis truck which appeared to be an older/past restoration that had been allowed to deteriorate in the paintwork department. Overall, though, it still looked sound enough; some wood will probably need renewing and, no doubt, the mechanical refurb will uncover a few nasties, but £5,000 plus Mathewson’s 7.5% plus VAT Buyers Premium wasn’t expensive.

classic vehicle auction

1957 Morris J Type van; £17,500 plus premium (Pic: Mathewsons)

The 1958 ERF KV 44G (MJT 334) is fairly well-known in ERF circles, having been operated from new under contract to Sandford Pottery, in Dorset. Having last changed hands at an H&H auction in 2014, its older restoration appearance now replicates pretty-much perfectly the look of a working lorry from the 1960s. It has also appeared on a number of road runs in the north of England. With a quantity of paperwork included, it sold for a fair-to-all £7,500, plus premium.

classic vehicle auction

1966 Morris 6cwt pick-up; £17,500 plus premium (Pic: Mathewsons)

Our favourite among the heavies, though, was 813 FBF; a 1962 Ford Thames 6×6 AWD. Liveried for Buxton’s Builders Merchants, and with a Hiab on the back for good measure, this extremely useful looking piece of kit has clearly been the subject of a thorough and painstaking restoration. In fact, it looked almost too good to use, though we’d certainly struggle to resist the temptation to lift something on to the back with that crane! It sold for £10,000, plus premium.

1971 Morris 8cwt pick-up; £15,200 plus premium (Pic: Mathewsons)

Light commercial vehicle highlights included a c1957 Morris J Type that had been very well restored in an extremely noticeable but not particularly period ‘Betfred’ livery. It made £17,250 plus premium despite being described as ‘unregistered’. Also doing well from the Morris stable were a pair of well-restored Morris Minor pick-ups. Curiously, both were offered without the ‘sold to trade’ section of their V5Cs. Anyway, the older one – a 1966 6cwt in green – made £17,500 plus premium, while the blue, 1971 8cwt version went for £15,200, plus premium.

Mathewsons holds sales every six weeks or so and you can find out more by visiting:

1954 Austin A40 van; £8,424 including premium (Pic: Anglia Car Auctions)

Meanwhile over in west Norfolk, Anglia Car Auctions’ most recent classic event took place over the weekend of April 1st-2nd and, while ACA also offers the full range of absentee bidder options, its sales are very much open to public attendance. Here too, a decent selection of commercials was offered alongside the cars, and some very good results were achieved. Probably the biggest surprise was a 1989 Peugeot 504 pick-up truck, which made £12,312, including premium. It was a nice example, of course; a UK car from new, light use and storage from 2015 followed by a tidy-up restoration because that was all it needed. 

1999 Skoda Felicia 1.9D pick-up; £1,910 including premium (Pic: Anglia Car Auctions)

Similarly-priced, but at the other end of the age-spectrum, a 1932 Austin Seven RP van in equally nice condition but, of course, having had a much greater amount of restoration. It made £12,096, including premium. Presented in striking red livery, it looked almost like a Post Office van, except that the GPO never used Austin Seven mailvans…

Modified Ford 300E van with unfinished changes; £4,752 including premium (Pic: Anglia Car Auctions)

Less tidy, but arguably more genuine, was a 1954 Austin A40 van. Entered by a film hire company that use ACA regularly to source and sell vehicles, this one captured the working vehicle look to a tee, even though it had clearly been restored at some point. It also sported what appeared to be a Gold Seal replacement engine, and sold for £8,424, including premium.

Lada Niva from Latvia, age unknown; £2,700 including premium (Pic: Anglia Car Auctions)

Other interesting LCV buys included a modified Ford 300E van which still looked pretty standard externally, but had been fitted with a 2.0 Pinto engine, Ford Type 9 gearbox and various brake and other upgrades. The works were, however, unfinished and the van was offered as a non-runner, but it still made £4,752, including premium. A recently-imported LHD Lada Niva, still on Latvian registration plates but with the correct NOVA documentation for UK registration, made £2,700, including premium. 

1989 Peugeot 504GL pick-up; £12,312 including premium (Pic: Anglia Car Auctions)

As usual, though, a few lots did appear to be extremely well-bought. One example was a 1999 Skoda Felicia 1.9D pick-up with just 43,000 miles on the clock, fresh from 21 years ownership by a gardener, and in exactly the condition one would expect for that ownership and mileage. Against an estimate of £2,000-3,000, it made £1,910 inclusive.

1932 Austin Seven van; £12,096 including premium (Pic: Anglia Car Auctions)

And finally, an item which few will have seen in the flesh, but many will recognise instantly through having owned the Matchbox model! The Aktiv Fischer AB Snow Trac was described as ‘very original’; originality that included the odd rust hole, though it was in running order, and had air-cooled VW mechanicals. Valuing something like this is hard, but the ACA buyers put its price at £3,240 including premium. Given that the vendor was happy to accept that offer, it’s fair to take that figure as its value.

1981 Snow Trac; £3,240 including premium (Pic: Anglia Car Auctions)

For further details of future sales visit:

This feature comes from a recent issue of Classic & Vintage Commercials, and you can get a money-saving subscription to this magazine simply by clicking HERE


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