With Spring not too far on the horizon, many enthusiasts’ thoughts turn to their next classic car. Happily, Barons had a fantastic range on offer at its Classic Winter Warmer sale at Sandown Park on February 27, including the oldest Ford Escort XR3 in the UK, a hugely rewarding E-type restoration project and a host of other interesting cars, from high-end sports cars to starter classics, including a 1989 Jaguar XJS with just 2,600 miles on the clock, and even a Green Goddess fire engine. Marvellous.

It’s been explained to MotorMartin that, one of just three remaining original pre-production press launch cars, the 1980 XR3 underwent a nut-and-bolt restoration in 2016, having been stored since the late 1990s. It was presented in excellent condition and, at £11,000-£15,000, represented an excellent investment opportunity, or a fantastic opportunity for a Ford fan who wants to be reminded of just how the XR legend began.

E-type lovers had three to choose from, depending on their preference and budget. The silver blue, 1962 S1 FHC was simply superb, and had a fascinating history. It was the subject of a fraudulent insurance claim in the mid 1990s, and found, stripped and painted in red oxide, in the garage of a friend of the claimant. All the matching numbers engine, gearbox and axle were with the body, and it has now been fully rebuilt and restored and carried a guide price of £130,000-£150,000. The 1963 Jaguar E-type S1 3.8 Roadster restoration project comprised of original components that had been stored for over 20 years. All they needed now was an enthusiastic new owner wanting to restore them and put everything back together. At £35,00-£45,000 this lot would prove to be financially rewarding and hugely enjoyable for the successful bidder. And the bright red, 1963 S1 FHC was an older restoration, and a good useable example of a very collectable model (£60,000-£90,000).

Another head-turning Jaguar was a gorgeous 1989 XJS convertible that had covered an astonishing 2,700 miles from new. Kept in climate-controlled conditions in a private collection in the USA, it was fitted with a 5.7l Corvette engine in 1991, and arrived complete with all original Jaguar owner’s manuals, touch-up paints, hood bag etc. (£33,000-£40,000).

Family saloons are always popular with collectors, and the 1967 Vauxhall Viva HB Super Luxury Auto was a magnificent example, having driven just 12,000 miles in 50 years. Believed to be the only Borg Warner 35 Super Lux left in existence, it celebrated its 50th birthday in December with a glass of bubbly and a coat of polish (£5,000-£7,000). Another low-mileage Vauxhall was in the form of the 1957 Velox E Series, which had travelled 30,000 miles in 60 years (£10,000-£13,000).

Unusual lots for the collector who wants something out of the ordinary included the 1960 Beardmore Taxi (£6,000-£8,000), a very smart machine that had found a new lease of life as a wedding car. And, if you’ve ever fancied owning your own fire engine, there was a 1954 Bedford Green Goddess military fire engine going under the hammer for £5,000-£8,000. It is one of just 25 that served in Northern Ireland, and is painted in the distinctive bright yellow livery to denote that service.

At its December 2017 sale, Barons have shared with MotorMartin that they sold an immaculate, one-owner, very low mileage Peugeot 205 1.9 GTi for £26,620 and presented another 205 1.9 GTi on February 27, offering a rare chance to acquire a fast-appreciating classic with a guide price of £2,000-£4,000. This 1992 example had covered rather more miles than that sold in December – there are almost 200,000 miles on the clock – and unrestored, though had been well maintained.

Barons also had a number of ideal starter classics in the sale. A 1993 Ford Fiesta Ghia had covered just 44,000 miles from new and was a one-family owner car. Offered in highly original condition, and complete with all original paperwork including the original sales invoice, at £1,000-£2,000 it would have been an ideal car for someone taking their first steps into classic car ownership. The 1971 Hillman Hunter was offered at no reserve. Unrestored, it would give a new owner great fun as they get to grips with classic car restoration, perhaps for the first time. And the sale also featured a trio of Minis, a charming 1982 Austin example (£2,500-£3,500) an uncompleted Rover Mini Cooper Sport project (£2,000-£3,500) and a lovely, low mileage Rover Mini Cooper Sport (£4,500-£6,000).

Sounds like a busy day was had by all.

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