Over 8,200 vintage items were sold under the hammer at Cheffins’ Cambridge, Harrogate and vintage on site sales throughout 2016, with gross sales for classic machinery totalling over a vast £5.4m.
In all, Cheffins offered 730 classic and vintage tractors, 113 motorcycles, 124 stationary engines, 80 classic commercials and 27 steam engines in the past 12 months.
The top lots for the year include £140,000 paid for a vintage Foden Timber Tractor dating back to 1928 and £84,000 paid for a 1917 International 12-25 ‘Twin Mogul.’
The highest grossing sale of the year was the Keeley sale near Maidenhead which saw over £1.5m paid across 487 lots, some of which set record prices for the most expensive vintage agricultural machinery ever sold.
The Keeley Collection saw a total of 15 steam engines, 50 vintage tractors, 30 commercial vehicles and scores of spares and other memorabilia.
The sale has been revered by many as the most important event in the vintage collecting scene.
The two Cheffins Cambridge Vintage Sales, hosted at Sutton in July and October saw the sale of the important Holkham Hall Bygones Collection, proceeds of which went to the new Holkham Hall exhibition of farming, Field to Fork.
The two Cambridge sales raised over £500,000 and over £1m respectively for scores of vintage tractors, steam engines, classic cars, classic motorcycles, spares and memorabilia.
Similarly, the Cheffins Harrogate Vintage Sale saw some of the UK’s finest classic machinery reach impressive sums under the hammer in August at the Great Yorkshire Showground.
There were 800 lots in total, including 90 tractors, a number of classic vehicles and hundreds of spares, implements and rural bygones.
The top lot was a 1966 Massey Ferguson 135 with only 970 hours on the clock which sold for £20,000.
There were also a number of successful vintage on site sales including the Haylock Collection of classic and vintage tractors which saw top prices paid for a classic farm sale in March.
Also, the Sewell horse-drawn plough collection in May saw a number horse drawn equipment under the hammer and the Allerton Collection in Yorkshire resulted in top ticket prices for vintage tractors, spares and bygones in June.
Cheffins also hosted the Bill Richards Collection of Spitfire spares and related items at Sutton in March.
Prices ranged from £40 up to £30,500 for a replica Spitfire and showed Cheffins’ strength and diversity.
William King, director, Cheffins commented: “2016 has seen the vintage team travelling across the country to uncover the unusual, extraordinary and unique in our busiest year to date.
“We have sold everything from a replica Spitfire to some of the world’s rarest tractors to coveted steam engines, all of which have drawn crowds from far and wide. In the midst of reports of falling asset values, stock market fluctuations, slashed interest rates and times of austerity ahead, this unusual asset class is continuing to make serious cash.
“Prices for vintage items have grown in recent years, especially since 2007 and 2008, with values in the past two or three years recovering to previous levels.
“This is a market which has been unaffected by the political or economic landscape, unlike many other luxury purchases and remains one of the most lucrative investment classes on offer.
With this in mind, we forecast that vintage prices will increase throughout 2017 as the market continues to gain momentum and we are hoping to see an increase in on site sales as collectors come to appreciate this as one of the best ways to market vintage items.”
He continued: “This is also not a market which is confined to the UK. Our reach is ever increasing and this year we have dealt with purchasers from across Europe as well as a number of collectors from the US and Australia, all of whom are looking to purchase a part of farming’s heritage.
“Similarly, the European market has come back into force with buyers drawn by the relative savings to be made following the fall in sterling.
“Even more encouraging is the influx of younger collectors who are purchasing some of these major machines and either starting their own or enhancing existing family collections.”
The next Cheffins vintage sale will be on Saturday, 22nd April at the Cambridge Machinery Saleground and the next on site sale will be on the 8th February, near Thetford, Norfolk.
For more information, please visit www.cheffins.co.uk or call 01353 777767.