Richard Hammond’s £750 Porsche up for auction

The Coys Autosport sale is billed as ‘an important auction of Grand Prix, competition, touring and rally cars,’ and it’ll set the tone for another year of classic car auctions.

We’ve selected our favourite cars from the sale, which takes place at Autosport International on 14 January 2017. Read on to discover which cars have made our top 20.

Porsche 924: No reserve

“This is a very rare chance to buy a piece of British television motoring history.” That’s according to Coys, which is auctioning this Porsche 924 without an MOT and with no reserve. Fans of Top Gear will recognise this flame-enriched 924 as Richard Hammond’s choice in ‘The £1,500 Porsche Challenge’.

Hammond bought the 924 for £750 and was most excited about the fact that “the lights pop up!” The black bonnet, flames, and numbers were added later, but according to James May they simply gave the car “sporting credentials it didn’t deserve”. At the end of the show, Hammond was forced to admit he couldn’t sell the car. It hasn’t been MOTd since March 2010…

Dino 246 GT: £250,000 – £280,000

The Dino 246 GT arrived in 1969 – a replacement for the 206 GT. The big news was the installation of a 2.4-litre V6 engine, along with steel body panels. It is perhaps most famous for its role in the TV series The Persuaders!, with Danny Wilde (played by Tony Curtis) driving a left-hand drive example.

This is one of the very last right-hand drive models imported between 1969 and 1974, having left the factory in July 1973. At a Historics at Brooklands auction in November 2016, a 1972 Dino 246 GT failed to sell with a pre-auction estimate of £260,000 – £300,000.

Bentley Continental: £90,000 – £110,000

Bentley Continental: £90,000 - £110,000

You could roll around the globe in a 1985 Bentley Continental Convertible, as Sir Elton John so nearly sang in his 1985 hit Nikita. This was the car owned and driven by the ‘Rocket Man’ in the video which accompanied the song, which peaked at number three in the UK singles chart.

In February 2015, this very car sold for £68,779 at an auction in Paris, but is expected to sell for between £90,000 and £110,000 at Autosport International. It comes complete with its original B20 ELT registration mark.

Vauxhall Chevette HSR: £60,000 – £80,000

In standard guise, the road-going Vauxhall Chevette was powered by the 1256cc from a Viva, but it was clear that it could handle more power. Unfortunately, General Motors wasn’t keen, so it was left to the Vauxhall dealer network to spearhead a rally programme. The result was the Chevette HSR.

This is the car driven by Pentti Airikkala, a driver well equipped to get the best from this 2.3-litre, rear-wheel-drive rally hero. Back in the day, the not-so-small matter of 250hp made the Chevette quite a weapon.

Mini Cooper S: £40,000 – £60,000

This 1966 Mini Cooper S made its RAC Rally debut in the same year, with Paddy Hopkirk behind the wheel. He was the leading British driver until a broken drive shaft coupling forced him out of the race. On the Circuit of Ireland, the transmission differential failed, bringing a premature end to a fierce battle between Hopkirk and Roger Clark in a Ford Escort.

In his book on Mini Coopers, Graham Robson described JMO 969D as “not a lucky car”, but with likes of Hopkirk and Timo Makinen listed as previous drivers, it’s not without provenance. It was also used as a publicity car for the use of seatbelts.

Porsche 912 Outlaw: £45,000 – £55,000

Porsche 912 Outlaw: £45,000 - £55,000

Fat Performance is a Californian-based company with over 40 years of history of rebuilding and servicing Porsche air-cooled engines. The company was responsible for rebuilding this 912’s 2.7-litre engine and treating it to a host of upgrades.

The current owner imported it from the USA in 2010 and, according to Coys, “the engine cracks and pops on overrun and will turn heads wherever it goes”. It’s certainly a strong look.

Honda Accord BTCC: £50,000 – £70,000

The Honda Accord – safe, dependable, reliable, worthy. The kind of car driven by your elderly uncle in Eastbourne. Suffice to say, this is not your average Honda Accord. As diehard fans of the British Touring Car Championship will testify, this is a bit of an animal.

Car number 50, driven by Peter Kox, finished 12th overall, with James Thompson in the other works Honda Sport Accord finishing third. The most expensive Accord to be sold in 2017? We’ll see.

Talbot Samba Group B: £25,000 – £30,000

There could be as few as 20 Talbot Sambas left on the road, with half of them being cabriolets. Whatever, we doubt any will be as desirable, not to mention valuable, as this Group B rally car. It many ways, it was the warm-up act for the Peugeot 205 T16, which would go on to enjoy tremendous success.

This example was built by Castelos Motorsport in Group B specification, including the engine, gearbox, limited slip diff, competition wiring loom, hydraulic handbrake and modern brakes. It’s probably one of the rarest rally cars you’ll see at auction this year.

Ford Escort RS1800: £80,000 – £110,000

Ford Escort RS1800: £80,000 - £110,000

Ford was a dominant force in rallying during the late 70s and early 80s, but its success was brought to a halt by the arrival of Audi and four-wheel drive. This car was first used by the Ford works team on the San Remo Rally in 1977, with driver Bjorn Waldegard finishing fifth overall. Two years later, Waldegard would win the Championship in another RS1800.

Ford sold the car in 1979, but it remained active at the hands of privateers. It was later painted red and yellow, before a British enthusiast traced it to a location in mainland France. Today, VHK 74S is said to have been restored to its original specification.

Porsche 964 Carrera 2 RWB: £65,000 – £75,000

RWB stands for Rauh Welt Begriff, a company known for producing mild and timid looking Porsches. Actually, scrub that, Rauh Welt Begriff – owned by Akira Nakai – is responsible for some of the most outrageous cars on the planet.

This 1989 964 features a “full RWB Type body” and certainly isn’t a car for shrinking violets. Despite being race-prepared and “largely a racing car”, it is road legal and has an MOT until May 2017.

Fiat Coupe 16v Turbo: £15,000 – £20,000

Visit a Fiat dealer armed with a little over £20,000 and you could drive away in a new 124 Spider. Alternatively, take the same amount of cash to Autosport International and you could drive home in an unregistered Fiat Coupe. Actually, the ‘drive home’ bit is a little misleading, as you’ll need a trailer for an unregistered car.

This is one of 15 pre-production cars built by Pininfarina as proof of manufacturer and it has just 825 miles on the clock. Having spent most of its life as part of the Pininfarina collection, it was then bought by an Italian in 2012. While we’d prefer the later 20v Turbo, opportunities like this don’t come along very often.

Ford GT40 Evocation: £45,000 – £60,000

Ford GT40 Evocation: £45,000 - £60,000

One of two Ford GT40 Evocation models at the Coys auction, this one caught our eye. That’s probably got something to do with the Gulf Racing colours.

Genuine GT40s are essentially priceless, meaning a replica is probably the only opportunity to get behind the wheel of one of the most famous racing cars of all-time. Get the Jacky Ickx look for the price of a Porsche 718 Cayman S.

Facel Vega HK500: £90,000 – £130,000

Few cars offer as much charm and elegance as a Facel Vega HK500, a car owned by royalty, artists, musicians and racing drivers. Powered by a Chrysler V8 engine, these French-built beauties were designed with the export market in mind.

First registered in July 1960, this HK500 was delivered new to a shoe manufacturing company in Dudley. Not that there’s anything cobblers about owning one of the coolest cars of the 20th century.

Porsche 993 Cup: £120,000 – £220,000

Is the 993 the most desirable of all the Porsche 911 models? Some would say so, and the values certainly reflect this. Take this 1996 Porsche 993 Cup, which is offered with a curiously wide-ranging pre-auction estimate of between £120,000 and £220,000.

It was built for the 1996/97 Porsche Supercup series and driven by Bernard Simmenauer. It was later sold to a Swiss gentleman.

Range Rover: £18,000 – £22,000

Range Rover: £18,000 - £22,000

Few off-roaders have aged as well as the original Range Rover, especially in three-door guise. In fact, we’d say that only the Jeep Wagoneer can rival it in terms of timeless appeal and off-road credentials.

This is a 1971 car, making it a very early model, and one that just happened to be delivered new to the Goodwood Estate. You could spend upwards of £30,000 on an Evoque. We’d rather buy a classic Range Rover.

Aston Martin DB7: £28,000 – £35,000

Aside from a Cygnet – which isn’t a true AM – the DB7 remains the cheapest and most realistic entry-point to the Aston Martin brand. Forget all the nonsense about its Jaguar origins, because the DB7 is one of the best looking cars ever built.

This 1995 car has covered a mere 18,400 since new.

Bentley MkVI: £110,000 – £140,000

One of the most expensive lots in the Coys sale, this Bentley MkVI special was built in the style of a 4.5 Litre Tourer and finished in British Racing Green.

The engine is from a later 6.75-litre V8 Bentley and mated to the original MkIV four-speed gearbox. According to Coys, “its automotive styling is a guaranteed centre of attention at any of the most prestigious motoring events”.

Mazda MX-5: £8,000 – £10,000

Mazda MX-5: £8,000 - £10,000

You might look at the pre-auction estimate for this Mazda MX-5 before muttering something about crazy classic car prices. And, sure enough, £10,000 is a huge chunk of cash for a first-generation MX-5. But let’s look at the evidence…

It’s a very early UK car. It has covered just 17,025 miles. The MOT history is almost unblemished. And it’s probably one of the nicest examples we’ve seen in a while. Given the prices achieved by other modern classics, you wouldn’t bet against a mighty sale price.

Ford Escort RS2000: £18,000 – £23,000

If the price of the Ford Escort RS1800 was a little too rich for you, this might be the next best thing. The RS2000 was introduced in 1976 and was powered by a 2.0-litre engine. When mated to the Escort’s lightweight body, it became quite a formidable force.

The ‘droop snoot’ ensured the RS2000 was one of the most memorable cars of the 1970s. This 1978 car lived in South Africa until 2014, meaning it will have escaped the ravages of numerous British winters. A snip at £23,000…

Porsche 911 2.4 S Targa: £75,000 – £90,000

In truth, this 1973 Porsche 911 had us at yellow headlights. It was delivered new in Germany and restored in 1990.

Remember, the Coys auction takes place at Autosport International on Saturday 14 January 2017. Admission is by catalogue only.