Coronavirus: Classic car auctions move to 'online only' format

Published 19 March 2020

Classic auction houses are shifting to 'behind close doors' sales as they do battle with the coronavirus outbreak.

The latest Government advice on the COVID-19 situation asks people to stay away from large public gatherings, like classic car auctions.

Now a number of companies are offering viewings by appointment only, and bidding either online or via the telephone.

Here’s what we know so far:

Bonhams MPH sale – Saturday, 21 March

The Bonhams MPH Sale this Saturday (21 March) will go ahead as planned, with a ‘drive through’ auction at Bicester Heritage.

Although customers will not be able to attend the auction and bid in person, Bonhams MPH will still offer the facility to bid by telephone, online or by leaving an absentee bid.

The sale will be live streamed on the Bonhams website from 1.30pm on Saturday, with Rob Hubbard on the rostrum as auctioneer. Two separate video cameras will provide a real time ‘walk around’ viewing of the lots so the online audience can see and hear the cars.

There will be NO admittance for the general public. The sale will operate with increased capacity for telephone, absentee and online bidding via the Bonhams MPH online bidding platform, or

Tailored online ‘walk around’ videos of each lot will be available to view here: Condition reports are also available free of charge for registered bidders. 

Classic Car Auctions – 28 March

Classic Car Auctions is making its sale on the 28 March a virtual sale. To enable all buyers to bid, CCA have increased their online bidding partners from one to three. Proxibid will now be joined by The Saleroom and Invaluable to provide the extra bidding capacity.

For this sale, the additional one per cent fee that is usually in place for online bidding, will be waivered by CCA to help those who have an eye on their next purchase.

Bidding via the telephone has also been increased and all buyers are reminded to register to avoid disappointment.

The auction will still be starting at 10am on Saturday 28 March.

Gary Dunne Classic Car Auctions Manager commented: “We are doing everything we can to run our auction in a safe manner. We have a great catalogue and want where possible to be able to offer the cars to our buyers.”

Bonhams Members Meeting - Sunday 29 March

The Bonhams Goodwood Members’ Meeting Sale will go ahead at 1pm on Sunday 29 March as scheduled.

Public viewing will be by appointment only but the sale will be conducted behind closed doors

Bids can be made on the telephone, online and as absentee bids as usual, but clients will not be able to bid in person in the room.

The auction will as ever be live streamed on the Bonhams website and Goodwood Road and Racing Channel.

The sale will commence at 1pm on Sunday 29 March with James Knight, Bonhams Group Motoring Chairman, on the rostrum as auctioneer.

There will be no admittance for the general public. The sale will operate with increased capacity for telephone, online and absentee bidding only.

Tailored 'walk around' videos of each lot will be available upon request to view here: Condition reports are also available for registered bidders.

The lots will be available to view in person at Bonhams’ marquee at Goodwood, by appointment only in one-hour slots during the following times: Saturday 28th March, from 9am to 5pm; Sunday 29 March, from 9am to 11.45am

A maximum of 10 viewers will be allowed inside the marquee at any one time to ensure sufficient social distancing.

Special attention will be paid by Bonhams valeters to cleaning and sanitising all ‘touch points’, including car door handles. We have made available extra hand washing facilities and sanitiser stations.

SWVA - Friday 24 April

Public will not be alloed on site on the day of the auction. However, all remote bidding options will be available to the public and trade customers and everyone is invited to register for telephone bidding, commission bidding and online bidding using the Livebid system.

Viewing days will go ahead as normal on Wednesday 22nd between 9am and 5pm and Thursday 23rd between 9am and 6pm, but a new date has been added: Tuesday 21st between 4pm and 6pm.

Over the next few weeks, a short video of each car running will be uploaded to the online catalogue. SWVA will also be offering free storage for up to two months for any overseas buyers.

More to follow


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