Extraordinary hoard of classic cars to go under the hammer

This Rover has not been on the road for a while...
This Rover has not been on the road for a while...

An extraordinary hoard of classic cars, vehicle parts, and spares - amassed by a Louth collector and restorer who could rarely bring himself to throw anything away - is to go under the hammer in an auction this week.

The specialist team sent in to prepare the Louth garage and premises of David Cullingford for the disposal sale on Thursday (July 18) were stunned to find a fleet of cars that haven’t been seen on the road for decades – and a mountain of body and engine parts, some dating back to before the Second World War.

The hoard was the result of a lifelong passion for old vehicles, married to a hoarder’s instinct never to dump anything that might conceivably come in useful during a restoration project at some point in the future.

Trained as a mechanic at Louth’s main Volkswagen & Audi dealership, Mr. Cullingford rose to become the firm’s workshop manager before quitting to start his own garage business, a business that eventually established a reputation as one of the best car restoration firms in the county.

The sale comes four years after Mr. Cullingford’s death and is being carried out by auctioneers Eddisons CJM on behalf of members of his family.

Auctioneer Paul Cooper said: “Hanging on to the old stuff might have seemed a bit eccentric to some people but as things turned out it was a really smart call. Interest in vintage vehicles and their restoration has soared to unprecedented heights – and that has had an equally big impact on the value of parts and spares. There is stuff in here that is now very rare, so it is going to be fascinating to see what happens.”

“One of the vehicles that is attracting a lot of attention ahead of the auction is a 1950s Morris Series 3 flatbed lorry. A vintage vehicle collector who has already been to view says he has only seen two restored examples of this lorry.

“The one we’ll be putting under the hammer comes complete with its engine, gearbox and panels, as well as having a rebuilt chassis and axle. The only challenge is that it remains in bits – lots and lots of bits!”

“The cars on offer include Austins from the 1930s and 40s, Ford Prefects from the 1940s and 50s, and Rovers from the 1950s.

“They are all restoration projects that Mr. Cullingford planned to tackle but which never made it to the top of the list.

“Other cars on offer include a Mercedes 200E, a Volkswagen Passat CL and an Audi 100, as well as a 175cc BSA Bantam and a 250cc Yamaha Custom.

“They also come with the same story. They are all in need of restoration.”

Paul added: “Apart from the vehicles and all the parts the auction also includes some very useful garage equipment including a spray booth, a shot blasting booth, two 4 post lifts and other kit.”

The full auction catalogue is available at www.eddisonscjm.com. The online auction is scheduled to end at midday on Thursday July 18.