Motoring: The power of provenance and how it can increase a classic car's value

Torbay Weekly

When a classic car can attach provenance to its history, such as this 1959 Jaguar MK1 Sports Saloon, it can add a considerable amount to its value.

Racing cars which won at the hands of Jim Clark or Graham Hill for example, or road cars simply once owned by famous people, adds value.

This lovely old Jaguar was only six months old when first owner George Formby crashed into an Austin A30 en-route to Great Yarmouth for a performance.

He and his wife were taken to hospital and were, thankfully, OK.

He was famous in the 1930s and 1940s as a comedian, actor and ukulele player and was a well known personality.

His ownership ended when he bought another Jaguar on leaving hospital but the MK1 saloon was repaired and sold on.

Reunited some years later with George’s private plate, the car was presented for last month’s Anglia Car Auction as an older restoration, but not concours.

As a MK1 without the provenance and the very special number plate, the guide would have been around £18,000-£24,000 but because of the plate and Mr Formby’s brief ownership, this estimate was put at £30,000-£50,000.

However, on the day it made over £87,000, twice the guide price.

Why does this provenance add so much?

Well, the number plate GF 2 immediately identifies this as George Formby’s ex car and as such differentiates it from all other MK1s.

It will make appearances at Goodwood Revival and other classic car events and bring much attention and chatter wherever it goes.

As part of a collection in a showroom or perhaps even a museum, it will be a centrepiece and talking point.

The number plate on its own theoretically has a value running to many £1,000s, however in this case adds huge value by remaining with the car as an obvious identifying marker on the car.

Even though his ownership was less than six months out of 63 years, his brief connection with it has had a remarkable effect.

Jolly’s Good Idea: Get famous and improve the value of your car!