Ultra Rare Puch Fails to Meet Asking Price
An incredibly rare 1960 Steyr Puch 500 that was set to go under the hammer at Silverstone was withdrawn from the iconic sale – after failing to meet its £50,000 reserve price.
The Steyr Puch at Auction
A True Rarity
Convertible Steyr Puch
The Steyr Puch is a close relative of the legendary Italian Fiat 500, manufactured in Graz, Austria by Steyr-Daimler-Puch in 1960.
Car production had resumed at the brand’s factory in 1954, following World War Two and the concurrent disruption that stymied production at many car manufacturing plants. However, the company was reluctant to spend a large amount of money creating an innovative new design, so they approached Fiat in the late 1950s, gaining permission to produce a vehicle inspired by their 500 model.
Steyr Puch 500
Steyr Puch Grill
The car entered into the Silverstone auction is particularly rare, as it is one of only 33 right-hand drive models ever produced. Of these 33, only 2 remain today. Unlike the car that went under the hammer, the second model is not in private hands. Instead, it resides in Austria’s Steyr Puch museum, meaning that this very special car offers the only opportunity for private ownership.
The car that went under the hammer – ‘AEM 655’ – was registered in the UK by Ryders of Liverpool on the 21st October 1960. The car was the original UK demonstration model and, excitingly, the original delivery note to the Ryders’ factory still exists, as a rare historical footnote, pledged to remain with the car wherever it goes.
The Steyr Puch was bought by its current owner in 2013, after being kept in storage in Ireland for the preceding 28 years. In the past year, Nigel Elliot, who bought the car, has devoted many hours to making it road-ready once more, adding fresh interior trim, new tyres and some minor mechanical touches, in a bid to restore the aged vehicle to its former glory.
Failure to Meet Its Reserve
Commenting on the expected sale of the car prior to the auction, the managing director of Silverstone, Nick Whale, said: “This stunningly unique 500 is an intricate piece of the Steyr/Fiat family, and is a fantastic opportunity for both Steyr and Fiat collectors internationally to acquire a special model.
“We’ve sold our fair share of rare classics in the past and this lovely little car is a fine addition to that list.”
With the remaining right-hand drive model housed in an Austrian museum, the sale of the Steyr Puch offered the only opportunity to acquire one of the rare models – yet it failed to sell – unlike these classic cars which fetched a huge price at auction.
The car was offered for sale on the 20th September at the Wing Building at Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire. Originally, the auction house had estimated that the vehicle would sell for somewhere between £15,000 and £18,000. However, the reserve placed on the vehicle was £50,000, so despite the car attracting bids well over its estimate – around £40,000 – it failed to meet this figure and had to be withdrawn from sale.
The car’s owner, Mr Elliot, must now decide whether he wants to consider other sales options, or simply keep the rare motor all to himself. If we were him, we know which option we’d choose.
Classic Vauxhall sells for £240000 at Auction
Classic Car Collection Sells for 3 Million