Rare Ben Nevis Austin badge fails to scale heights

Austin enthusiasts turned up the heat in the bidding ring of an Angus auction.

Collectors from throughout the UK made their way through the blizzards to the Glamis base of Strathmore Vintage Vehicle Club (SVVC) for a major sale.

It brought a five-figure bid for the sale’s top lot, a 1928 Austin Tourer which sold for £10,500 to a Solihull fan of the marque. Such was his determination to land the car, he made to the journey to Angus with a trailer.

One of only three items which did not find a buyer, however, was a rare badge marking the 1928 ascent of Ben Nevis in a Baby Austin 7 by Edinburgh daredevil George Simpson.

The Austin-style chrome Ben Nevis grille badge was commissioned by the people of Fort William for a 1970s jubilee commemoration of the 4,409ft climb, but despite signed provenance from Simpson himself the unusual artefact failed to reach its reserve.

More successful lots included a 1936 Austin 7 Opal, which fetched a very respectable £4,500, while a rare 1935 Austin 7 van sold for £7,200.

SVVC administrator Lesley Munro said: “People were driving from all over the country to get to the auction and the worst problems they faced were in the last couple of miles to Glamis because of the winter weather which Angus was suffering.

“We are really over the moon with the result, and the prices for the vehicles were very strong.”

Officials have already set their sights on the next sale in late October.