NEW ONLINE AUCTION HOUSE HITS £500,000
‘It’s taken us a bit by surprise,’ say owners
A new UK classic vehicle auction house established at the tail-end of last year and operating only online has already managed to sell a staggering half a million pounds’ worth of cars.
Fine Classic Autos was developed by historic and sporting car enthusiasts Philip Spani and Stephane Aderca, who wanted to simplify the process usually employed by conventional auction houses.
To that end, there are no entry fees but a vendor’s fee of 4% of the hammer price is charged upon sale. The business is web-based, although customers are encouraged to view vehicles in the flesh before bidding. You also need to complete a bidding form and provide two pieces of ID in order to bid.
The new approach seems to be working, with recent lots ranging from mainstream classics such as a Renault 4CV (sold for £10,000) through to more modern exotica such as a Ferrari 550 (which fetched £101,000). But Philip also puts the success down to the personal touch.
‘Classic cars are a passion, as well as an investment. You cannot deal with people’s passion by herding them into large, faceless auctions; you have to take the time to learn what makes someone tick, to ensure that their enthusiasm remains throughout the buying and selling process.
‘It’s taken us a little by surprise,’ he admits. ‘We’ve exceeded our expectations in terms of the number of consignments and bidders. And we’ve also just changed the bidding process to make it even easier.’
The firm’s current auction stock includes a 1964 Alvis TE21, 1935 Bentley 3½-Litre Hooper, a 1960 MGA 1600, a 1970 Porsche 911E and a 1981 DeLorean DMC-12. Richard Gunn www.fineclassicautos.com
This 1957 Metropolitan sold for £8000 through Fine Classic Autos.