‘It’s taken us a bit by sur­prise,’ say own­ers

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News -

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.fineclas­si­cau­

This 1957 Metropoli­tan sold for £8000 through Fine Clas­sic Au­tos.

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