Steady as she goes

Main­stream cars likely to main­tain cur­rent val­ues

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling - ANDY DEAR­DEN BIRCHFIELD CLAS­SICS

‘Peo­ple are still in the mar­ket for Stags and MGBs – they’re great on long runs’

How did 2016 shape up?

It was strong for the first two thirds of the year, but that can’t be put down to Brexit. Our busi­ness suf­fered in the last third sim­ply be­cause we didn’t have the cars to of­fer.

Any sur­prises?

Yes – the mar­ket per­for­mance of 1950s and 1960s fam­ily sa­loons. Good ones are be­com­ing scarce and many aren’t go­ing to auc­tion. Many good ex­am­ples are in col­lec­tions and stay­ing there. When we started in 2000 it was easy to buy good 1950s and 1960s fam­ily sa­loons, but not now. Two years ago we of­fered a Stan­dard 10 that had been stored for 30 years, and it sold within an hour.

How can you tell what’s pop­u­lar?

I be­lieve if you want to know what’s pop­u­lar you should visit any lo­cal, out- of-town show. You’ll find cars dif­fer­ent from what you see in mag­a­zines, and at those shows you’ll see peo­ple all over cars that were once a com­mon sight. Not ev­ery­one wants a car with a rac­ing his­tory.

What do you think about Rootes Group cars?

I’m equally fond of Rootes Group cars as BMC cars – I love the quirk­i­ness of the badge-en­gi­neered ex­am­ples and ap­pre­ci­ate the way in which the dif­fer­ent mar­ques were trimmed.

Will tra­di­tional clas­sics main­tain their pop­u­lar­ity?

Peo­ple are still in the mar­ket for Stags, MGBs and MGB V8s – they’re re­ally great on long runs. The Tri­umph Stag is still un­der­val­ued and there’s no rea­son why a con­cours ex­am­ple shouldn’t make £30,000-40,000. Their value has been held back by per­ceived prob­lems with the Tri­umph V8 en­gine. TR6s are un­der­val­ued too, but their im­age has been tainted by it be­ing a Bri­tish Ley­land-era car, while the TR5 is much rarer and that rar­ity makes it much more valu­able.

What’s your take on mod­ern clas­sics?

I don’t sell them but I would make an ex­cep­tion with some later MG and Rover mod­els – their sig­nif­i­cance has been un­der­es­ti­mated and while they’re still seen as bangers they will find their place. The ZS is rare but it was well rated by Top Gear.

How do you see 2017 far­ing?

I think it will be a case of ‘steady as she goes’. Some cars will sud­denly be­come ex­pen­sive but I’d be sur­prised if the main­stream cars rise much.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.