Down­ton Abbey and Poirot cars among wed­ding firm’s clas­sic of­fer­ings

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -­mav

Cars that starred in top TV dra­mas Down­ton Abbey and Poirot are be­ing in­cluded in a wed­ding car firm’s sale of more than 20 pre-war clas­sics.

Pro­pri­etor of Som­er­set-based Vin­tage Wheels, Gerry Wheeler, has de­cided to sell the busi­ness and his clas­sic fleet at the age of 85.

Among them is the 1924 Cadil­lac V-63 Sedan, which has ap­peared in Down­ton Abbey.

A 1935 Daim­ler DE 27 limou­sine once be­lieved to have been the per­sonal trans­port of ex­iled ex-King Ed­ward VII and Wal­lis Simp­son, but best-known as the car used by Her­cule Poirot (David Suchet) in sev­eral episodes of the TV se­ries

Poirot is also part of the deal. Other cars listed in the sale in­clude a 1915 Reo, 1916 La France, 1917 Hud­son, 1928 Packard, 1928 Lin­coln, 1930 Sun­beam, 1931 Cadil­lac, 1934 Pierce Ar­row and a 1936 Rolls-Royce Wraith.

Gerry says that mar­i­tal pres­sure per­suaded him to start the busi­ness in 1989. He ex­plains: ‘I had been rac­ing mo­tor­bikes for many years and my wife said that I was get­ting too old for that. I didn’t know what she was talk­ing about. I was only in my 50s!’

Gerry’s cars have ap­peared at some 3000 wed­dings. He says: ‘I have had a great deal of fun restor­ing these cars and putting them to use as they should be.

‘ When you reach my age you could fall off your perch fairly quickly and I’d like to sort out the sale of these cars my­self rather than lum­ber my fam­ily with this dif­fi­cult task.’

Man­ag­ing Direc­tor of Hil­ton Smythe, the agents ap­pointed for the sale, Gareth Smyth says: ‘It’s a very rare sale and for a new owner it brings a ready-made busi­ness.’

The busi­ness, which gen­er­ates a £76,700 an­nual turnover and a gross profit of around 54 per cent, is cur­rently on the mar­ket for £679,500 plus Stock at Val­u­a­tion. Gerry says he may con­sider sell­ing part of the col­lec­tion, but buy­ers would have to sign an un­der­tak­ing agree­ing to hon­our any book­ings al­ready made for 2017. Nick Larkin

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