Buy­ing Clas­sics Abroad

As­ton Martin DB6

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Theo Ford- Sagers

If you’re in the mar­ket for a six-fig­ure As­ton, you’re prob­a­bly pre­pared to go to the ends of the earth to find the right one, and shell out more than a few quid on trans­port. For long haul trans­port, most buy­ers of mega-money clas­sics pre­fer to use air freight rather than ship­ping con­tain­ers. Trans­port will there­fore typ­i­cally hit the £30,000 mark to fly a car from Aus­tralia, says Chris Wain­wright of Lon­don spe­cial­ist DD Clas­sics (020 8878 3355), which buys and sells high-value clas­sics such as DB6s from around the world. But that fig­ure pales in com­par­i­son to the £300,000 or more it can cost for a full restora­tion.

Cur­rency fluc­tu­a­tion is the other ma­jor fac­tor. ‘So much swings on the strength of the pound,’ says Chris. ‘Eigh­teen months ago loads of cars were com­ing from the States, but this year we’re sell­ing a few to Aus­tralia.’

Clas­sics of this cal­i­bre are no worse off for be­ing left-hand drive, as it broad­ens the ap­peal to their in­creas­ingly in­ter­na­tional cus­tomer base com­pet­ing for LHD cars.

A good num­ber of DB6s can be found in the USA – al­ways a pop­u­lar ex­port mar­ket for the Bri­tish sports car – but if you want the straight­six’s full sta­ble of horses you’ll need to swap the Amer­i­can twin­car­bu­ret­tors for the Euro­pean triple carb ar­range­ment. It’s a com­mon mod­i­fi­ca­tion that shouldn’t af­fect re­sale value if the orig­i­nal parts are kept with the ve­hi­cle. ‘In the days when these cars were £50,000, orig­i­nal gear­boxes or en­gines weren’t al­ways kept with the car if they were changed, but these days, now they’ve gone up in value, what you take off you keep,’ says Chris.

It’s a brave buyer who tries to source an over­seas DB6 with­out help. Con­sult­ing a dealer or bro­ker is the safer op­tion. ‘Our boss Danny buys from peo­ple around the world whom he’s known for 20 years or more,’ says Chris. ‘It’s a re­la­tion­ship of trust that builds up over time.’

That said, don’t feel you need to go look thou­sands of miles away to find a de­cent DB6. ‘Per­son­ally,’ says Chris, ‘I think there are enough ex­am­ples both in Europe and Great Bri­tain.’

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