IT’S ALL ABOUT IM­AGE

As any house buyer knows, lo­ca­tion is ev­ery­thing when it comes to per­fec­tion

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

It’s all about the lo­ca­tion – or so some auc­tion­eers be­lieve when it comes to choos­ing where to base their sales. Some busi­nesses, such as ACA, Mor­ris Les­lie and Char­ter­house, all hold reg­u­lar ‘nor­mal’ car sales from their own premises, but for those with­out their own show­room, it’s a ques­tion of find­ing some­where that’s up to the job.

That doesn’t mean sim­ply hav­ing room to show the cars be­ing of­fered in their best light – the lo­ca­tion must be eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble, have suf­fi­cient park­ing and have on-site cater­ing. And, if pos­si­ble, that cer­tain ex­tra ‘some­thing’.

I have al­ways be­lieved in A1 pre­sen­ta­tion, from the web­site, cat­a­logue and ad­ver­tis­ing to, most im­por­tantly, the auc­tion venue. At Athel­hamp­ton House, for in­stance, the fa­cil­i­ties are first class – there is a li­censed restau­rant and a hard stand­ing car park. DVCA boss Brian Chant says: ‘Our mar­quee is sit­u­ated on a well-man­i­cured lawn with a Grade I-listed 15th cen­tury manor house as the back­drop; trudg­ing around in mud would be fine for a farm sale, as would sell­ing from a vast, draughty cat­tle mar­ket shed, but a clas­sic car auc­tion re­quires some­thing rather more re­fined.’

Char­ter­house’s Richard Bromell has a sim­i­lar view. His busi­ness holds sales at the Royal Bath and West Show­ground and, once a year, at Sher­borne Cas­tle, which was built in 1594 by Sir Wal­ter Raleigh and has been in one fam­ily’s own­er­ship since 1617.

‘It is a fan­tas­tic set­ting and has been im­mensely suc­cess­ful, not only for our clas­sic car auc­tions, but also for the hugely pop­u­lar Clas­sics at the Cas­tle car show, which we share the grounds with over the week­end,’ Char­ter­house di­rec­tor Bromell says. ‘It’s just a few min­utes to Sher­borne rail­way sta­tion from the cas­tle, which runs from Lon­don to Ply­mouth. By car, you can get on the A303 in 25 min­utes and across to the M5 in about 45 min­utes, and we’ve had the oc­ca­sional re­quest to land a heli­copter on cas­tle grounds.’

The right lo­ca­tion puts auc­tion cars in ex­actly the right con­text, as His­torics’ Ed­ward BridgerStille ex­plains: ‘Top of our agenda was find­ing the most ap­pro­pri­ate lo­ca­tion which would pro­vide the cor­rect res­o­nance with the clas­sic car as well as the mo­tor­cy­cle com­mu­nity.’

In the right lo­ca­tion, just about any car will look ap­peal­ing.

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