IT’S ALL ABOUT IMAGE
As any house buyer knows, location is everything when it comes to perfection
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.