Sell­ing the dream

En­thu­si­asts flock to buy their very first clas­sic

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling - DANNY O’KEEFE, BRADLEY JAMES CLAS­SICS

ÔReal clas­sic car knowl­edge is gained from own­ing and driv­ing cars’

When was your busi­ness started?

In 2006. It ex­panded in 2015 to a lim­ited com­pany that stocks around 50 clas­sic cars at any point.

How did you do last year? And how has this year fared so far sales-wise?

Last year was a good year for clas­sic car sales, see­ing lots of first-time buy­ers and a fair num­ber of folk buy­ing a clas­sic car as an in­vest­ment.

Are you see­ing an in­crease in de­mand for mod­ern clas­sics, or are the tra­di­tional mod­els (MGBs, TRs, Mor­ris Mi­nors, etc.) still cre­at­ing de­mand?

We spe­cialise in ev­ery­day clas­sics, in­clud­ing cars that might need a bit of work. We find that cer­tain mod­ern clas­sics seem to do very well in par­tic­u­lar mar­kets. We hear from lots of po­ten­tial Ir­ish cus­tomers ask­ing us when we have a good 1980s Mercedes avail­able: this suits the 30-year rule for very cheap road tax in Ire­land.

Fords and Vaux­halls from the 1980s and ‘90s can do well as folk re­alise cars from the ‘60s and ‘70s are start­ing to get out of reach for a lot of would-be own­ers. We sell quite a lot of BMC and BL cars and al­ways find them to be steady sell­ers. Mi­nis and Mi­nors are pop­u­lar and Van­den Plas Al­le­gros are very pop­u­lar – we re­cently sold one to Ja­pan! Over­all, I would say clas­sic sales in­volve more mod­ern cars these days.

Are you sell­ing to en­thu­si­asts or to in­vestors?

A mix of both, more so en­thu­si­asts over­all though.

How dif­fi­cult is it to find good cars these days?

It’s a chal­lenge. We find more and more cars are dis­ap­pear­ing on eBay these days. We strug­gle to find stock that still re­mains good value af­ter we have prop­erly pre­pared our cars for sale. Prices have risen and thus buy­ing/find­ing stock can be dif­fi­cult

Are peo­ple who come to view bet­ter in­formed than in the past?

Yes. The on­slaught of ‘search en­gine knowl­edge’ means prospec­tive cus­tomers have masses of in­for­ma­tion. It’s a worry, re­ally, as real clas­sic car knowl­edge is gained from own­ing and driv­ing cars – rarely will what you can read match that.

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