Auc­tion View

James Den­ni­son

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - JAMES DEN­NI­SON BRIGHTWELLS

How have sales been so far and how do you see them go­ing into the sec­ond half of 2017?

Sales have been very good so far this year and we al­ways seem to sell at least 80% of en­tries so the mar­ket is as strong as ever and we don’t an­tic­i­pate any down­turn in the fore­see­able fu­ture. There are re­ports that the top end of the mar­ket has slowed down some­what and prob­a­bly peaked a year ago, which may have de­terred some of the spec­u­la­tors who were only in it for in­vest­ment pur­poses – per­haps no bad thing.

Why do you think clas­sic auc­tion pop­u­lar­ity con­tin­ues to in­crease?

There is no doubt that peo­ple are ex­tremely com­fort­able buy­ing at auc­tion now. You get a huge se­lec­tion of cars all un­der one roof and you also know you will pay a fair mar­ket price in open com­pe­ti­tion with other buy­ers and you know that you still have a fair de­gree of con­sumer pro­tec­tion.

Does Brightwells’ lo­ca­tion help when it comes to find­ing cars?

We are very for­tu­nate be­ing in an area that is pos­i­tively awash with clas­sic cars thanks to our ru­ral lo­ca­tion, with plenty of won­der­ful driv­ing roads and very lit­tle traf­fic. That said, we at­tract en­tries from all over the UK and be­yond be­cause sell­ers know we have an ex­cep­tional sale rate and we at­tract a vast crowd to each sale with over 60,000 peo­ple view­ing our web­site prior to each sale.

Do buy­ers want orig­i­nal-con­di­tion or re­stored cars? Is there any hard and fast rule?

It de­pends partly on the age of the car. There is no doubt that many peo­ple pre­fer a beau­ti­fully pre­served and orig­i­nal car over a re­stored one that may have lost much of its char­ac­ter through over-restora­tion and, in par­tic­u­lar, through re­trim­ming. How­ever, such cars are very hard to find and fetch cor­re­spond­ingly high prices when we are lucky enough to of­fer them. More mod­ern clas­sics need to be as sharp and orig­i­nal as pos­si­ble if they are to fetch a good price. Any signs of de­te­ri­o­ra­tion or mod­i­fi­ca­tions from stan­dard will se­ri­ously de­value a more mod­ern clas­sic, as will high mileage or lack of ser­vice his­tory. There is a vast gulf in price be­tween mint, low mileage mod­erns and shabby, leggy ones which own­ers would do well to re­alise!

‘The en­thu­si­ast end of the mar­ket is still go­ing great guns’

Fer­rari 456M GTA is in Brightwells’ next sale.

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