Dealer View

Mark Furneaux, Pi­o­neer

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - MARK FURNEAUX PI­O­NEER AU­TO­MO­BILES pi­o­neer-au­to­mo­

‘I wish I knew why some sell and oth­ers don’t’

How has the mar­ket been in the first half of 2017?

Fickle – very up and down, in­flu­enced by re­cent con­fi­dence-sap­ping events, from the Brexit ref­er­en­dum to the Gen­eral Elec­tion, but the mar­ket is en­cour­aged by the con­tin­ued low in­ter­est rates. Pric­ing is all over the place and that is cer­tainly mak­ing buy­ing and sell­ing more dif­fi­cult.

What’s on the up, and what’s not?

We have seen an up­surge in 1960s and ‘70s clas­sics, while those from the ’50s seem to strug­gle more than pre-war.

Are pre-war cars still pop­u­lar?

Sur­pris­ingly, yes. They’re still sell­ing rather well, although I have con­cerns now be­cause many of the own­ers are get­ting rather el­derly, and there could be a flood of cars onto the mar­ket. Also the re­pair skills are be­ing lost.

Is there still a healthy de­mand for tra­di­tional clas­sics?

Yes, but Mor­ris Mi­nors and MGBs can be tricky be­cause there are so many. Less so with Jaguar E-types, although some are very over-priced.

Why are cars from the 1950s seem­ingly out of favour? Is it re­lated to the age of most buy­ers in the mar­ket to­day? And does this non-in­ter­est ap­ply mainly to sa­loon cars?

I wish I knew why some cars sell and other don’t and why this ap­pears to change over time. Cer­tainly MG TDs, Singer Road­sters and early Land Rovers al­ways sell well. Some of the sa­loons of that era are a bit bor­ing, but maybe that’s just my per­sonal taste. Spares are get­ting tricky for some and those with pre-se­lec­tor gear­boxes can be costly to fix.

Are you see­ing a devel­op­ing in­ter­est in Rootes Group cars?

Some in the trade say de­mand is qui­etly ris­ing, whether it’s for 1950s Minxes or 1960s Hum­ber Hawks and Snipes. We’ve sold a cou­ple of Hawks this year, and have a very nice Singer Gazelle in at the mo­ment. Rootes Group def­i­nitely has a good fol­low­ing.

Are your cus­tomers well in­formed about the cars they’re af­ter?

Some are gen­uinely clued-up, while oth­ers have a lot of head knowl­edge and not much else. The scary ones think a pre-war car is a mod­ern mo­tor with a retro body and will drive and stop like their mod­ern.

Fam­ily cars from the 1950s – like this Mor­ris Isis – are strug­gling.

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