Mark Furneaux, Pioneer
‘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.