‘The mar­ket is buoy­ant’

De­mand for 1950s-1970s Bri­tish cars re­mains high

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Living With Classics - JAMES SZK­ILER, CLAS­SIC AND SPORTSCAR CEN­TRE

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

We’ve found the mar­ket buoy­ant and have con­sis­tently sold be­tween 15 and 20 clas­sics ev­ery month.

Which mod­els are prov­ing par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar? Have you seen any sud­den in­crease in in­ter­est, or, on the flip side, any sud­den drop in in­ter­est?

Jaguar, MG and Tri­umph mod­els have been sell­ing in­cred­i­bly well. We’ve had sev­eral E-types and MGBs sell­ing within days of be­ing mar­keted. We have a good se­lec­tion of cars, with up to 80 for sale at one time, and would say Bri­tish cars of the 1950s-1970s in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion and with good prove­nance are in de­mand. We’ve also found Land Rovers in de­mand, most re­cently as last week, sell­ing one to New York with a £30k price tag.

Are the tra­di­tional clas­sics, such as Mor­ris Mi­nors and Jaguar E-types, still in de­mand?

Ab­so­lutely. I wish I could place an or­der for more E-types right now and Mor­ris Mi­nors al­ways sell.

What about Rootes Group cars?

Rootes re­sponded well to the post­war ‘ex­port or die’ im­per­a­tive. Now its clas­sic star is ris­ing with a new gen­er­a­tion of buy­ers at­tracted to the fin-tailed Alpine, the el­e­gant Hum­ber Im­pe­rial and the transat­lantic charm of the Hill­man Minx Cal­i­for­nian.

Are pre-war cars still pop­u­lar?

Yes, but I would have to say the post­war cars are sell­ing quicker. Austin 7s would be an ex­cep­tion, though, as they seem to be in huge de­mand at present. And the Ford Model A’s rugged and durable de­sign, com­bined with a lusty engine and 65mph top speed, en­sure its en­dur­ing pop­u­lar­ity.

Do you see many re­peat cus­tomers? And are they en­thu­si­asts or in­vestors?

At least a third to a half of our cus­tomers are re­peat buy­ers. We are geared up for re­peat cus­tom and it’s a big part of our busi­ness. Good cars al­ways sell and it’s great to have them back a year later in ex­change for some­thing else.

How im­por­tant is car preparation and pre­sen­ta­tion?

Our Mal­ton Coach­works di­vi­sion now has eight ramps, a highly skilled team of tech­ni­cians and we spend more than £1k-£2k per car on preparation. We’ve in­vested heav­ily in this as a high level of preparation is crit­i­cal in or­der to meet cus­tomer ex­pec­ta­tions. Happy cus­tomers come back! I would say there is a healthy mix of en­thu­si­asts and in­vestors.

C&SCC stocks up to 80 clas­sics and sells be­tween 15 and 20 each month.

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