The art of sell­ing

Yank tanks are down, but Fords are on the up

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Living With Classics - RICHARD BROMELL CHARTERHOUSE

How has the first half of the year been?

We kick off quite early in the year, with our first auc­tion usu­ally at the end of the first/start of the sec­ond week of Fe­bru­ary. This means a lot of our busi­ness de­vel­op­ment for the auc­tion is held over Christ­mas and New Year. What usu­ally hap­pens is clients make their mind up on the cat­a­logue dead­line week which adds ex­tra pres­sure.

What makes/models are prov­ing pop­u­lar?

Fords from the late Six­ties and early Sev­en­ties on­wards. Es­cort MkIs and just about any model of Capri are hot to trot. Many clas­sic car en­thu­si­asts to­day are driven by nos­tal­gia. It can be the car their dad or mum had, or even didn’t have but wanted none­the­less. We then de­cide to re­live the mo­ment and treat our­selves to a clas­sic Ford, only to find out that many have been raced around hous­ing es­tates or eaten by tin worm.

Are any cars falling out of favour?

Al­ways a tricky one as I am no doubt about to up­set some read­ers who will staunchly dis­agree with me! So, stick­ing my head up above the para­pet, I am go­ing to say ve­hi­cles on ar­tillery wheels from the 1920s and left-hand-drive Amer­i­can land yachts. Ar­tillery wheels do not al­ways give a great driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and driv­ing a left-hooker the size of small house around West Coun­try lanes is only for the brave.

Along­side Shep­ton Mal­let and the once-a-year Sher­borne Cas­tle would you con­sider any other sale venues?

Wher­ever you auc­tion cars you need good road/rail/air­port links along with sell­ing space and car park­ing. Both venues of­fer all this. You then bolt on the at­trac­tion of vis­it­ing a clas­sic car show and our auc­tion and peo­ple seem to en­joy both venues. Per­haps the only time I would con­sider an­other venue would be a sale on-site, which we do ev­ery now and then.

How many cars do you see as ‘enough’ in your sales? Af­ter all, we’re see­ing three-fig­ure sales con­sis­tently these days.

Tricky. For us, we have had 80 cars be­fore. Try­ing to dis­play them is more of a prob­lem – you don’t want peo­ple open­ing a car door onto the ve­hi­cle along­side. The sale needs to be prop­erly po­liced and en­quiries dealt with ef­fi­ciently. Hold­ing nine clas­sic car and clas­sic mo­tor­cy­cle auc­tions a year means that you are never far away from the next auc­tion.

‘Any Capri is hot to trot’

Charterhouse’s re­cent lots in­clued this 1957 Volk­swa­gen T1, which sold for £20k in June.

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