Dealer View

Paul Camp­bell, Manor Clas­sic Cars

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Contents - PAUL CAMP­BELL, MANOR CLAS­SIC CARS manor­clas­s­ic­

How has the 2017 mar­ket fared?

Bet­ter than many had an­tic­i­pated. The recipe hasn’t changed in that the very best cars will al­ways find new homes and end-user hob­by­ists (the main­stay of what we do) will con­tinue to buy and en­joy clas­sic mo­tor cars. How­ever, in­fe­rior cars, or cars with ques­tion­able main­te­nance records and his­tory, are fail­ing to cap­ture the imag­i­na­tion.

Are you sell­ing to Bri­tish buyers, or ones fur­ther away?

For us in North York­shire, we’re try­ing to de­velop and build our lo­cal cus­tom as it’s so much sim­pler to ser­vice. How­ever, ease of travel by train or road sees us vis­ited by many UK buyers. More re­cently, we have sold an un­usual Bris­tol to Ger­many, and now that we’re stock­ing a se­lec­tion of mo­tor­cy­cles we’re see­ing a steady en­quiry stream from fur­ther over­seas. Two clas­sic bikes are cur­rently un­der of­fer pend­ing ship­ping to Texas and Syd­ney re­spec­tively.

Are they in­vestors or en­thu­si­asts?

For what­ever rea­son, my ex­pe­ri­ence is that the in­vestor crowd are still find­ing greater con­fi­dence buy­ing un­der the ham­mer at auc­tion, so re­tail re­mains 75-80 per cent the do­main of the pri­va­teer en­thu­si­ast. I don’t know if it’s the cut and thrust or brag­ging rights of ‘win­ning’ at auc­tion, but for the cars we stock and the ser­vice we of­fer we’re com­fort­able with the sta­tus quo.

How clued-up are cus­tomers?

In­vestors are some­times not ex­pe­ri­enced in clas­sic car own­er­ship (and many haven’t driven cars like E-types be­fore), but they do of course ap­pre­ci­ate the cars. Who doesn’t? How­ever, if you’re buy­ing with your head rather than your heart, build­ing an emo­tional at­tach­ment to the car you’re bid­ding for or buy­ing is dif­fer­ent to the re­tired oil re­fin­ery worker who waited 35 years to own the TR6 he re­cently bought from us – and he’s ab­so­lutely made-up with it.

What’s grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity and what’s fall­ing out of favour?

Bri­tish sports cars seem to re­main a safe haven. Even ear­lier cars from the 1930s and 1940s like MG TCs have proven pop­u­lar and we’ve been asked to source two more since re­tail­ing our 1947 TC re­cently. Larger clas­sics, those harder to store safely or to fet­tle, seem to stall a lit­tle, as sat­is­fy­ing as a car such as a Bent­ley Turbo R is to drive.

‘The in­vestor crowd prefers to buy at auc­tion’

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