Auc­tion View Derek Mathew­son

(But there’s al­ways a full load head­ing south)

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - DEREK MATHEW­SON, MATH­EW­SONS

How has 2017 been for you?

This year has been a good one, but no bet­ter than 2016. The Gen­eral Elec­tion made no dif­fer­ence at all, but Brexit is be­ing used in the most Bri­tish way – to gen­er­ate an ex­cuse for cau­tion, de­spite the mas­sive ben­e­fits I believe we will all en­joy once we are out of Europe’s clutches.

How many sales have you held this year and how many are you plan­ning for in 2018?

We have nine auc­tions planned for 2018 which, while put­ting a strain on our abil­ity to source en­tries (and present ve­hi­cles to the stan­dard our cus­tomers ex­pect), sees more reg­u­lar sales tend­ing to self-limit the num­ber of en­tries to ap­prox­i­mately 130 – an amount we feel com­fort­able with.

What’s pop­u­lar and what’s less pop­u­lar than it was a year ago?

We must ad­mit that 1920s/30s fam­ily sa­loons ap­pear to have had their day. Be­ing of an age my­self, I can just re­mem­ber 1910/20s ve­hi­cles dy­ing a re­tail death and never again re­gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity. It’s sad to see his­tory re­peat­ing it­self.

Pre-war sports/tourer mod­els are the ex­cep­tion. In our opin­ion, this is be­cause we have moved on two gen­er­a­tions in 20 years. The flip­side is the strong in­ter­est in 1970s/80s XR and GT vari­ants of Fords and Vaux­halls.

We strug­gle to un­der­stand the rea­son for 1950s/60s fam­ily sa­loons fail­ing to gen­er­ate the in­ter­est they de­serve. Mod­ern clas­sics are do­ing well, but only ex­cep­tional, low-mileage ex­am­ples are ring­ing a bell.

Do you sell pri­mar­ily in the north?

We serve mainly north of Eng­land- and Mid­lands-based cus­tomers, as well as many ven­dors from Scot­land. Hav­ing said this, Dave Fran­cis – our reg­u­lar car­rier – leaves us with a full load of 11 ve­hi­cles fol­low­ing ev­ery sale, all des­tined for the Home Coun­ties or south­ern Eng­land. Many dis­tant buy­ers take ad­van­tage of what we con­sider to be our ac­cu­rate de­scrip­tion of a ‘walk-round’ ap­praisal – we’ve many tes­ti­mo­ni­als to that ef­fect.

Most ab­sen­tee bid­ders are out­bid in the hall, gen­er­ally by just one or two bids. Tele­phone bid­ding is pop­u­lar – with the bid­ding al­ways start­ing in the hall. The mood and in­ter­est of the au­di­ence are re­layed to the bid­der by an ex­pe­ri­enced mem­ber of our team.

‘Many dis­tant buy­ers take ad­van­tage of our ac­cu­rate walkround ap­praisals’

The Sierra XR4x4, a mod­ern clas­sic in hot de­mand, as are the rest of the sporty Ford and Vaux­hall ranges.

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