Marketplace Ambitious dealer pricing, and should the Nova be considered a true classic?
Here’s an illuminating guide to dealer asking prices, which I’ve often heard quoted in terms of, ‘Well, that’s what you’ve got to pay these days.’ I’m not for a moment saying that dealers shouldn’t earn a decent living, or that all play this kind of mega-inflationary game. But some do. I drove a Datsun 240Z for a feature last year. It was a nice car, with a really interesting history that you might expect to pay a small premium for. But there are limits, and I found it hard to maintain my poker face when told it was up for £40,000.
Fast-forward (yes, I still have cassette players in two of my cars) around six months and I spot that very same car in an auction catalogue. We can fairly safely assume it was submitted for auction by the dealer, or perhaps a third party he had been selling it on behalf of. That happens a lot when something’s clogged up a showroom for too long. Obviously the queue for this car hadn’t exactly gone round the block and it was presented with an estimate of £24-32k.
From that you can take it that the seller wouldn’t be unhappy with a bid of £25,000, less the seller’s premium, so we’re already closing on half the original asking price. And the 240Z sold for…no, potential buyers still seemed to think that was too much. No sale. Open markets are good like that at keeping values real. So why do we see such inflated asking prices? Well there’s a lot of new money in the classic car market, and a few buyers who haven’t had their nose buried in a price guide do wander into high-end dealers. They see something they like and pay the price. And that’s the game.
‘Obviously the queue for the car hadn’t gone round the block’
WITH RUSS SMITH FANCY A PUNT?