Mar­ket­place Am­bi­tious dealer pric­ing, and should the Nova be con­sid­ered a true clas­sic?

Practical Classics (UK) - - CONTENTS -

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’


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