Dear Classic Car Enthusiast,
Another month, another ‘tour de force’ with much to see and do: we have just returned back from a European trip hanging out at the Zoute Grand Prix, and despite being there for the Concours, Supercar Run and the well-lubricated Bonhams auction, we still managed to miss out on other special events running at the same time.
Even attending so many gatherings this year as a seasoned enthusiast as well as for business reasons, I still manage to be surprised by cars freshly wheeled out, vehicles even I had not seen or known about. Some of them have a discreet charm and subtle significance, only evident when you take a second, careful look.
There is no question that the classic car world is still alive and kicking, but we are still asked that same old “for how long?”: will the economy kill the market, what does the future hold? Well, having been in and around classic cars for most of my life and seen economies on highs and lows, our world always seems to survive.
Yes, we will have downturns, some cars will suffer, but the armchair critics who think they know better should not scare us.
Fuel prices will go up, we will see people struggle, but the rallies will continue… and the auction houses will wheel out even more cars (and that is the scary bit).
The main idea of owning and driving a classis car is to enjoy the whole process. If you buy your classic the right way and it appreciates, as well as enjoying it more, that’s a bonus. However, if you purchase the car pulling at your heartstrings and it devalues, but you still enjoy it, that’s still a win and I can tell you many stories along those lines. If you have fun, it really does help!
Going back to the auction world, the Zoute event may have broken the rules but serving alcohol to ease the pain works well and makes the auction flow far better, we did see some records broken!
The worrying side of the auction world is the ever-growing phenomenon of online auctions. Online buying, whilst popular, can really bite you back. The golden rule? If you are even a little unsure, DON’T do it.
A feeling of over-confidence may also stem from all these TV programs showing how easy it is to buy a classic, spend a few hours making the car more desirable with a bit of welding here and there, some cans of paint and hey presto! you have doubled your money. I am sorry to point out that it’s not all that easy and you do not see what really happens behind the scenes. It hardly is the walk in the park they purport it to be.
Valuations, commission sales and vehicle inspections, that’s what we are all about.
Happy motoring and keep safe.