Classic Car Bumper Month

Aston Martin DB6 Vantage

Classicmobilia E’News Issue 152 September 2023

Dear Classic Car Enthusiast

There are just not enough days in September in our world… what a month it has been for events, concours and auctions!

Mentioning just the most important ones, two events clashed with a wonderful turnout of cars on the track at Silverstone Classic and the spectacular array of cars on display at Hampton Court; the ever-growing Goodwood Revival NEVER disappoints; and we indulge once more in a quick dash down to Italy for the Gran Premio Nuvolari 2023, with the predictably impressive turnout and a fabulous run, this year.

In between? Well, a few disappointing events: for example, it was a shame to see the Beaulieu show missing so many of our European friends, as it noticeably shrank again this year, albeit it is still a great event.

With all these appointments dotting one’s calendar, it was also a bumper month for auctions and an incredible number of cars rolled over the blocks to some mixed results.

The sheer volume of vehicles listed begs the question, how many more cars are there waiting to be auctioned?

The more cars are being auctioned, the more evident the classic car market’s downturn, if only for the simple, mathematical reason that not every car can be sold. This allows the so-called experts to come out in force, claiming (and reporting on) disappointing results.

The auction bottleneck has hit several brands like Aston Martin (courtesy of an influx of a large collection from the Far East), but both Jaguar and Rolls-Royce also are suffering. Porsche and Ferrari are just holding their own, but for how long? How many more over-subscribed auctions can the world of classic cars take?

No results are being published from online auctions, which confuses matters further.

The dealer network may be complaining about a quiet market, but real ‘showstoppers’ are still selling well, so top-end money is not affected with under-the-radar deals taking place. Yet we cannot help but think that real collectors and enthusiasts may be sitting on their hands just waiting for the tide to turn. It’s a buyers’ market and, we feel, will be for a while yet.

However, the restoration business is still cracking on, workshops are busy, parts supply is coming into focus as manufacturers are holding back, so small specialists supplying good classic car parts have a more important role, and long may that last.

However, be very careful of unknown specialists or the back-street trader, as we are seeing far more restoration cars in quite poor condition, most of which end up at auction.

If you are looking for some friendly advice for buying, selling or restoring a classic car we are here to assist with valuations and future planning.

Happy motoring.


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