Classicmobilia Issue 93 May 2018

Dear Classic Car enthusiast,

You know the classic summer really hits Europe when old-timers start emerging from garages and storage units, dustsheets are removed and cobwebs blown away. Oils and all other levels are checked, owners make sure that lights and horns are working and there you go, wheels are finally in motion: let’s get the summer under way.

Regeneration and growth is not confined to nature: auctions are bursting at the seams with a whole array of various cars of all conditions and ages; official results are highlighting this, with auction houses reporting apparent good sales. Yet, in some cases, classic car sale news is not that encouraging. The question we, at Classicmobilia, are always asked is, which one is the real trend?

Monaco weekend was a surprise; cars no-one thought were going to sell, sold well; conversely, cars with a good chance to make the headlines just flopped. Again, the one-million-dollar question (or four millions, nowadays) is ‘WHY’?

Still, auction floors are covered with the right concoction of classic motoring, and some real gems. No matter what the contrasting trends may point at, cars with history and in outstanding condition are the outright stars. It’s a simple observation, but it speaks volumes.

What would the press make of this? Some sales may be disappointing, but one would hope that the media will not just hang their hat on that. What we notice now more than ever is that, looking at recent auction results and speaking to the trade, classic car sales are quite buoyant but only good cars will sell.

The Monaco Classic was a great success, as always: good turnout, even better racing, and full stands of delighted classic car enthusiasts and budding racers.

Moving further down south from Monaco, in Italy, watching the fabulous turnout of fine collector cars starting at this year’s Mille Miglia was a true eye-opener: the field was full to capacity, as always, with plenty of reserves waiting in the wings.

Mille Miglia holds its charming aura high, and more and more cars are being advertised with the “Mille Miglia eligible” tag. Perhaps their price is ever so slightly hoisted because of that claim. As we all know, however, the real interest lies with the cars which can be entered ‘in period’. That is a trump card worth waving about.

The classic car repair and restoration side of the market is on a high at the present time: we are finding it harder and harder to secure free spaces to get our classics looked at. The reputable and well-known workshops are full to capacity. Don’t be tempted to go somewhere obscure or gamble your classic, it may not be worth the risk.

On a number of occasions, poor restorations and repair work result in cars deteriorating faster then they should and costing far more to put right in the long run.

Take advice: ask others who they would recommend, do your own homework, it’s well worth it.

If you would like any advice on buying or selling your classic, or restoration work, just let us know.

Happy motoring

Keith here ...