'It remains a car buyers’ market. Vendors shouldn’t be too bold'

The classic car market remains strong but vendors shouldn't be too bold, says The Market's Tristan Judge

Tristan Judge
Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Current page

172

Current page

173

Current page

174

Current page

175

Current page

176

Current page

177

Current page

178

Current page

179

Current page

180

Current page

181

Current page

182

Current page

183

Current page

184

Current page

185

Current page

186

Current page

187

Current page

188

Cockney comedian Micky Flanagan does a famous skit on whether you’re going ‘out’ of an evening, or whether you’re going ‘out-out’ – the former being a semi-genteel evening partaking in a few beverages, while the latter of course equates to a night of absolute excess.

How does that relate to the classic car world? Well, as some semblance of normality returns, I feel that it’s currently in the ‘out’ phase. I recently competed in a 24-hour Citroën C1 race – rising to a lofty 12th place, before a coolant sensor glitch and resultant seven-lap penalty saw us finish a respectable 22nd of 56 entrants – while, by the time you read this, I’ll also have attended the E-type 60 celebration at Shelsley Walsh and be preparing for the London Classic Show and, of course, Goodwood. Events are, thankfully, happening once again.

For me, unlike Mr Flanagan, ‘out-out’ in our world doesn’t equate to a heavy, but memorable evening. Instead, it’d be the complete removal of remaining restrictions and a full return to all that we love – events, races, auctions, meets and everything else in-between, but with capacity crowds and all the ensuing joie de vivre that they bring. Is normality coming back? We can but hope.

“There are some who think you can still demand any price you like. You can’t”

Meanwhile, the strength in the classic car market continues. Yes, we’ve had elements of a large recession but, just as with the housing and financial markets, the classic car market too remains buoyant.

A note of caution is, however, necessary. There have been some good auction results – including notably, Bonhams’ Bond Street and MPH auctions; the former even achieved a 95% sale rate – but that’s not been replicated across the board, with some blips elsewhere.

It does remain a buyers’ market. Vendors shouldn’t be overly bold because ultimately, they’ll be disappointed, and their vehicle will stay with them if the price is set too high. There are still some that believe you can demand any amount you want – you can’t.

Perspective helps. Just 18 months ago, we were talking about a softness in the market. If we return to the Bond Street sale, its top seller –a lovely 1968 Aston Martin DB6 Volante that sold for £425,500 – might, at the Aston Martin price peak of not too long ago, have been nudging £1m at a dealer.

Just because things are strong now, I’ll reiterate that it’s certainly not a case of ‘name your price’, because it’s the enthusiasts in charge and they are only paying what they think a classic car is worth. Ultimately, that’s bringing some of the older, very desirable marques and models back into the realms of ordinary beings. And that can only be good news for enthusiasts.

Back at The Market we’re now seeing the joys of being a part of the Bonhams group, with some lovely consignments coming through our door. We remain very much the new kids on the auction block, but both buyers and sellers intimate that our new owner’s seal of approval has added an extra lustre to our already hard-earned credibility.

From a personal point of view, my return to a racing cockpit described previously has simply proven that I’m not as fast as I think I used to be. It was, though, joyous and well overdue – and I can’t wait for the next instalment.

Many of you, like me, will be salivating at the thought of upcoming events. The journey to and from – in a suitable choice of period vehicle – will only make the main event(s) even more memorable.

The only other thing that is left to consider this summer is whether we’ll be going ‘out’ or ‘out-out’. For all our sake, let’s hope it’s the latter.


Tristan Judge is director and co-founder of The Market, the online auction platform for classic and collectible cars