No one seems to have shown enough interest to enlarge on your frequent comments on the high prices sometimes being asked for veteran and vintage cars; my own ideas may be of interest.
It is obvious, speaking generally, that it is the potential buyers who decide the price of a car, the seller can only ask a certain price and sit back hopefully for the postman. If he doesn’t want to be left with the car on his hands he accepted the best offer.
This system works well if both buyer and seller are experienced; high prices are asked usually through a mixture of cupidity and ignorance, engendered by ill-informed publicity from the Press and Television.
For example : I was recently offered a post-vintage car of no great interest which had been lying in a tumbledown outhouse for years the price—£150. When I asked why, he stated that he’d read that “veteran cars were fetching a lot of money these days.
I wonder how many of the cars I have seen advertised at ridiculously high prices recently have actually been sold ? I have been running vintage cars for 20 years, and frankly admit that on nearly every occasion I have paid much less than was asked and received much less than I expected when I sold, and this I think is a healthy sign that the vast majority of enthusiasts just refuse to pay over the odds. May I suggest that, as a help to the many newcomers to the movement, Motor Sport prints a notice at the head of the advertisement section advising would-be buyers to contact one of the many one-make clubs for expert advice not only on price but also the cost and availability of spares. I have found to my own cost that money spent on renewals and renovations hardly affects the value.
Boulmer. Donald D. Davidson.
Letters from Readers, July 1955
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