Lunchtime gathering uncovers an investment opportunity
Anyone want to buy a car collection from the Spanish government? I was asked this across the table at this year’s Wimbledon classic car lunch, when some of us wheel out our old machinery and convene at the golf club. (No golf involved, thankfully.)
I’d been talking with Richard Lemmer, founder of Barwell Motorsport who came in his lovely powder-blue 911RS, about the team’s season (nearly grabbing the British GT title with its BMW Z4) when he threw in his left-field question. It seems the collection’s owner got into trouble with the Spanish tax authorities, and the cars have been padlocked away in their private museum until a buyer steps up. It’s an odd mix: Sixties British sports cars from Spitfire to DB5, Model Ts, Rolls-Royce Wraiths and a gang of inter-war Yankee saloons.
But there are plums: a wonderful wicker-sided 1911 Panhard-Levassor Torpedo, a 1906 Delaunay-Belleville Phaeton and an imposing twin-screen sedanca Hispano-Suiza H6B. It’s easy to find buyers for these prime cuts, says Richard, who is negotiating the extraction, but the Spanish authorities want the collection sold as one, for £1.2m, and if you’re in the Hispano market you’re hardly going to get excited over an MGB or an Overland 4. So – anyone want to buy a car collection?