20.09.2017

In Memorium: Lee Bilan

Lee BilanIt is with great sadness that we are noting the passing of our long time associate Lee Bilan. Over the last 20 years, our clients have enjoyed many conversations with him about classic and special interest cars. Lee was a true enthusiast, having been a Morgan owner for many years.

12.09.2017

1991 Bentley Turbo R

1991 Bentley Turbo R
FOR SALE: 1991 Bentley Turbo R

Inside and outside it is really hard to believe the age of this car. More information on the listing page.

 



 

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29.08.2017

Lipstick on a Pig

Lipstick on a PigLIPSTICK ON A PIG
Avoiding Life’s Lemons

In the early 80’s, I was in the automobile detailing business and one of my clients was an exotic car dealer. I learned from him that the priority in cleaning and detailing a vehicle is to impress the driver. He pointed out that when the prospective purchaser sits in the driver’s seat, everything they see has to be as perfect as possible.

The logical inference from this is that when purchasing any car to look farther afield than just the driver’s environment. Many people are surprised when I inform them that the seats in their car have been painted and often it’s beyond the seats, it can involve the door trim panels and other areas. You need to know that the quality of this workmanship is going to endure normal usage.

The interior condition of a car contains many clues as to its history. This ranges from having new seat covers, carpeting or roof liners. One of the most common situations in older cars is that people have the seats cosmetically restored by putting new covers on or having them detailed and painted to have them look new but they rarely rebuild the seats’ internals. You nearly always know by putting your fist in the centre of the cushion and pressing down or sitting in the seat and feeling your posterior heading towards the floor that the foam and diaphragm have not been replaced. The seat cover has no inherent strength, if not supported properly it will lose its shape rapidly.

Lipstick on a Pig features excerpts from the vast library of Maurice Bramhall’s experiences.

18.08.2017

Top Classic Cars and the Value of Number Plate Checks

There are few things finer in life than getting behind the wheel of a classic car. These head-turners often have a great sense of nostalgia attached to them and many are important relics from the era in which they were produced. Whether you are a classic fan who wants to cherish a unique automobile or you are looking at one as in investment, these are the classics to keep your eyes peeled for.

MGB Roadster
The MGB Roadster is a favourite in the classic car community. This is, in part, due to its very easy maintenance and excellent trade support. On top of this, the sporty MGB Roadster is a beautiful automobile and one that is surprisingly affordable. It is for this reason that it is a particularly popular choice with first-time classic car buyers. Be sure to look out for the earlier models with the chrome bumper – this will set you back around £6,000-8,000.

Morris Minor
The charming Morris Minor is an iconic car and one of the most popular choices for families during the 1950’s and 60’s – it was the first British car to sell over 1 million units and is considered an important part of UK history. It’s unique design and the fun experience behind the wheel ensure that this is always a classic that gets snapped up quickly. Another reason for its popularity at auctions is the fact that restoration is simple thanks to the Charles Ware Morris Minor Centre located in Bristol.

Mini
Mini
Is there any vehicle more iconic than the Mini? A relic of British pop culture from the 60’s, the Mini is one of the most sought after automobiles and commands strong money in the classic car community. If you are on a budget, look out for one of the later models from the 1980’s.

The Mini has influenced dozens of vehicles due to its compact size and space-saving layout, but it is also an incredibly fun car to drive which adds to its desirability.

Triumph Spitfire
A stunning roadster from the 60’s and 70’s which turns heads everywhere it goes, the Triumph Spitfire is a fun two-seater designed by Giovanni Michelotti. The 60’s models are the most attractive, but the 70’s models offer improved handling and also come in some striking colours if you really want to stand out from the crowd.

The Spitfire can be easy enough to find and will usually set you back around £4,000-5,000, plus they are also easy to keep on the road too.

Shopping for Classics
These are the best classics to look out for right now, with auctions, classifieds and online specialists being great places to find these cars for reasonable prices. As a word of warning, it is always essential to get a number plate and general vehicle check carried out by a company like HPI. History checks are strongly encouraged when buying second-hand cars, but it is just as important if you are buying a classic. Unfortunately, this is something that not many people get done at places like auctions and this can come back to haunt them.

A number plate check will uncover important information about the car’s history which the seller may attempt to conceal or perhaps not know themselves. A number plate check will ensure that there have been no suspicious plate changes, that the seller is the rightful owner, that it has not previously been written-off and that it has not been clocked. These are just a few of the risks that these checks will clear and provide you with peace of mind knowing that you are making a smart purchase.

If you are looking to enter the classic car market there are many good options available to you. However, it is important to be wary and always look into the vehicle’s past before making an investment.

18.08.2017

A Look into the State of the Classic Car Industry

classic car market

The classic car market is one which has undergone major changes over the years. Previously, the market was very popular as investing in future classics was a smart financial investment to make. Also, many people had a passion for these older automobiles and would see them as their prized possessions.

Cooling Off
A few years ago, prices were rocketing for both classics and supercars once again, but this is now changing. The market has cooled off significantly, but experts are not anticipating a repeat of the famous market crash in the 80’s and 90’s. Those that look to classic cars as an investment are becoming deterred by the expected increase in interest rates, whilst the volatility in global markets is another deterrent for those looking to purchase a classic or supercar right now.

The other half of the classic car market is the collectors who simply want to own and look after a classic. Whilst there is still demand from this group, it seems that interest could be waning as, generally, the younger generation does not have the same interest in classics as the older generations.

Government Plans
Another reason for the recent dip in value is the fact that the Government have introduced plans to phase out all petrol and diesel automobiles by 2040. There has been a shift in attitude towards eco-friendly driving -this could have an impact on the classic car market as these automobiles are not as eco-friendly as modern vehicles.

Time to Buy?
With prices now dropping, however, it is a great time for those that have always dreamed of owning a classic to make the purchase. The cars are currently much more affordable than they have been in recent years, there are many for sale as owners look to sell and some are saying that the 2040 ban will never happen (it is also a long way off).

Availability
As more and more collectors look to part ways with their vehicles, it means that a collector could even look to a good commercial dealership like Motorpoint to find a classic. Commercial dealers like this do not typically compete with classic car auctions, but this could all be about to change. Popular classics like the MGB Roadster, the Mini and the Triumph Spitfire may well start to appear in dealerships like this and provide collectors with a quick and easy way to purchase.

Future Classics
Alternatively, these online car supermarkets are a great place to find cars that people think could rise in value and become classics in the near future. A few examples include the Mazda MX-5, the Alfa Romeo Spider and the Porsche 944. You do not have to spend a huge sum to turn a decent profit if you know which cars to invest in.

Although the classic car market is not in great health at the moment, that is not to say that things will not change again in the near future. It has been very turbulent over the last 40 years and this can be attributed to many factors. Despite this turbulence, there has been success in recent times and this goes to show that there is the potential for values to rise once again.

For those looking to buy a classic, now is a great time and especially if you are not purchasing one as an investment and instead as a collector’s item. Whilst some attitudes have changed, there will always be a lot of love and demand for classic cars.