Dear Fellow Members,
With the first Breakfast Club only days away, and the Hill returning to normal after the unseasonably sunny days in late February, the start of the season can only be just around the corner. We, at Classic Car Auctions, are looking forward to the start of our second year as one of the MAC's Commercial Partners and this year we intend to change the emphasis a little. For the larger events we will bring along our little marquee carefully positioned by the Member's Car Park and manned by some of the CCA Team who will, as last year, talk to the general public and club members about the benefits of consigning their cars to an auction house when the time comes and exactly how the process works. Two of CCA's Directors, Nick Whale and Guy Lees-Milne, have fond memories of “throwing themselves up the old hill” and hope to be there on at least one occasion this season to support the Partnership. However, when it comes to the smaller events and the Breakfast Club, Nick Bicknell and I plan to be there on a social basis meeting members and explaining the benefits of using Classic Car Auctions should they ever consider selling any of the family cars.
My name is Howard and I've no doubt many of you will know me through one of my Country Pubs (the closest is the Crown at Hopton Wafers, near Cleobury Mortimer- very late Eighties and again in 2001-2005) and as a regular at Shelsley Walsh. My first visit to Shelsley, and indeed to any form of motorsport, was in 1964 at 15 years of age as a guest of Tony Marsh when, in company with a few of the other 'beaters' from the Stourton Hall Pheasant Shoot, we were invited to watch “Mr Marsh” do his thing. It was my first visit to a motorsport event and so began a love affair that has not dwindled over five decades. If someone had told me that during the following 50 years that, starting as a 'gofer', I would move through wheel-changing, many years of sponsorship, a number of years of driving (BMWs, Jaguars, Porsches, Ginettas and finally Monoposto), some pretty reasonable crashing, and end up being paid to write about classic cars in a glossy publication, I might have said “I'll take that”.
My colleague, Nick Bicknell also shares that lifelong passion for both cars and motorsport, and his journey has taken him from being a 'hands-on' workshop technician to fairly senior management within a number of the countries most prominent motor groups, looking after some of the world's most admired prestige brands including Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Ferrari, and Aston Martin. Nick used to regularly provide ‘on event transport / pit support’ for the late Alan Payne in his V8 Buick-engined Ralt.
In early 2015 it became apparent to the Team at Silverstone Auctions that a number of our vendors were not completely comfortable with their TR6, MGB etc.(no matter how nicely presented) sitting between exotica whose Guide Price was in the hundreds of thousands and indeed some potential buyers of day to day classics may have been put off by the glitz and glamour of 'The Show', so a decision was made to form a 'Sister' company to handle the sale of what has now become known as “Everyman Classics” at a more accessible venue with more approachable Vendor's Fees and Commissions.
So, Classic Car Auctions was created to offer an auction platform to owners of traditional and modern classics, restoration projects, and old motorcycles, generally (but not exclusively) in the £5,000 to £50,000 bracket. The Auctions normally take place four times a year at the Warwickshire Event Centre near Leamington Spa with an annual visit to the NEC as part of the Practical Classics Restoration Show, where we will be in a couple of weeks on the 23rd/24th of March surrounded by 193 interesting classics. This is our biggest ever sale and with recent sale rates being very high, and with our website attracting more than 50,000 visitors a week we are always on the lookout for Everyman Classics.In any family there comes a time when someone is considering selling their car, whether it be an elderly parent with a low-mileage eighties saloon who is giving up driving, a son or daughter off to University, or just an upgrade for your partner and, like most of us, you don't relish the idea of dozens of phone calls, strangers coming to the house, or the nerve-racking test drives. Apart from which, the legislation surrounding selling pre-owned cars has become a minefield so it's easy to see why using a professional Auction House has become the chosen solution for many. With this in mind, Gary Dunne, General Manager of CCA, in conjunction with the team at MAC, created a structure where anyone who is an MAC Member can consign a car (as many as you like, as often as you like) and our normal Entry Fee-currently £150/WEC and £300/ NEC- will be waived. Selling your car may be the furthest thing from your mind but there will be people you know, neighbours, friends from the pub or school who are thinking about it, and simply by joining the MAC there is a saving to be made. “A cost effective and easy method of selling a motor car – simple”
However, partnerships, by definition, should be beneficial to both parties and we will be actively proposing the arrangement in our normal dealings with potential customers, meaning that, if someone is considering consigning their car to auction, we will clarify that, should they become an MAC Member, the entry fee (£150) will be waived, which effectively, at this year's rates, means a saving of £48 plus all the benefits of MAC Membership. Of course, there will be a number of people who will join the MAC just to save the Entry Fee with no intention of ever visiting the Hill but when the Welcome Pack arrives they may well be tempted to pop along at least once and, as we all know, Shelsley Walsh on a Summer's afternoon is the finest spot in the Northern Hemisphere. Either way, the MAC's coffers will benefit from the improved numbers.
This will be our first 'proper' year as a Commercial Partner and Gary, Nick and I look forward to meeting you and hearing your thoughts.