Why are you working within the auction world?
My mother was a well-known antiques dealer and therefore our house was always full of interesting items and characterful people. Mum was always buying and selling, so often a chair you sat on to watch TV on a Monday had gone by Wednesday. You didn’t stand still in our house or you would be sold! My corporate business career in Logistics enabled me to ‘retire’ at a fairly young age and with plenty of time on my hands I started to go to auctions. This led me into putting together my Rene Lalique car mascot collection (currently loaned to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu). Whilst attending many auctions across the UK, I felt ‘an outsider’ and found the buying experience was lacking in openness and customer service. As an entrepreneur from a customer facing background I believed with hard work there was an opportunity to do it better.
Which motor vehicle, sold within your career, would you class as your favourite?
Most of the cars I advise clients on day to day are ‘pretty normal’, usually from deceased estates. The ner-a-car was unusual and fun. The Bentley was in incredible condition having done less than 7,000 miles. The most valuable cars I sell have been by private treaty and therefore the details must remain confidential. However, you never know what might be behind a garage door or under a tarpaulin… I was at a house in London and the family believed there was an old Aston Martin in the garage, which hadn’t been open for over 20 years. Of course, not withstanding I was wearing a suit and it was raining, I immediately started hacking back the ivy and with the help of a handy builder we broke down the door. Took nearly an hour. Through a mass of cobwebs, my torch saw… nothing. You never stop looking, though.
What first attracted you to your speciality?
I love cars. I recently counted that I have personally owned nearly 100. At one time I owned 6... I’ve been having treatment and I am now much better!
A 1997 Bentley Continental T Auto. Sold for £67,250.
What aspect of your job do you find most satisfying?
Helping my clients. Achieving the best price for their cars, so they know they got the best deal.
If money were no object, what car would you most like to buy?
A 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder. They sell for over $5million dollars, so I’ll be sticking to the toy one that I push around the carpet. It’s also the car that James Dean was tragically killed in. On reflection, probably too cool for me.
A Porsche 550 Spyder.
What should a potential collector/buyer look to purchase, and why?
With classic/collectors cars, buy what you love and USE IT. Life’s too short. If it goes up in value, then that is an added bonus.
What are the best motor vehicles to sell via an auction house?
I would have to say any motor vehicle, as Dawsons have a 100% sell-through rate on both modern and classic cars & motorcycles.
Classic & Modern Cars and Motorcycles Expert
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