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Motor Mouth articles 2013

Classic cars can be a great investment

405 Classic cars a great investment

YOU know the feeling – you’ve got a few thousand pounds just sitting there in the top drawer of your kitchen dresser or kicking around in an old shoe-box and you can’t decide how to make the most of it.

Well the investment arm of Motor Mouth’s giant corporation is here to help and advise: forget any ideas of splashing out on a Rembrandt, a nice bit of Chippendale, a Ming vase or a Faberge egg and get yourself a classic car.

Yes, really. It’s got to be the right one, of course, and at the right price but according to a new index compiled by people who know about such things, a good classic motor will out-perform everything other than gold when it comes to appreciating in value. And for most people there’s no fun to be had from staring at a bar of gold.

In these days of austerity and multi dip recessions, it is quite a challenge for the section of society that comprises ‘High Net Worth individuals’ – that’s finance speak for rich people – to know how best to look after their money and make it grow.

Now the luxury investment index compiled by international real estate specialists Knight Frank has highlighted an astonishing 395 per cent value growth in classic cars over the last decade.

This supercharged boost in value outstrips all but gold and signals a subtle change in attitudes towards investment. There is now often an element of ‘passion collecting’ involved, with the heart having almost as much influence as the head.

People can enjoy their classic cars while they rise in value, and in the last 10 years, that rise has averaged close on 40 per cent per year. It’s a lot better return than you’d get from an ISA or a building society account.

Edward Bridger-Stille, auction director at classic car specialist, Historics at Brooklands, says: “We are conscious of increased international interest in collector car acquisition among those who previously may have prioritised an alternative investment portfolio. Reports such as that of Knight Frank will continue to drive confidence in ownership in the collector car category.”

Small wonder then that business is booming at leading West Country classic car auctioneers, such as Stalbridge-based Dorset Vintage and Classic Auctions and the Sherborne firm Charterhouse, both of which regularly attract buyers and sellers from all over the world.

Among the array of classics that went under the hammer at last month’s DVCA sale at Yenston, one that caught my eye was a beautiful former police car, a black 1947 Wolseley 12/48 saloon, that still had its police sign on the front and a bumper-mounted bell. The lot included a police uniform, whistle and handcuffs and it sold for £5,280.

Charterhouse, meanwhile, have some highly appealing motors lined up for their next classic car sale, which is being held as usual at the Footman James Bristol Classic Car Show at Shepton Mallet on 20th and 21st April. A visit with a pocket full of cash is guaranteed to be a lot more fun than buying an ISA.

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