Our Man James takes a tour of some of the Classic Car Auctions to look more at their individuality rather than their vehicles on offer at any particular time. Auction reports are freely available in the classic motoring press but little is said about the actual make up of the organisation and the atmosphere they generate.
For this purpose, under consideration, are the Auctions held outside the M25. The reason is that central London is so full of things that can fine you and remove your license that it seems safer to stay outside. An exception is;
Barons; www.barons-auctions.com or tel; 09454 306060.
operating out of the Surrey Hall at Sandown Park racecourse, Esher and founded in 1998, here is an attractive venue with plenty of parking for customer’s cars. Jaguars seem to be a firm favourite and plenty of knowledge seems available on the marque.
Meanwhile out in the Countryside beyond the M25:-
Anglia Car Auctions; www.angliacarauctions.co.uk tel; 01553 771881
In purpose built premises on outskirts of Kings Lynn. On site catering and toilets with customer’s car park. Large selection of vehicles and minimalist catalogue. Experienced Auctioneer. 5% buyer’s premium is attractive. Own transport and storage.
Brightwells.; www.brightwells.com tel:01568 611122
Excellent purpose built site with modern auction rooms, drive through hall etc. Cars usually displayed inside with large customer car park available. Good cafe and separate coffee stand. Duo of auctioneers maintain steady pace if a little lacking in humour. A good day out but a little more serious than others.
Dorset Vintage and Classic Auctions Ltd. www.dvca.co.uk tel: 01963 363353
A firm favourite in the West Country. Run by the Chant family of husband, wife and daughter, with a few friends and helpers on sale days. Brian Chant is a former racer who competed strongly in his Alvis and knows the world of Classic Cars very well.. Four sales are held each year .at Athelhampton House,near Dorchester DT2 7LG. Here good humour mingles with enthusiasm and plenty of business is done under a fine old marquee. The nearby Restaurant provides some of the best snacks on the auction circuit. Auctioneer Fabian Hine combines rich humour with gentle finess. No wonder he is also used at Barons and Brooklands too. Far from the pressures of the City, this is a place to relax and enjoy buying or selling your Classic.
H & H: www.handh.co.uk tel: 08458334455.
With a main office just outside Warrington, HndH are spreading their net beyond the main venue at The Pavilion in Buxton. This fine building is an impressive choice, with gardens and shops near at hand for the rest of the family to enjoy. The busy cafe is pleasant and the local ice cream particularly good. Cars are shown off very well in the elegant surroundings, with the better offerings in the Pavilion itself. Simon Hope is a keen motoring enthusiast, competing in races and on the last Peking Paris Rally. Knowledgeable and an Auctioneer, who manages to combine a business like approach with a neat injection of good humour. An enjoyable day out.Now spreading their wings with various fresh venues.
Herefordshire Vintage Auctions; www.hvauctions.com. tel: 01432 273373
Advertised as a sale for Enthusiasts run by Enthusiasts, at a venue which really should be visited. Set in the outbuildings of a magnificent Elizabethan country house,known as How Capel Court, with a mass of automobilia offered in what appears to be a modest Theatre, complete with stage and some scenery. Outside dotted around the yard, are the cars, mostly pre-war and interesting. Bacon butties and snacks are available on site and there is a wonderful atmosphere and certainly great enthusiasm as advertised. Strong Auctioneer who seems to be able to manage without much electrical assistance.
Based on a village garage in Thornton -le -Dale in Yorkshire, with the actual sale in the Village Hall opposite, this is a relatively new auction Venue. To visit Thornton-le-Dale is a positive delight anyway, with a purpose built village car park and ample restaurants and tea rooms to provide refreshment for the weary punter. Cars are stacked around the garage premises with overspill around the village hall. Take care in crossing the road in between and you will have a pleasant day.
South West Vehicle Auctions; www.swva.co.uk. tel; 01202 745466
Known for its regular sales of modern cars, but with a Principal who is clearly a Classic Car Enthusiast, this is a well run operation not far from the picturesque Poole Harbour. Cars are driven through the Sale room and two Auctioneers keep up a good rate of sale. Cars are on view around the main building and can be stored in adjoining premises before or after a sale. Good canteen facilities and a business like air to the place.
Woodmans; www.woodmans-auctions.com tel; 07766 811402
Very new to the Auction world with a sporty venue at Thruxton Circuit near Andover. Well presented cars in smart surroundings with well groomed young staff members. The Circuit cafe is on hand for refreshments
Sadly when Our Man Jam drove to Thruxton to view the second Woodmans auction, there was no sign of anyone or any vehicle. It would have been nice to know if it had been cancelled as precious fuel was used in the process.
Our Man James will try and sample more Auction Venues and if anyone has a particular favourite, do please tell.