This article is for you if you’ve resolved to own the car of your dreams this year. Regular readers will know South Downs Secure work with a highly respected portfolio of trusted affiliates. And in this month’s post, we’ve caught up with our car brokerage partner and aficionado, Drew Wheeler. Drew is the founder of Drew Wheeler Sports & Classics and has over three decades of experience in the luxury motor car industry.
South Downs Secure & Drew Wheeler Sports and Classics:
South Downs Secure car storage & Drew Wheeler Sports and Classics car brokerage work together to deliver an enhanced and symbiotic customer experience.
We offer Drew’s clients a first-class storage facility for bought or sold cars. Sometimes this is for short-term storage leading up to collection following a sale. And other times for long-term storage of investment vehicles on behalf of his clients based overseas.
Similarly, Drew’s expertise allows us to offer our clients the service of a trusted broker for acquiring or selling their prized vehicles. More importantly, we know that Drew provides the same values and professional standards as ours.
An Interview with Drew Wheeler:
We caught up with Drew and asked him a few questions. Please read to the end for his top tips for people who want to own their dream car in 2023. But first, let’s learn more about why you should consider car brokerage services.
Q: What are the benefits of engaging a car broker over trying to source a vehicle for oneself at auction?
A: It may be tempting to purchase or sell through an auction. Many believe this will provide the chance to secure a bargain or additional profit. But there are several reasons why this may not always be the case.
Whether using a traditional auction house or one of the ever-increasing online sites, auctions cannot offer many essential elements that should accompany a satisfactory purchase. After all, classic and luxury cars are very different commodities to art, fine wine and antique furniture.
There are, of course, always exceptions, particularly at the very top end of the collector car market. In these cases, an owner may opt for global exposure from one of the leading auction houses. This is often in the hope of creating a bidding frenzy.
Critical aspects of buying the right classic car at the right price:
One of the most critical aspects of buying the right classic car at the right price is having the luxury of time to view and inspect the vehicle. This includes carrying out the correct level of research to validate its history. Ideally, you’ll want the opportunity to visit and view the car on more than one occasion. Finally, you’ll want to test drive the vehicle before making the all-important purchase decision. Auctions cannot provide any of these elements.
Instead, auctions rely on a bidder purchasing in a limited time and in a pressured environment. This increases the likelihood of overbidding and getting caught up in the moment’s momentum and heat increases. There is also the possibility of overpaying for a car that could, in some cases, require further expenditure. All in all, auctions have the potential to provide a severe case of buyer’s remorse.
The ability to thoroughly view and inspect a car, or better still, be able to engage the skills of a professional with the benefit of years of experience to assist you, is, in my opinion, invaluable.
Finally, once the auction house has added fees and VAT, prices can often be higher for both buyer and seller than employing car brokerage services. Usually, an established and trusted professional can help secure an equivalent or, in some cases, a better example than you may be bidding for.
Q: What types of cars are you most frequently asked to source?
This is a difficult question to answer. During the past twelve months, clients have asked me to source and sell a diverse and wide range of cars. This has extended from pre-war Aston Martins and historic race cars to the latest new supercar offerings from Ferrari, McLaren and Lamborghini.
My motivation lies in dealing with exceptional cars from any period in history. Recently this has involved supplying the very last Ferrari F8 Tributo to enter the UK. As the final non-electric, V8-powered Ferrari sports model to be made, this was both a unique and slightly sad moment.
In contrast, I have also been tasked with locating a vintage restoration project with the proper criteria to allow clients to restore and exhibit at Concours events. Where the condition is usually of paramount importance, the car was required to fulfil a different remit on this occasion. The car’s originality and history were more important than the quality of the mechanical and cosmetic elements, as these would be wholly restored to bring the vehicle back to how it would have been when new.
I have also successfully supplied a number of the original Tesla Roadsters. The Lotus engineers built these in Norfolk. Afterwards, they were shipped to the US for completion. Since producing these very first models, Tesla has rapidly become the largest car manufacturer in the world. The company made the Tesla Roadster in tiny numbers, particularly as Right Hand Drive. It has become widely regarded as the first classic electric car. As such, values and demand have soared over the past two years. The best examples now achieve three times the value they held in 2020.
Q: Please share your top three tips for drivers who hope to secure their dream car in 2023:
1: Buy with confidence and on condition and not price.
Unless you plan to purchase a car to complete a full restoration, you should always buy on condition. Over the years, I have bought and sold thousands of specialist high-value vehicles, and this is undoubtedly the best advice I can offer. If you buy solely on price, the pitfalls of potentially purchasing the wrong car will prove more costly in the long run. As the saying goes, it is better to cry once when you purchase than every time you walk into your garage and view the car you regret buying.
2: Employ the skills of a professional to help you source the right car for you at the right price.
You should always purchase the correct model and the best example you can identify and afford. This is something that professionals like myself can help with. Engaging a professional gives you access to the best advice. This means your purchase should come with immediate satisfaction, pride of ownership and many miles of enjoyable motoring for years to come.
Many believe that employing the skills of a professional to help with their search means they end up paying more for the car of their dreams. This could not be further from the truth. Independent brokers, like myself, can often source and locate vehicles that would otherwise not be offered on the open market. This is because they have access to a long-established and trusted network of owners and contacts, independent specialists and main dealers. Car brokerage professionals will also negotiate and secure deals unavailable to a private individual.
3: Don’t delay, buy today – there is no time like the present, and they are not making any more!
With any investment or significant purchase, there is always a desire to make the correct purchase at the right moment. I have worked within the luxury sports and investment car sector for over thirty years; there is no better time than the current one to own the car you have always desired.
Despite the financial patterns seen over the past three decades, as with property values, there has been a continued upward trend in the value and desirability for the best cars. As with every commodity, the classic car market will always be susceptible to exterior influences and periodic adjustments in values. However, if you wait until everything is perfectly aligned, you will eventually realise that values continue to rise and had you made your purchase sooner, you could have spent the intervening years enjoying your prized possession for a price that was considerably less than when you finally decided to buy.
There has never been a better time to enter the classic car market as manufacturers plan to stop producing the internal combustion engine. As the modern motor car becomes increasingly more autonomous with technological advancements removing the traditional and individual characters we associate and love with classic cars, the desirability for these ‘special’ cars will continue to rise as it is recognised that the number of available examples is finite and that they will never again be repeated.
To find out more about the car brokerage services that Drew Wheeler can offer, contact us, and we’ll put you in touch with him.