10 tips for selling your classic car

There may be many reasons why you plan on selling your classic car. The most common reasons for sales include lack of space, lack of time, not using the car enough or financial difficulties. Whatever your reason, the sale of a classic car is not an everyday affair. From my experience with selling classics, I have formulated a couple of tips. Hopefully, these will help you to successfully sell your oldtimer car.

1. Prepare the car for sale

Wash your car. Too often I encounter cars under a layer of dust, tucked away in a corner of a shed with an interior full of junk. Not particularly attractive for a potential buyer. So start off by giving your car a thorough cleaning. Although most classic car enthousiasts know that there is always something to improve on an old car, it helps to fix small defects in advance. In particular, the general state of maintenance, fine tuning of the engine and proper functioning of brakes, steering and suspension are important. Also consider collecting and organising documentation. A stack of invoices for maintenance, parts, valuation reports and manuals make an oldtimer more attractive for enthusiasts.

2. Take good photos

Photograph your car in a clear way, in daylight and with a neutral background. Keep a certain chronological order. Start with the 4 corners of the car, front and rear, then the interior, mileage, engine compartment, boot area and any maintenance history and extra parts. Also add clear close ups of defects. A dent, scratch, rust bubbles or crack in the glass will not be noticed from a distance, especially on photos. You are helping potential buyers by offering your car as transparent as possible.

 

3. Be honest and transparent in the description

This serves two purposes. It informs the buyer and helps you answer apparently simple questions. So be honest about what you offer. Has the engine ever been replaced? Does the car whine in third gear? Does the interior come from another car? Is there any rust or past repair work? Mention this clearly in your advertisements. It prevents disappointments and wasting each other's time.

4. Apply a realistic asking price

Pricing your car correctly and market-compatibly is not easy. Owners often have an unrealistic view of their car's value, especially when a lot has been invested. However annoying this may sound, the value of a car is mostly unrelated to the amount of money that has been put in. Supply and demand determine value. To be more precise because, the value of you car is based on its attractiveness to potential buyers,  compared to other cars on the market. Some vintage cars are simply not very popular. It can sometimes take years before a certain make or type is 'in fashion' again. Certain models are fortunate to take part in a popularity trend, which benefits the price. For example, a Peugeot 205 GTi that was purchased 10 years for a meagre € 1000 can fetch more than an MGB that was bought at the same time for € 10,000. Even when that MG comes with a large stack of recent specialist invoices of € 8,000. This observation can hurt, but it helps if you adjust your expectations to the market situation. Make a good estimate of the value in advance and check where comparable cars are being offered for.

5. Answer questions from interested parties with patience

If all goes well, you have already given most of the information in your ad tekst. Also, a substantial number of clear photos have been posted. Despite your careful preparation, you will notice that questions may arise that can cause irritation. Often, for example, the (lowest, last, trade, ...) price is requested. Many people also ask questions for which the answer can already be derived from your text or photos. Especially with e-mail traffic, there is often miscommunication. Keep in mind that most people, despite their lack of communication skills, have sincere intentions. So stay patient and polite and try to answer every question seriously.

 

6. Be wary of scammers and bunglers

Should we specifically address payment via Western Union or an intermediary proposed by the buyer? Often these are foreign buyers, people who are too busy to inspect the car in person and are the least critical about the car you offer. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. As long as the car stays where it is until payment is received, there seems to be little to worry about. Everything that deviates from this is, to put it mildly, dubious.

Of course there are also people whose hobby it is to browse through car ads, contacting many sellers to try and make 'a deal'. These people are not interested in buying a nice classic, but get a kick out of the buying process itself (which will never be followed up, even if an agreement is reached below rock-bottom price). It is my prejudiced suspicion that many people with mental illnesses, detainees and minors respond to car ads. I do not like putting a label on people, but this is typically a case of personal frustration. Classic cars are a dream for many, but only accessible to the few. My advice: do not get carried away by irritations. Keep communicating politely and be clear about what is and is not possible.

 

7. Beware of cash transactions

In the car trade it is not unusual when (a part of) the purchase price is paid in cash. Buyers and sellers are naturally suspicious and can consider this a safe payment option. However, this does increase the risk for the seller, as there may be counterfeit banknotes in that big stack of cash. On the other hand, a buyer may be suspicious of transferring a considerable sum of money by bank. Do you doubt the authenticity of the money? Suggest to go to a deposit machine with the buyer, or use a device with which authenticity features can be distinguished. A check is unusual in the Netherlands, but is still widely used in Belgium and France. This also involves a risk, when the check is not covered.

 

8. Patience is rewarded

Has your car still not sold after two weeks? Don't panic. The sale of a classic car usually takes longer than in the case of a modern car, for which there is a much bigger pool of buyers. From personal experience, a number of months usually pass before a serious buyer shows up. A sale period of more than a year is not uncommon either. In the latter case, there is a fair chance that your asking price is unrealistic, or that your car is of an undesirable type, colour or specification.

 

9. Fast cash = less revenue

If you do not have that time, concessions will have to be made to the price. Traders can often buy on a short term, but offer considerably less than private buyers. When selling via online or offline auctions, there is a risk that there are too few serious bidders to raise the price to a realistic market value. And when setting a too high reserve price, the car can remain unsold, while fixed fees have been charged.

 

10. Sell by yourself or through a specialist?

Selling your classic by yourself brings a few disadvantages and risks. Don't like the prospect of answering many phone calls and e-mails, having strangers at the door and disappointments due to deals not falling through? Maybe it's a better idea to sell the car on consignment by a classic car specialist. In the Netherlands and Belgium there are several specialist dealers who sell cars on behalf of their customers. Also at Dandy Classics we like to help our customers with consignment sales. Curious about how this works? Read more on our purchase and consignment page.

Maybe you want to wait a little longer and put the car in storage for a while? Continue reading our article with storage tips for your classic car.

 

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Why the Jaguar XJS gets better with age – and why now is the time to get one

The Jaguar XJ-S (later renamed XJS) is a car you either love or hate. At the time of its introduction in 1975, its styling was considered too forward-looking, while at the end of its lifecycle in 1996 it was already considered a classic. At the time of writing, even the youngest XJS is more than 20 years old, while the older XJ-S models are over 40. With many different versions around there are substantial differences in character, although they all share a level of smoothness and sophistication that is matched by very few other cars. Having evolved from the Jaguar E-type and having served as a blueprint for the Jaguar XK8 and Aston Martin DB7, the XJS is often misunderstood. It is about time to give it some extra credit.

Jaguar's launch poster was not quite modest

 

Different car, different styling.

For a long time, the XJ-S stood in the shadow of its legendary predecessor, the E-type. It is wrongly considered to be the E-type's successor. Instead, it was more of a GT, an evolution that was started when the Series 3 E-type received its silky smooth V12. Except for its drivetrain, the XJ-S did not look like anything close to an E-type. It lacks the dramatic elegance of the earlier Jaguar sports cars and does not have the classical looks of the Jaguar XJ sedans, that the public came to associate with Jaguar's distinctive image. Whereas the XJ-S's styling was definitely  brave and forward-looking, the design of the later XK8 was clearly inspired by the curvy lines of the E-type. This was an era where retroism dominated the design of many sports and luxury cars. As the XK8 aged, potential buyers of modern classics have overlooked the XJS and chose the retro XK8. With modern Jaguars having finally taken on a more radically different styling, the distinctively different XJS is on the up.

Evolution of the Jaguar XJ-S and Jaguar car design

The XJ-S stayed in production for more than 20 years, seeing the company evolve through its most difficult period. At the time of introduction, it was built in an antiquated factory that still mostly relied on tooling from the 1950's. Reliability issues and a heavy thirst almost led to its discontinuation at the end of the 1970's, but the introduction of the modified High Efficiency engine attracted buyers again in the early 1980's. It wasn't until Ford Motor Company invested heavilly in modernisation and quality improvements that a more refined 3rd version of the XJS (note the different spelling) came into existence. Quality wise, the car had now overcome most (if not all) of its earlier issues. Rust prevention was also on a much higher level, while the electrics had finally become reliable. For a long time, these were the best Jaguars ever built.

The design of Jaguar cars however, got neglected under the umbrella of Ford. One could say that Jaguar's design department had lacked sheer courage for a very long time, basically eversince the XJ-S was introduced. The XJ's basic design was still inspired by the XJ6 Series 1 from the late 1960's. Not a bad source of inspiration, just not really worthy of a company like Jaguar, of which all of its classics had a forward looking design philosophy. Worst of all, the newly introduced X-type and S-type shared a platform and many technical components with the Ford Mondeo and Lincoln LS. So much for a distinctive character, Jaguar was now spitting out badge-engineered McMotors.

This came to an end when the first new cars under design director Ian Callum introduced a radically modern look. The new XK and XF came out shortly before Tata Motors took over, marking the beginning of a whole new era in Jaguar's history. In hindsight, the XJ-S had been the last truly brave and forward-looking design that came out of Coventry for a long time.

The XJS as an appreciating classic

Many enthusiasts agree that the XJS gets better with age, confirmed by recent increases in market value. In our opinion, the Jaguar XJS is still underpriced though and we expect values to keep rising as more and more people are getting used to Jaguar's more modern design philosophy. It will never be as desirable as an XK 120 or E-type, but it has finally stepped out of the shadows and is now appreciated for its differentness and significance in Jaguar's history.

 

Looking for a Jaguar XJS to buy?

Dandy Classics specialises in british sports and GT cars, like the Jaguar XJS. Take a look at our current stock, by going to our collection page.

 

Read more about the Jaguar XJS:

Recent article by Bring a Trailer: https://bringatrailer.com/2018/02/20/why-we-love-them-jaguar-xj-s/

Some thoughts on market values, by Classic Car Auction Results: https://www.classiccarauctionresults.co.uk/jaguar-xjs-next-e-type/

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Triumph TR6 Buyer’s Guide

The Triumph TR6 is undoubtedly one of the most distinctive classic British roadsters. This sports car has muscular looks, a real chassis and a lovely dark growling six-cylinder in-line engine. Former Top Gear presenter James May called the TR6 'the blokiest bloke's car ever built'. Be warned, this car is only suitable for tough men and women. The type that doesn't mind driving through a rain shower with the top down and replaces the contact points on a pub's parking lot. For all others: the car also has a convertible top and drives a lot nicer after the installation of an electronic ignition.

 

Triumph TR6 as 'poor man's Austin Healey'?


Thanks to the high production numbers (almost 100,000 have been built between 1968 and 1976), a TR6 is an affordable alternative to the Austin-Healey. The Triumph TR6 is even partly responsible for the big Healey disappearing from the stage. In the late 1960s, British Motor Holdings (the parent company of Austin, MG and Jaguar) merged with Leyland Motors, of which Triumph was a subsidiary. The management felt it was necessary to downsize the range of sports cars, in order to prevent internal competition. At that time, the Austin-Healey was at the end of its development cycle and could no longer meet the stricter requirements of the North American market. In addition, British Leyland already had a recently renewed six-cylinder sports car: the TR6. Thus the brand Austin-Healey disappeared and the TR6 survived the new business strategy. In terms of character, the cars are quite similar: both rear-wheel drive two-seaters, with a six-cylinder in-line engine and a four-speed gearbox with optional overdrive. Yet a Healey in terms of experience is a lot rougher and more spartan than the TR6 with independent rear suspension and a somewhat tamer engine (in US spec, with 2 Stromberg carburettors). Those who do not have the budget for a Big Healey, however, have the best possible affordable alternative with a TR6.

Drive train of the TR6

The six cylinder engines are solid and reliable. If properly maintained, these Triumph engines account for about 100,000 miles before it is time for an overhaul. Thanks to the simple construction, such a rebuild is relatively easy to carry out. The cylinder sleeves are removable and can be supplied new as a set with new pistons and piston rings. Worn out engines can easily be recognized by low oil pressure, high oil consumption and mechanical noises that do not sound healthy.
Gearboxes and differentials have a long service life with normal use and regular maintenance (clean oil of the correct type). Here too, however, it will be time for a rebuild at a given moment. In our workshop we regularly overhaul separate gearboxes and differentials for the TR6 and other Triumph sports cars.
The original mechanical fuel pump's rubber membrane will eventually fail, due to age and / or the effects of ethanol in modern gasoline. Read our article about which petrol to use in a classic car for more advice on this topic. New petrol pumps and overhaul kits are available in our webshop. These are known to be ethanol-resistant.
Fortunately, the TR6 is an easy car to work on by yourself. Parts are widely available for relatively low prices. Small technical problems do not have to be an obstacle to the DIY mechanic. It is much more important to find a car with a healthy chassis and a rust-free body. More information about technical weaknesses of the TR6 can be found in this blog article.

Triumph TR6 body inspection

As far as bodywork and chassis are concerned, there are only two possibilities: either you buy a car that has already been restored, or you buy a restoration project. The proverbial 'fixer' that only needs paint is an illusion. Even the youngest TR6 is now more than 40 years old and after 4 decades there are simply too many areas that can and will give problems.
If your budget is not sufficient for a well-restored car, but you also do not want to start a body-off restoration: be warned. Many cars that have already been refurbished can be worse under layers of paint and underbody coating than a rusty-looking project car. Multi-layer paint jobs are a guarantee for trouble: cured synthetic paints can 'work' with more flexible layers above them. The result is miniscule cracks, under which moisture can creep and rust can arise.

The TR6's most common weak points are the sills, bottom of front and rear fenders and the floor boards. Rust can also appear in areas where mud and dirt accumulate: around the headlight edges, around the inside of the tail lights and at the top edge of the rear wing. The rear of the boot lid and the battery box are also well-known sensitive areas. The chassis is prone to rust on the crossmembers (mounting points of the rear suspension) and the cover plate of the X-cross in the centre. Replacement sections are readily available, at reasonable prices. Keep in mind that structural repair of rust damage can only be carried out properly on a completely dismantled car.


Interior

The Triumph TR6 has an attractive, typical British interior with a wooden dashboard and a nice collection of classical instruments. The interiors will already have been renovated on most cars, as the original carpet and vinyl does not have eternal life. The triplex wood dashboard panels are known to disintegrate over time. All parts for renovating the interior are available. Make sure that the materials match the original specifications; Cars with custom-made upholstery, an aftermarket steering wheel and / or a shiny walnut wood dashboard are less desirable in our view than cars with an original interior.


Triumph TR6 classic cars for sale

At Dandy Classics we usually have one or more Triumph TR6 cars available for sale. We are particularly specialized in the purchase and sale of unrestored project cars. Our current stock can be found on the collection page.

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Morgan +4 PK-97-05 flat rad

Original Dutch plates: 1952 Morgan Plus Four ‘Flat Rad’

A red Plus Four left the Morgan factory in Malvern Link on 17 March 1952, on its way to a journalist from Scheveningen in the Netherlands. The car caught the eye of a young petrol attendant, who closed a gentleman's agreement with the first owner. Should the Morgan ever be sold, he would be granted the first right to buy it. Years later, the gentlemen were able to finalise their agreement. The car changed hands for a substantial sum - at that time enough to buy a Mercedes 300SL Gullwing.

Morgan +4 PK-97-05 flat rad

In the 70's and 80's, the car was not spared. Thanks to a tuned Triumph TR3 engine, a leather belt was required to keep the bonnet in place through fast cornering. The sports car was used as a multi-purpose vehicle: during the day as a delivery van to get hay for the horses and at night as a doghouse. Eventually, the years started to take their toll and the car was sold as a restoration project.

 

Morgan Plus Four restoration

The first attempt to restore the car was not particularly successful. The car was bought back in boxes by the second owner, and sold the same week to the current caretaker. He restored the car in detail and re-installed the completely rebuilt original Vanguard engine. The Moggie grawls happily again and is regularly taken for a spin around the countryside.

Morgan +4 origineel NL kenteken Morgan Plus Four hondenhok Athlon Tour of the Century Morgan 1952

This car still has its Original Dutch blue plates, with linnen title, and is the only Morgan Plus Four 'flat rad' that has ever been sold new in the Netherlands.

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10 winter storage tips for your classic car

Most of us treat their classic car(s) with care, like a member of the family. When autumn sets in, many classic car enthusiasts start preparations for winter storage of their vehicles. However, stagnation is deterioration. After a long uninterupted period of storage, problems may occur when spring time comes. With these tips your classic car can be taken out of storage with the least amount of problems.

 

1 - Get your hands dirty

When did you last service your car? If you choose to do this in autumn, the car will be ready to drive on the first day of spring. Old engine oil contains harmful acids that can affect the engine's internals during long periods of standstill. Brake fluid attracts moisture - old fluid causes brake parts to get stuck. Did we mention that those long and dark winter evenings are perfect for carrying out minor repairs or rebuilds?

 

2 - Get your car clean

Wash your car the old-fashioned way, with a bucket and sponge. This will help you to see minor damage or other details that require attention. Pay attention to areas where dirt and moisture accumulate, especially wheel wells and fender edges. Finish off with a good quality wax. Do not forget about the interior. Clean and treat leather upholstery with a good quality maintenance product. We prefer saddle soap and leather grease, from the equestrian shop.

 

3 - One last drive

This way you allow the water from washing the car to evaporate. Also, it is better to bring the engine to operating temperature, leaving as little condensation as possible in the engine and exhaust.

 

4 - Anti-rust treatment

Do you have the possibility to conserve your car's hollow spaces? Do it! There are all kinds of specialised rust prevention products available. Tip: a mixture of boiled linseed oil and old engine oil works perfectly well. Use an air gun with flexible hose. It's a dirty job, but well worth the effort in the long run.

 

5 - The storage location

Not everybody has the luxury of a heated garage at home. Alternatively, when you store your car in a namp shed without insulation, you classic will have a hard time. In less than ideal conditions, do as much as you can to prevent deterioration: place moisture absorbers in your car and spray some thin oil on zinc, chrome and aluminium parts. Also consider preventive measures against mice and bugs. In humid areas it may be advisable to pour some clean engine oil through the spark plug holes on the pistons. To remove excess oil after winter storage, start the car with the spark plugs removed.

6 - Petrol

The additives in modern gasoline can cause clogging in the fuel system. Also, soft parts in the carburettor or fuel pump can get affected. For a few months of storage this usually is not so bad. Modern fuels will severely drop in quality after about 6 months. To take preventive meassures, fill your car up completely with high-octane petrol with the lowest possible ethanol content. This prevents rust build up on the inside of your tank (ethanol attracts moist). If the car is put in long-term storage, more preventive measures must be taken. Aspen fuel (for chain saw engines) is much less aggressive and does not evaporate in the carburettors. If in doubt, we wrote an article about selecting the best petrol for your classic car. Read it here...

7 - The battery

Unplug the battery leads and apply some vaseline. Check the water / acid level for a non-maintenance-free battery before and after the storage period. Use a good quality slow-charger to keep the battery healthy. With a timer in your power outlet, the battery will not be continuously charged. This saves electricity and prolongs battery life. Unplug the battery and store it frost free if your car is in an unheated, uninsulated space.

 

8 - Tyres

Inflate the tyres 0.5-1 bar harder than usual. This will prevent your tyres from becoming "square". It's even better to put the axes on blocks, so that the tyres are relieved.

 

9 - Don't apply the parking brake

Put your car in gear, off the handbrake. This will prevent the brakes from getting stuck.

 

10 - Step on the clutch and brake pedal occasionally

Paying a visit to your car? Then pump your brake and clutch pedal a couple of times. This keeps everything moving and prevents the soft parts from drying out or sticking in the cylinders.

 

Still looking for storage space? At Dandy Classics, we offer year-round or seasonal storage for your classic car. Read more about our car storage options in the Netherlands...

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