Expert Advice

The car market is a complex world in which an expert guiding hand is sometimes highly beneficial.

At Tom Hartley Jnr Ltd we are always here to offer help and advice to anyone who may need it, regardless of whether you are a client or not. The market is highly complex, so poor advice and too little knowledge can have far reaching repercussions. The difference in value between the very best and the poorest examples has never been greater, so don’t fall into the trap of buying the wrong car at the wrong price from the wrong individual. As in any market, chancers and opportunists will always be eager to offer bad advice and take large sums of money in return.

The market has evolved in recent years and it’s fair to say that collectors are no longer willing to pay top money for poor cars. As a result, the market for the right cars is stronger than ever. For the past decade the market has remained resilient and has outperformed many other forms of alternative investments. But the market couldn’t sustain the levels of price inflation that it experienced between 2010 and 2016, so the last couple of years have seen a necessary period of correction, where growth has slowed and the values of many cars have readjusted to a level that makes the long-term future of the market more secure. This market correction is most prevalent among the more ordinary examples of individual marques and models and those with unremarkable provenance or in average condition – not to mention the cars built in greater volumes where there is always a wide choice for the buyer.

In short, buying any asset for short term financial gain is always risky, but quality classics will always be a secure place to invest money over time. We advise all clients to buy cars because they passionately want to own them and not for pure investment. Without a doubt, it is the passion and enthusiasm for classic cars which feeds the market most strongly – cars are to be driven and enjoyed – and so long as there are enough people who feel the same as you, demand will remain high and the market will remain robust. However, we advise our clients to buy for the passion and to buy the best examples they can afford. We have always chosen to offer our clients the best ‘no excuses’ cars that always feature on our inventory and which form the most desirable cars available to the market.

Even against the backdrop of a readjusted market, the best examples have remained stable and if anything, continued to rise in value. For cars to be truly desirable and to command the best prices, certain conditions have to be met. Old cars need an exemplary history – a fully documented paper trail that accurately charts ownership, maintenance and restoration work. Originality is also highly coveted; cars should be as close as possible to their original factory specifications, and whilst subtle upgrades and performance improvements can be desirable, a car should be a ‘matching numbers’ example where there is documentary evidence that the chassis, engine and gearbox all left the factory together, thus preserving the essence of a car’s true identity. It is these factors that we refer to as ‘provenance’, and if the car can also boast interesting ownership or competition history, then the value and investment potential will be truly maximised.

Italian thoroughbreds continue to be most in demand, with Ferrari still considered to be the best ‘litmus paper’ for how the market is performing. The market for Ferraris is global, and the demand for certain cars is driven by rarity, exclusivity and a wonderful marque heritage. Rare sports-racing Maseratis and Alfa-Romeos are also very much in demand and Aston Martin is a great example of a marque that has seen values rise considerably in recent years, with the classic ‘DB’ models of the 1960s remaining the marque’s peak for road going models. There are certain iconic cars that simply never seem to go out of fashion or demand – both the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing and the Ferrari 275 GTB/4, are two perfect examples of cars which have an almost endless appeal and which can only be regarded as blue-chip investments for the future. Rare, limited run Porsches also have a huge fan base, which has had a big impact on values in recent years.

 

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Testimonials

  • I have been buying classic cars from Tom Jnr for several years now (Ferrari 275GTB/4, Daytona, Porsche 2.7RS etc).

    Taalib Shaah
    Chief Risk Officer for Investment Banking at Barclays

  • If I am looking to buy or sell a collector car the first call I make is to Tom Hartley Jr.

    Gary Schaevitz
    Renowned U.S. Car Collector

  • We have been lucky enough to buy some great cars from Tom. The service we have received has always been outstanding.

    Emer Timmons
    President BT GS UK, 2012 Business Woman of the Year

  • I have bought the majority of my cars from Tom over the last 15 years because I trust him and he makes the process easy plus the deals done have always been fair.

    B Haigh
    Successful Businessman and Car Collector

  • Tom Jnr is clear, knowledgeable, honest, and responsive. What else do you want?

    Dominic Shorthouse
    Private Investor

  • I’ve met Tom through a common friend that we share. I was very close to doing my first investment in classic cars but I was advised not do it before I spoke to him.

    André Villas-Boas
    Manager of Zenit Saint Petersburg Football Club

  • I, like all of the people that have dealt with Tom have found him straightforward, easy to deal with and always found that he is a decision maker. When he buys he pays. There is not much more that you can ask.

    Bernie Ecclestone
    Formula 1 Supremo

  • I have dealt with Tom for over 20 years and have always been very happy with the service and the vehicles that I have had from him.

    Peter WG Tom CBE
    Chairman Leicester Tigers & Breedon Aggregates

  • As a serious long term collector of Classic Cars, I wish I had met Tom sooner.

    Duncan R Barber FRAeS
    Ferrari Collector for Over 30 Years & Successful Aviation Entrepreneur

  • Tom Hartley Jnr is an exceptional individual – probably the most competent operator in Europe. The deal is that he comes up with the cars and I come up with the money – equally quickly!

    Graham Dacre, CBE
    Philanthropist, Former Owner of the Lind Automotive Group

  • In the classic car business I have met many passionate collectors and dealers, but rarely have I met more of a gentleman than Tom.

    Jean-Claude Biver
    Watch Industry Guru & Hublot Chairman

  • I have been buying cars from Tom for over 15 years and I can say, without reservation, that I have been 100% satisfied with every car that he has supplied.

    Leigh Robinson
    Successful Businessman and Car Collector

  • I have known Tom Hartley Jnr for a number of years and have come to esteem Tom as a competent and fully reliable expert.

    Marcel Massini
    The Worlds Leading Ferrari Historian

  • I have found Tom Jnr to be excellent to deal with in providing both new and pre-owned vehicles of the highest possible quality with a sensible attitude to pricing.

    Andrew Dick
    Founding Partner of Begbies Traynor Group

  • I have known Tom Jnr for over 10 years now and have lost track of the number of transactions we have completed in that time.

    David Boland
    Property Entrepreneur & Renowned Ferrari Collector

  • Tom Jnr is a gentleman and a man of his word. He says what he means, he means what he says, and he does what he says he’s going to do.

    Miles S Nadal
    Founder, Chairman & CEO, Peerage Capital Group & Peerage Business Partners

  • I have been a client of Tom’s since 2002; I estimate that I have carried out more than 40 transactions with him. Tom Jnr has an in depth knowledge of his subject and products.

    Michael McComb
    Highly Successful Entrepreneur and Car Enthusiast

  • Tom Jnr’s biggest attribute is simply he is honest and a man of his word, that is why I trust him when discussing any level of car from modern day to old classics.

    Ian Poulter
    Global Tour Golfer, Ryder Cup Hero & Ferrari Collector

  • Tom is obviously well connected and had heard that I was interested in owning a short tail McLaren GTR.

    Adrian Newey OBE
    Chief Technical Officer of the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 Team

  • I rarely provide testimonials, perhaps because I am rarely impressed, particularly by people in the car business.
    Tom Hartley Jnr is one of those exceptions.

    Paul Dunkley
    Ex-Car Salesman and Car Collector

  • We rarely find ourselves challenged on the quality of a restoration and on the attention to detail as we are with Tom Hartley Jnr.

    Egidio and Roberto Brandoli
    Regarded as One of the World’s Finest Restorers of Ferrari

  • In every case Tom has been the perfect partner. Deals are always completed as promised – not always true in the old car world. Delivered cars are always to a higher standard than promised. Commissions are fair.

    Lord Irvine Laidlaw
    Successful Businessman, Philanthropist & Car Collector