James started Speedmaster Cars in 2005, and now runs it alongside two specialist vehicle storage locations. We caught up with James to find out more about the business.
James, who are Speedmaster Cars?
We are best known for sourcing racing cars and Formula 1 cars, but we also deal in road cars.
Who buys cars from Speedmaster Cars?
We sell cars to racers and collectors, a good mix of both. Historically it’s always been that people who want to buy racing cars do so to use them, rather than them being tucked away and forgotten about. It’s good that people want to use the cars more.
Why should I buy a classic racing car?
Because you can have as much fun in a Ford Cortina as you can in any modern GT car, driving it sideways and at half the speed… it’s good fun as opposed to being on the verge of having the mother of all accidents! With an older racing car, they’re relatively easy to repair. As cars get newer, the cost of repairing them becomes counter productive to using them.
After all, in racing, the cars can and do get damaged at some point!
Classic racing is about enjoying these old cars, the way they drive, the way they corner, the way they look… the dynamic of racing is very different when it’s about man and machine instead of strategy and software. It’s also that you can’t drive quickly on public roads anymore, so where else can you go to really enjoy the capabilities of a quick classic car? It’s really all about having fun with like-minded people, seeing all sorts of different cars on the track racing together. That’s what keeps people coming back and it’s what attracts people to classic racing.
So which classic racing car should I buy?
In Formula 1, the desirable cars sit between about 1967 and 1984. Later cars (2000 onwards) have much more advanced technology, meaning to go racing with a modern F1 car you’d need all the software and an army of technicians. People love the older cars because it only takes a few people and some tools to go racing… obviously it’s more complex than that but it’s the access to the racing that people want. Predominantly people want Cosworth engine Formula 1 cars from 1967 to 1984.
What has changed during your time with Speedmaster Cars?
We are seeing that more people want to buy racing cars, particularly F1 cars. As interest in classic racing has grown, so has the industry around it. There is so much more support for running older racing cars than there was 10 years ago, the industry has expanded making it easier to buy a car go racing.
That being said, it is very generational. When we started out, we were selling a reasonable number of vintage cars and older racing cars (Bentleys)… Now unless a car is really special with an exceptional pedigree or it’s incredibly rare there just isn’t the same interest in those cars. The same change in the road car market is happening with racing cars, people want to buy the cars they saw racing when they were younger, and as time goes on the desire for certain cars comes and goes. We’ve sold 3 Ford Capri racing cars this year. Cars from the late 70s, 80s and 90s are in demand.
What trends are you seeing in the road car market?
Demand is strong for desirable cars from the 70s, 80s and 90s, but it’s also interesting watching the growth of modern ‘Limited Edition’ cars and seeing values increase. It seems dangerous to call new cars ‘limited edition’, there’s always a risk that the accountants at a manufacturer might see how well a ‘Limited’ run has done and decide to make a few more of the same sort of car..! A really good E Type will always be a really good E Type, or a really good Ferrari Daytona will always be a really good Ferrari Daytona. Some cars are just timeless, and cross-generational. There will always be a market for those cars.
Why should I buy from Speedmaster Cars?
It all comes down to trust, I always do what I say I’m going to do. I base my business on personal relationships, you have to understand what someone wants; then go out and find the very best, not just the first car that turns up. You have to know people. Some of the cars I sell may only have 4 or 5 buyers around the world, so it really is about finding the right car for a particular buyer.
Of the cars you’ve sold in the last few years, which one do you wish was sitting behind your garage door?
That would have to be a 1971 Ferrari Formula 1 car…
And the final plug:
James also owns 2 car storage companies, A38 Car Storage (at Junction 28 of the M1 near Derby / Sheffield) and A1 Wetherby Car Storage (just north of Wetherby, Yorkshire)
There is currently a 10% discount off the normal storage for the first 3 months of your storage term.
Contact James to find out more via www.speedmastercars.com