TIME TO GO

CAN IT BE POSSIBLE TO SELL ONE OF YOUR TOYS?

GUY ALLEN

YOURS TRULY writing about selling vehicles may turn out to be one of the great hypocritical acts in publishing, but letís give it a go, since thatís more or less what this issueís cover is about.

Okay, letís start with the simple stuff Ė have you ever sold a collectible car that you actually liked? There are lots of reasons for trying to do it, but only one or two of them actually work, in my experience.

For a start, logic has nothing to do with any of this process Ė letís establish that right from the start. Itís something you use to justify whatever ludicrous decision you just made, but nothing to do with the actual decision itself.

For example, youíve decided to sell your highly collectible E-type, because youíve had your fun with it and itís time for another owner to enjoy it. That sounds terribly noble and reasonable. In actual fact whatís happened is youíve found something even more rare and shiny and you must have it. And there is no way of financing the thing (assuming youíve finally ruled out robbing a bank) without selling toy number one.

Despite the fact there are a couple of dozen vehicles floating around at Chateau Despair, and contrary to popular belief, I have actually sold vehicles. However it seems to be one of those things that you do not get better at with practice. In fact, muggins seems to be getting worse.

Iíve recently had cause to offload a few transports of delight (to finance another, shinier one, of course) and have so so far succeeded in selling just one of the three that were targetted. The one that did go escaped only because the buyer made it so easy, it would have been rude not to let him have it.

In most other cases, the process is an utter failure. People make enquiries and I finally get jack of what seem to be ridiculous questions (theyíre probably not really), which leads me to answer gruffly in monosyllables and promptly take it off the market. Iíve even been known to hang up mid-call, barely controlling the urge to yell ďsod off!Ē in the process.

And if you really want to get my hackles up, ask me if the price is negotiable as your first question, before youíve even seen the car. What youíre asking is whether the princely sum Iíve nominated is a work of fiction. Again, sod off.

Of course sometimes you donít need outside assistance to change your mind about selling. The most lethal pill for the selling process is hopping in and taking it for a drive. Of course you enjoy it, remember all the good times you had together and immediately take it off the market, again. What youíve just done is sell it back to yourself.

So I politely prodded Paul, the owner of the ultra-rare Phase IV GT-HO on our cover, about how he came to the decision to sell. Money may play a part, but I got the sense that after 20 years of ownership heís quite content and it really is time to move along. He also pointed out that he has some other very nice cars in his shed, so the sale of the Falcon wonít leave him completely bereft.

I still donít really know how he does it. What about you? Have you got any tips on how to let go?

Guy ĎGuidoí Allen