VINTAGE car enthusiasts from around the world are eagerly awaiting a unique sale of vehicles and spare parts which will “christen” the new, purpose built premises of the Strathmore Vintage Vehicle Club Ltd.
The building, on the outskirts of Glamis, will host what is being described as “one of the best sales of vintage vehicles and parts” ever held in Scotland on Saturday, April 2.
The club’s website has seen a flurry of activity, with one avid collector flying in by helicopter from the Isle of Man this week to view the lots prior to sale day.
Such is the interest that those who wish to view the collection, but who do not intend to take part in the sale, are advised to take a trip out prior to auction day as space will be at a premium.
The sale will be quite a poignant occasion for SVVC chairman Allan Burt, as it features the life-time collection of his late friend and fellow collector, William Cunningham of Strathmiglo.
Known to all as Freddie, he used his natural talents for shaping metal to develop his love of pre-war cars which be worked on and in later years started to collect and restore.
He travelled all over Britain to collect classic and vintage cars, many of them bought unseen on the basis of a telephone call!
Freddie thought nothing of purchasing and collecting cars from France, and examples of French artisans work are numerous in his collection including Hotchkiss, Amilcar, Delahaye, Delage, Panhard and Renault, many of which he bought on impulse, unseen.
Freddie’s talents and skills in shaping metal were legendary and he could shape all manner of parts for vehicles.
A significant number of vintage vehicles on the rally circuit today have won awards following assistance from Freddie in manufacturing and repairing parts.
Commenting on next month’s auction, which the SVVC club is conducting on behalf of the executors of Freddie’s estate, Mr Burt said: “This will be our first sale in our new premises and it could not be more fitting.
“I doubt if there has been a bigger sale in Scotland for 20 years.”
He spoke with affection of Freddie’s reputation for buying things “for the name only”.
He continued: “Freddie died in February last year and we have been working on the sale for a year.
“We have picked up cars from Haddington, Kirriemuir, Burrelton, Freuchie - all over the place.
“We now need to get the cars cleaned up and make sure the bits we have found for the cars are put on the cars correctly.”
A core of around 10 members have worked tirelessly collecting and preparing the items for the auction, which will be conducted by Ian Smith from Scone.
Allan continued: “We would never have been able to conduct this sale if we didn’t have these premises.
“We have been holding sales for years. We did the sale of our former chairman and founder, Bill Duff for his widow. At that time Freddie said it was a wonderful sale and could we do that for him.
“We have moved everything, lock, stock and barrel, to here which has been an amazing logistical exercise for us, shifting 52 cars and 1,000 lots of spares, a round trip of 78-miles each journey!
“But it is a labour of love, there’s no doubt about it; the enthusiasm is there to get it done properly.
“The sale has been on the website for four months now and we have had colossal interest from all over the globe.
“There is a chap flying in this week from the Isle of Man to view a particular car, taking a helicopter into the glider station up the road. There are people coming over from Italy, Austria, Norway, Ireland, and that is the ones who have already intimated to us that they are coming to the sale.
“There are some cars which are so extremely rare - that is what they are coming to see. They have not had the opportunity to purchase cars that are needing restored. This gives them the opportunity to purchase, at a reasonable price, a car that is very rare and do it to their own standards.”
Among the rare cars on offer are the 1935 British Salmson drop head coupe, which has an estimate of between £9,000 and £16,000, a 1936 Hotchkiss Grand Sport Roadster, valued at from £14,000, and the star attraction on the day is the 1939 McEvoy Steyr which is valued from £16,000.
Allan added: “As well as the very rare cars, there are cars for the ordinary man in the street which locals could purchase if they wish. We are talking about Rileys down to an Austen Tourer which is needing an awful lot of work, but for an enthusiast it’s a worthwhile project. So there is something for everybody, right across the spectrum.
“And of course, if you are doing up an old car and are looking for spares, there’s a thousand lots!”
Due to the large volume, 600 lots of spares will be sold on April 2, with a substantial number of lots being held back to an auto jumble by the Vintage Motor Cycle Club at Forfar Mart on Sunday, April 17.
The sale on April 2 begins at 9.30 am - further details from www.svvc.co.uk