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Classic Throttle Shop to put the brakes on Auction business until market stabilises.

CTS Auctions is just one string in Classic Throttle Shop’s extensive motoring bow which includes a superb classic car showroom in Sydney, Australia; restoration and maintenance services, event venue hire, bespoke inner city classic car storage facilities, a motoring themed café and a motoring merchandise shop.

In a bid to improve the standard of the auction services available to collectors in Australia and to increase awareness of Classic Throttle Shop’s brand internationally, Johnston set up CTS Auctions midway through 2009 poaching Robert Glover from Bonhams & Goodman in the process.

The first auction took place in December 2009 and whilst it saw some significant results the general market was rather flat for the top end cars that CTS Auctions were able to consign for the sale. One of the dominant factors was that the rising strength of the Australian dollar which precluded the usual significant overseas interest in many of the higher end European cars that comprised a large part of the catalogue offered. As a result it was not surprising that the high sale of the event was a ex Bathurst winning car at $285k easily finding a new home with Australian borders whereas the wonderful array of Lamborghini’s and Ferraris struggled to attract interest on the night.

To add to the rather tricky auction market last year in Australia, established Auction House Bonhams & Goodman is no longer after Tim Goodman ditched the Bonhams brand and switched alleigaine to Sotheby’s by buying the licence to use their name in Australia.

This move will raise serious questions in the car world given the fact that Sotheby’s do not have an international motoring department and do not hold car auctions anywhere else in the World whereas Bonhams are world market leaders in the sale of collectors’ cars with a level of expertise and contacts that is simply second to none.

Given this situation it is therefore unlikely that Bonhams will simply pack their bags and leave Australia quietly and thus a return by them would add a very significant, player into the already crowded collector car auction market and a player that would be the only genuine international auction house in the country - not an affiliated franchise going it alone in the car department as is the case now of Sotheby’s in Australia.

As Johnston comments ‘ It will not be an easy ride for any auction house over the 12 – 24 months in Australia particularly if the strength of the Australian dollar continues and sellers fail to alter their perceptions of value to fall in line with international values.’

“We took a view of our business as a whole keeping in mind that we have sold over 20 cars including a number of top end six figure cars in January 2010 alone. The retail/private treaty method of sale allows us to adapt more quickly to market changes and this is vital at present. In the current temperamental global economic climate one can come unstuck with the auction method of sale as between the time of planning an event and the event itself, a car’s value or demand within the market for it may have drastically changed. To this end the sensible option is to take a step back from the auction scene for a few months, focus on our well established and successful retail operations and re investigate the lay of the land in the latter half of this year”

CTS Auctions plans to hold their next auction event later in 2011.

Inaugural Auction

CTS Auction’s first event was held on Saturday the 5th December and the results of the auction are now online.

Despite a well marketed and well attended event it did not make for an easy result. An almost total lack of any serious oversees bidding in light of the current strength of the Australian dollar was more problematic than usual due to the large selection of high value or 'big ticket' cars that the Australian market was perhaps not able to absorb over the course of one night.

The CTS team took a number of positives from the sale and given some tweaks to the running of the actual event, a change of timing and a reduced focus on ‘world value cars’ whilst the Australian dollars strength continues, we are confident that the lessons learnt from our first event will assist us in having a far more successful sales result next time round.

Some highlights from the sale included the very strong price achieved for a delightful 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Saloon (275,000 IBP), a Messerschmitt KR200 Cabriolet ($34,100 IBP), the 1997 Bathurst winning Perkins Holden Commodore ($285,000 IBP) and a 1998 Jordan Formula 1 Display car – minus engine ($51,700 IBP).

Aside from the good results above though, it was generally a tough auction however what was particularly encouraging was the number of vendors and buyers who were quick to offer positive feedback and support with an almost universal feeling of ‘welcome’ in terms of CTS Auction’s new arrival on the Australian auction scene.

We have already had a significant number of enquiries about our next event to be held in the Autumn in Melbourne along with good early interest from vendors looking to consign their cars.

In the meantime, we would like to wish all our vendors; buyers; suppliers and other supporters all the very best for Christmas and the New Year and we look forward to an exciting year of events in 2010!

The CTS Team

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CTS Auctions Launch Party

On Thursday 1st October Classic Throttle Shop held a launch party to celebrate the launch of their sister company – CTS Auctions.

The message was loud and clear - CTS Auctions are committed, focused and have the expertise and credibility needed to run a successful collector car auction business.

The party was an immense success with over 300 CTS supporters and clients (both established and new) coming along to soak up the atmosphere and the award winning beer supplied by the Lord Nelson. Clearly people were in a party mood with the beer supplied running out at 8:30pm and our very own Alex Lance going out to re-stock! Problem solved CTS revelers partied on until close to midnight amongst the fine selection of cars on view that will be offered for sale in the first auction on Saturday 5th December.

The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the presentation given by Classic Throttle Shop Founder and Managing Director - Rory Johnston. With Fleetwood Mac’s famous track, ‘The Chain’ (The BBC’s longtime F1 intro track) to accompany the cacophony of sound that is the 500BHP V16 BRM Grand Prix car roaring around Silverstone, Rory arrived at the stage in a Messerschmitt KR200 bubble car to welcome the 300+ guests to the foundations of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

We hope you can make the Auction on the 5th December. We can guarantee it will be an even more exciting evening than the launch party!

The CTS team would like to thank all those who attended particularly those who made the effort to travel interstate for the event. We look forward to seeing you again at the auction.

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