An interview with Historics’ co-founder and owner, Mark Perkins, on Historics 10th Anniversary
Q: Was it being a classic car collector yourself that triggered establishing your own auction company, or were there other influences?
A: Originally yes, and I believed there was room in the market for a more open and dynamic classic car auction house
Q: What were your thoughts at that first auction at Brooklands Museum in June 2010, and was it much as you expected?
A: I remember the thrill of the first lot being hammered down, which was a scooter that sold for £202 which was later restored to its full glory, and then the 1931 Blower Bentley that we sold an hour or so later for £670,500 … completely opposite ends of the spectrum. it was very exciting to see all our hard work come to fruition
Q: Ten years from Historics’ first auction in June 2010, and COVID-19 apart, what has been the most profound change in the classic car world from your perspective as an auction company?
A: The increase in consignment values for one … Witness the 1973 BMW 3.0CSL that we sold at that first auction for £12,733, and a similar example that passed to a new owner at our November 2017 sale for £136,640. And the second big change is, as the years go by, what people now consider to be desirable classics were the cars I drove with some abandon in my youth!
Q: A decade ago there were relatively few UK classic and collector car auction companies. Today it is a much more crowded and competitive. Is that a good or bad thing for the classic community?
A: Of course a good thing .. you will succeed if you have a good product. The fact that we are going from strength to strength even in a crowded marketplace proves this. We never forget that customers have a choice.
Q: ‘Mature’ is a good way of describing the average age of classic car owners. Is this a concern for the future?
A: Not at all – the next generation is always nipping at the heels of the older one and set their own agenda as to what is desirable and collectable. We can learn from the younger generation as much as we can teach them.
Q: Auctions are very much based on tradition. But is it true to say that Historics has aimed for a more light-hearted approach, as witnessed by Historics’ occasional whimsical consignment?
A: Our aim right from the start was not to be a fuddy-duddy auction house; we like to make people feel welcome and at ease and that our events are truly inclusive for all the family.
Q: If you could own any classic car – for enjoyment, not an investment – what would it be and why?
A: I’m fortunate to own three of my all-time favourites – the ultimate stylish Aston Martin DB5, plus a Mini Cooper S and Mk 2 Ford RS2000 – both cars I had in my youth.
Q: Finally… what makes Mark Perkins tick?
A: Knowing that the vision I had all those years ago is a huge success and taken seriously as a major player on the auction scene.