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DK Engineering: A Review of 2015

Wednesday 23rd December 2015

It has been business as usual at DK this year with all departments being exceptionally frantic. We have attended all the significant historic race meetings throughout the year as well as the UK's premier concours events. DK Engineering were invited by the Royal Household to show the Tojeiro Jaguar as part of a display of Ecurie Ecosse race cars at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, this came at the same time as the Salon Prive Concours in which DK received a prize for the RHD 2.7 RS Touring which we displayed at Blenheim Palace. The 1937 328 BMW was taken to Amelia Island in February where it's standard of restoration impressed our American friends and again it was shown at Blenheim Palace.

Aside from car specific awards, DK has received further highly prestigious accolades for the company as a whole. We have been named as part of the London Stock Exchange "1000 Companies to Inspire Britain" and achieved number 19 in "The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200" ranking. Both these awards are great acknowledgements for the hard work of every member of our now 32 strong team.

In the restoration department we have delivered to clients a 275 GTS, two 275 GTB/4s and the 500 TR mentioned above. In the coming months we will complete DK's second Restoration of the "Tour de France" 0585 GT, the Ex Walt Disney 14 Louvre TDF which David owned and restored in the 1990s, and a car that we sourced and purchased for a client late last year. Work will also commence on the Ex Ron Fry 250 LM alongside existing projects which include a covered headlight 250 SWB California Spyder, another 275 GTS, a 250 SWB, an Aston Martin DB4 GT and a RHD Ferrari 365 GTC. With these exciting restoration projects due for completion, 2016 will no doubt follow on from 2015! As ever our busy service and storage teams have been providing dedicated support for clients of both classic and modern Ferraris.

Once again our sales department has experienced an exciting year. Despite a perceived levelling of the market and readjustment of some values, we have had another record year with notable sales including two 250 SWBs, a 750 Monza, multiple modern "F-cars" and countless other interesting vehicles. In December 2015, DK sold two exceptionally rare RHD 250 GT SWBs as well as a McLaren F1 road car.

James Cottingham Market Review: "Managed Expectations" For 2016 we will see some extremely rare and ultimate "blue-chip" motor cars coming out of long-term ownership. Cars such as these continue to appreciate in value and demand remains strong, records continue to be broken. We have seen a number of new significant collectors joining the party over the last few years and as their taste has matured so have their ambitions and thirst for the ultimate examples! We will see some extremely big trades next year. Meanwhile the more general production classic cars will continue to sell well but growth of these has maintained a steady pace as opposed to the expectations of some owners this year who over valued their cars early on in 2015 and as a result some onlookers remarked that there had been an element of "slowing down" for models such as those; but in our opinion if it was priced right in 2015 it sold and that figure (i.e. value) was still be greater than the same example was worth a year before. For the year ahead it is important that owners do manage their expectations and maintain a realistic view of their asset's value. As a final note, quality will always command a premium, the very best will always sell easily and well.

DK's Harvey Stanley comments that 2016 is "likely to see certain models such as the F40 begin to climb after a slightly flat 2015". He adds that "a number of collectors and enthusiasts are consolidating a number of vehicles, each of which may be seldom used, for fewer cars but of higher value. This seems sensible, especially as many collections have outgrown the garaging available at the owner's home. This trend can be seen at all price levels".

David Cottingham's review of restorations: "I am proud and satisfied that since Kate and I started the company some 38 years ago, we still have great cars to restore and are able to achieve the consistently high standards of restoration, which we aspired to when D.K. Engineering first began. It has been a particular pleasure during this last year to have totally restored a Ferrari 500TR and a 275 GTS to as close to perfection as we can achieve, for two close Ferrari loving American friends, whom we have known since 1983.

In practice I do believe the standard of restoration, and in particular our attention to detail, has improved significantly over the last four decades. This is due in part to the exceedingly high values of the motorcars, and the appreciation of this fact by the owners, resulting in cost being less of an issue than it was during the early years, and also to the faithful reproduction of many small items such as fastenings and manufacturers decal stickers."