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Meet the Owner

Neil Atkinson - CEO of Bidding Classics

It all started with a copy of The AA Book of The Car and then I dismantled my first engine at age 9. A lifelong love of cars has followed, and I have owned quite a few; Mk 1 Escort, Minis, an Alfasud, five Subaru Imprezas, and an Evo VIII MR are some of the good ones.  But the one that sticks in my mind was a two-year-old Nissan R35 GTR I bought in 2012 for £45k.  I took it to tracks all around the UK as well as several trips to the Nurburgring and Spa. Fun times! But what was an eye-opener to me was selling it four years later for £41,500 – to a dealer. I had no idea that a modern car could be almost depreciation free.  So, I became an avid watcher of the classic and modern classic market – I bring all of this to the Bidding Classics – to list the right appreciating classics for your collection.

Always easy to steal?

Cars are always going to be stolen by a determined thief. After all they can simply be lifted up and towed away.

But I want to talk about a few things you can do to stop your treasured classic from being stolen. And then if it is, to increase the chances of getting it back intact.

Always easy to steal? Time has not helped | Blog | Bidding Classics

Back in the day my 1973 Mark 1 Escort could be unlocked by a coin. A half penny would do (remember them?) Anything that could provide a modicum of leverage, a screwdriver, any other key that would fit would do it.

I don’t think they were quite that bad from the factory, but by the time I got my hands on it a few years later there was simply no security.

Any other classic will possibly have chocolate locks as well, so a good additional steering lock is a visible and useful primary deterrent. And one that you can carry around easily in the car.

Your insurance may insist on an immobiliser, but I’m sure many of you have horror stories of electrical faults and problems. To make them hard to crack they have a spider of similar black wires running around the car. Obviously that makes them very hard to diagnose after a few years if there are problems.

A great addition to any car of reasonable value is a tracker. These are tiny now – smaller than a matchbox and so very easily hidden in any number of places in your car. Police are big fans of trackers as they offer them an easy boost to crime figures.

Fitting a tracker may be an insurance requirement. Shop around because the right tracker can make a big difference to your premium.

I have mentioned before a number of sites and Facebook groups where you can post stolen classic cars – you may remember that Jamie Theakston got his stolen Triumph Stag back in a few hours last month. He made good use of his hundreds of thousands of followers.

Let’s work together and stop the thieves from stealing our cars and stripping them for parts.

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