Classic Car enthusiasts will travel miles and willingly go off the beaten track to visit a classic car garage. If you don't own a property with a large enough piece of land or a spare building, farms often have spare barns available for renting. With a little bit of work and imagination, a barn can be turned into a really exciting vintage car garage.
Fitting Out the Garage
You can really go to town on the décor for a heritage car garage. Buying up a few old cars that are not worth doing up, can reap a treasure of bits and pieces: headlights, bumpers, arm indicators, steering wheels, hub caps, door handles, radiator grilles, car manufacture emblems. Collect some pictures of vintage cars, old racing pictures with the racing drivers standing by their veteran car.
If you can't find pictures any other way, simply buy magazines, cut out the pictures and mount them yourself. Decide on what frames to use and once chosen use all the same style for a neater display. With a bit of imagination a few pots of paint, some shelving and helpful workers from the family, you can turn your garage from a desolate barn to an interesting environment full of 'talking pieces' to captivate your customers as soon as they walk through the doors.
Remember the old design for all the harvesters restaurants? They had bits of ploughs and old farm tools hanging from the ceilings, wrapped round beams etc. The walls were also covered with prints in frames of old farm workers pulling ploughs, holding onto the horse's bridle etc. You can use the same technique in a garage.
The floor will be the showroom space for the veteran cars for sale. I have been to several classic car garages where the floor is earth and it really didn't matter. So, if the floor of the building you're using is earth, it's fine. As with any new enterprise, it's a great help if you can find ways of looking prosperous to attract your customers, without spending a fortune, in fact search for cheap ways to design your garage.
The Selling Technique
The most exciting part of selling classic cars is that everyone who visits your garage, is not simply looking for the family saloon, but for a car they can love and cherish. This is very important when it comes to the selling techniques.
First and foremost, most of your clients will be relaxed and friendly as soon as they discover that you are passionate about the vehicles you have for sale. If you adopt the attitude that rather than trying to sell, you're merely showing off your cars to a friend, then your sales spiel won't sound like sales talk.
Invite customers' to touch the bodywork and run their hands over the splendid huge curve of an Austin Princess's boot. Invite them to sit in the driver's seat and enjoy the leather seats, run their hands over the mahogany dashboards. If you can do all these things in an enticing way, you're obvious love for these old vehicles will inspire the confidence in your clients to allow their enthusiasm to show.
The Psychology Behind Buying Vintage Cars
Understanding some of the reasons why classic cars are sought after, can be an enormous help in selling them.
For most people the main reason they want a heritage car is simply it's like a trip down memory lane. Often a car is a desired object of their teenager years. Someone who was dating girls and living the bachelor life in the 60's is likely to be interested in any of the classics, from a Ford Anglia to one of the Triumph sports cars - depending on what they owned in their teens. If they were from an upper middle class family, the classic car that would be of interest is more likely to be from a Rover to an Austin Healey.
Most men have a bit of James Bond in them and because of this the classic sports cars are always very popular. For this reason, some garages only specialize in sports cars and often even sports cars of one make.
A high proportion of women will often accompany their husbands to help with the choice or purchase a car for themselves.
Some car auctions have special days set aside for classic cars. Example: Blackbushe vintage car auctions in Hampshire.
Apart from looking out for good private purchases, motoring clubs run adverts from their members in their monthly magazines or newsletters. These are excellent places to advertise. Most of these clubs only cost about 25 to join for the entire year and for that sometimes the advertising is free or at the very least nominal to members.
Joining these clubs will put you in touch with enthusiasts, suppliers of classic car parts and insurance companies for classic cars and give Classic Car Show dates.
These magazines and newsletters will expand your ideas on other services you can offer to your customers. For example: you can put them in touch with specialist insurance companies. First-time purchasers of classic cars don't realize that photographs are needed for the insurance company before they can insure the vehicle. Here's a service you can offer buyers. All you need is a Polaroid camera.
A visit to newsagents will furnish you with a pile of classic car newspapers and magazines. All you need at first is to place an advert for one of your cars and explain about your classic car garage and stock. And of course, probably the best place of all is the club magazines and newsletters. Any of these will also be open to accepting editorial items from you. Although there will be no pay, the returns from free advertising will more than compensate.