Door-to-door delivery of Aston Martin classics
By ADAM OLIVER
A NEW Hong Kong car company, Aficionado Classic Cars, aims to help the territory's enthusiasts avoid the pitfalls by importing some of the most perfect Aston Martins that money can buy - with a year's parts warranty.
Simon Tyler, marketing director of Aficionado, feels that the guarantee is important to give customers confidence in the product, even though he does not think it will not be necessary.
He said: ''I don't expect that the guarantee will ever be used. We have had these cars checked to such a degree that we know that nothing will go wrong.'' The price for the peace of mind that buying through Aficionado Classic Cars brings is high.
An immaculate olive green 1968 DB6 that the company has already brought to the territory costs $780,000. It would be possible to travel to Britain and buy a slightly less special car for a good deal less money.
But pricing the best Aston Martins is difficult, partly because there are so few of them left (only 4,000 were ever produced) and the rarity inflates the market price far beyond that of ordinary cars. Mr Tyler is convinced that the price is right and that there is little profit for the firm by the time the costs of sourcing the cars are taken into account.
''We are not going to get high returns. We have got to be seen to be dealing in perfect cars and we must not cheat the market,'' he said.
''If I can make at least some money at it and enjoy it at the same time, why not?'' The DB6 is a superb car that performs with surprising vigour. Nearly 25 years' driving has done little to diminish its power or classic lines.
The interior, right down to the radio, is original and the DB6 retains the original colour - an olive green that was ordered as an option when the car was brought.
The car was chosen partly because of its condition and healthy mechanics, and partly because it is the sort of fuss-free car that can be used regularly in Hong Kong without problems.
Though lacking an automatic gearbox and air-conditioning, Mr Tyler is confident it has the even temper to be used as a weekend car. An inconspicuous air-conditioner can be fitted.
Mr Tyler is acting as agent for the sale of a Sanction 11 Zagato Aston, one of just four new examples of one of the great classics built by the factory and the Italian coach-building firm, Zagato.
Aficionado Classic Cars can be reached on 525-6020.