Shortly after having a wonderful experience curating Andre Wicky’s Porsche 911 S/T Tribute, We spoke to Andrew Mearns, the man behind one of U.K’s most prolific classic Porsche dealerships, Gmünd Cars. Andrew was kind enough to tell us about his long term relation and experiences around the air-cooled cars that started in Gmünd, Austria, aptly after which his company is named. He also gives us an insight unto the world of classic cars, Porsches and the trends surrounding them this year.
Bhuvan Chowdhary- What’s the back-story of Gmünd Cars?
Andrew Mearns: I was always fascinated with the cultural heritage that Porsche represents. My fascination for cars started with Volkswagen and Beetles, when I was a kid and became absolutely devoted to Porsche cars by the time I was a teen. It was the 80’s when I started Gmünd Cars at the age of 19.
BC- What’s in there with you right now?
AM: We have quite the focus on the RS’ and the GT2s from different eras, currently having a fleet of seven – 911 964 RS’ with us. We have a 993 GT2 that’s about £1.2 million and the classic 911 R that’s worth £3.2 million. It’s one of the rarest Porsches. Of the 20 cars ever made, this is number 16.
We also have a 1973 3.0 Turbo, the first Turbo in the U.K. There’s also a 1973 911 RS which was converted to a RSR 2.8 by Porsche’s own works team.
BC- What is your area of expertise?
AM: We specialise in Porsche, off course, but our real focus is on the rarer ones. Most cars you find here are not only rare, but low mileage too. We also strongly believe in what’s advertised is what will be sold.
BC- What’s the most expensive car you have sold till date?
AM: The most expensive would actually have to be a Mercedes-AMG CLK Le Mans which sold for £7 million.
BC- What’s your take on barn finds?
We don’t do barn finds. I have always been a bit sceptical about cars that have been restored. You really don’t know what it’s been through. Porsches are all about chassis that are engineered to perfection. If a Porsche is compromised at that level then there is no getting it back.
BC What classic car sales/events do you plan to partake in 2017?
AM: We don’t do too many classic car events. We only focus on a couple of main events. This year we visited Techno Classica in Essen and are now going to be at the NEC show in Bermingham.
Andrew Mearns With Andre Wicky’s Porsche 911 ST
BC Your take on the trends in the classic car market that could go big in 2017?
AM: Classic car values are going through the roof recently. Porsche has taken its time to catch up, but they aren’t that far behind. The obvious uptrends have been in the price of Ferrari and Aston Martin cars, where the Jaguar E-Type has suddenly rose to fame.
BC Any particular Porsche model that you think will gain popularity this year?
AM: Well air-cooled Porsches are on a rise. Everything that’s pre 930 is now a rare collectable. Apart from that transaxle Porsches are the next big trend. The 944 Turbo for example, is going to be the next collectable Porsche.
BC Why has the demand for classic Porsches increasing so much?
AM: A classic Porsche is a lot of things. It’s the appreciation of the Purest mechanical versions of the car that are always lovely to drive due to their quality of engineering.
BC what is your advice for a new classic Porsche buyer in terms of what to buy and why.
Always buy the best car in the sector. Don’t buy cheap, it is true, you get what you pay for. A good condition Porsche is going to be fun to drive and a guaranteed investment. Get yourself a 944 Turbo if you can.