Top Recommended Classic Car Experts
Tom Hartley has a very clear vision when it comes to his eponymous specialist car dealership: ‘I simply like to specialise in the very best, most important automobiles,’ he says.
Hartley’s cars vary from pre-war grand prix examples, ‘such as the [Mercedes-Benz] W125 I sold a few years ago’, right up to modern-day hypercars such as the Ferrari LaFerrari.
He was single-minded from the start, leaving school at 11 to work for his father’s dealership, working his way up to become a 50:50 partner by the age of 16, before setting up Tom Hartley Jnr. His firm now offers unrivalled customer service and is the only dealer of its type in the world that is happy to buy the inventory it sells.
‘Whether you want to sell a Ferrari 250 California Spider or an Alfa 8C or the likes of a McLaren F1 or Porsche 918 Spyder, other dealers would broker these cars, whereas we are able to offer a client the ease of just agreeing to a deal and being paid tomorrow morning – something no one else is able to do,’ says Hartley.
A Ferrari 250 TR he bought a few years ago takes the prize for ‘best classic car experience’. ‘Apart from doing well when I sold it, I was able to display the car at the renowned Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The experience was truly amazing, and scooping up several awards while there made it all the more special,’ he says.