The Path to Becoming a Classic Car Valuer

Born into a family music business on the west coast of Ireland in the late 1960s, I knew from a very young age that I wanted to write about cars for a living. Autocar magazine was my favourite and I would read it voraciously, especially writers like Steve Cropley and Phil Llewellin.

I eventually went into the motor trade in Ireland and started a mechanical apprenticeship with the local Renault dealer. After a few years of apprenticeship by day and playing music by night, I decided my writing career would be better served in England, so I moved to London at 19 to follow my dream of becoming a motoring journalist.

Inferiority and imposter syndrome had a firm grasp on my young self. Rather than looking for writing jobs, I spent years working my way up through the UK motor industry working for dealers, finance companies, in retail and fleet purchasing, working with receivers and more, as well as selling hundreds of cars.

After ten years in the trade, I had a sizeable motorcycle accident in London, when I was wiped out by a young driver who ran a red light. This lifechanging experience (I was off work for 14 weeks) led to some soul searching and realising that the dream to write about cars was still very much alive.

The internet was still in its infancy but nights of online searching uncovered a position with Glass’s Guide: the leading motor trade publisher at the time. Serving an incredible apprenticeship under the Chief Car, Motorcycle and Commercial Vehicle Editors, and supported by a brilliant MD, I spent over ten years running the motor trade’s classic car valuation bible, Glass’s Guide to Older Cars and Modern Classics and developing and managing the first online valuations platform.

By 2003, I had received some compensation from my bike accident and bought my first air-cooled Porsche, venturing into the south of France to complete a somewhat risky purchase. That story led to a sideline in journalism and trips to the USA with a photographer friend, which led to our book: The Cult of Porsche.

One day at Glass’s, after a particularly random press release around an oversized 70s Cadillac I had bought and sold for a profit, I had an actual phone call from my boyhood hero, Steve Cropley. He invited me to lunch with the team from Autocar and commisioned my first feature for the magazine. I had achieved my dream of being a car journalist, alongside a real hero of mine, but I eventually realised that the density and intricate challenge of valuation work was where my real interest lay. I founded my freelance vehicle valuations consultancy in 2004. In 2010, I left Glass’s and started my own valuations and content business.

As an experienced motor trade professional and older car market analyst with over 70,000 hours of high level market experience and a huge list of cases and learning events to draw from, I am now the expert that insurers, lenders, solicitors and private clients come to when they need experienced impartial expert support in court.

I have extensive experience in historic motorsport, as a previous co-owner of Twinspark Racing, based in the Netherlands, over 15 years spent working with Tuthill Porsche including car sourcing and long associations with other UK fabricators and car preparers including EB Motorsport.

Watch my youtube channel to learn more about my growth mindset journey through mechanic, salesman, professional buyer, trader, valuer and industry watcher through to consumer journalism and classic car author before settling into professional valuation and building my exceptional reputation in what I believe is the most fascinating, complex and specialist arena of all.

Classic Car Valuer Career Highlights

  • Ten years as Valuations Editor of Glass’s Guide to Older Cars and Modern Classics
  • Creator and Valuations Editor of Glass’s Consumer Values: the ‘We Buy Any Car’ database
  • The above products served thousands of the most demanding users for a decade
  • Over 70,000 hours of professional valuation experience and hundreds of thousands of valuations created
  • Former Assistant Valuations Editor on Glass’s Motorcycle and Commercial Vehicle guides
  • Creator of Glass’s Part Exchange Values: as seen on many car and motorcycle manufacturer websites
  • Freelance valuation consultant since early 2000s
  • Several years in professional retail and fleet car purchasing
  • Over thirty years activity in the classic car field
  • Published motor trade and used car expert in Autocar, Top Gear, MSN Cars etc
  • Published Porsche author and community leader
  • Highly experienced and widely referenced used car journalist
  • Author of many car magazine ‘Buyers Guides’ and used car features

 

Expert Witness Experience

  • Vetted member of the UK Register of Expert Witnesses
  • Consistent provider of classic car valuations since 2000 with no break in practice
  • Experienced court expert witness in divorce valuations and civil cases, working for insurers, solicitors, Trading Standards and private clients
  • Experienced Single Joint Expert to divorce courts across the UK
  • Experienced in creating case reports, adding insight as an Expert Advisor, supporting mediation/arbitration or assisting counsel with cross-examination preparation
  • All Expert Witness reports completed to FPR Part 25 or CPR Part 35
  • Previous single cases into the millions of pounds
  • Previous court reports for collections of over 50 vehicles
  • Cost estimates, detailed CV and availability/report timescales on request

My Work in the Press

Personal Classic Car History

My classic car history includes:

  • Lifelong classic car and motorcycle enthusiast
  • Hundreds of cars sold personally
  • Published classic car journalist
  • Experienced classic car and motorcycle trader and restorer
  • A personal collection of 16 classic cars and motorcycles

My expertise as a classic car valuer is underpinned by extensive market intelligence and deep insider knowledge of how the motor trade operates. Over three decades of market valuation experience gives me the confidence and credibility that matters in court.

The scope of data I have overseen means that I have supplied many thousands of vehicle valuations to hundreds of highly critical users over the course of my career. Such experience is rare and priceless, and my hard-earned expertise as a classic car valuer is in constant demand.

What our customers say about our online Classic Car Valuations:

"John, this is great. Thanks very much, I really appreciate your work. I’ll be back in touch with you probably once it’s at the state I wish to keep it in. Best wishes."

Boglarka - Bristol - Series Land Rover Overlander insurance valuation

"Hi John, Thank you very much indeed. This is perfect, and exactly what I was looking for. I really appreciate your time and insight, and this will be very helpful indeed with the insurance company."

Stephen - Isle of Man - Mk1 Mini Cooper S insurance valuation

"Hi John. Many thanks for the valuation of my Morgan Plus 4, an excellent prepared report, great detail and a very professional job.

David in York - 1993 Morgan Plus 4 4-seater insurance valuation

"Dear John, thank you for sending this on. The insurance valuation makes me feel that perhaps in my car buying experience over the years I might just have bought it right. I really do appreciate your input into the whole experience and it has made my wife and I feel very happy about our latest car purchase."

Chris in Dorset - Porsche 993 Cabriolet inspection, purchase support and insurance valuation

"Hi John, Thank you for the insurance valuation on my E Type. I must say it is very rare these days that a service is provided with such speed and so comprehensively. I can’t think of a better £80 that I have spent in a long long time. Your help and assistance is really appreciated."

Paul  in Warwickshire - Series 1 E Type OTS insurance valuation

"Hi John, Thank you for your excellent and comprehensive valuation report for my car. A great service provided by yourself and also a very quick response to my initial enquiry. I have forwarded it on to Adrian Flux for them to increase their much lower valuation. I will certainly endorse and recommend your service to other like minded classic enthusiasts going forward."

Roy in Carlisle - MG RV8 insurance valuation

"Hello John, Many thanks for the speedy reply and valuation. I have never used a service like this before and I am very impressed with your detailed report and overall service. I’ll certainly be back when I need another/update and I’ll recommend you where I can. Have a great day."

Andy in Wales - Aston Martin DB9 insurance valuation

"Thank you John so much for your kind attention to my valuation. Wonderful service all round."

Shirley in Brighton - 1963 Wood and Pickett Morris Mini Minor insurance valuation

"Hi John, very many thanks for your report. It makes very interesting reading and it is pleasing to note you consider the car is still in the bracket of a desirable acquisition and as such have increased the replacement cost. I’ve no current intention to sell but it’s always good to know my small collection is not likely to lose huge sums overnight."

Simon in Warrington - bespoke classic Porsche insurance valuation

"Hi John, my insurance company accepted your valuation and amended my policy to suit. The information provided and the way the valuation was composed was in my, and my family’s opinion truly excellent and professional. I would not hesitate to recommend your services to anyone in the future should the need arise."

Simon in Essex - Classic Triumph Insurance Valuation

"Hi John, Thank you for your efforts in providing this valuation! I'm sure my grandad will be thrilled. I shall forward it onto him and advise him with regards notifying his insurance company. Again, can't thank you enough and shan't hesitate to employ your services again in future!"

Oli in Manchester - Riley Special Agreed Insurance Valuation

"Hi John, Thank you so much for your kind words and honest evaluation. I think your valuation and the accompanying justification are more than fair, derived in a very logical and professional way and shown in an easy to read format. If I can provide a reference or a review for your services please let me know as I would be more than happy to do this."

David in Switzerland - HMRC NOVA Valuation - Classic Motorcycle

"John, many thanks for all your help. I am especially grateful for how quickly you have done this valuation. I’m really happy with your valuation and glad that you have appreciated the work that has gone into creating this car. I will not hesitate to recommend your services."

Matt in Birmingham - Agreed Insurance Valuation - Frontline MGB GT

"Hi John, I can now understand why my insurance company recommended you to carry out an assessment of the value of my vehicle. You have done a splendid job, I am very impressed with the detail which you have included and you display an in-depth knowledge of the market. Please accept my grateful thanks for your efforts on my behalf and you can be sure that whenever the opportunity arises I will recommend your services."

Dave in Reading - Classic Ferrari 355 Insurance Valuation

Hi John, Many thanks for getting this back so quickly. Your market commentary is encouraging and I am very happy with the figure. I will send it over to the insurer and ask them to amend the agreed value accordingly.

Nick in Manchester - Agreed Insurance Valuation

"John, this is incredibly helpful, and I can see how much work you have put into it. I am enormously grateful - thank you so much - and Dad will be delighted, I'm sure."

Karen in Ipswich - Agreed Insurance Valuations on unique Jaguar conversions

"John, thank you for the excellent valuation report, most enlightening, particularly the points about the macro economics and how that influences the market demand. We will be in touch when the need arises to revalue our other classics."

John in Bristol - Agreed Insurance Valuation - Morgan 35th Anniversary

"Hi John, Many thanks for your condolences and for the speedy response. The valuation is just what we need as we go through the probate process. The report is very thorough and clear. Thanks again."

Jane in Slough - Probate Valuation - Rover Mini Mayfair

Hi John, I just wanted to give you an update on the car. I listed it for sale on Friday - for £78k to test the waters - and have accepted an offer for £75k, deposit paid, just subject to viewing. I had 3 very serious enquiries within 48hrs, one from Australia. Seems your fantastic insights were spot on - black 911s are very desirable. So just wanted to say thank you.

Simon in London: Porsche 964 market valuation (to sell quickly)

Email

john@classic-car-valuations.com

PHONE/WHATSAPP

07565 348453

HQ

1 Percy Road
Woodford Halse
Northants NN11 3RN

Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 8AM - 5PM
Friday: 8AM - 1PM

Valuations EXPERT

Classic Car Valuations Specialist is part of Specialist Car Valuations Limited: UK company number 13782283. Values on this site are an opinion: markets can go down as well as up.