"I only sell cars that I would be happy to own myself"
Despite its positioning within the heart of a quiet mews in affluent Kensington, Graeme Hunt’s business premises is in fact one of the largest classic car showrooms in the Capital. With three sides of the showroom windowed, the varied array of its vehicular residents is apparent even before crossing the stone-cold stare of Patch the dog and meeting a much more welcoming Mr Hunt – turned out just as well as his showroom, a tweed jacket, a pair of corduroys and a wide smile his adopted uniform.
Finding the finest
“We have quite a simple rule by which to source our cars,” Graeme tells Classic Driver. “I only sell those that I would be happy to own myself, if they fail to sell as expected.” Clearly just as much a classic car enthusiast as a dealer, he admits that he doesn’t even own a modern car for use as a daily driver. “I’ll take home one of the cars each night, on a rotational basis – not only because I like them, but also to make sure each one is on the button and ready to go.” What’s more, the majority of the 30-odd found in the company’s stock portfolio are owned, rather than consigned.
Taking a wander round the cozy showroom illustrates the diversity of Graeme’s tastes. There’s clearly a propensity towards Bentleys and other Brits (two immaculately restored R-Type Continentals sit side-by-side), but a few quirky treasures are always present – a lime green Citroën Méhari for example, or an outwardly understated Fiat 130 Coupé with the most outrageous orange interior. The stocklist currently stretches from £15,000 to £775,000 – “I wouldn’t want someone to think they couldn’t leave here with a well-sorted motor car for less than £20,000.”
Good coffee, great cars
Graeme says that the relaxed atmosphere and prime location (one also enjoyed by Chris Evans and Carlos Monteverde during our visit) is one of the main attractions of his business, along with the reputation for cars of exceptional quality – whether fully restored or completely original. “Many of our clients will pop by for a chat and a coffee, and leave in something they’ve taken a shine to during their visit. However, the more unusual cars seem to open us up to a new market each time we get a fresh one in; even if the customer doesn't end up buying that particular car, they’ll come back in future because they like the way we do things.”
Photos: Joe Breeze / Jan Baedeker