Classic Driver Dealer: Brooklands Classic Cars
“My first words were car brands,” says Paul Sabine, of the Australian company Brooklands Classic Cars, and when he saw his first Aston Martin DB4 at the age of 14 he was smitten. It is this passion for all things Aston which has been the driving force behind Sabine’s 28-year-long involvement in the classic car industry, initially under the Tickford Sales umbrella.
“Brooklands was then established in Sandringham, Victoria, in 1996 and our focus remains the same as it was in the Tickford days: classic Aston Martin sales and spare parts through our sister company A.M. Distributors. Over my time in the industry I’ve bought or sold over 60% of all the Aston Martins in Australia,” relates Sabine, who has also raced a succession of DB4 models and his beloved DB4 GT (the car he most regrets selling).
As one would expect, David Brown-era cars feature on the forecourt, with DB4-5-6 vehicles the stars. The more affordable DBS and V8 models also attract their share of interest from all over the world.
The business isn’t exclusive to Astons, however. Brooklands sells a wide selection of classic and enthusiast vehicles from around the globe, and a quick perusal of the current stock shows several Ferraris and Porsches along with more eclectic machines, such as the White De Tomaso Pantera GTS or Royal Blue Iso Rivolta, a rare sight in Australia.
Given Sabine’s fondness for American muscle cars (he also races a 1968 427ci Corvette), it’s no surprise that there’s often a Corvette, Mustang or Thunderbird available. Maseratis, MGs, Jaguars and Mercedes are also regularly on offer, while Lotus Elans and Alfa Romeos highlight the selection of smaller classics that may be found on the showroom floor.
“We see ourselves as providers of information rather than salespeople,” says Sabine. “It’s our job to explain all we know about the vehicles in question and, if the car’s character is right for the client’s circumstances, it will generally sell itself!”
Sabine believes that Australian classic car enthusiasts are becoming more discerning in their choice of international machines. “There are more US cars here than ever before, Mustangs and Camaros predominantly, and the best ones are increasing in value. However, mediocre examples aren’t holding their value so well. We are finding that matching-numbers Corvettes and Shelby Mustangs are following the worldwide trend of increasing in value in a similar way to Aston Martin DB4s and 5s, Ferrari Daytonas, AC Cobras and Seventies RS Porsches. It really is a global market with these cars.”
This healthy international market is complemented by fierce demand for local products, with Australian muscle cars seeing rises akin to those of significant American vehicles in their home market. Sabine: “Even a base model Sixties V8 Holden Monaro or GT Falcon can realise over AUD$100,000. If that type of car has a period racing history, or is a homologation special, values could easily exceed AUD$500,000.”
It is a dynamic environment to be working in, and the recent announcement of an exciting new project is set to make it even more so for the staff at Brooklands. Sabine explains: “When I was 18 or so, I saw something that made even a DB4 look sedate. It was a red DB4 GT Zagato. It was one of the most beautiful cars I had ever seen.”
It was this vision that inspired him to create the DBSZ Concept, Sabine’s interpretation of the ultimate Aston. Based on a DBS donor vehicle (with its wider track and superior handling over the DB4-5-6 series) with rebuilt and uprated mechanicals, the DBSZ’s shape was developed in-house, with CAD, by Brooklands and coachbuilders Van Duin, who craft the aluminium panel work to fit the fully rebuilt chassis. Clients have the choice of DBS 6-cylinder and 5.3-litre V8 mechanical packages with automatic or manual transmission.
The demonstrator pictured is powered by the Vantage specification 4-litre Aston six, with electronic ignition, triple Weber carburettors and DB4 GT-spec pistons and camshafts. Its power steering, windows and brakes are all standard fittings on the DBSZ, along with leather interior and air-conditioning.
Sabine is clearly pleased with the quality of this, the first car finished. “It drives beautifully and produces such an evocative note. There is a crowd wherever we take it,” he enthuses. The DBSZ could well place Brooklands Classic Cars on the global classic car enthusiast’s map.
Please click HERE to see all Brooklands Classic Cars' cars for sale in the Classic Driver car database.
For more information on the DBSZ Concept or Brooklands Classic Cars, please visit www.brooklands.com.
BROOKLANDS CLASSIC CARS
18-20 George Street, SANDRINGHAM 3191
Tel: +61 3 9533 4477
Fax: +61 3 9533 4499
Email: [email protected]
Text: Adam Davis
Photos: Brooklands Classic Cars
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