The Inner Sanctum

Where the magic happens....

Captain POM - Buyer Beware
I am constantly on the look-out for cars that have the potential to become a “Little-Belter”. Most of these I source from Franchised Main Dealerships via Trade Auctions. I recently spotted a 2007 Honda Jazz which met my criteria – or so I thought. Low miles – good history – only 2 owners – just the sort of car my customers would want AND it had an existing MOT until 31st October or did it? As ever I checked the MOT history before bidding – here’s what I discovered. The MOT expiry date was 31st October 2000 BUT on the 6th of October, it had gone in for an MOT and FAILED. There was a list of items requiring attention – some minor but some more serious – one was categorised as DANGEROUS. So what’s the Big Deal? Setting aside the technicalities of whether or not this car still has an MOT – the fact is it is clearly not roadworthy – had this car been involved in an accident would the Insurers have paid out? There is one other aspect to this story – You might have expected that for the sake of good practice the Main Dealer would have declared this in their description – sadly not. Dave Woolf
Important notice to all our customers, coronavirus


COLLECTION AND DELIVERY FOR OUR OLDER CUSTOMERS A fair number of our customers are in the “HIGHER RISK” age group – 70+. In order to help keep their exposure to infection to a minimum we will wherever possible provide a “local” collection and delivery service.   All of our customers will appreciate that regardless of self-isolation this age group may need to have their vehicle available in the event of an emergency.   EMERGENCY SERVICE AND ESSENTIAL OCCUPATION STAFF We will also do our best to give priority to this group whilst their cars are with us. Should a delay be unavoidable we will do our utmost to provide a courtesy car or transport to and from their place of work. PRIORITISING WORK Our intention is to keep vehicles on the road. As such it may be necessary to priorities j [...]
Black Leather Interior Used but in very good condition Front and rear seats with headrests Matching door cards Gear lever knob and cover £120
A while back I was at a local Carvery – the lady in front of me expressed her disappointment that there were only 4 choices of vegetables on offer! Christ on a bike what did she expect for £7.95 – Gordon Ramsey to serve it!
No such thing as a free lunch
On my way into work the other morning I was, as usual, listening to Radio 4 news- they were interviewing an American farmer by the name of Zippy Duvall (I kid you not!) – the subject was a potential Trade Deal with the UK following Brexit. “Zippy” made two things abundantly clear – Firstly any deal must include Agriculture and secondly – it would require the UK to accept US farming practices – which currently we do not – such as Chlorinated Chicken – Genetically modified crops – Irradiated Food. None of this can come as a great shock to any of us – after all, who in their right mind would expect something for nothing? So when going through your second hand car “Wish List” – Low Miles + One Owner + Full Service History + Mint condition + Low price – just remember you can have all of these things but not all at the same time, if you get all of the rest don't EXPECT the last one! But we knew that anyway didn’t we – because WE all realise there is no such thing as a – FREE LUNCH – Don’t we? Anyone for a Chlorinated Chicken Burger? Dave Woolf

For me, one of the best measures the Government has taken to help protect car buyers is their “Check the MOT history of a vehicle” website…


All you need is the Registration number of the vehicle you are thinking of buying – go to the site – press Start Now – enter the number – press Continue – this page will give you basic details of the car – then press MOT history – and there you have it. Virtually a complete history of the results of all the tests carried out. Not only does it include whether it was a Pass or a Fail – it lists the Failure and Advisory items.

This is incredibly useful – here is an example.

Checking out one of the Closed Auction sites I came across a 2005 Chevrolet Matiz SE+ – surprisingly these are very popular as a very cheap run-around. This one had all the

Captain POM Character - Total Peace of Mind

I recently went to collect a car from Burton on  Trent a town famous for its beer making. As the Dealership was only a mile or so from the Station and it was a fine day I decided to walk – I wish I hadn’t. The aptly named Station street is what was once a thriving shopping area – Greengrocers – butchers – shoe shops – newsagents – sweetshops – hairdressers –haberdashers – ironmongers – Alas now all gone. Without exaggeration, I would guess something like 70-80% now unoccupied. It was a depressing sight – yet the truth is I am as responsible as everyone else. Their failure to survive is down to a number of factors – certainly the burden of council rates has not helped – but first and foremost is the fact too few of us supported them. Let me be clear – I understand you cannot stop progress. It is a fact that we are now the third cheapest country in the world for food – few could argue that on balance this is a good thing BUT it comes at a price.

For many reasons – some obvious –some not – as consumers we are now conditioned to expect the best quality at the lowest price.  Yet surprisingly many of us realise we cannot have it!

A coupl [...]

It would seem that the days of Diesel and indeed Petrol cars are numbered. As a parent and grandparent, I cannot help but applaud this. However it was not that long ago that we were all being encouraged to buy Diesel cars and as a result, there are a great number on the road. To scrap them all overnight is neither economically or environmentally viable. I would expect they will be with us for some years to come with a gradual decline in numbers as they are not replenished by new diesel cars.

So where does this leave us? Over recent months I have seen an increase in Diesel cars coming onto the second-hand market at much lower prices than would have been the case a couple of years back. Many of these are good reliable cars with useful life left in them.

Here is a case in point:

I have just sourced the following

Perhaps it's my investment background but just lately people keep telling me there is a fortune to be made in Classic Cars. Usually these are people who would normally be considered “conservative” with their money - yet, overnight, have become gung-ho high rollers! What is going on and are they right? As always the answer lies in the lessons of history. Just before the Great Stock market Crash of 1929 Joe Kennedy - the father of JFK - said he knew the time had come to get out of the Stock market when shoeshine boys started to give him share tips. Just before the Great Crash of October 1987 shoeshine boys had been replaced by London Taxi Drivers - they too had become “experts” in stock market investing! My point is this - when any “market” - including Classic Cars - reaches near or at its top - it's the time when most people pile in - this is sometimes referred to as “the suckers market”. It’s not hard to find out why this happens - this is the time when those who have benefited from big “paper” profits (remember a profit is only real profit when you take it) tell everyone else how much money they have made. Human nature is such (greed?) that we all want a slice of the action.   So how have I reacte [...]
I suspect I am not alone in feeling this year will be – “interesting”

There is no doubt that for a number of reasons feelings are running high and there is an overwhelming air of uncertainty. Sadly my Mam and Dad are no longer around – if they were I would have asked them what is was like in 1939 on the eve of war – they knew it was coming but had no real idea of what it would mean.

One experience my Mam told me about was this one…

It was the 22 nd of December 1940 – late at night – the sirens were screaming – she sat with my newly born eldest sister in a dark and damp air raid shelter in the yard at the back of the house. As the bombers flew overhead she heard a high pitched whistle which grew louder as a bomb fell – she was

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