Shaun Baker is the General Manager at Dutton Garage introduces us to the new Dutton Garage in New Zealand.
When Royden Mauger was offered the chance of setting up a Dutton Garage in New Zealand he chose Christchurch over Auckland. Not only was it his home town, but it has the best classic car culture in the country, he said. Many of the buyers are from overseas as well as Kiwis.
“In a business sense it doesn’t matter where I am. It’s global. We’d have the biggest collection of classic and luxury cars in the country. We can source them from anywhere and deliver them anywhere.
“We’re a bit different to your average car dealership because we’re not trying to turn over stock quickly.
“It’s an enthusiasts’ game. When I was working for Dutton Garage in Melbourne and we’d have auctions, about 30 per cent of the people were buyers and the rest were friends and family and people who loved cars.”
“These cars are a good investment and you can also drive and enjoy them. Quite a few buyers have cashed up some of their superannuation to purchase them and have an investment for the future.”
The familiar brands on sale at Dutton Garage include Ferrari, Porsche, Mercedes, Dodge, Chevrolet and Range Rover, and he believes the dealership has the largest group of Ferraris.
Recently, the Christchurch showroom had eight Ferraris for sale worth collectively more than $3 million dollars. It currently has many millions of dollars’ worth of stock.
Dutton Garage New Zealand is part of the Dutton Group, and buyers are constantly scouting worldwide markets to buy rare and classic cars.
Dutton Garage doesn’t use middlemen brokers. Mauger, whose uncle is World Champion motorcycle speedway rider Ivan, is one of the main buyers.
He travels the world buying classic cars, and last year was involved in one of the greatest “barn-finds” of a rare Ferrari.
Mauger travelled to Japan to find the aluminium-bodied Ferrari 365 GTB/Daytona in an elderly Japanese man’s barn where it had been parked up for 40 years.
The car was known to a few collectors, but none had been able to negotiate a purchase.
The first thing Mauger did was confirm the model by running a magnet over the body to ensure it was aluminium, and subsequently had the find confirmed by Ferrari historian Macel Massini who also visited the barn.
Because the value of a “barn-find” is the condition a vehicle is found in, the car was sold at auction in the same dirt-encrusted state Mauger found it. The car with 36,390 kilometres on the clock was auctioned for US$2.2m.
Dutton Garage’s main showroom is in Melbourne where Mauger has spent the past 20 years as a buyer. Another recent purchase he made was a 1936 Mercedes from a Wellington owner. It had been imported to New Zealand brand new, Mauger said.