The conference will run alongside the Concours SA at Sun City. Picture: MARK SMYTH
The conference will run alongside the Concours SA at Sun City. Picture: MARK SMYTH

The Sun City hosting of the Historic Automobile Group International (Hagi) conference on August 4 at Concours SA will be the first hosting of such a conference on international classic car values on African soil.

The conference, which will focus on investment values in classic, vintage and veteran cars, will be the opening event of Concours SA that runs until August 6.

The event is expected to draw almost 100 entries, with the judging panel including internationally renowned classic car experts from the UK.

Dietrich Hatlapa, founder of the London-based Hagi, leads the line-up of speakers.

"We initially wanted to host the Hagi conference as a standalone event," said Paul Kennard, organiser of Concours SA. "Then we realised that it made perfect sense to combine it with Concours SA, as most of the top car collectors in SA would be at Concours SA anyway. Our Concours event has also attracted some key players in the financial world," Kennard said. The conference would address the unique situation of the South African classic car market as well as international value trends in the world of collectible automobiles, he said.

Hagi monitored "actual sales and pricing trends in the classic car world" internationally.

"At our conference we will focus on the unique situation in SA, where we have high import duties, and a limited pool of classic cars available for trading.

"Until now, it has been a bit of a minefield, buying a classic or vintage car here, as an investment. This is because there is no book as regards to values, as there has traditionally been in the conventional used-car market here for decades."

A key speaker at the conference would be a member of Chrome Strategies, a New York investment company that sells shares in collectible, historically valuable motorcars.

"We will also address the business of car restoration in SA. One of our top restorers, Johan Krause, will tackle issues on the viability of restoring a collectible car, on when a car is best left in original condition, and on levels of restoration once a decision has been made to restore a classic or vintage car.

Political analyst and economist JP Landman will speak about wealth.

Their Concours associate Tommy Roes, who runs The Carfinders International, which sources exotic and collectable cars for local clients, put them in touch with Hagi.

"There are various ways of bringing in collectible cars to SA, as far as the paying of import duties is concerned, and we will be examining these at the conference. It is better to source a classic or collectible car locally, but there has been little reliable data on real international values. This is where the Hagi index comes in," he said.

While property value growth had been "sluggish" and the antique market "has grown 80%", investment values of classic cars over the past decade have increased about 300%.

Although growth had "tapered off as more people become aware of the value in these cars", it is expected the trend will continue.

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