If you're serious about collecting cars, here's what you've been waiting for — K500 is up and running
By Steve Wakefield
We can hardly believe it, but it was only three months ago that we launched www.K500.com - the definitive guide to collecting and appreciating classic cars - to the press. Here's what they said:
"The whole thing is peppered with no-nonsense advice about cars written in a style which clearly shows that the backers have no axe to grind..." Autocar
"It looks as though the much-debated subject of classic cars across the board being great investments might have been settled definitively with the recent launch of the K500 Index by industry guru Simon Kidston.... The cars are described with appropriately droll commentary... Heed a word of warning: it's slightly addictive..." Octane
So addictive, indeed, that the subscriber list is growing by the day, aided by K500's in-depth live coverage of the 2015 Arizona and Paris Rétromobile sales. Subscribers learnt of Artcurial's Ferrari California Spider sale within minutes of the hammer going down at 14.2m euros, and while some commentators feel that the market is taking a breath, the K500 index has proved it arithmetically: since opening at 449.9 on 1st December, it now stands at an almost identical 449.2, having hovered above and below the 450 mark since launch, despite many $100ms traded at Scottsdale, Paris and smaller sales worldwide.
Simon's aim was always to give, as he put it, "novices and experienced collectors alike opinion, insight and advice on collecting cars, 24/7 and in a fun, no-nonsense style." The online resource is very straightforward and easy to navigate. Let Simon explain:
"Whether it's a Fiat 500 or a Ferrari Superfast, we've narrowed down the world's most significant collectors' cars to just 500. Each entry has all the information collectors need to understand the car, what its value is really doing, if it's worth having, and where you'll be welcome if you own one."
Following the news of a £200k Ferrari Testarossa sold recently at a UK auction, we made sure that K500 subscribers were aware of the other 7,176 built from 1984 to 1991 (mostly in red with magnolia) and that while we are as passionate about cars as the next man, in a heated market sometimes head should rule over heart. As Simon has stated: "We're not here to hype things; there are enough people doing that already..."
And it's not only the press that's been impressed with K500.com. Industry experts agree that it sets standards for accuracy and readability, mixing some dry British humour and 'did you knows' with essential facts on 500 collectable cars and over 20,000 verifiable auction results. Michael Bock, head of Mercedes-Benz Classic, wrote: "Here's serious advice: K500.com."
K500 has become the definitive 'one stop shop' for anyone looking to understand the world of collecting cars.
Much like Car magazine's hugely popular 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly', K500 rates all its listed cars on a scale from zero to 100. Inspired by Robert Parker's authoritative fine wine ranking guide, we've devised a car rating system which awards every model a 'desirability' figure out of 100, and backing this up we've added performance stats, numbers built, model background and even a few choice words telling you if it's fit for a banquet at the Élysée Palace or just a last-minute coq-au-vin.
Don't expect any rose-tinted spectacles here...K500 will even tell you what events you can get into with each car, and rated those too.
K500 subscribers have lapped up the advice and insider tips, and these are some of the comments we've received:
"A fantastic addition to the classic car digital world"
"You're off to a great start with the K500 Newsletter. Keep it up!"
"I am delighted with K500 and use this for research"
"I would like to compliment you with K500 index which I joined today and already has enabled me to do some very interesting work, like making my own collection"
"I am greatly enjoying exploring the K500 website, and benefiting from the expertise you generously share"
"I signed up for your site and it is just excellent!"
"I've found it fascinating seeing charts which acknowledge that other car makers exist beyond Ferrari, so well done!"
So, if you are interested in which K500 entry is 'Mamma's shopping car gone mad', the background to the big Italian GT 'typically viewed arriving through the owner's factory gates (past a picket line) accompanied by a cloud of steam', not to mention the respective performance over two decades of DB Astons, early E-types and the cars of kings, courtesans and the cash-strapped masses, head to http://k500.com/subscribe right away.