Coys of Kensington has been auctioning fine automobiles since 1919 and recently moved from its Kensington home to a bigger, purpose-built facility in Richmond.
As it approaches its 100th anniversary, the house continues to pack its auction calendar with events at some of the most glamorous locations in the world, from Blenheim Palace to the Mondial Automobile in Paris.
CEO Chris Routledge joined the firm in 1991 and served as MD before becoming its CEO in 2015. ‘Buy what you like, not what you’re told to buy,’ is his advice. ‘Seek your own counsel aesthetically, emotionally and romantically.’
Coys’ ability to bring the best marques under the hammer is attributed to its enviable client database and network of contacts. It holds preview auctions at its HQ, and offers online evaluations for those looking to sell. Cars that have recently gone under the
Coys hammer include a 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL and a 1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster.
Before joining Coys, Routledge honed his craft at a boutique dealer during his teenage years, where the first car he sold was a white 1935 Bentley 3.5-litre Park Ward drophead coupe. ‘I’ve been surrounded by everybody’s dream cars ever since, so my taste is fairly eclectic,’ he says, ‘but certainly a Mercedes Benz 300 SLR would do me nicely.’