VSOC and the Wonderful World of Classic Car Consignment

It’s been a while, more than two months now, but Jaap Vegter’s green 1964 convertible has finally been sold. We did go abroad, but Aachen is not far. The new owner is F.J.Berg, a friendly older man. He had to think about it for about eight months since he saw the ‘convertible’ at the ICCCR 2016, but when he heard that the asking price had been reduced to 145 grand, the decision was quickly made. I initially had the convertible on consignment, but for no apparent reason the previous owner, Othmar Sweers, parked the car at VSOC. We would first offer the car to enthusiasts at the ICCCR and then have it auctioned if not sold.

The car was on consignment with Alex von Mozer’s VSOC for more than six months. I don’t know the company and he isn’t really involved with Citroens, but Othmar apparently had every confidence in it. Strange, by the way, because the asking price on his website in October, 160,000 euros, is actually somewhat lower than what these models are normally auctioned for. For example, in the same month, a very similar 1964 convertible, but in my opinion in inferior condition, was auctioned at Bonhams’ De Zoute for €181,000. Also at the beginning of the year there were really better yields at both auctions and fairs, well over two thousand euros. Even a wreck sold for more than €100,000 at the Retromobile auction this spring. Alex is probably sleeping or Othmar really needs the money. So you don’t have to be in Sassenheim for a good sales price.

Anyway, Alex couldn’t get it done even for that amount and instead of trying a little harder, the car was reduced in price this spring. I don’t have this kind of money lying around, but 145 grand hasn’t been put up for it at the major auctions for years. When I informed our German Mr. Berg, he showed up on my doorstep within a week. I called Othmar about this potential buyer and asked if he would keep his agreement regarding my commission. This appeared to not be the case. According to him, it did not matter that we had clear agreements about this and that I had already incurred almost two grand in costs for and around the ICCCR. Since he had consigned the car to VSOC against the agreements and completely unexpectedly, he felt no further obligation to me and he could now make better use of the money himself. Othmar is special. It is special that this is the first time in years that I have heard him make a clear statement, unique for him, but also a shame that someone who is always only concerned with himself does not have the reasonableness to keep to his own agreements .

I thought it might be better to make an appointment with Alex von Mozer about this. He has more to lose and since mutual trust is of paramount importance in this profession, a good agreement with him seemed likely. My first conversation with him was promising; the man was clearly interested in the potential buyer and the commission amount, which was unpalatable for Othmar, was certainly negotiable. There was a clear committee agreement of 5 grand and I transferred all information from Mr Berg to Alex. On the day that Mr. Berg wanted to visit, I was celebrating my fiftieth birthday. Not really a time to be present at the appointment, despite what my late teacher Boudewijn taught me: if your committee wants to always stand nearby. Well he was right. Due to the drama surrounding Rob Lageveen, I was only able to call Mr Von Mozer after about ten days. I was curious whether it had worked, because he would contact me if it had worked out. The positive thing about this second conversation was that he enthusiastically indicated that the convertible had been sold to Mr. Berg, but the unfortunate thing was that Alex no longer intended to pay the original 5 grand, but that after consultation with Othmar the amount was unilaterally reduced. up to 1000 euros tip money. “That is a completely different number than agreed,” I told him. “Yes, I don’t pay more than a thousand euros for a tip. Besides, I don’t know you at all.” He did not find my argument that if he had mentioned this during our first conversation I would not have done business with him, to be valid. I sent him an invoice for 5 grand, but I’m afraid he won’t pay it. He can roll up the thousand euros he has offered and press it into his brown star. Strange boy, that Alex von Mozer. He really thinks he can probably get away with it. Maybe so. As a former customer of his said to me in June: “Money is more important to me than keeping agreements. It remains a fallen up bulb peeler, that Alex.” I should have known that a little earlier.