1st Noel Auctions earned a reputation for selling high-quality classic vehicles going back to the early automobiles. The company is still thriving at a time when auto sales have slowed down.
At an auction on Saturday, March 20 at the company’s showroom at 3766 Boston Road, more than 90 auto enthusiasts from the borough and beyond placed bids on classic cars including a 1968 Corvette L-89, 1941 Ford Deluxe station wagon, and 1966 Lincoln Continental, among many others.
Owner Noel Reid, a 22-year veteran of auto sales, moved into selling classic cars after the recession following the 9/11 attacks cut into sales of new automobiles. He now deals entirely in vintage cars.
“I noticed during the aftermath of the 9/11 that a lot of the city workers who had been buying my cars couldn’t because of layoffs,” Reid said. “But the classic cars continued to sell, and so I gradually expanded until all I sold were classic cars.”
Reid said that with the current recession bearing down on auto sales, the classic car business is doing well. It brings a plethora of car dealers, classic car lovers, and those who are just curious but have extra cash to spend, to his auctions. He said that the auction side of auto sales is thriving, at least when it comes to the vintage automobiles he stocks, like a 1972 Mini convertible.
“I lost about $100,000 when I switched [from selling new cars to vintage cars],” Reid said. “but it just took off. Now today, I have tried to take a good look at the industry and I learned that the auctions are still selling [by and large]. I don’t think everyone could even get a seat at the auction [on March 20.]”
Candida Mendez, a family friend of Noel who often assists him during auctions, said that the collectors who come to the showroom to bid on these vintage cars come from all walks of life.
“There is clientele here from all over,” Mendez said. “You have upper-middle-class autophiles who buy the cars. You have people of more modest means who save up $30,000 and buy one of 1st Noel’s cars. In this business, you meet everyone.”
Mendez spoke of one man at the auction who was a city bus driver and the proud owner of several classic cars. She said this auction represents the personification of those who are interested in restored classic cars. All cars sold by 1st Noel are restored, but original.
“[Noel] is one of the most honest car dealers around,” Mendez stated. “He is an honorable man.”
To reach 1st Noel Auctions, call (718) 324-9902 or visit them online at 1stnoel.biz.