Keith Martin, head judge for the Atlanta Concours, host of Velocity Channel’s ‘What’s My Car Worth’ and publisher of Sports Car Market magazine, will be adding another role to his list of outstanding accomplishments, as moderator of the upcoming ‘Market Trends’ panel discussion on Saturday, September 30th, from 9:30 am – 10:30 am in the Celebrity/Tech Session building at Chateau Elan, to kick-off the Atlanta Concours d’Elegance weekend of festivities.
However, it will be the insight gleaned from each of Martin’s panelists: Corky Coker, Melanie ‘Lilly’ Pray, John Merritt and Jim Grundy, where the real learnings will be provided – as the commonality for each – beyond their own acknowledged industry stature – was gained through each of their own entrepreneurial roles within the industry and the key learnings they have fostered to find success through the past decades.
While each of the panelists has long played roles within the collector community and can elaborate on the growing awareness of the collector car market – they’ll also be ripe to discuss the supposed softening seen during recent sales seasons within the industry. According to Martin, even the recent and ever-popular Monterey auction results proved a disruption from a high of $463mm in 2014 to $329mm this year.
Martin expects each of the panelists to expand on their views, based on their own unique backgrounds:
- Corky Coker, President of Coker Tire Co., the world’s largest supplier of collector car tires and wheels, has been key to the company’s success since entering his father’s business and assuming a leadership position in 1974. A former Chairman for the SEMA Board of Directors, and recipient of numerous awards and honors including the State of Tennessee’s ‘Small Business Person of the Year,’ Corky was inducted into the ARMO Hall of Fame for his outstanding contributions to the collector car hobby. His personal auto collection includes more than 50 cars and 50 antique motorcycles, and he takes part annually in ‘The Great Race,’ an antique touring event that runs from coast to coast.
- Melanie ‘Lilly’ Pray has been a classic car judge for more than 15 years at renowned concours events including Hilton Head, Radnor Hunt, Greenwich, Boca Raton, Kiawah Island and Rocky Mountain Concours. Her love and passion for cars was found at an early age with her father Malcolm, a noted collector from Greenwich, CT. Serving on the boards of the Russell Maguire Foundation and the Malcolm Pray Achievement Center, her collector car involvement includes rally driving during such esteemed events as Italy’s Modena Centro Ore. Lilly’s own personal collection includes a 1958 well-loved Porsche Convertible D, which she drove in last year’s famed Colorado Grand.
- John Merritt, 16-year veteran of Merritt Classics, restores and maintains more than $8M of classic sports cars and sedans for private investors and collectors. Additionally, Merritt prepares vintage automobiles for rallies, shows and historic racing events and during the past two years alone, has assisted in the resurrection of more than a dozen rare and desirable classic automobiles.
- Jim Grundy, president and owner of The James A. Grundy Agency, a Horsham, PA collector car insurance business, which has thrived and become one of the largest insurers of collector cars in the country. Grundy is the fourth generation in his family to be intimately involved with fine automobiles, their preservation, and their protection and has taken on the legacy his father achieved when he first invented agreed value insurance in 1947.
Each of the panelists will be providing their views on where the market is headed, as well as personal anecdotes on the industry and their own involvement. Each will also be involved throughout the weekend within the Atlanta concours activities.
Note: Press release courtesy of Atlanta Concours.