So, imagine being 32 years old and spending most of your time immersed in great cars, seeing the greatest cars on the planet — and driving them every now and then. Jealous? Yeah, we are too. But Gooding & Company Car Specialist Angus Dykman chose to follow his bliss, and he sounds pretty happy. He’s also this month’s SCM Interview: You’re a car specialist at Gooding & Company. What does that mean, and what do you do? My most important job as a specialist at Gooding & Company is to find exceptional vehicles for our auctions. High-quality examples are the key to a successful sale, so we identify which cars we think will sell well, assess their condition, authenticity and provenance, then determine a market-correct estimated range and reserve. To obtain these cars, we develop and maintain relationships with collectors, travel to events, rallies and seminars, and are always looking for new connections. The title of “specialist” is somewhat misleading considering how broad of a knowledge base you need, since we sell so many different types of vehicles, from Brass Era to brand-new supercars. I am the East Coast representative and I’m based in New York City. What’s a typical day for a car specialist at a world-class auction company? There’s really no such thing as a typical day for me, which is what I really love about my job. Possible activities include, but are not limited to: researching a car’s history by diving into old archives, flying somewhere to look at a collection, meeting a client for dinner to discuss a possible deal, or driving a classic car on a multi-day tour. There are some pretty distinct phases for us, though, depending on the time of year. Several months before a sale we are highly focused on consigning cars for upcoming auctions, but then we switch over to concentrating on the catalog, and after that we hone in on contacting potential buyers and preparing for the sale. I know you have a lot of history with motorcycles and cars. Which is your first love — and why? When I was 7, I really wanted a go-kart and a Honda Z50 motorcycle. My dad was a car guy too, so he was into it, but I couldn’t have both. I chose the motorcycle, so that was really my first love. I rode dirt bikes growing up and until recently did vintage road racing with AHRMA (American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association) on a 1972 Honda CB350. There is something a bit more intense about riding motorcycles that takes your mind to another place — and a sensation of flying. I really do love cars equally and these days find myself spending more time thinking about being in cars than on bikes. Do you still have your Northeast Sportscar business? I closed it before I began working for Gooding & Company. I loved running my business and was very proud of it, but ultimately this job grants me access to many more people, places and rare vehicles than I would have had access to on my own — and a much more varied lifestyle — so I have no regrets. How did you make a life out of being involved with old, complicated, beautiful machines? I had always been passionate about cars and motorcycles and spent most of my free time thinking about them. When I was looking for my first job after college, I realized that I needed to at least try following my bliss, and I’ve never looked back. I started working for a vintage-car dealer and just continued building my education. Do you collect cars? If so, what are your favorites — and why? Yes, and motorcycles. I like small, lightweight vintage sports cars, especially Alfa Romeos. They are incredibly lively and fun to drive, and I love the styling and build quality. I also have a small collection of BMW motorcycles from the 1960s and 1970s. I would love to add a flathead Ford at some point — as well as a pre-war car. What is your daily driver? What is your weekend driver? An Audi S3, which is kind of the perfect all-around car for me. I also have a 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint that is set up for long-distance rallies and tours with a punched-out 1300, 5-speed, big brakes, etc. I recently participated in the Copperstate 1000 in my Alfa Romeo with my colleague Justin Gosaynie, which was a total blast. There are very few car specialists in this world. What does it take to qualify for the job — and to succeed? The most crucial is a passion for and knowledge of the subject matter. It is a very specific body of expertise, and there is just so much to know and even more to learn. One of the real keys is the ability to understand a client’s goals and motivation for buying or selling, so you are able to better assist them to meet their goals. Reputation is also such a major aspect of the job, so presenting cars honestly, being detail-oriented and providing good customer service is fundamental for success. Why is Gooding a good fit for you? Gooding & Company is focused on presenting the highest-quality cars in a select number of outstanding sales. I love that business model. The fact that we do a limited number of sales per year allows us to keep the quality of the cars at the highest level and give our clients the best customer service. I love working with my team of colleagues, who are like family to me now. I also really enjoy traveling, the thrill of chasing a big consignment, and love being exposed to new types of cars, expanding my expertise, and countless thrilling driving experiences. What’s next for you? I look forward to continuing to deepen my learning and experience here at Gooding & Company. We have an incredible sale coming up in London, called “Passion of a Lifetime,” which I am really, really looking forward to. The sale consists of 16 cars from a world-renowned connoisseur who spent many years finding the absolute best examples. They are the kinds of cars that many people thought would never become publicly available for sale, and the first time I read the catalog I got chills. We are also preparing for our annual Pebble Beach sale, which I love so much for its history, ambience and the incredible selection of cars. You’ve got a week on a road trip to anywhere. Where do you go, what do you drive and do you have a co-pilot? It’s a bit of a cliché, but it would be hard to think of anything better than a 1930s Alfa 8C 2300 through the mountains and countryside of Italy. I love Italian food, wine, people — and an 8C is my favorite car. I think pre-war cars deliver such an exciting and different driving experience, and I’ve been diving deeper and deeper into that world. I’d probably go with a close friend of mine or one of my colleagues. What type of car — or era of car — will be increasingly collectible during the next 10 years? Extremely high-quality merchandise will always be the most in demand, especially as supplies dwindle. This could mean modern cars like a low-mileage BMW E39 M5 or extremely well-restored or well-preserved examples of pre-war cars. There is definitely an increased interest in cars from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, and I think the best examples of those will continue to be in greater demand as well. ♦

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