They keep a low profile, at least locally, but a Victoria luxury auto dealer is among the main players in the world of premium collector cars.
Silver Arrow Cars Ltd. recently returned from the Barrett Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, where they set a world record for one of the world’s most sought-after sports cars.
“The Mercedes 300 SL is one of the most iconic sports cars ever made,” says Silver Arrow owner Tim Quocksister. Silver Arrow brought 65 cars to auction, the most of any seller, and set a record with a $3.4 million sale for a restored 1956 300 SL gullwing coupe.
Story continues below
Quocksister purchased the car from an owner in Pittsburgh in 2020, and decided to go all-in on the restoration.
“When we started this restoration, the goal was to have the finest 300 SL money could buy,” he says. “Budgets get evaporated, timelines get evaporated, so in 2020 I had the intention of doing an 18-month restoration. COVID comes, and we finally get to the finish line and we made sure the car had every single option we could put in.”
The restoration was completed by Coachwerks Restoration, which is conveniently tucked into a warehouse a block south of Silver Arrow on Hillside Avenue. Dave Hargraves is co-manager and oversaw the overhaul.
“That’s the best car that’s ever come out of our shop,” he says.
Hargraves says seeing the car cross the auction block was emotional after all that was poured into it.
“I was actually in tears when the car crossed the block,” he says. “It was a deeply humbling experience to represent Victoria and Canada on the world stage.”
Story continues below
Business is brisk at Coachwerks, with the bulk of their business coming from outside Canada, and Hargraves said his phone hasn’t stopped ringing since the record-breaking sale.
Quocksister estimates 70 per cent of Silver Arrow’s customers are outside of Canada, with just five per cent of business coming from Vancouver Island.
For the numbers, Silver Arrow brought the most cars of any seller at Barrett Jackson with 65. Each car was sold and Quocksister estimates the total to be in the $14 to$17 million range. And while the record-breaking haul for the 300SL was sweet, it’s back to business now.
“We basked in it for about a day,” he says. “Now we’re back to the grind.”