“That’s the flipside of the internet: while prices are more publicly available, it’s also easy to find examples of inflated prices, and people don’t like to think that they’ve undersold or overbought. It is not a market that is terribly well grounded in reality. I work with rich, clever people – I won’t overpay or overcharge, or apply big margins – but because I have contacts in the US, Europe and Russia, I know where to find the right people and can make money because I sell cars every week, not every few months.”
Inevitably, Fragopoulos sees his business from angles that suit him, but even he admits to some heartache over seeing cars bought as investments. “That’s the majority of business, if I’m honest,” he says. “It’s a fact that if you put miles on a car, then you dent its value. You can own, drive and make money, but it will always be worth less if you’ve driven it. I’ve got one client with about €70m worth of Porsches and Ferraris – a 959 S, a 288 GTO, a 599, you name it – all of them the lowestmileage examples in the world. He’s got a team of people looking after them all, but they’ve never turned a wheel. His money, his cars, his choice.”
Bugatti Chiron - With early customer deliveries coming on stream and the waiting list stretching to years, the current premium for the must-have hypercar is €1m over list price if you want it by May, or €750,000 if you can wait until September.
Getting stock is easier in some cases than others. The aforementioned Ford GT belongs to a customer “who wants to flip the car and make some quick money”, says Fragopoulos, who hints that other owners are undaunted by non-sales clauses in their contracts and are now in contact with him to do the same. He’s cool on dealing new Ferraris, though, and especially LaFerrari Apertas, because customers have to agree not to sell the cars on for 18 months after receiving them, and the punishment for getting caught is expulsion from the factory’s priority list.
“It’s too much hassle,” says Fragopoulos. “You can get around it, by buying a car in a company name and leasing it on or transferring ownership within the company, but it’s complicated and frowned upon by the factory.
“That in itself drives the market crazy. Apertas were all pre-sold at around €1.85m, rose to €2.5m before the public had seen them, hit €2.6m when the car was revealed and skipped to €4m and then €5m, just like that. It’s hard to operate in a market that moves that fast.”
He hints without naming names at the ways some supercar brokers always seem to get stock from certain manufacturers, too. “Sometimes it’s about who you know and how you treat them,” he says. “Someone on the manufacturer side has to decide how allocations are given out, and let’s just say that in some firms, those people seem to do very well out of that position of influence.”