STANLEY MANN WINS APPEAL
Car Dealer and vintage Bentley expert Stanley Mann of Radlett Hertfordshire today won his appeal in the Court of Appeal against a judgment handed down by HH Judge Anthony Thornton last October.
Mr Mann, regarded as the leading Dealer in Vintage Bentley cars, was sued by Mercedes Travis Brewer, an American lawyer, following the purchase by her of a 1930 Bentley Speed Six, a car generally acknowledged as one of the finest vintage cars ever made. Mrs Brewer, having purchased from Mr Mann using finance, fell into arrears and sought redress from Mr Mann when a leading auction company mistakenly undervalued the car when she came to sell it.
She alleged that the car sold to her was not as described and could not be called a Speed Six as it did not have an original Speed Six engine (among other allegations), a fact about which there was much argument.
Although Mr Mann’s case was that he had advised her that the engine was up to Speed Six specification, and she knew the engine to be non-original when she made the decision to buy, Mrs Brewer pursued a claim for damages.
The case raised important issues about the identity of a car related to its recorded history and provenance.
Mr Mann said outside Court, “I am very pleased with the outcome. The Court of Appeal’s decision has vindicated me. This is a good day for the Historic Car business and indeed, had the flawed judgment of HH Judge Thornton been allowed to stand, the implications for the entire antiques market would have been immense”
For a summary or a full transcript of the Judgment, view on line case of Mercedes Travis Brewer –v- Stanley Mann, at wilmotslitigation.com.
Stanley Mann has been the acknowledged expert, enthusiast and leading dealer in Vintage Bentleys for more than 40 years. Racing and rallying such cars all over the world, Mr Mann has achieved significant success for both himself and his clients, who include film stars, sports stars, captains of industry, and TV personalities among many others.
Vintage Bentleys were produced in Cricklewood between 1919 and 1931, by a small company headed by W.O. Bentley, a designer revered still throughout the automotive industry. In just ten years of existence, the factory won the LeMans 24 hour race no less than five times, and became so successful that other manufacturers refused to compete against them. They specialised in “Fast Gentlemen’s Sports Cars”, but also made grand carriages capable of speeds in excess of 100mph in complete silence. It was the introduction of their greatest machine, the 8 litre (the successor to the Speed Six), that persuaded Rolls Royce to purchase the company in 1931.
Michael Grenfell of Wilmots Litigation is the lawyer in charge and his cases have formed precedents in the High Court and Appeal Courts. He advises leading Auction Houses, dealers and individuals on selling, buying and determining the provenance of cars, nationally and internationally. This includes the detection of fraudulent histories.
This is a landmark case in determining what a dealer has to do to satisfy a buyer as to originality, authenticity, provenance and continuous history of a classic car (or indeed an antique or a painting etc) when selling it to a member of the public.