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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've decided to give up my well paid secure job as an ICT teacher/Senior Director and try something different. Going with the old adage of if you do a job you love etc I want to do something to do with classic and sports cars.

The slight barrier I have is that other than my home tinkering I don't have any specific industry experience but do have lots of transferable skills so I'm looking at my options, so far I've got.

1. Back to school - complete a restoration course, Leeds college have a good one, fees are £2500. This will provide me with a qualification but as it's a Level 2 designed for school leavers I'm not sure it will teach me that much more than I already know and I'll still be limited to trainee type jobs (and salaries) on completion.

2. Training on the job - if I'm paying £2.5k and no salary to train I might be better offering to work for free or not much at a good restoration firm. This will probably be more hands on which I'd prefer and hopefully put me in a better position when applying for vacancies.

3. Go it alone - buying and selling classics. Lots of people seem to make a living out of this, I could start with flipping cars bought at auction and or light restoration of cars. If combined with a couple of days restoration experience as above I could build up to more extensive restorations and keep the overheads down instead of farming jobs out. Maybe look at importing cars from SA, Italy or the US.

4. Hiring out my cars - I'll probably need to do this anyway to subsidise what ever I choose but I could try and make this work by expanding the fleet. Not sure they'll be much call for the Alfa's so will probably focus on VW Campervans for weekends and weddings.

5. Work for a dealer – there a couple of prestige dealerships local to me, I could try and get a start with them (tricky I know with no direct experience) and work my up to the acquisitions department which I fancy.

What do people think, please feel free to say I'm crazy, any other ideas definitely welcome.

Thanks

Simon
 

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Can't you start your other career while still doing your teaching job, running alongside each other.

If/when the other career takes off dump the teaching.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Yes, I've got 5 months until I plan to leave so I'll be starting the hire business, I've already got my first wedding booking and I'm looking for a summer project to restore and sell on. I'll also be visiting local companies as mentioned to see how realistic my plans are.

I've always got supply teaching which I can do a few days a week to keep the wolf from the door whilst things get going.
 

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Simon,
there's a job going at 'wheeler dealers', since Edd China is leaving...

can't say the pay is good though, he seemed to slave a month for 15 quids profit!

OK, sorry, back to serious tips......
 

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I have though about this myself.

I came to the conclusion I would probably not enjoy it so much if it's an actual job nevertheless I do admire your courage and drive to change your career.

Maybe trying to sell your IT knowledge as an advantage, we're talking about classic cars but not necessarily classic restoration techniques, modern restoration / fabrication technology often requires IT skills.

Not sure I have much more advice specially because I only lived in the UK for a few years and don't know my way around the business that well.

Best of luck and if you do end up starting your own business then I'm sure we will be in touch.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Dom, much as I'd love Ed's job I dont think my CV would stack up against Ant Ansteads and yes using Mike and Ed's model I'd never make any money!

Thanks mistamun, I know what you mean about the enjoyment waining, especially if the pressures of teaching are replaced with the pressures of making mortgage payments and feeding the family. Hopefully my IT skills will come in handy when working for someone else or myself.

Im 46 so if I don't give it a shot now I never will and if it all goes belly up I can always go back to teaching I suppose.
 

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My other passion is sailing, to a lesser extent these days having sold the boat and often say "how did I have time to go sailing". When I lived and breathed sailing people would often say "why dont you get a job or a business in the marine industry?" Now there are similarities here which stopped me. First, never 'work' in a business or industry which is your pastime or hobby, because then its not your escape. Secondly, I suspect that classic cars could easily be like the marine industry, put in your own numbers, but it was Tom Sopwith who said to take £1M out of the marine industry, put £2M in first!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Keep your secure job, teachers pensions are good aren't they, go out more at weekends, go to meets races holiday etc.
Yes the pension is good and I do all the other things but it's not enough, it's taken me a couple of years to come to this decision and I certainly can't see myself being able to do another ten years. The other option is to look for an alternative secure job which I'll be doing as well before I make my decision.

My other passion is sailing, to a lesser extent these days having sold the boat and often say "how did I have time to go sailing". When I lived and breathed sailing people would often say "why dont you get a job or a business in the marine industry?" Now there are similarities here which stopped me. First, never 'work' in a business or industry which is your pastime or hobby, because then its not your escape. Secondly, I suspect that classic cars could easily be like the marine industry, put in your own numbers, but it was Tom Sopwith who said to take £1M out of the marine industry, put £2M in first!
Yes, this is a worry but it's a risk I'm prepared to take, I could reconcile things with my job being restoring them and my pastime is to drive them as quickly as possible!
 

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Yes the pension is good and I do all the other things but it's not enough, it's taken me a couple of years to come to this decision and I certainly can't see myself being able to do another ten years. The other option is to look for an alternative secure job which I'll be doing as well before I make my decision.



Yes, this is a worry but it's a risk I'm prepared to take, I could reconcile things with my job being restoring them and my pastime is to drive them as quickly as possible!
Not sure of your situation but I worked for a large utility and two years ago was offered a voluntary redundancy with pension, took a bit of thinking about but I went for it and have never looked back, the old cliche "don't know how I had time to go to work" is very true. I did look for a regular job for a bit but realised I hate being tied down to anything that becomes a 9 - 5 so instead i do a bit of DIY, gardening or whatever I fancy etc for people. The biggest bonus you'll soon realise is only doing stuff when you feel like it rather than when you have to, it adds a whole new meaning to life and on the whole you will probably work harder than you have ever worked but really enjoy it, it also means I can go out driving whenever the weather is good and go to lots of classic auctions etc
Good luck whatever you decide Simon; just one thing, I probably wouldn't get a job doing what is my hobby as it is then no longer a hobby
 

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Yes the pension is good and I do all the other things but it's not enough, it's taken me a couple of years to come to this decision and I certainly can't see myself being able to do another ten years. The other option is to look for an alternative secure job which I'll be doing as well before I make my decision.



Yes, this is a worry but it's a risk I'm prepared to take, I could reconcile things with my job being restoring them and my pastime is to drive them as quickly as possible!
Well you sound like you've made up your mind, work on 3,4,5 in your post with some supply teaching in between and good luck,
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Not sure of your situation but I worked for a large utility and two years ago was offered a voluntary redundancy with pension, took a bit of thinking about but I went for it and have never looked back, the old cliche "don't know how I had time to go to work" is very true. I did look for a regular job for a bit but realised I hate being tied down to anything that becomes a 9 - 5 so instead i do a bit of DIY, gardening or whatever I fancy etc for people. The biggest bonus you'll soon realise is only doing stuff when you feel like it rather than when you have to, it adds a whole new meaning to life and on the whole you will probably work harder than you have ever worked but really enjoy it, it also means I can go out driving whenever the weather is good and go to lots of classic auctions etc
Good luck whatever you decide Simon; just one thing, I probably wouldn't get a job doing what is my hobby as it is then no longer a hobby
If they offered me redundancy with a pension i'd bite both their hands off! Glad to hear it's working out for you.

With your auction experience, do you see a profit margin between the auction sale prices and open market prices?
 

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Hi Simon,

I'd been having similar thoughts to you for a few years, and last September I gave up a well paid job, company car, security etc and decided to go it alone - along the lines of your option 3. I had a few project cars unfinished and bought a few more cars and motorcycles and rented a small workshop and spent the winter improving them. Just started to sell them now and so far I have made the profit I predicted on what I've sold so it may work out, but it's early days!

It's fantastic to be your own boss and wake up and decide what to do on a daily basis and so far it hasn't put me off classic cars at all. I'm a similar age to you and thought that it's now or never. I'm glad I did it and am enjoying it, although I will admit that I occasionally have a panic attack and think "What am I doing !!" Working predominantly alone also takes a bit of getting used to, as does not having a guaranteed monthly income, but it is an interesting way of getting by. It's useful to have a wife that's willing to put up with me trying to live the dream as well !

Hope it goes well whatever you decide.

S..
 

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If they offered me redundancy with a pension i'd bite both their hands off! Glad to hear it's working out for you.

With your auction experience, do you see a profit margin between the auction sale prices and open market prices?
You could always ask...., its has been a revelation as your priorities change completely; recent auction prices have been good (relatively low) so there is profit to be made, people will always pay top dollar for a good one. If your starting out you might struggle to make a profit but as a lot of classic re sellers ladle it on for a quick polish they probably make good money especially as market is overheating.
I've seen a few immaculate S3 Spiders go for relatively very little but then the S3 isnt the one in demand, I've also seen some very rotten boat tails go for daft money as well, i'd love to dabble myself but don't have the space
 

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A brave decision, and one most of us probably wish we had the balls to go through with!

I'd go with Option1 for sure, it works geographically for you and will make you more "legit" if you want/need to work for a restoration firm or dealer. While you're doing the course, there is no reason not to be filling your back garden with projects you can practice on and start getting ready to flip...

Option 2 then would be a great way of applying your new skills in an environment with access to tools and knowledge you won't have access to on your own. I'd like to think that if you approached a restoration frim for work experience with some specific goals, i.e. 1 day a week on upholstery until they'd trust you to do a job solo, and 1 day a week on fabrication, they'd see you as a potential asset. So many of these places rely on "greybeards" who have a lifetime of skills with no apprentices to pass them on to, they should bite your hand off for someone mature and motivated who they could possibly employ in the future.

Option 3 alongside both of the above would give you really useful industry insight and build up a network of contacts, it will also be, I'm sure, a quick way to learn some valuable lessons before your financial life relies on them! I'd love to think I could make a living off buying at auction, putting 20 hours of work into a car and then making a couple of k on it in a week or two, however, overpaying, buying lemons, not being able to find a buyer, and making a loss, would all be lessons I'd probably learn on my first car and it'd put me off for ever!

Good luck and please keep us updated, I can imagine there will be quite a few people sat at computers day-dreaming about this today!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the support and info all, I've got a lot to think about but nothing has put me off yet.

Sparkysprite, where about in Derbyshire are you, I'm south Sheffield, would you mind me popping over for a chat?

Ta
 

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I admire your courage we only have one life to live.
I am currently a stay at home father of 2 who loves to spend time in the garage at weekends-currently restoring a 64 Vespa that I have owned for almost 10 years.
You could start a local forum/discussion group for like minded people like yourself with the very same interests -you may find some that would love to partner with you in a joint venture which may negate some of your start up risk.
Any classic car clubs/meets local to you?
Wishing you the very best of luck!
 

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You've got plenty of options and some time to test them out, so go for it.

From the experience of my friends and family (I'm the one with the steady job) it can be long hours for (relatively) little pay but if happiness is measured by job satisfaction rather than by bank balance it's worth it.

Classic prices are seasonal so one question is whether you have the space to buy cheaply in autumn/winter and sell on in spring/summer possibly a year later?

Do you sell much on eBay? Another related option, again if you have space for breaking.

If you've not run your own business before then networking can be invaluable, both for generating leads, but also for support.

All the best.
 
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