Multi Millionaire Tycoon who spent £40m on classic cars sues car dealer


Multi Millionaire Tycoon who spent £40m on classic cars sues car dealer

Multi Millionaire Tycoon who spent £40m on classic cars is suing the car dealer he invested with claiming that the dealer invented buyers and sellers so as to seal the deal.

The wealthy classic car buyer claims that the car dealer is a “serial fraudster” who invented the fictitious buyers and sellers.

The millionaire, Mike Tuke, who is an engineer, made his fortune when he sold his pioneering prosthetics company, Finsbury Orthopaedics, in 2009 for over £60 million pounds.

His case was heard in the High Court. During the proceedings, his business history was related to the court in which it heard that he was “not overly impressed” with returns on his standard investments and so after a “long and amiable meeting” with Derek Hood, an Essex car dealer, he decided to put his cash into classic cars.

Mr Tuke may have been a bit naive when the dealer told him classic cars were “better than banks” and that he “could double his money”. As a result of the smooth talking car dealer, between December 2009 and March 2013, Mr. Tuke bought 40 iconic motors, including a Jaguar XKSS, Jaguar Group C racing cars, a Ferrari 250TR and Lister Knobbly, at a total cost of almost £40 million.

Mr Tuke, from Guildford, is now suing well known and the very popular JD Classics Ltd, which is owned by Mr Hood for around £9 million pounds. Sean Brannigan QC, for Mr Tuke, said the businessman was determined to prove that Mr Hood is a “serial fraudster”. 

JD Classics is one of the biggest used car dealers in the UK, ranking 6th in the ID50. The business has developed a reputation in the classic car industry over the past 30 years for its dedication and attention to detail around selling, repairing, restoring and racing historic vehicles.

Mr Tuke claims that, at their December 2009 meeting, Mr Hood agreed to “source” cars for him for a 10 per cent commission on profits. However, Mr Brannigan claimed that Mr Hood the owner of JD Classics  invented a number of fictitious buyers and sellers in order to deceive Mr Tuke.

In one example, he claimed Mr Tuke paid £254,000 for what he was told was a “very rare” AC Aceca Bristol Competition car in the belief that he was dealing with a third-party seller through JD Classics, but the court heard JD Classics in fact “owned the car itself”, having paid just £84,000 for it only three weeks earlier.

Mr Hood and JD Classics deny any wrongdoing. Mr Hood also denies he ever agreed to act as Mr Tuke’s “sales agent”, and says that JD Classics was always dealing “on its own account”.

A full court trial hearing is due to take place at the High Court in London later this month.


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