The Market


Auctioneer and dealer Coys goes into administration

Auctioneer and dealer Coys goes into administration 24th April 2020

Coys of Kensington Automobiles Limited, incorporated on 2 January 2003, has been put by its directors into administration, a process defined by the British authorities as one for a limited company that is “in debt and can’t pay the money it owes”.
The Government advises directors that they will be protected under this procedure from “legal action by people or organisations who are owed money (‘creditors’) and nobody can apply to wind up your company during administration”.
The notice was posted yesterday according to British law in The Gazette. K500 understands that Coys of Kensington Automobiles Limited is the main trading entity behind Coys’ showroom sales and auctions, although other names – Coys Automobiles Limited, Coys Group Limited – have similar directors and the same registered office. Both are listed as ‘active’.
When a previous iteration, Coys of Kensington Sales Ltd, filed for insolvency in 2004, the case made the national press. The tales of auction vendors losing their sales proceeds – from the young man parting with his car to get married, to the elderly journalist raising funds for retirement – made sad reading. As a result, the directors of the new Coys operation announced then that for future sales, clients’ money would be “ring-fenced”.
Today, the amount owed to vendors from Coys sales is unknown, but may also relate to auctions held last year.
Since 2006, Coys has been run from modern showrooms in Richmond, South West London. It trades, though, on its previous Kensington location and in the heydays of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s operated from a beautiful old garage in the cobbled Queen’s Gate Mews in Kensington, now developed into housing. During that time, it became a hothouse for young talent and set many on successful careers in the classic car industry, including: Gregor Fisken; Peter Bradfield; Andrew Hall; Mark Osborne, Tim Schofield and Guy Newton (Bonhams); Neil Dickens and Charles Reis (Hairpin Company); Vanessa Marcais, née Finburgh; Dylan Miles; Nick Wiles (RM Sotheby's); Peter Wallman; Edward Bridger-Still (Historics) and our own Simon Kidston.
“It’s sad for all us Coys alumni to see what’s happened to the place where we started as young enthusiasts with few qualifications but heads full of dreams, but that was decades ago, and a lot has changed since then,” says Simon.
In the golden era, Coys was run by entrepreneur Jeffrey Pattinson and his genial partner Douglas Jamieson; in more recent times by Chris Routledge and Douglas Jamieson. Jamieson resigned in February 2010 and passed away on 30 December 2019. His funeral held in early 2020 was well-attended by many from the ‘glory days’ of Coys, with many an unprintable tale told, and glass raised.

Photo by Kidston SA