Rest in pieces: the lucrative trade in luxury car spares

Eurospares, based in Essex, holds the largest Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati parts hoard of anyone in Europe.


Think of something and they’ve probably got it, from a £2 Ferrari sticker to £32,000 worth of F40 engine and gearbox. Miura headlights? No problem. Ferrari 328 alloys? Eighty in stock, along with 550 Maranello bonnets and over seventy different styles of Ferrari door.



Seeing the constituent parts of the worlds rarest, fastest most expensive cars laid out in the raw like this is both compelling and demystifying – they are, in the end, just cars – but even more sobering a sight is the firm’s car breaking activities.

For this you must leave your sentimentality at the door or, or if you are of a more sensitive disposition, avert your gaze.

But here, in these innocuous warehouses, 40 Italian exotics a year surrender their choicest parts to the cutting torches and socket sets of the Eurospares staff. There was a rare but crash damaged Lamborghini Jalpa under the knife when I visited, and a Ferrari 456 that didn’t, at a glance, appear to have anything much wrong with it. Another 456, that had been on its roof, were expected in within days.

“Anything worth under £10,000 for which there isn’t a instant market tends to get weighed-in; the owners panic when they get faced with a big bill” says boss James Pumo “so, for them, we are like Cash Converters.”

In fact it is all quite discreet and tasteful. There is no teetering pile of Ferrari scrap or even a tattooed man in a string vest or a Rottweiler guard dog locked inside a Countach with no wheels.

James gleefully showed me pictures of a smart blue Ferrari 400i (it looked a lot cleaner than the one I used to own, annoyingly) recently sentenced to death for the sake of a new exhaust system.

The accident cases have grim tales to tell. “You do see some sights” says Pumo who has been running the show since his dad, Vincent, retired ten years ago “one was a Ferrari 355 that had gone off a cliff in Switzerland. I’ve never seen a car so bent.”

Ferrari, unsurprisingly, is the strongest brand for Eurospares. The huge variety of stock ranges from the fifties to the present day range to help owners who run the cars as daily transport or for track days: 360 wishbones, for instance, are good sellers because they are easily damaged.

James thinks that the internet has made customers more impatient and the younger generation want the cars on the road to use everyday. “I’ve got a friend who uses his Ferrari 355 in the snow.”

Maserati and Lamborghini are coming up fast as the internet and Eurospare’s sophisticated website drives the business forward.

“My dad took on Lamborghini because there was nobody doing it over here” says James “so he had an instant market.”

On the Maserati side Pumo has a soft spot for the classic Sixties and Seventies cars but deals in later models too.

‘The modern 3200 and 4200GTs break well but I’ve stopped breaking Bi Turbos because Maserati are knocking 70percent off their prices. A new rear screen for a Bi Turbo is only £14 and comes in a beautiful wooden box: we worked out that when we wanted a box it was cheaper to order a Bi-Turbo rear screen…’

The company came to Essex at the beginning of the eighties and now employs seven people across three buildings that hold 12,000 square feet of parts. The firm’s late founder Vincent Pumo was a Sicilian born hair salon owner living in Manchester who found he could make extra money importing Ferrari parts from Modena.

James started accompanying Vincent on his Italian adventures as a young lad. “We used to go down in a split screen VW camper: army green left hand drive, no heater.” The trips could easily involve days spent in Italian customs because they were on strike. Bargain exotica would often be picked up along the way - James remembers his dad buying an ex works Lancia Stratos rally car “for next to nothing”.

“To be honest, at the time, I’d rather have had a kick about with my mates back at home but over the years I got to understand it a little more until it has become my obsession and disease: now I can’t let it go.”

Today the parts hauls are getting bigger every time and Modena is still the number one destination for parts booty.

“Nothing is where you expect it,” says James “you find things and people in the middle of nowhere, which is very Italian. You have to get their confidence for them to deal with you but once you have it they are friends for life. I’m still dealing with people that my dad was dealing with when I was eight or ten years old.

“When a new batch of spares comes in I still can’t wait to see what’s in the box – its like Christmas.”



Eurospares (Continental Parts) Ltd Unit 2, Third Avenue Bluebridge Industrial Estate Halstead Essex CO9 2SX England Telephone: +44 (0)1787 477169Fax: +44 (0)1787 472867

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
education
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
News
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
science
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    IT Project Manager

    Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

    Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

    Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

    IT Manager

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

    Day In a Page

    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

    'You need me, I don’t need you'

    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
    How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

    How to Get Away with Murder

    Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
    A cup of tea is every worker's right

    Hard to swallow

    Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
    12 best children's shoes

    Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

    Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
    Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

    Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

    Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
    Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

    Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

    Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

    Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

    UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London