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

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
PROMOTED VIDEO
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

    Recruitment Genius: Telesales & Customer Service Executives - Outbound & Inbound

    £7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

    Recruitment Genius: National Account Manager / Key Account Sales

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

    Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Consultant

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...

    Day In a Page

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'