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K500.com: We're live!

It's taken what feels like forever, but this Sunday we launched www.k500.com — the world's most complete collectors' guide — to assembled press at the Connaught Hotel in London.

Our goal is to give novices and experienced collectors alike opinion, insight and advice on collecting cars, 24/7 and in a fun, no-nonsense style. We've narrowed down the 500 most significant collectors cars- from a Fiat 500 to a Ferrari 500 Superfast- and gathered for you all the information you need to understand what their values are really doing, if they're worth having, and where you'll be welcome if you own one.

Simon makes a point: 'We're not here to hype the market; there are enough people doing that already...'
K500 aims to become the definitive 'one stop shop' for anyone looking to understand the world of collecting cars

There are three main pillars to K500:

-First of all, visitors will find an index accurately and independently charting the classic car market over the past 20 years, allowing them to compare how different models or groups of cars have fared compared to each other. We've based the index on proven auction sales, each of which has been checked for consistency (auction houses often input car data differently, and we've collated over 20,000 individual sales, growing daily), and we've avoided relying on private or dealer sales which are usually impossible to verify.

-Complimenting the index, which shows you trends but won't always answer your questions about latest pricing outside the auction arena, we've compiled a value guide for those 500 models with input from 'the good guys', marque specialists we trust and who will be checking our figures on a regular basis.

-So far, so good: now you know what it's worth, but is it worth owning in the first place? Inspired by Robert Parker's authoritative fine wine ranking guide, we've devised a car rating system which awards every model a 'desirability' figure out of 100, and backing this up we've added performance stats, numbers built, model background and even a few choice words telling you if it's a triumph or a turkey. Don't expect rose tinted spectacles here. Oh, and we'll even tell you what events you can get into with each car, and rated those too...

Managing editor Steve Wakefield explains how the K500 index works
Webmaster Ben Gibbs shows off some of the novel features

Dreamers or seasoned collectors will have fun with a unique feature: you can input the cars in your collection- real or imaginary - and see how they fare against the main K500 index.

Subscription to www.k500.com costs £79.50 per year during the launch period, but there's already plenty on the site to keep petrolheads amused for hours free of charge.

This is just the beginning, and the site will grow and evolve continuously, but hopefully this is a resource that everyone will enjoy referring to every time they think, "I wonder what one of those would cost..."

Emanuele Collo about to startle Sunday lunch time diners outside the old world Connaught Hotel...
And someone else doing the same. Where did all those F1 spotters suddenly appear from?
The K500 index charts the 500 most influential cars in the collectors market
Even the creme-de-la-creme of the international trade turned out to learn more