What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the words, classic car?
Shiny chrome and the swinging sixties, floral bench-seats or bottle green family saloons?
Whether you see them as a sound investment, a ticket to relive your youth or if you just can’t get enough of their heady leather aroma, there’s no denying that classic cars are having a real moment right now.
Perhaps not for the same moments as back in the 80s (memories of bucketing water out of a Ford Capri’s foot-well spring to mind) but over the past few years, classic cars have been hailed as a sturdy investment, one, according to The Times journalist John Mayhead, that will give more pleasure than investing in stocks and shares and one that will be as safe as buying a house.
Just a few months ago, the owner of the first ever diesel Land Rover to roll off the production line asked for offers close to an asking price of a mere £200,000.
Classic cars were created in an analogue world, where designers put pen-to-paper to create beautiful shapes and sketches that look more like something that should belong in the National Gallery than on a workbench. Some argue that modern, mass production techniques have a lot to answer for in the debasement of the classics – a system world where meeting quotas and targets is the bottom line.
Classic car owners don’t drive to reach a destination, but the journey from A-B is the destination. It’s key to remember that when these cars were new, they were more than just four-wheels to get to work in, they provided mobility and freedom at a time when these qualities were rare.
And, it’s the classics that define heritage for many manufacturers; their scratches and imperfections are all part of a story and each is individual, unique and each is now inherently limited in supply. When owning a new car is so much simpler and easier, it takes a real passion and effort to hunt down, acquire and maintain a classic and it’s created a culture surrounding classic cars that’s hard not to get swept up in.
As of April 1st this year, every 1975 classic car has been made eligible for tax-exempt status and given Historic Vehicle status, making their diminished running costs even hotter property with buyers.
There’s no exacting answer as to why people love classic cars, but what’s definite is that it’s not an affair that’ll be disappearing anywhere soon.