Classic cars are every enthusiast’s dream. Having an appreciation for classic cars is a matter of taste and is mostly something that is only characteristic of hobbyists. These are individuals who have enough knowledge, drive, and excitement to allow themselves to enter and discover the classic car world. Motoring is a massive part of modern culture and has become appreciated as an industry of its own. Not to boast, but the motoring industry is also one that employs a lot of people directly and indirectly and is very much beyond just a hobby. Motoring enthusiasts are spoilt for choice and can partake in interest for fast cars, high-end cars, motorsport, motorcycle hobbies, and you name it. We are going to delve into classic cars and what they mean to the classic car enthusiast.
What We’ll Discuss On This Article:
- Classic Cars
Becoming a classic car enthusiast is very much a labor of love. Classic cars are tough to source, and, even when available, are guarded and kept jealously by their owners. The more exotic the vehicle, the less accessible it is. The beauty is that the more classic, eccentric, and cultured the vehicle, the more its value on the market. It means that you may have had an old Jaguar, for example, and in a decade or two, it doubles or triples its original value. Classic cars are very much like horses, and those who know their cars will have an advantage in sourcing, restoring, and possibly trading them or adding to their collection. Yes, interested individuals will have exuberant collections of classic cars, including cars from well-known makers and also exotic and very rare models.
Classic car collectors are individuals who give a considerable part of their lives and their financial resources to look for, restore, and collect numerous classic car models. You can imagine an individual who has collected hundreds of classic cars may have had to do it over decades and painstakingly find, buy, and restore each vehicle into a stellar condition. When I say buy, I mean fork out some good money in an auction somewhere or to purchase the car from individuals who may or may not overprice the car. A reasonable leeway, however, is that an enthusiast and collector may buy an ill-maintained classic car at a lower price due to its bad condition and restore it to its former glory. Collectors with the skills and workforce could even do the vehicle one better over its production quality or standard.
Classic cars depending on their model, can be very rare. Some vehicles and makers only lasted a decade or even less than a decade at the time of production. It means that there are vehicles that only got created as a handful, in hundreds or even several thousands. The good thing is that such rarity has, over time, meant that such vehicles are precious gems that only appreciate in value as time goes by. It is beautiful to imagine that some cars were also created in few numbers as a way to ensure regality and even to add on to their richness. Such vehicles are today’s family heirlooms or a reserve of those who can afford timeless motoringgems.
Events such as Concours d’Elegance are a collectors paradise where the collector can draw inspiration and even sometimes a tease from the best classic cars out there. Such events and also enthusiast meetups can be splendid avenues for an exchange of ideas or even as a place to introduce a vehicle that one is willing to sell. A classic car is like a vineyard, and only after the potential buyers have seen and tasted the wine or, in this case, tested the vehicle, can they decide whether or not to buy it. Come to think about it; it is super exciting to think that the cars that were regular production cars in the early twentieth century, and before, are what we today look forward to owning and collecting as classic cars. It is a marvel that at the time, those who produced these rich, timeless, motoring, and cultural pieces were only making ordinary vehicles for use in everyday living. I wonder where all that culture, richness, and regality went and why the vehicles coming out of the production line today lack such detail and richness. Did advancements in technology mean a decline in style? I wonder.
Classic cars are, in their very essence, classic. They are timeless pieces of motoring legacy and are only complemented by time and only grow in value as time goes by. Collectors are fortunate to have the most exotic pieces of motoring history under their care. To be honest, collecting is very much about hard work, bravery, and not so much luck. It takes a lot of money, time, enthusiasm, and will to find a vehicle, recognize its potential on restoration, restore it, and maintain it in good condition for decades. You can imagine being at the top of your game as a collector and having a private museum of classic cars. What fascinates me with the classic car world is that the vehicles are like wine, and the more they age, they richer and more valuable they become. What it means is that collectors can do a valuation every ten years and literally wait for the value of their collection to increase double or even triple fold over several decades. Not even the stock market works in such beautiful economics.
The classic car world is accessible to everyone and is not only a reserve for those with the means. One would get forgiven for thinking that they would need a fortune to start collecting, as this may not be the case. When we talk about classic cars and classic motoring, we mostly forget about motorcycles and classic motorcycles. Classic motorcycles such as early twentieth-century Harley Davidson and Indian bikes are also precious timepieces. They can be cheaper to source and restore as compared to an early twentieth century Rolls Royce, for instance. The good thing is that one can start their journey of becoming a classic car collector by starting with motorcycles and grow their way into an invaluable classic car collection.
In the U.S and the U.K especially, there are many classic car enthusiasts and collectors and luckily, even ready to market classic vehicles and motorcycles, in varying conditions. A huge part of successfully collecting classic cars is doing a restoration of the car. It necessitates a good mechanic, effective sourcing of parts, and a thorough job to restore the classic car without damaging what remains of it. Even when parts cannot get found, it is upon the restorer to find other parts that match the same function or to manufacture the parts themselves. Luckily, there are specialist parts sellers, and depending on the model of the car and its manufacturing date, there could still be blueprints for the manufacture of the vehicle and its parts. As such, some companies will manufacture these parts and even custom chassis.
Moreover, enthusiasts and collectors could opt to buy a vehicle to use as a spare parts vehicle. It would present a good option, especially when the parts become hard to source. The restorer can concentrate on the car that is in better condition and complement it with parts from the vehicle in worse condition. The beauty of this is that the collector or enthusiast will always have the assurance that if they need a specific part, they can just source it from the spare parts vehicle.
The mechanics of becoming a classic car collector and enthusiast may seem daunting but are, as I have said, a labor of love. I don’t think there is more joy for the enthusiast and collector than seeing a restored classic car that has been complemented by adding some fine leather and even timeless details such as a timeless bonnet ornament. Think of the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy‘ bonnet ornament for Rolls Royce and what it means to classic car collectors and enthusiasts the world over. There is so much grace and a lot of culture, lifestyle, and history in the classic car trade. There are very few things in this world that one can affix such passion to and it is is quite a joy to have graceful masterpieces created for function initially and today appreciated for style. Classic cars have something regal to them and can depart a feeling of royalty and richness in a way that not so many other things can. It may seem like madness to painstakingly buy a wreck and put in months or even years of restoration into it, but the end result is totally worth the effort.
The current one hundred or even one million dollar vehicles have nothing on real authentic and cultured classic cars. There are classic cars that can only get found in less than a dozen locations or museums in the world. There are classic car collections that are worth millions of dollars that are privately held and maintained. Collectors will do it out of love for these vehicles, appreciation, or sentiment. A good example is a collector who specializes in military vehicles and equipment. Such a collector may even buy tanks and hefty military lorries to add to their collection. A good buy and restoration would also be a classic military jeep or even a VW beetle. A modern classic that would tickle my fancy is the Land Rover Defender and the various assortments and sentiments that can become affixed to it. The practicality of the vehicle is also something that, in my personal view, makes it the quintessential adventurer vehicle. I can imagine having a handful of these in tiptop condition and picking one to cross a desert with.
In locations where there are enough well-off individuals, such as Dubai, one can have the opportunity to see the most exotic vehicles. You can imagine that the Arab businessmen scale deserts in U.A.E in Land Rovers that they drive with their shoes off. The standard practice is to drive your Toyota Prado or V8 shoeless and to walk barefoot in the desert. Simply fascinating. These cars may not really be classics but are very much modern and future classics, and their sheer power, for me, is what sets them apart. When I mention the Toyota V8, I would also have to mention the Range Rover. The Range Rover is an interesting car because older models such as those from the seventies and eighties can be very restore-worthy and are modern classics.
I don’t think most of us realize this, but the current Range Rover is no match for the beautiful, strong models from the seventies or eighties. Same case for the jeep and even the Mercedes G-Wagon. The AMG G63 is very much a modern interpretation of the seventies and eighties make. The SLS AMG, on the other hand, is what I would say is the closest to a classic car that is on the market today from Daimler. When I open that pandora’s box, I have to mention Bentleys, Aston Martins, Porsches, Lamborghinis, and all that. You can imagine that all these vehicles each have a personality and a story. More exuberant manufacturers such as the Pagani are a reserve for the ultra-rich.
We could spend the entire day talking cars, and it is amazing to be amazed by vehicles and the various interpretations of the car. In a duel between modern and futuristic ultra-fast cars and classic cars, I think the classic cars would carry the day. Time is very elusive and adds a certain richness to something. As I said, classic cars are like wine, and the older they get, the more rich and valuable they become. Their rarity is also astounding, and it is very much human to seek rare things. The more refined classic cars are part of collections, especially private collections, curated and amassed over many decades. Collectors have something of a feng shui with collector items. It is like sport, and those who do not get horse racing, for instance, may not appreciate equestrian culture and equestrianism. On the other hand, enthusiasts live for their objects of affection. They will enjoy partaking in and imbibing the culture and fineness or be it finesse of loving and living classic cars or a hobby of their choice.