Unique Cars - - CONTENTS - GUY A L LEN Guy ‘Guido’ Allen

YOU KNOW THERE’S a fine line be­tween apolog y and mod­esty. I’m chat­ting with a cou­ple at a car show and ask what they drive. They shuff le their feet and mum­ble off hand­edly some­thing like Ferrari. A lit­tle fur­ther prob­ing re­veals it’s ac­tu­ally some­thing very de­sir­able and, with a few more ques­tions, they slowly un­wrap the story. It turns out they bought it a while ago when the prices were sub­stan­tial, but be­fore they went nuts. For­tu­nately they had the good sense to hang on to it. Good luck to them.

Speak­ing of hang­ing on to things, I was hav­ing a chat to a young owner of a Mus­tang the other day and she said she was toy­ing with the idea of sell­ing it, be­cause she was a bit too busy to use it much and she fig­ured she could al­ways buy an­other. Now at that stage of her life, my very strong ad­vice was not to sell un­less money was an is­sue. It wasn’t.

Chances are a house, ca­reer changes and even kids might pop up on the hori­zon, and that’s when any hope of buy­ing a sim­i­lar toy sim­ply dis­ap­pears out the win­dow for a cou­ple of decades. In my view, it’s al­ways eas­ier to keep an ex­ist­ing clas­sic or swap it for an­other, than hav­ing to start all over again from scratch.

Any­way, back to our Ferrari own­ers. They had the grace, I sup­pose, to worry about seem­ing boast­ful about their car. Maybe one too many peo­ple had given them the cold shoul­der, as­sum­ing they were stuck-up rich folk. In fact they were nei­ther. They were car nuts and clearly en­joyed their choice, well at least in be­tween the some­times chal­leng­ing main­te­nance ses­sions.

An­other, a Monaro owner, al­most apol­o­gised for his car. It was a first-gen HK. “It’s just a GTS 186S with a Pow­er­glide,” he said, as if apol­o­gis­ing for not hav­ing the ul­ti­mate 350 ver­sion. Re­ally? Mate, se­ri­ously, I’d give my prover­bial eye teeth to have that car. Okay, it’s not the $300,000 ver­sion. So what? It’s a chrome bumper clas­sic and, if it gives you joy, good luck to you.

Of course the chrome bumper part is not com­pul­sory – peo­ple grav­i­tate to dif­fer­ent eras. There’s no doubt the post-chrome bumper mar­ket is on the move, for the right car. Like a VN Com­modore SS. Mor­ley has one and we re­cently shot a stun­ning reader-owned ex­am­ple that’s been given the full resto treat­ment. Not be­cause the owner thinks he’ll get rich from the ex­er­cise – he knows he won’t – but be­cause he likes the car and thinks it’s worth pre­serv­ing.

As Mor­ley men­tions in his Work­shop col­umn this is­sue, the poor bug­ger copped some f lack on anti-so­cial me­dia (aka Fa­ce­plant) when we posted a quick photo of the project. In my ex­pe­ri­ence, the most vo­cif­er­ous crit­ics of your choice of car are those who have no real ex­pe­ri­ence in what they’re talk­ing about. And, these days, there is a group that de­rives a weird sat­is­fac­tion from bitch­ing about and pick­ing holes in pretty much ev­ery­thing they see on­line.

There’s no need for it, peo­ple. Be happy. Close the iPad, grab the keys and point your trans­port of de­light down the drive­way. Don’t come back for a week. We did that re­cently with the Mighty Kingswood (see page 104) and the world seems a much bet­ter place. Give it a go…

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