Afraid of change, overly sen­ti­men­tal or just unin­spired by mod­ern ma­chin­ery? You may well be a Hoarder, says Meaden

Evo India - - DRIVEN - by RICHARD MEADEN @Dick­ieMeaden Richard is a con­tribut­ing edi­tor to evo and one of the mag­a­zine’s found­ing team

WWHEN IT COMES TO CAR-OWN­ER­SHIP pat­terns, I reckon we all fall into one of three cat­e­gories: the Lifer, the Serial Monogamist and the Hoarder. I’m de­lib­er­ately ex­clud­ing pro­lific col­lec­tors with the means to in­dulge every whim and fan­tasy – the Hefner, in case you were won­der­ing – be­cause we all know if we could, we would.

So, which cat­e­gory most ac­cu­rately de­scribes you? Come on, don’t be shy. You’re amongst friends here. OK, I’ll go first. Per­haps I’m a bit odd, but I’ve ex­hib­ited symp­toms of all three at one time or an­other, but I’d say the most ac­cu­rate de­scrip­tion of the last few years is that of a Lifer with very def­i­nite Hoarder ten­den­cies.

Of course, be­ing a motoring jour­nal­ist for the vast ma­jor­ity of my adult life has some­what skewed my take on car own­er­ship, but I’ve al­ways tended to feel most com­fort­able with mak­ing a long-term com­mit­ment. I think it’s in­evitable that most of us spend our for­ma­tive years as Serial Monogamists, bud­get and ne­ces­sity be­ing the dom­i­nant fac­tors in our buy­ing habits. Two small vans got me to my pre-journo job in a quarry (I know, strange ca­reer pro­gres­sion), but my first proper car was a Mini, which I kept for years af­ter the un­bro­ken suc­ces­sion of press cars ef­fec­tively made it re­dun­dant.

Fight­ing my emerg­ing Lifer urges, I re­luc­tantly sold it to a mate, and the next few years’ fi­nances were di­verted into buy­ing mine and the fu­ture Mrs M’s first house. Then evo hap­pened and a few of us made a bit of cash. That’s when I started my Cater­ham Fire­blade project, and John Barker em­barked upon build­ing the myth­i­cal V8 Capri. A con­firmed Lifer, nat­u­rally JB owns it to this day. But only be­cause it’s still not quite fin­ished…

Un­like John, I parted with the Cater­ham and bought an S2 Ex­ige, which I kept for a thor­oughly en­joy­able 18 months be­fore sell­ing that and buy­ing my 964 RS. It was at this point I tran­si­tioned from con­flicted Serial Monogamist to con­firmed Lifer, in part be­cause the Porsche has since proved far bet­ter at mak­ing money than I am, but mainly be­cause af­ter ten years own­er­ship, part­ing with it would cause me too much an­guish to con­tem­plate.

From here it’s been a rapid but rea­son­ably con­trolled de­scent into my present state of unashamed Hoarder, with a Peu­geot 106 Ral­lye and, most re­cently, a man­ual Fer­rari F430 Ber­linetta join­ing the Porsche. None get driven any­where near enough, but hav­ing them around is com­fort in it­self. By the way, I know that state­ment will make no sense if you’re not a Hoarder, but that’s what makes the sub­ject so in­trigu­ing.

Take my brother-in-law, James. He’s wor­thy of spe­cial mention for be­ing one of the most pro­lific Serial Monogamists I or any of his friends and ac­quain­tances have ever met. The man is a liv­ing leg­end, at least amongst the lo­cal car-deal­ing com­mu­nity, and has more notches on his garage door frame than Rus­sell Brand’s bed­post. Ger­man mar­ques are his weak­ness – they suit his some­what ex­act­ing stan­dards – and they’re all new or ex-demo and mostly bought from dealer stock, as he’s not cut out for six-month lead times.

In the last ten years – a pe­riod in which I’ve bought three cars and sold, er, none – he must have been through a good four dozen. From rel­a­tively mod­est Sciroc­cos, Golf GTIs and Golf Rs, to count­less Audis (cur­rently a new RS3, but I sense it’s soon to be ditched for some­thing else…) to as­sorted M BMWs and a flurry of Porsches, from Cay­man to 991 Turbo S.

Be­ing fam­ily, I see him quite a lot, but there are times when I fail to keep pace with his churn rate. Some cars have come and gone with­out me even see­ing them. Some­times the first I know of a com­ing and go­ing in the garage is a guilty con­fes­sion, or a tip-off from my nephew. One week the 911 can be a C4S, the next it’s a red Turbo. Then, al­most in the blink of an

Af­ter years of own­er­ship, part­ing with my 964 RS would cause me too much an­guish to con­tem­plate

eye, that burn­ing ro­mance has gone cold and there’s an Audi in the garage.

Jimbo’s the first to ad­mit he has a prob­lem – one that pro­vides the rest of us with end­less amusement – but I do won­der if his affliction is at least partly down to mod­ern cars lack­ing the sub­stance and depth of char­ac­ter to hold his at­ten­tion. We’re also con­di­tioned to want the next big thing, what­ever that might be. It’s the same rea­son we up­grade our phones, even though there’s noth­ing wrong with the old one. I hon­estly don’t know how he finds the en­ergy to re­peat­edly go through the buy­ing and sell­ing process, but I do know he’s not re­ally cut out for clas­sic car own­er­ship, so he’s al­ways go­ing to have to find big­ger, faster, shinier ways to scratch his au­to­mo­tive itch. Not that any of us are in a po­si­tion to judge. Cars might be the shared ad­dic­tion, but we each feed our habits in very dif­fer­ent ways. Now, if you’ll ex­cuse me, I’m off to the clas­si­fieds, and I’m def­i­nitely not sell­ing. ⌧

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