New Zealand Classic Car - - Feature - Photos:

In an ideal world, a clas­sic car would be stored in a dry se­cure garage on one’s own prop­erty. This not only al­lows clas­sic car en­thu­si­asts to keep a close eye on their pride and joy but also makes work­ing on it so much eas­ier. Even for the less me­chan­i­cally minded per­son, there’s noth­ing more re­ward­ing than spend­ing a wet Sun­day morn­ing in the garage, ap­ply­ing a coat of car­nauba wax to those volup­tuous curves.

Un­for­tu­nately, many of those lucky enough to have a garage al­ways seem to find plenty of other stuff to fill up the space, mak­ing it im­pos­si­ble to squeeze in even the small­est ve­hi­cle. Bi­cy­cles, lawn mow­ers, gar­den­ing equip­ment, un­used fur­ni­ture, and myr­iad other house­hold items al­ways seem to end up in the garage. A car­port is a pos­si­ble op­tion — it’ll keep the worst of the weather off — but, for many, it’s not the ideal so­lu­tion.

We re­cently caught up with Graeme Michie and his wife, Lisa Jensen, who have come up with a vi­able so­lu­tion to your car-stor­age woes. Their com­pany, Jensen Clas­sics, of­fers so much more than a mere park­ing space or garage, pro­vid­ing dis­cern­ing car afi­ciona­dos with a unique se­cure fa­cil­ity in which to store their clas­sic, ex­otic, in­vest­ment, or col­lectable car.

To find out ex­actly what the busi­ness of­fers and its point of dif­fer­ence, we put a few ques­tions to them.

Who is Jensen Clas­sics?

“Lisa and I are now at an age where the cars we once owned or wanted are clas­sics — well, in some cases. Lisa first learned to drive in her boyfriend’s Ford Es­cort van, and I have fond mem­o­ries of my first Vaux­hall HB Viva,” Graeme re­called, al­though he’s not sure it could be called a clas­sic even to­day. “Now that our chil­dren are grown up, we have in­dulged in a few clas­sics, start­ing with a 1976 Tri­umph Spit­fire in 2013. Lisa and the fam­ily weren’t ex­actly thrilled at the prospect of a Tri­umph parked in the garage, but in­stantly fell in love with the cute Bri­tish sports car once they’d ex­pe­ri­enced a drive. We soon came to the con­clu­sion that one clas­sic car in the fam­ily wasn’t suf­fi­cient and im­ported a 1973 Jensen Healey from the UK. If that wasn’t enough, I pur­chased a Jaguar XJ6, which was ac­ci­den­tally ac­quired from a lo­cal auc­tion site. In or­der to keep my mar­riage in­tact, the Jaguar was sub­se­quently sold — only to be re­placed by a 1967 Fiat Bam­bina! Un­for­tu­nately, due to lack of garage space, the cars were kept ei­ther in a small sin­gle garage at my mother’s re­tire­ment vil­lage, out in the weather, or in damp con­di­tions — all un­sat­is­fac­tory for clas­sic cars. When we started search­ing for al­ter­na­tive stor­age op­tions, we found that many fa­cil­i­ties lacked the ser­vices that clas­sic ve­hi­cles re­quire for on­go­ing main­te­nance and care.

“It was this re­al­iza­tion that prompted us to in­ves­ti­gate var­i­ous stor­age op­tions, and,

when find­ing noth­ing suit­able, to in­ves­ti­gate the busi­ness op­por­tu­nity this mar­ket gap rep­re­sented.”

What ser­vices does Jensen Clas­sics pro­vide?

“We’re ex­cited at the prospect of be­ing part of the his­tor­i­cal as­pect of the cars. Our goal is to pro­vide clas­sic car own­ers peace of mind though our se­cu­rity and ex­er­cise pro­grammes, and to en­sure that the cars are ready when the own­ers want to use them,” Graeme said.

When asked to elab­o­rate on the ‘ex­er­cise pro­gramme’, Graeme ex­plained that, “Our in­ten­tion is to of­fer a ser­vice where all cars are plugged into bat­tery charg­ers that are ap­pro­pri­ate to the ve­hi­cle. We would run the en­gine up to tem­per­a­ture on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, and en­sure mov­ing parts re­main in op­er­at­ing con­di­tion. In ad­di­tion, we would keep a reg­u­lar check on all flu­ids. We would not drive or move the cars from the fa­cil­ity ex­cept as part of our drop-off / pick-up ser­vice.” He added, “And we will also be of­fer­ing a high-qual­ity, breath­able car cover for each car as part of the ba­sic pack­age, with the op­tion of more ex­pen­sive cov­ers de­pend­ing on the cus­tomer’s re­quire­ments.”

“We also in­tend to pro­vide one ful­lye­quipped work­ing bay, which would in­clude a hoist and a full set of qual­ity tools. We’re not propos­ing to al­low for any weld­ing or panel beat­ing, but more a fa­cil­ity for own­ers to carry out gen­eral main­te­nance or restora­tion tasks,” Graeme said. “Ac­cess to the in­side of the stor­age fa­cil­ity is re­stricted to Jensen Clas­sics staff. Cars will be de­liv­ered to a ded­i­cated pick­up and drop- ­off area within the fa­cil­ity, or to the work­ing bay if re­quired.”

Why use Jensen Clas­sics?

“Jensen Clas­sics is cen­trally lo­cated in Auck­land, with easy ac­cess from all mo­tor­ways,” Lisa ex­plained. “All ve­hi­cles re­quire spe­cial­ist care and main­te­nance, as well as se­cure and dry con­di­tions to re­duce de­te­ri­o­ra­tion from damp, thus min­i­miz­ing restora­tion and main­te­nance costs — it is es­pe­cially im­por­tant for clas­sic, vin­tage, race, ex­otic, or in­vest­ment cars, which are pri­mar­ily stored and driven lit­tle, if at all.”

Se­cu­rity is un­doubt­edly one of the main pri­or­i­ties for Jensen Clas­sics. The stor­age fa­cil­ity pro­vides on-site staff 24 hours, seven days a week; is fully fenced and gated; and has a com­pre­hen­sive se­cu­rity sys­tem, in­clud­ing high­def­i­ni­tion CCTV.

Graeme and Lisa’s mis­sion state­ment is, “To pro­vide a safe and se­cure home away from home for clas­sic and spe­cial­ist cars, to give each one the same care and at­ten­tion our clients would them­selves, and to en­sure our clients have peace of mind that we treat all ve­hi­cles as if they were our own.”

Lisa and Graeme are only too pleased to dis­cuss own­ers’ in­di­vid­ual re­quire­ments, so for more in­for­ma­tion, don’t hes­i­tate to get in touch.

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