Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Living With Classics - RICHARD BAR­NETT, MAR­KETS ED­I­TOR

‘What does a big com­pany buy to chauf­feur its chair­man to­day?’

My friend Martin and I were talk­ing over a pint about how there seem to be no real up­mar­ket cars any more. What does a multi­na­tional com­pany buy to chauf­feur its chair­man around in to­day? An Audi A8 or S-Class ‘Benz, prob­a­bly.

But in the late 1950s it could have been an Arm­strong Sid­de­ley Sap­phire or a Daim­ler Ma­jes­tic Ma­jor. Slightly down the so­cial scale, from the 1940s to the late 1960s Rovers and Hum­bers were the choice of the pro­fes­sional classes. But what would they buy now? There’s no equiv­a­lent of those types of cars these days.

Such thoughts of­ten go through my mind at clas­sic sales, and it’s easy to won­der who bought a par­tic­u­lar car when it was new. I’m es­pe­cially likely to do that with Jaguar and Daim­ler sa­loons from the 1950s to the late 1970s.

A visit to any clas­sic auc­tion shows how car mak­ers have changed, and how those changes re­flect the coun­try’s so­cial makeup – some­thing in which we as en­thu­si­asts for his­tory should per­haps be more in­ter­ested.

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