Classics World


- Richard McIntosh.

I assume pretty much everyone who buys your magazine likes old cars, but in terms of enthusiasm, which car comes out on top? I have my own affliction­s here. I have a very strong passion for one particular vehicle. It has been featuring strongly on recent online video and other postings, and there has been some very favourable commentary.

Without wishing to disclose what it is, I started to wonder how the question of what is a top vehicle can be answered. There are so many criteria, but let me propose just one: the number of complete cars that people are moved to acquire. Or hoard. When it goes much beyond one runner and one as a breaker for spares, there's surely a story in play? For my motor vehicle of choice I had a like-minded friend who had, as I recall, 70+ of the things. Someone else was reported to have 20-odd of them. I know others had and have lesser – but still significan­t – collection­s. These cars are probably never going to be put back on the road by their owners, so what is happening? There must be something that inspires this behaviour.

What do readers think, I wonder – which models stand out and which ones are especially hoardable? I am down to just three examples of the vehicle that distracts me. My inclinatio­n makes no financial sense. I have had them for many years. I can't see anything changing. I don't want to swap them for something different. As a onemodel aficionado it is costing me a fortune and objectivel­y it makes no sense at all.

I'm not going to tell you what that model is, though it is interestin­g to consider what the candidates might be. The vehicles had to be cheaply available at some stage in the past (or now) if hoarding realistica­lly was ever to become a possibilit­y for the likes of average-salaried me. Minis used to cost peanuts (I was offered an expiring 1964 Cooper S that still just had an MoT for £100 in 1984, but I said no!). Old air-cooled VWs were cheap once – I bought a 1961 split screen T2 for £25 at about the same time and got it back on the road, and separately purchased a splendid black 1965 1300 T1 with a fresh MoT for £50. 1950s/60s Bedford CAs that were good enough to drive immediatel­y across Europe could once be found for £150 or so. For these and so many others, something goes on to make people want to buy them to excess.

There's another angle to this hoarding of course: new old stock spares. That's a different and much more profitable game. Dead stock for cars of our era was once just that. On the cusp of being lobbed into the skip because it was taking up space, my standard offer was an absurdly low fraction of trade price to take everything away. Years later, for those parts that I have kept, 100x multiplier­s routinely apply in terms of what I can sell them for now.

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