Phillip Bad­der: An early ob­ses­sion with all things me­chan­i­cal fu­elled Phillip’s de­sire to col­lect clas­sic cars – in­clud­ing this beau­ti­ful Fer­rari 250 GT Cal­i­for­nia replica

Motorboat & Yachting - - COLUMN -

My pas­sion for ve­hi­cles started in 1967 when I was legally old enough to ride a scooter for the first time. I’d bought a 1960 Lam­bretta 125 a few months ear­lier and spent hours ren­o­vat­ing it, pol­ish­ing up the chrome and adding all the mod re­galia so that it was ready to roll when I turned 16. I loved the free­dom it gave me but the girls were less keen on rid­ing pil­lion when it rained so I bought an Isetta bub­ble car. It only had three wheels but it had a roof and I was al­lowed to drive it on my bike li­cence. Within a week of my 17th birth­day I’d passed my test and re­placed the Isetta with a Mor­ris Mi­nor that cost me £25 in­clud­ing a new en­gine!

By 1971 I’d man­aged to buy my first sportscar, an MG Midget, and two years later I was driv­ing a Porsche. By buy­ing well and sell­ing at the right time I con­tin­ued to work my way up the own­er­ship lad­der. Clas­sic cars weren’t very sought af­ter in the 1970s so you could pick up some amaz­ing cars quite cheaply.

A few years ago I was tipped off by a friend in the trade that a beau­ti­ful Fer­rari 250 GT Cal­i­for­nia Spy­der replica was for sale. It was made by the same com­pany that built the car in Fer­ris Bueller’s Day Off and looked just as good as the real thing. I leapt at the chance to own it.

I won’t tell you what I paid for it but it was a lot less than the £12mil­lion Chris Evans’s paid for his gen­uine Fer­rari 250 GT Cal­i­for­nia. Even a good replica sells for as much as £100,000 th­ese days. To be hon­est it’s not about the value for me, it’s all about the plea­sure of own­ing such a beau­ti­ful thing. I still use it on the roads around home but only when it’s dry. Much like boats, cars need to be used or they start to fall part.

I’ve al­ways had an affin­ity with the wa­ter, too, ever since I com­peted in kayak races as a kid. I started with a clas­sic Chris-craft 27 Con­cept, which I did up and sold to a friend, and last year I bought a Pearl 43 which had been left to rot by a pre­vi­ous owner ( MBY Oct 2017).

I love the free­dom that own­ing a boat gives me – there’s some­thing very spe­cial about wak­ing up to the sound of wa­ter lap­ping against the hull. One day I’d like to own a clas­sic Fairey Swords­man – just like my 250 GT replica it’s com­fort­able, quick and stylish and would give me the ul­ti­mate clas­sic boat/car pair­ing.

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