Much has been said recently about the rise of the hyper expensive classic cars and the impossible prices which have been achieved at auction. It is mind blowing to consider that a car can sell for tens of millions of pounds, never to be used in the way that was intended. Many of these end up in private collections, which the public can never see nor experience. The pinnacle of this exclusive trade is the Italian classic car, with nine out of ten of the most expensive classic cars ever being either an Alfa Romeo or a Ferrari.
Some of these owners are more adventurous and compete in events like the Mille Miglia in Italy, which really tests classic cars durability. Other owners enter events like the Kinrara Trophy at the Goodwood Revival, which has been described as the most beautiful race in the world. The idea of full on racing in a car which is worth £20 million to £30 million pounds is pretty surreal, and the sight of cars like the Ferrari 250 SWB being driven in anger is pretty unique.
These cars are seen as glamourous and stylish, the stuff which dreams are made of. This has led to an increase in the use of classic cars in advertising and marketing. Apparently one in five adverts for a luxury or aspirational products now features a classic car. They lend the idea of heritage and style to a brand, and are seen as a lifestyle choice.
So what of more modest classics? More and more classic car events are popping up around the country, with a local suburban pub having a Supercar Sunday, and my local town having a Classic Car Festival, as recent examples. These feature a mix of different cars from the everyday to the exotic, and lots of proud owners.
In an age when car are getting more complex, people are looking back to simpler times, with cars which can be worked upon without expensive gadgets. They are looking back to cars which relied on driver skill to perform, rather than electronic trickery to enable quick progress. Older cars have the potential for a longer life as more modern cars come in to the classic car category, and there is a developing industry of parts and support for a wider variety of classic cars. All these factors have led to the recent explosion in interest in classic cars and long may it continue.
*Author: Paul Rose*