More Classics on Britain's Roads? By Dave Richards

More Classics on Britain's Roads? By Dave Richards

Here’s a prediction. This on-going recession will see more classics in use, not fewer. What makes me believe this?


The high-prices of modern cars for starters. Couple this with the increasing lack of company car use by businesses (you want examples? CCfS’s parent company used to provide company cars to editors as recently as 10 years ago, and I heard last week another publishing house is getting rid of all its company cars) which means there are fewer new cars being bought in Britain, and residuals of decent recent modern tackle stand to get stronger. It’s easy to buy a modern car. It’s (a lot) harder to buy a low-mileage one at reasonable money.


So for the Kerlassic-lovers out there, it’s easier to decide to dispose of the leggy modern, and choose to use some of the historic motors ‘in stock’. After all, who’d want to plough time, effort  and money into a high-mileage 10 year old Honda Civic that’s started jumping out of fifth gear? The friend this has happened to is facing what we all face lack of liquidity as prices rise constantly but wages don’t.


So in his case, the advice was simple – pass the VW Golf GTI mk2 that he’s been using everyday onto his wife, and recommission the Golf GTI mk1 that’s been sitting in his garden waiting for it’s tailgate to be repainted. After all, these older cars from the 1980s are so much simpler to fix. Should the gearbox fail on one of these Golfs, a secondhand replacement is going to stand him £150 and a day’s work with a mate to swap it over. That Y-plate Civic’s box will stand him at £500 for the gearbox, should he be able to find one, and then take 3 man-days to swap the boxes over on his back on the driveway.


It’s happened to me too. The modern Primera has gone, and your CCfS Editor’s wheels for the past month (so far) has been the 1968/G Vauxhall Ventora oft-seen within the pages of Classic Car Weekly.


But am I saving money? The road tax is free. But at a fuel consumption of between 16 and 20mpg, I’m not so sure. But heck, you only live once. And I just love driving the thing.


Dave Richards


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