A growing murmur in the classic community is suggesting that we should protect our motoring heritage, preserve it for future generations – and not race these classic cars that are worth so much. Many people have been telling me that these historic cars shouldn’t just be the plaything of millionaires, and that some classic race meets share too much in common with the banger racing phenomenon that is stripping Britain of classic models, like the Austin Westminster.
But I think I fall down on the other side of the argument. I’m a firm believer in driving my classics in all weathers, using them primarily for their intended purpose – transportation from A to B. Sure, I don’t drive them on salted roads, but I’m not put off by a bit of rain. I hate seeing show queens sitting in garages, polished but unused. So why should it be any different for historic racecars? An online cry went up when that Daytona slipped into the Armco, with many fearing for its originality. I don’t know the detailed history of the car, but I’m fairly surely its had countless ‘offs’ in its time, and has probably been rebuilt more times than I can count. Does that make it less original? I would argue it makes it more so. It adds to the unique history of that car, like the lines on the face of that crazy old man that wanders around the town centre, a bit drunk. He isn’t pretty, but he’s got some interesting stories.