New research into classic car owners reveals that they are truly a passionate community, and in it for the long haul, with 1 in 6 saying they would never sell their car under any circumstances. And even if they did, it would only be if their health was at risk.
The cost-of-living crisis hasn’t stopped owners splashing the cash either. In a recent survey of over 3,000 of its classic car customers, Adrian Flux, one of the UK’s largest specialist motor insurance brokers found that 17% still spend more than 10% of their income on classic car maintenance and restoration. This is especially significant when you compare that on average people spend 16% on their food bill.
A nostalgic heirloom
As part of their research, Adrian Flux identified some classic car owners who wouldn’t part with their pride and joy under any circumstances.
Dave Bell, 75, owns a 1960s Vauxhall Cresta that was passed down by his dad and he has been looking after it for most of its life. He said, “[My dad] used to say to me ‘Why don’t you sell it, you don’t need it’, but I always said ‘no, I can’t sell it’.”
Click here to read more about Dave and his beloved Vauxhall.
Classic car owners take great pride in restoring their vehicles, often carrying out some of the work themselves, and for a quarter of those surveyed, this was the biggest motivation for owning their car. And like Dave with his dad passing him down his car, 17% of other owners have their cars for the nostalgia and personal recollection.
Not your everyday family car
Whilst the restoration and nostalgia bring classic car owners great joy, it’s actually driving their vehicles that truly captivates classic car owners, with 25% citing this as the best thing about owning one.
Mick and Midge Harris would certainly agree with this. Over the decades they have lovingly restored a classic Triumph Renown and take great pleasure in using it for shopping trips, family holidays, and even taking daughters Clare and Emma to school.
Mick said: “They were very embarrassed because I’d take them to school in this car and they wanted me to stop down the road and then walk,”
And I remember being told off in Jewson’s yard for loading the back seat and the floor with Hepsleve pipe while I was doing the house up. I said, ‘I haven’t got anything else to move it with!’ She’s never going to be worth a lot of money, but it’s not about that. I love driving it.”
Click here to read more about Mick and Midge’s Triumph.
HMRC defines a classic car as being over 15 years old, which means there are a whole variety of cars on the market each representing an eclectic mix of decades. And it’s the 60s that those surveyed have ranked as the best decade for these cars, with the Mini Mark 1, the curvaceous Jaguar E-Type and the sporty MGB all launched in this era.
Classic cars throughout the ages have some of the most trendy and sleek designs, each with its own character and charm. And it’s this personality that nearly a quarter (24.5%) of owners surveyed love, with a further 21% loving the simplicity of the mechanics. The style, simplicity and charm of classic cars clearly trump the rest, as nearly half believe that no modern cars (those registered since 2018) have the capability to become a classic, they simply don’t match up to cars from previous decades.
A graduation present
Mark Miller purchased his 1961 Volvo P1800 after he graduated University in New Mexico, and it’s been with him ever since, “It is an attractive car, and it draws a lot of attention. I do enjoy the fact that people enjoy it when I take it out.”
It’s part of my heritage, my history, so I love it, because it’s the one that I’ve had for 50 years,” he says.
Click here to read more about Mark’s attractive Volvo.
Gerry Bucke, General Manager at Adrian Flux says: “We understand that to many owners, their classic car is so much more than just a car, and each one possesses its own unique character and charm, especially when considering any modifications, it might have undergone over time. And from our experience, you’ll be hard pushed to come up with an owner with more love and loyalty than a classic car enthusiast.”