Classic cars. What do you think of when you hear that term? An MGB maybe, or a lot of men in flat caps peering into the bonnet of an old 1950s saloon? Or does your mind take you to the recent headlines of classic Ferraris and Aston Martins changing hands for many millions of pounds?
The truth is that the classic car world is a diverse place, and one that has expanded rapidly in the last few years. Prior to the arrival of the Internet, owning a classic car was not an easy experience. Need to know how to fix a whining differential? Either wait until your next owners’ club meeting, or ring your specialist book seller and see if he had something relevant. Want to sell your classic? Send an advert (with a cheque) to the classified section of Practical Classics magazine and a month later your car would be advertised. Lists of spares were traded with the reverence of religious icons, and nobody made replacement parts.
Then a few years ago everything changed. Not only did the internet make it possible for information to be shared at the press of a button across the globe, but it also allowed people to share their passion for classic cars. Communities were formed, and these led to more meetings and events.
Today the classic car world is booming. There are more events than ever before, from Goodwood to Beaulieu, and the NEC there are classic shows the whole year round. Information on virtually every classic is available easily, and there has never been more support from parts suppliers, specialist mechanics and restorers.
Even the term classic car has evolved dramatically in the last few years. Formerly considered a car over 40 years old, this is no longer adequate to cover the huge rise in interest in 1980s cars that has taken place recently. Cars like the BMW E30 M3, the VW Golf GTI and The Porsche 911 Turbo are now some of the most sought-after classics on the market.
So what’s a classic car? To be honest, it is anything you want it to be: a car with some historic significance that you cherish, be it a vintage 1908 Model T Ford or a 1992 Ford Sierra Cosworth. Most importantly, a classic car is one with which you have some sort of relationship- we hope good.