Vintage and classic cars have varied over time in terms of cost, appearance, and history, but there is no denying that they are a significant part of British heritage. Despite the classic car industry being worth an astonishing £5.5 billion to the UK economy, questions are regularly raised around whether or not it faces extinction.
With many devotees falling between 40-70 years of age, it is more important than ever to instil this passion into a younger audience to keep the industry going. From the engineering marvels from a time before, to its close-knit community, here, the Classic Car Finance Team at Cambridge & Counties Bank, explain why it is important to celebrate and support our automotive history and heritage.
Character and quality
One of the most attractive features of a classic car is its style and character drawn by the human hand rather than modern Computer Aided Design (CAD). Whether it is a roaring engine, leather bench seats or projecting tail lights, these originals bring diversity and a sense of the past to the road, making them stand out against their modern rivals. Without supporting the classic industry, these features will one day be a distant memory.
Your very own project
Many assume the classic and vintage industry is an expensive or luxury hobby to get involved with and, whilst this is true in terms of needing initial finance to make a purchase, you don’t always need a large sum to get your hands on a great classic. Genuine original classic cars can be had for as little as £3,000-£10,000 and age like a fine wine, even a DB5 was “only” £30,000 thirty years ago.
You can purchase classic and vintage cars in a variety of conditions and turn it into a truly meaningful restoration project. For those interested in renovating a classic, you have a decision to make at the outset; do you strive for originality, or are you considering modern engineering techniques? This decision can be influenced by the model you are considering renovating, as high value models can be “ruined”, or lose their classic status by not following its heritage. The “restomod” is increasingly popular, where the heritage body, style and grace of a classic is underpinned by modern mechanicals and this in theory gives you the best of both worlds. Finally, you could follow the coachbuilders of the time and design a model and style that resembles your individual needs, something that is a dream for many enthusiasts.
An important part of history
Any car that is 25 years or older is classed as a ‘classic’, however, a vehicle referred to as ‘vintage’ is one that is manufactured between 1925 and 1948. Recognising cars over the years is an important part of the British history timeline as different models are distinctive to their specific era. Looking back at a certain car model or characteristic can take you back to a different time in history and can act as a key part of education. For example, spotting a certain car in a film or television scene will instantly give you an indication of the year and scenario it was set in.
Sense of community
When you drive a classic or vintage automobile, you tend to cross paths with others that have the same interests, whether this be online, or in person at races, auctions and events. Being part of these groups opens up a plethora of knowledge and advice, with the opportunity to form long-standing friendships. Many members will exchange tips, parts, and other resources to help you restore and care for your classic vehicle.
A new generation of enthusiasts
Typically, classic car heritage tends to be a hobby appreciated mostly by older generations however, for this to withstand the test of time, it’s important to engage a wider audience. This can be reflected with the increasing number of modified younger classics that are starting to emerge with the idea that this generates interest among ‘Millennials’ and ‘Generation Z’. Another way to broaden the community is through educating a wider audience on the history of classic vehicles in an engaging way, to encourage them to get involved and even purchase their own vehicle.
When it comes to classic and vintage cars, it is needless to say there are a plethora of attractions. Keeping the industry alive is vital for those that devote their spare time to renovating old makes and models and are keen to pass this love onto a younger generation. Owning a classic or vintage car can be a great and meaningful experience, proving a strong sense of support and interaction that comes with the community.