Coldplay’s Guy Berryman – Classic Cars Generate A Smile

Guy Berryman

Coldplay bass guitarist, Guy Berryman believes we will all appreciate classic cars more when there really is a full stop on the combustion age…

Guy Berryman has spent a quarter of a century on bass for one of the biggest bands in history, knocking out more tunes than The Wrigley Company including Paradise, Hymn for the Weekend, Clocks and that blockbuster Viva La Vida but the prolific strummer reckons his love of cars has remained his lifelong influence.

It was the frumpy widemouthed styling of his father’s mothballed Triumph TR3A that lit the classic touchpaper for Berryman as a child growing up in Scotland in the 80s with the youngster often missing in action only to be found behind the wheel of his dads TR. Engineering has always played a significant role in the talented guitarists make-up even before studying mechanical engineering at University College London as he explains during a tour of the garages at his home in the Cotswolds.

Guy Berryman

My interest in cars fundamentally lies in the engineering and concepts behind them. All of the cars in my collection have something significant beneath the surface. I’m a great believer in the idea of form following function, and it’s something that works for me across a range of different fields. Whether its industrial design, clothing or cars, if you follow that mantra you always end up with real purity

Based on his stunning collection of mid-20th century European transport, it’s pretty obvious his automotive preferences lie firmly in the classic car camp… However, Berryman’s passion for
an era of stylish sports cars reaches way beyond looks alone; the 42-year-old takes a ‘hands-on’ approach to the restoration of his cars and utilises a man cave that’s heavily equipped to deal with even the most extensive projects on the go at any given point in time.

Porsche Zagato 356

This is a man who pays attention to even the smallest of detail when restoring a vehicle. Integrity is of paramount importance with meticulous care and attention going into replicating materials, finishes and colours – often details you would never see, such as inside a panel or door.

I think there was a design language in the 1950s and 60s that had a very beautiful, sculptural quality to it as a result of things being drawn by hand. Back in the 60s, I think there was a real flamboyance, spirit and energy in automotive design that resulted in these very pure forms. My interest in being hands-on, in pulling cars apart and rebuilding them, has an obvious connection to my past in mechanical engineering. I’m fascinated by learning, deconstructing – I think everything I do in life creatively involves looking at an object and deconstructing it, either mentally or physically. It’s how my brain works

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Guy Berryman - Porsche 356 Zagato

Guy Berryman – 356 Zagato

His growing ‘fleet’ consists of no fewer than five classic Porsche models, each underscoring his appreciation of the marque’s rich history and engineering integrity. Revealing his prized possessions, there’s an immaculately restored 1967 911S nestling alongside a 914/6 converted to GT specification and a totally original 911 from 1968 that once belonged to Porsche modifier and founder of Rennenhaus, Clay Grady. Grady’s battle-scarred 914 racer is also in Berryman’s possession, as is an ultra-rare 356 Zagato, one of nine continuation cars built to the drawings of the little-known one-off 1958 racer.

Guy Berryman

Shining through like a beacon is his firm belief that cars should be ‘driven’ and not something to admire from a distance…

I don’t think people drive their cars enough which is a shame from a personal and cultural point of view. When there really is a full stop on the combustion age we’ll see classic cars in context and appreciate them all the more. The move to electrification day-to-day is great, and the Taycan is definitely on my radar as a daily driver, but whenever I drive down the street in a classic car, it only ever generates smiles. The lives these cars have led. The stories they can tell. They’re irreplaceable

Images courtesy Porsche newsroom.