Studies and surveys are more often than not the courier for unproductive and sometimes feckless information, which as traditionalistic cynics we throw copious dollops of caution at.
Seem familiar? Not so in this case, as the UK’s biggest specialist motor insurer ERS discovered when they unveiled a study into classic cars and the faithful passion owners seem to have for these nostalgic vehicles.
For months now modern technology has well and truly dominated the motoring scene, with autonomous developers Tesla, Lexus, BMW and Mercedes, amongst others feeding the often ‘green’ minded public, tit-bits designed to keep the self-governing car theme recollected and afloat.
The study brings to light that integrity and nostalgia still reign supreme amongst Britain’s motoring aficionados.
The report, conducted with just under 1000 classic and non-classic car drivers in the UK found that classic cars are still desirable with over half (52%) of non-classic drivers claiming they would like to own one.
Classic car investment is something many enthusiasts are seriously committed to – with driving and maintaining their ‘nostalgic’ and ‘distinctive’ car being the gratification and self-indulgence of ownership.
‘Style’ was the crowning glory (24%) when indulging in a classic car, over age (20%) or even rarity (12%).
However, the implied costs of maintenance, insurance and of the car itself prove to be holding many back from indulging in their passion for classics. Many classic car fans are daunted by the prospect of an ominously large insurance cost, with over 1/3 (37%) of non-classic drivers calling out insurance cost as the main deterrent. However, three quarters (73%) of classic car drivers say insuring their cars was cheaper than expected.
As the London Classic Car Show kicks off this weekend, debates will continue as to what actually defines a so called ‘classic’. The study found that over half (53%) of drivers agreed the defining quality of a classic car to be ‘age’. However, what age is subject for debate as the rise of ‘modern classics’ – cars from the age of 20 years old – are still a dividing topic. A quarter (25%) of respondents argued that a car should only be deemed a classic if it is over 50 years old.
Preserve Or Adapt
The report also tackled the dividing topic of ‘to preserve or adapt’, highlighting some classic owners displeasure towards adaptions to meet modern safety and roadworthy requirements. Many devotees openly express how these so called ‘modifications’ detract from the original beauty of the vehicle in question.
Over three quarters (76%) of respondents agreed that classics should be preserved as they were originally made (without modification), However a closer look at the figures reveals that, over half (56%) of the same group agreed that classic cars can be modified and still retain their appeal.
It’s abundantly clear that while there’s a desire amongst enthusiasts to preserve these cars and all they represent, there is also an understanding that there is a need to move with the times as legislation comes into force around air quality.
So, what is the most influential factor making a classic, classic?
Tom Donachie, Head of Bespoke at ERS said:
“As we gear up for The London Classic Car Show this weekend, it’s been incredibly interesting for us to do a deep dive on the current mind-set around classics. With the introduction of autonomous cars on the horizon, it’s encouraging to see that the nostalgia and beauty of classics is still held in high regard – amongst owners and non-owners alike.
“While ‘would-be’ owners’ flag expense as a key concern, modern classics can be picked up for significantly less than a new or second hand car. When it comes to insurance, speaking to a broker is key. Whether you have owned classics for many years, or are taking your first steps into the world of classic car ownership, an insurance broker will establish your individual needs to get you more of the cover you need – not extras that you don’t – to add real value at no additional cost.”
Classic Cars – Conclusion
Technology will continue it’s unrelenting march towards being fully autonomous, whilst design and developers follow that now tediously predictable generic approach in their quest to manufacture bromidic modern cars that seem devoid of any character.
One thing we can say for certain, the enduring love and nature of the classic car is alive and kicking.
The full study can be seen here.
Past, present and future classics. Jonny Smith and Quentin Wilson have £10,000, £30,000 and a blank cheque! What are they going to splash out on at the London Classic Car Show?
Do you own a classic? Send us your story and we can publish it.