The Thrill Of Classic Car Restoration
August 20, 2015
The Allure of the Classic Automobile
The area surrounding the M25 motorway boasts a huge range of classic car dealerships. Edging further into the capital we see that this is a passion that is fuelled, literally, by wealthy Londoners as the concentration of well-regarded high-end classic car dealerships starts to peak around the Hyde Park area. This is a world where distinguished names rule and where the manufacturer, condition, era and rarity of the model dictates what the often lucrative market value of the vehicle will be.
The beauty of this is that there is an opportunity for die-hard car collectors to ride the wave of the boom in interest, leaving avid collectors in a strong position. There has been some interesting recent winners in this trend.
The Best Cars for Investment
There seems to be a marked and continued buzz around classic car restoration, ownership and sales with a large amount of renowned motoring publications starting to take notice of what was once seen as a game for fools.
Take Chelsea Cars, they have been providing and selling classic cars to the London market for over 30 years and have been featured on Top Gear amongst other television and newspaper appearances. This kind of success speaks of a consistently revived market with a fantastic future.
The Allure of a Classic Sports Car
The allure of the classic sports car is a truism that seemingly goes unspoken, it is just obvious. It is often said by motoring aficionados that automobiles designed during racings ‘golden age’ – the 1930’s and 60’s, represent the absolute embodiment of speed, style, elegance and design. The golden era of automobile perfection, influenced by contemporary art, architecture, fashion and design gave us such classics as the DB5’s, MK’s as well as the 250 GT. These remain timeless artefacts of an era of splendour and luxury, even if the most customised of all was only reserved for the privileged few; your Gable’s and McQueen’s. However the spread of this market during that period has left some collectors with some now valuable vehicles.
Classic car culture is well and truly alive up and down the country as well as the capital. From Firle Vintage Summer Fair to Southbank’s Classic Car Boot Sale the love for the classic car, like anything vintage, and removed from contemporary mass production, is blooming and beloved.
Iconic Brands in London
The dealerships across London boast an impressive range of serviced cards brought back to their former glory. Here is a selection of our personal favourites:
But when it comes to influential classics, iconic models resonate with people and that was certainly the case when the Telegraph decided to find out which vehicles resonated with famous faces from the big and small screens, titled ‘Stars and Classic Cars’. Top Gear presenter, James May awarded the tribute to The Corgi Aston Martin DB5 as a car that inspired him – and numerous others – when they were youngsters.
The allure of a classic sports car seams to never fade we think as we browse a 1935 Aston Martin MK2 with a long chassis – coming from Landmark Cars – being renewed with a fierce red lacquer bringing them into the modern age as seen below.
The Jaguar XKSS
There are many examples of classic cars rising exponentially in value and this is exactly what’s happened to the exceptionally rare Jaguar XKSS, only one of 16 ever made. Jonathon Prynn of The Standard elaborated on this recently:
“Its value — estimated at $17 million, or £11.5 million — has risen 20 per cent over the past year, adding almost £2 million to its price tag. The prime central London property market, by contrast, has gone up at a relatively modest pace of around 5 per cent over the same period. The 3.4 litre engined car’s value was enhanced last summer when it won a “best in class” in the post-war sports category at the Quail Lodge competition in Pebble Beach, California.” Jonathon Prynn – The Standard
This massive rise in value has now made this model of Jaguar the most expensive British made road-legal vehicle today.
The XKSS was made in Coventry during 1957 and unfortunately spent a large portion of its life rusting away in a Cuban pound after an accident during a supercar race on the island. It miraculously survived the whole of the Castro regime before JD Classics bought the vehicle in 2010. Four years later and the results of labouring over its restoration are clear to see.
The car is said to reach a top speed of 180mp. Some famous drivers have included Steve McQueen and Ralph Lauren. Apparently 16 were finished before an infamous fire at the plant in 1957, destroying the remaining 9, one of the many reasons for this car being so rare.
The restoration of classic cars sourced from the rarest of locations is still a process of careful sourcing. But this market that can be hugely satisfying as well as lucrative.