IF you own a classic car, then you are likely to be somewhat of a contrarian, even if would never admit to it in polite society. Most people just blame it on character flaw.
It’s easier to say that a garage full of classic cars is due to our predilection towards pleasure rather than any sort of contrarian investment plan.
It’s like buying a Volvo or an Audi brand new; even though they are perfectly sensible choices, it’s simply easier to shrug the shoulders and admit that we just have a soft spot for the less common path.
If your friends see a properly good classic car, the effect is the same as finding out that you have bought a brand-new Alfa Romeo or Maserati, or even a Fiat.
They kind of hug you with gentle understanding, almost saying that they understand why we did it and they sometimes wish they had the courage to do the same thing.
Obviously it is best to buy a proper classic car, the sort that we see in auction listings, but not everyone has zeroes queuing in their bank balance and instead they make do with Morris Minor, Ford Prefect, Vauxhall Viva or Triumph TR7.
That last one added for effect because I think it is one of the most awkward, if not downright ugliest, sportscar ever produced.
Even if you chose to buy a run of the mill classic, there are many benefits to be had, some financial and others psychological and even health-related.
An old family car, one that is over 25 years old, can no longer muster a strong price; they are sold nearly at the price of scrap and this makes them very easy purchase for many people and the floor scraping prices means that all the previous owners have suffered the depreciation for you.
All you have to do now, is keep tin worm away from it. If you keep it long enough, it will begin to regain value but not all will scale great heights, some will manage just to overcome modest molehills.
If you own a classic car, you get road tax exemptions, which means you only pay a quarter of what regular people pay. Since cars from 1991 are already considered classics, most of these cars already have the basic modern conveniences of air conditioning and a decent stereo so you really lose nothing much in terms of creature comfort.
Honestly, if you are concerned about Bluetooth connectivity then you are probably not a classic car fan. Anyway, Bluetooth is only RM500 with a new double din head unit.
Greater than these enticing financial rewards are the psychological rewards.
Classic cars put us in a particular state of mind. Every drive becomes an occasion and we begin to enjoy the journey and becomes somewhat jealous of the destination for ending it too soon.
This makes traffic more bearable as we soak in the ambience of the car, touch the old switches and smell in the leather mixed with steaming lubricants and the whiff of over-rich exhaust fumes. If we are lucky, there might even be a hint of old tobacco in the car.
We can then spend some time with rose tinted glasses, smiling at how things used to be, perhaps remembering a particular laughter from our childhood or the smell of our grandparents living room or mum’s cooking.
It may even bring back that time when dad was angry at us for something or the other.
Classic cars are also more human, their have lost their industrial strength armour and are now full of chinks and flaws and need to be treated with respect or they will act up on us. So in a way it is a good way to teach us empathy and sympathy and it may even make us pick up a skill or two.
Unless you always drive with a mechanic on tow, classic car owners need to know some basics of car maintenance. Some cars are easier to coax back to life than others and each owner must have the basic skills to keep the car going if things break down.
Actually, you don’t have to because every time a classic car breaks down it puts a smile on a mechanic’s face and that is as good as spreading cheer to all of mankind.
So, in short, if you own a classic car, you might get rich in the future, you will become a kinder and gentler person that the whole world will like and you cannot help but spread wealth and cheer all around the mechanic community and the world at large.
So go get a classic now, it’s good for your soul.