Can you have too much of a good thing? Al Clements doesn't think so...

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Author: Alastair ClementsPublished:

I’m in a bit of a quandary at the moment. How many classic cars are too many for one person to own at any one time?

My other half is convinced that the answer is one or perhaps two at a push, but I’m already at the latter figure and I'm still hungry for more. I've had a fleet of three before (main pic), and that was perfectly manageable.

Actually, it’s worse than that: every free moment I have these days – not to mention plenty of occasions when I really should be doing other more important things – is spent furiously browsing the (free!) listings here at C&SC.com, saving searches and ‘watching’ potential purchases on eBay, or taking extra-long lunch-hours for viewings.

If I’m totally honest with myself, Mrs C is probably right: after all, I can only drive one car at a time, can’t I?

Thankfully, I’ve come up with a new system to defy such logic and justify my old-car needs, which basically involves having a car for all reasons.

I already have my high days and holidays steed (the Magnette, above) – that doubles up as a family wagon, which in my view means that I am already economising.

In the Whizzkid (above), I also have my long-term project car (albeit one that was never meant to be long-term), so next on the list of classic necessities is a daily driver – ideally one that's cheap to buy and run, reasonably brisk, simple to fix and preferably tax-free.

Those of you who've read my previous blogs will know that I have been missing my old MGB GT for a while, and that model seems to fit all of the criteria (apart from the tax-free bit with my paltry budget), so inevitably that's what I've been looking for. The fact that the B turns 50 this year just adds to the serendipity – as well as, rather unfortunately, bumping up prices.

If I’m particularly sneaky, and make sure it has a roof, that allows for further fleet expansion in the future to include the obligatory summer-fun convertible, along with something for occasional gentle competition use, perhaps, plus a pre-war car for driving to VSCC events.

I think I’m going to need a bigger garage.

 

Comments

larryJgrayson

If you are a passionate about classic car, then one or two car doesn't satisfy you. 

Copart

PHJ

Sorry if this prints twice - complete ignoramous on web posting. I am up to 5 aclassicst the moment plus a daily driver which is a semi classic (21 years old). Its too many - every time I want to use or fiddle with one I have to rearrange all the others. But I love them all like children. Was going to sell 2 but am pulling back.I think I will keep 4 plus the DD. They make life a real pleasure. Even just cleaning them. sad isn't it?

Super1600

I have only 3 classics, all from '69. My Fiat AC 124 sport mostly restored, owned for over 30 yrs, my Alfa Romeo Giulia Super, under restoration and my AR S1 1750 GTV, plus daily driver AR 156 sport wagon. I don't consider that excessive. I would love to add a few more classics to my fleet. My brother on the other hand has over 80 classics and is still collecting. To me that is possibly a little bit excessive ! He doesn't think so, however.

Forza Alfa Romeo

Super1600

I tried posting from my iphone but it didn't seem to work, so here goes again.  My view, no you don't have sufficient classics yet, and there are always ways to overcome storage problems and/or the missus concerns.  I currently have 3 classics, all Italian and from the class of '69.  My Fiat AC 124 sport that I have owned and restored a couple of times over the past 32 years, needs finishing off one day, my Alfa Romeo Giulia Super (never driven) and have been restoring this all too slowly over the past 10 years and my Alfa Romeo S1 1750 GTV which I have owned for 15 years and really does need to be restored.  It sits waiting patiently now under covers in the lockup.  I still would like if possible to add a few more to my collection.

My brother on the other hand has over 80 classics, including Mercedes, Jags, Riley, Rover, Alfa, Fiat and Lancias oh and a few bikes.  His current philosphy works on the principal of one new classic into his collection on the understanding that two must leave.  Is it working, no not really, and he is still keen to collect more.  He uses the analogy that some people collect stamps, or books or other things, he collects cars. 

We have an award in our club (club motori italia), called  the GIT award (Graham in Training), for the club member who has collected the most, most interesting and/or wierd cars over the past 12 months. My brother was of course the founder of this award.

 

Forza Alfa Romeo

Jitters

Not possible to own too many, IMHO.  I have two in the "stable" right now.  As soon as this house sells, I'm building a modest 3-bedroom with a 40-car garage.  (In rural Texas, we have LOTS of land.....bonus!)  It will take a while to fill the garage, clearly.  But it's still cheaper than wives and kids.  And I have nothing but time.  Pull the trigger, Al, and find one for each month!  

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