classic car hire business - opinions needed

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schmarx
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Joined: 2012-12-19

Hi there

 

I am thinking of setting up a classic car hire business and would appreciate some advice on the cars people would like to see for hire for weekends away or special occasion. I was thinking of having a mix of sports cars and luxury cars with a couple of miscellaneous cars in there. Any advice or opinions would be gratefully appreciated. My choices are;

 

Classic Porsche 911 and 944/924 from the 80s

VW camper van

Classic Alfa Romeo Spider

Jaguar Mk2 or maybe XJS

TVR Griffith/Chimaera/Cerbera

kit car such as Caterham or Cobra

BMW 635csi

maybe Mk1 Audi TT or Porsche Boxster

Classic mini Cooper

MGB/TR4 type roadster

Ford Mustang

These are some of the cars i am considering as they are affordable for good examples. Any other advice would be gratefully received

cheers

Simon

bigfella6
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Joined: 2011-07-09

Simon here's my opinion / suggestions :

Classic Porsche 911 and 944/924 from the 80s - agree

VW camper van - agree

Classic Alfa Romeo Spider - agree

Jaguar Mk2 or maybe XJS - suggest late 240/340 and a late post facelift XJS convertible

TVR Griffith/Chimaera/Cerbera - agree

kit car such as Caterham or Cobra - suggest Caterham for better driving experience

BMW 635csi - agree

maybe Mk1 Audi TT or Porsche Boxster - disagree , Audi not really classic enough and the Boxsters have a potentially troublesome engine design

Classic mini Cooper - agree

MGB/TR4 type roadster - suggest MGB and a Triumph TR6 which is cracking value

Ford Mustang - agree

Also suggest Rover P5B coupe would make a great addition……

 

schmarx
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Joined: 2012-12-19

Hi bigfella

 

thanks for that - what would you most like to see from that list - i.e. what would you be most likely to hire and drive? Maybe put them in order. I suppose it would depend on what you hired the car for but i am thinking the majority would hire for a weekend in the country and use the car on the B roads to get to the country hotel (am I selling it?)  I agree the TT and Boxster are not really classics but both caused a big stir when released that i thought it may be a popular choice to hire them out. But you are the second person to say that. Rover P5B is a nice car too.

 

cheers

bigfella6
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Joined: 2011-07-09

Simon

My suggested order of preference would be as follows :

 

Classic Porsche 911

Classic mini Cooper

Triumph TR6

Jaguar Mk2

MGB

Classic Alfa Romeo Spider

TVR Griffith/Chimaera/Cerbera

Caterham

VW camper van

Ford Mustang

Rover P5B coupe

Jaguar XJS post facelift convertible

BMW 635csi

Porsche 924 / 944

Regards

Dave

Pre 80s TVR
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Joined: 2011-07-17

Just a couple of thoughts.

I would go with either TVR Griffith or Chimaera. The Cerbera is a fantastic car but very specialised to drive and one TVR dealer I know reckons on budgeting a minimum of £2k per year to run one - the bills for an engine rebuild can be huuuge! The Griffith/ Chimaera is much simpler to look after and I would have thought most potential hirers would prefer a 2 seat convertible with shed loads of low down torque and a V8 woofle to a 2+2 coupe with a claustrophobic interior.

The VW camper van is a great idea, but there are quite a few companies specialising in these so it may be worth looking around at local competition. We hired a Type 2 last year for the Silverstone Classic and it was fantastic, but the company gave us a range of vans to choose from, all the equipment we would need, and were happy to advise on camp sites, routes etc. if we had needed them. there is also another company near here which just hires VW campers, it is quite a specialised market and you may be better leaving it to those specialists.

Is an E-Type out of budget? How about an Elise for pure driving pleasure?

Oliver.

 

 

TVR Car Club Pre80s Editor

James Elliott
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Joined: 2011-03-11

schmarx wrote:

Hi there

 

I am thinking of setting up a classic car hire business and would appreciate some advice on the cars people would like to see for hire for weekends away or special occasion. I was thinking of having a mix of sports cars and luxury cars with a couple of miscellaneous cars in there. Any advice or opinions would be gratefully appreciated. My choices are;

 

Classic Porsche 911 and 944/924 from the 80s

VW camper van

Classic Alfa Romeo Spider

Jaguar Mk2 or maybe XJS

TVR Griffith/Chimaera/Cerbera

kit car such as Caterham or Cobra

BMW 635csi

maybe Mk1 Audi TT or Porsche Boxster

Classic mini Cooper

MGB/TR4 type roadster

Ford Mustang

These are some of the cars i am considering as they are affordable for good examples. Any other advice would be gratefully received

cheers

Simon

I think you have a very good selection there Simon.

However, from a commercial point of view, and bearing in mind most people's only-passing-interest in classics, surely you have to have an E-type and a Ferrari?

Truth be told, I can't really see people queuing up to hire a Boxster or a TT, or even a 635. And if you start renting out a Cerbera to less experienced drivers, you'll need to keep an ambulance on stand-by.

Essentials for a start-up (in my view) would be:

E-type

A TR (anything from 4-6)

911

Ferrari (308 or 328)

Alfa Spider (red, like in The Graduate)

Volvo P1800 (white, as in The Saint)

Jaguar Mk2

Mini Cooper 'S'

TVR Griffith

Mustang

Cobra rep

MGB

Caterham/Lotus Seven

 

n/a
drumtochty
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Joined: 2011-06-02

The main essential is to phone around the existing hirers and try to hire specific cars on specific dates.

If  there is not a reasonable amount of sorry sir, that car is not available on those dates,  that shows you how successsful a business sector it is and give you an idea of what will hire out.

Stop the dreaming and do some market research.

A friend tried that with MX5's for two summers and get two weekend hires and he had a Mk1 a Mk2 and  Mk3.

eddie

 

 

 

steve s
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Joined: 2011-08-08

Very god point Eddie - pretty much what I was going to say, but with the added proviso Simon that maybe you also want some cars that others haven't got? 

How about; Datsun 240Z (tough and usually reliable); 1970s Ford Capri for us 50-somethings to relive our youth; Reliant Scimitar GTE?

Also maybe look at parts availability; no good having the car off for the road for three weeks because the part's on back order from Italy (or wherever) - so something like a Mustang or a Mini probably good in this regard as you can get pretty well anything.

Also how good a mechanic are you; what happens when a client rings to say he's burned out the Ferrari's clutch, another rings to say the Cerbera has just ground to a halt, and the 911 won't start and it's due to be picked up in half an hour?

Think of the all-time worst possible scenario, doble it, double it again, and think how you would deal with it.

Good luck mate; I don't want to sound like the Temple of Doom, I hope it works out for you, but it ain't easy out there.

 

steve s
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Joined: 2011-08-08

Sorry that should say very good point Eddie - of course maybe you are a god, I don't know, but....

schmarx
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Joined: 2012-12-19

Hi Oliver

I see it looks as though you are an owner of TVR already - how have you found them in terms of running/maintenance. I have heard plenty of horror stories but also some good ones.

thanks

Simon

schmarx
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Joined: 2012-12-19

thanks for your points Eddie - this is part of my research trying to find out what people would like to see out there available for hire. Quite a lot of people seemed to be camped firmly in one model for ownership - some people love Mustangs and will have them for the rest of their life, some people VW campers, some people Jags and so on. I thought putting the question out there on a forum such as this where there are many different enthusiasts that have passing interests oin other marques may provide me with a bit of useful research.

 

The other idea i was toying with is getting a nice VW barndoor splitscreen and convertible beetle decked out for wedding hire - together with maybe a 60's Jag or 2? any thoughts please?

cheers

Simon