Classics as daily drivers - can it be done?

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Nuno Granja
Nuno Granja's picture
Joined: 2011-09-13

NIce tread, with diferent points of view and practical approaches to this subject

"Rarely admitted facts" , or one more point of view about using classics /youngtimers as daily drivers in Portugal.

("TU DECIDES!" on the grafitti  from portuguese trotsky party means "You to decide!")

Here when someone ask a BMW owner why he chose such car , almost everybody will give you a lot of reasons related with the german build quality , but probably no one will admit that the main reason its because the BMW brand is a simbol of statuts.

The same apens with the "old car" use and ownership, as at least here, for most of the people, showing itself at the wheel of an "old car" its not a  valuable social statement.

So for a lot of people "old cars" are nice "things", owned by rich people and some nuts to be used in special events, but they never try it because they dont want to associated with old things.

The wives/girl friends ( first), relatives (second) and the community and coworkers (third) play an important role in this kind of social conditioning.

In my case it works on the other way as I love the cars, love to drive them and my ego love that almost no one here have another. 

Status simbol's dont play any kind role in my family relationships , my wife almost dont drive and she get scared when see prices of new cars and the depreciation values. Finnaly using no status simbols is a cheapest way to keep people who give importance to them away from our circle of friends.

Other fact who puts people away from classic regular use is the common ideia that old cars are nothing but a bag full of problems and expenses, but thats is theme for another post

nuno granja

Joined: 2012-01-19

I've owned my 1967 Rover 2000 automatic for two and a half years, and for the first year of ownership, it was my only car, and thus used everyday. It also happened to be my first car. It was used to travel to and from my job, to go out for runs, to visit friends all over the country, to visit interesting places, and for going on holiday. Although far from reliable, more as a result of the previous owner's negligence than anything, it proved to be a fantastic way of travelling. Just over a year after buying it, I felt I'd buy a modern, in an attempt to avoid using the 2000 in all weathers, so I bought a Rover 75 V6, which was immensely comfortable, smooth, and utterly reliable, but at every opportunity, I'd be out in the P6. By February of 2012, I had acquired a P5 3 litre coupé project, and a P5B, so the 75 was used less and less, and the P5B ended up doing daily drive duties for the two month period that I owned it. In the end, I realised that P5B insurance, and repairs were beyond the means of a 20 year-old, working in a village shop. So, with reluctance, the P5s were sold on, as, fairly soon, was the 75. I started using the 2000 a lot more, before, in a moment of madness, bought a Mazda 1998 MX-5 mark 2 1.8i. Shortly after this, I changed jobs, and was doing a 35 mile daily commute. The 2000 was used an awful lot, throughout the summer, in addition to the MX-5, and both cars made the journey to and from work an absolute delight. No matter how bad the day at work had been, coming out of work, getting into the Rover, and going for a long drive on a summer's evening took some beating.

I'm now at university again, so I've decided that owning two cars is pointless, so, with some reluctance, I'm selling my MX-5, but I'm relishing the thought of using the P6 on a daily basis once again. The P6 was, and continues to be, an ideal classic for everyday use. Despite being seen as the poor relation in the P6 range by many, the 2000 auto is remarkably good once on the move, and will happily sit at 60 or 70. Running a classic on a daily basis makes every journey seem just that little bit special, and I do enjoy going out in the middle of winter in my classic, while many 'enthusiasts' will barely pluck up the courage to open the garage door when there's the remotest possibility of drizzle. It gets an awful lot of attention while out and about, and I'm constantly getting asked about it when parked, but it's infinitely better than driving something boring and uninspiring. I must confess to rather enjoying the bemused looks on the faces of modern drivers when I'm on the motorway keeping pace with the moderns, periodically venturing into the outside lane. 

I would far rather see a slightly scruffier example of relatively mainstream classic being truly enjoyed throughout the year, than one that sits about for the majority of the year, and is never truly enjoyed. It's just a pity that more young people can't be encouraged to buy and run classics as daily drivers! 

Here's a photo of my 2000 out and about.