Juggling classic cars can be a tricky business: how many is too many?

| 22 Nov 2017

Every time I open up Facebook, it seems another one of my friends has bought another car. Usually cheap, and of questionable classic provenance. A few of these friends have upwards of 10 vehicles, and the excuse for their most recent purchase is invariably that none of the others are working. But can you really care for and enjoy that many cars? 

Former C&SC staffer ‘Doctor’ Dave Richards had a more practical outlook, underpinned by an agreement made with his better half before they were married. The rule? No more than six vehicles at any one time, which saw his fleet chop and change but never get too out of control. Great if you have the space to store the cars and the time to keep them running, but still no mean feat. 

A few of months ago I doubled the size of my collection when I bought a 1974 Triumph 2500TC, which joined my MGB GT from the same year. If I’m being totally honest, I’m struggling slightly. Because I live in south London, space is at a real premium, and I only have room in the garage for one car. The solution was to clear out the garage at my family seat in Lincolnshire, and to rotate the classics whenever I make the journey home. 

One of the problems that I’ve faced has been my wife’s reluctance to take a classic when the trip is important, such as going up north for a christening or birthday party, which has meant that the MG has been tucked away for months on end. I’m really missing it too, struggling to not have access to both cars at once. 

It got worse a couple of weeks ago while helping out on a massive group test of MGBs for an upcoming issue of C&SC. I had to turn up in a modern and spent the whole day wishing I was in the GT. When I went home a week later, the first thing I did was to throw off the cover, fire it up and go for an evening blast around Spalding. If I was ever in any danger of falling out of love with the car, the two month absence followed by that first drive reminded me exactly why I’ll never get rid of it. 

So, I am curious: how many cars do you own, and how many is too many?