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The five different types of classic car owner

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Have you ever wondered what drives people to buy classic cars? Like any hobby, where there is generally a force behind it that enables that person to keep pursuing it - and which keeps the interest piqued - this is undoubtedly no different for the classic car owner. It might stem from an obsession with a certain type of car that you saw in a TV programme growing up. Perhaps you helped your Grandad tinker around with an old Bentley and now sitting in one or working on one reminds you of him. It might even be that you just like buying cars and doing them up for other people to then enjoy, with the desire to see them back on the road. It might even come down to being able to make money from buying and selling, with the right knowledge and a desire to play the game.


No doubt there are many reasons why classic car ownership is so important to an individual. So let’s have a look at the five main types of classic car owner that we’ve identified…


The collector


For the classic car collector, their cars are generally more than just vehicles; they're investments, not unlike a piece of prized art. These people often seek out rare models and limited editions for their collection, and often vehicles with some historical significance. Of course, the reason for the purchase of a new classic could also be to have it as an investment, to sit on it whilst the value increases over time; or it could be for a quick flip or to free up some storage if space needs to be recouped, so not all cars will be bought to be kept for a long time. Having more than a few cars obviously requires the finances and the space in which to store them, so something to bear in mind if you aspire to be a collector!




The restorer 


The doer-uppers are the artisans of the classic car world. They relish the challenge of bringing classic vehicles back to their former glory, often spending countless hours in their garages, meticulously refurbishing every nut and bolt. For them, the thrill lies in the process of reviving a piece of car history, from sourcing authentic car parts to learning and perfecting the techniques required for a showroom-quality finish that stays true to the era in which it was made. Sometimes, with car ownership, it’s not about the driving and the feel of being behind the wheel, and that certainly seems to be the case here.




The all-weather enthusiast


These classic car owners believe that, like modern cars, classics are there to be used and enjoyed, and they are allowed to get dirty - in all weathers and conditions. Which is even better, because then they can spend hours cleaning them to make them look shiny and new again… There’s a passion here, and whilst they may not always have the resources or expertise of collectors or restorers, their love for vintage cars is no less apparent. The fun is in the driving, and with that comes the risk of damage or a hefty repair bill - but it’s worth it for these owners. Whether they own just one cherished classic or more, these cars are driven proudly for both onlookers to appreciate them (as they kangaroo juice by), and for the driver themselves to experience the thrill of having their hands on the wheel of a little bit of history. 


The sunny day driver


Ah, the sunny day driver - also known as the ‘just for the weekend’ driver. These owners keep their cars in the garage, and plan for the day when the sun is out and the weather is just right. Rain is the ultimate enemy of the sunny day driver. Usually a sleek convertible, these cars are used for a certain period of the year and are then covered back up again until next summer (with a flat battery to boot, as is often the case when that next sunny day comes round and the car won’t start).




The trailer queen owner


This owner knows exactly what they want in a classic, in terms of make and model, and will settle for no less. These cars are just for show - they are not driven, just carted about on the back of a trailer from show to show, hence the name. They are there to be appreciated for their form, their shape and their perfect restoration, and are polished to within an inch of their life. They may not actually be road-worthy (indeed, some don’t have any fluids in them) but they can be appreciated as an art form, and although some people don’t like the fact that a car is carried about by another vehicle and not driven, it’s no doubt a great way for car lovers at shows and exhibitions to get up close to particular makes and models that they love. 



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It’s a pretty diverse range of owners we’ve just listed there! It does seem that the world of classic car buyers is as diverse as the vehicles themselves are. From collectors and restorers, to those drivers who study the weather before getting behind the wheel, each type of owner is however united by a shared appreciation for the cars in their own little way. 


So, now we have two questions for you - which category applies most to you and why, and also, have we missed any categories out? Let us know in the comments below!