Why you should be considering a classic car

Everyone has a different idea of what a classic car is. Some of us picture gentleman of a certain age driving along in a 60’s convertible, a gentle breeze lazily wafting their ever-retreating hairline. Some of us think of chrome bumpers and spoked wheels, whilst others picture unmistakable angular shapes of the 80’s.

None of you are really wrong, even some newer cars are instantly recognised as modern classics, cars that in the future will be the E-Types and Beetles of tomorrow. But recent figures from owners clubs all over the world report that, now more than ever, a younger generation of drivers are diving into the world of classic cars. Here’s why.

Pale blue classic VW Beetle parked by the roadside

Age before beauty, or maybe a bit of both

Depending where you’re from, the ‘classic’ designation usually represents a specific taxation class, exempt from certain laws, tests and can be considerably cheaper on the old insurance. In the States for example, North American clubs generally set their own rules and restrictions for when a classic tips over into the right age category.

In the UK, classic cars become a classic based on a rolling year basis. As of 2019 anything pre-January 1978 is considered a Classic. With that comes an exemption from a recorded MOT certificate – though it is suggested that regular maintenance is kept up to and tested by a professional garage to maintain safety – and an exemption from road tax. Winner.

Hastings Direct, Sheila’s Wheels, Aviva… What about Adrian Flux?

Once you’re past 41 year mark, you can expect cheaper insurance – depending on the make and prestige of your motor and all the other usual insurance related gubbins. A lot of that comes down to the customer profile of the vehicle. Most classic car owners are, lets face it, older. They generally drive more responsibly, they love their projects and take great care of them. They drive them less, often park them off the road and so by the law of averages, classic car owners are of less risk. Ergo – cheap insurance.

In 2019, young drivers face insurance costs that far out-weigh the value of their actual car, with dreaded black-boxes fitted and curfew restrictions, just to be able to drive that mile journey to the closest McDonald’s on their ‘free period’.

close up of the bonnet of a classic mini cooper

Lets make a comparison. Would you rather have some rattly, 20 year old, unreliable piece of gaudy French drivvle that your Dad bought for £1500 down the local car auction, with a hefty £2000+ insurance cost on top? Or, spend £2500 on a classic, like a Mini or a Polo Breadvan? £500 insurance maximum, with the added kudos of driving something completely different to the bangers your mates had bought for them?

No brainer-if you ask us! Which brings us nicely on to our next point.

Stand out from the crowd

Within reasonable generalisation, cars these days look pretty similar. VW own Skoda, Seat and Audi, share a load of parts and it is obvious. French designers tend to be a little off the wall but Renault and Citroen are easily comparable. Vauxhall and Ford look pretty similar as the only surviving ‘British’ manufacturers, and the Asian car market also seem to adhere to the 2019 rule book.

The same could be said for every decade of car manufacture I suppose, certain styles come in and out of fashion and customer demand dictates how cars look and the features they adopt. However – the fact is that a car from 1975 looks a whole lot different to a car from 2015 and that, is worth it’s weight in scrap metal.

When you’re a young person, starting out in your adult life, expressing yourself and standing out (just enough) from your peers is important. Classic cars provide a brilliant way to do just that and you never know, you might just learn something along the way.

Working with your hands – it’s a dying art

dirty tools in a car garage

If you decide to become an owner of a classic car, you’re going to have to invest in some tools, spark plugs and a few cans of oil to stand a chance. This is often one of the absolute joys of being a classic car owner – fettling your pride and joy. As cars get newer and the world gets smaller, technology is taking over. It is nigh on impossible for the average guy to do any more than clean their own car these days. But the beauty of a classic car is in its simplicity.

A complete and absolute novice is 100% capable of going out, buying a Haynes manual for their motor and carrying out a general service over the course of a Sunday. What could be more rewarding than keeping something you love running right? Classic cars become more than just a tool that you feed petrol to get you from A to B – when you dedicate the time and effort into an inanimate object, they take on their own personality.

So what are you waiting for?

It can be tricky, knowing what to look for and what to avoid when shopping around for a classic. They can be sneakily bodged, hiding a multitude of sins which will undoubtedly make a car dangerous to drive. Your best bet is to do your reading, research the cars that appeal to you, what were they famous for? Were they notorious for rusting on the inner wings, were their head gaskets prone to blowing, did the OEM distributors wear out unusually fast?

They’re all points to be considered and a little bit of research will go a long way. Join forums, buy magazines and speak to owners club members, they will be more than willing to guide you in the right direction. And if we had to give you one piece of advice when buying a classic car – if it seems like a great deal, it probably isn’t! Buy cheap, and you will undoubtedly pay for it down the line.


Foundry Motorcycle Company build the BMW of all BMW’s

Foundry Motorcycle in Chichester have built a couple of really nice Beemer customs recently, and they have an unenviable task making a Boxer twin stand out in the UK, (where flat twins seem to be everywhere), but not only is this bike a well-proportioned quality custom, it also has a few unique features, most notably that pipe, which runs through the back of the seat. We’re told it’s extremely well insulated. …The bike certainly impressed the visitors at last October’s Bike Shed exhibition, in a see of BMWs.

bmw r80 custom

The donor bike started life as a 1981 BMW R80 TIC which was purchased via ebay from a guy in East Sussex who is one of Lord March’s personal drivers. We’d been looking for a suitable BM donor for a while and Tom ended up with three in the space of two weeks. Originally the bike was being put together as Tom’s daily ride but it was spotted whilst on display at this years Goodwood Revival by Carl who patiently waited for it to be finished, then promptly came and whisked it off to join the rest of his fine bike collection.

BMW R80 cafe racer

In 2006 Tom’s brother was wandering around Barcelona when he spotted a very cool looking R80 parked amongst the rest of the bike chaos and emailed Tom a photograph. At the time, it was completely unlike any other Beemer he’d seen, clubman bars, pod filters, single seat and some other neat touches, Tom instantly fell in love with the overall style and decided he had to build something with a similar character. The picture was regularly talked about, but it took six years to finally get round to the build.

wrapped exhausts on a BMW R80

After looking at the original photo many, many times, it was decided that the Foundry bike needed to be a little more refined. So, after the initial ‘strip down’, a new rear subframe was created to work with a shorter seat, then an up and over exhaust followed, but that couldn’t be the same as anybody else’s! Exit through the upholstered seat rather than under or around it seemed a pretty fresh approach and a quick mock up looked great. Tom also had a real bee in his bonnet about fork clamp mounted headlights, so decided to create an extended fixed headlight frame, which gives the front of the bike great attitude.

custom BMW cafe racer

“The custom leather seat was made hollow with minimal padding (this was never gonna be a tourer!) and extra heat shielding. Wheels were stripped, painted/powder coated then rebuilt with stainless spokes. Frames were blasted and coated, the engine was checked, cleaned and painted and batteries were moved. The bike was fully rewired, pod filters were added, carbs were adjusted and a Daytona digital speedo fitted into a custom top yoke. We’d painted the tank ourselves and were reasonably happy with it, but then met Dennis at D-Lucks! He reckoned he could do a far better job and he certainly did. The matt and gloss black with gold combo was beautifully executed in double quick time and topped off with a fine gold ‘Foundry MC’ propeller logo.”

“The exhaust sounds like no other boxer we’ve come across yet, a tractor at idle then something that Marc Marquez would ride, as the revs pick up.”

“The bike was always meant to be a café racer style machine and as such has a committed but not uncomfortable riding position. With the lowered front end and raised rear, it rides pretty well having no problem delivering a big grin. After a day on the bike with fast and stop start riding for our latest video it still felt great. We love the bike and hope Carl does too. Hopefully it won’t be too long before some nicer weather comes round and he can really start getting out and about.”


The Ultimate American Barn Find

Barn finds have been on a steady rise lately, and there has been more and more of them, each one cooler and bigger than the other but it appears that we have found the biggest one yet.

But not the most expensive – check out this Ferrari that tops the bill…

And no, it is not the number of vehicles that has been greater than any other ones, it is simply one vehicle which topples the rest of the ones you are used to reading about.

Awesome example of a Kenworth truck

This time it is a true giant that has been lying in wait for better times, and it is an amazingly preserved 1958 Kenworth.

Perfect Kenworth barn find

This rig has been parked in that barn in a nearly perfect condition, and it stayed that way for years.

Check out the amazing truck that the transformers fans might start calling Optimus Prime in the video below and tell us honestly, isn’t this one of the prettiest trucks out there?


Homemade 5 Liter V-Twin Engine!!!

Home made insanity at its finest. The recipe for this one is quite simple, you take two Pratt & Whitney R1340 aircraft cylinders, align them in a V configuration and you get a homemade 5 Liter V-Twin.

The rest of the build was managed by these guys who made custom crankshaft, connecting rods and the other moving parts.

Considering how precise these moving parts need to be then the machining skills and manufacture skills that these guys have, this is really impressive.

V-Twin motorbike engine

In order to run the engine dry sump, they installed two oil pumps, and continued with twin SU carburetors manual advance and retard, points ignition and for bigger boom they installed two spark plugs per cylinder. Now the question we have to ask you is what would you power with this monster?


1949 Chevrolet 5 Window Pickup “Heirloom” 2017 Great Eight Winner 2017 Detroit Autorama!

It’s been a while since we have featured Scottie from the famous YouTube channel, ScottieDTV and we have said it many times before, this guy knows how to admire a car and he knows how to choose an awesome vehicle.

This time he shows us an astonishing 1949 Chevrolet 5 Window Pickup Custom “Heirloom”, and you have to admit, this is one of the most beautiful pickups you have ever seen.

The ride has been filmed at the 2017 Detroit Autorama, and you bet that it was one of the Great Eight winners at the show, and this comes as no surprise at all to anybody.

The whole vehicle is a combination of the most elegant pieces of automotive history, like the ’39 Model A headlights, a stunning flush-mounted windows, rear body panel that once belonged to a ’55 Cadillac Fleetwood, and many many more.

Riding on a Corvette C5 chassis and powered by a LS1 engine, this is one vehicle that just has to be seen, so play the video and tell us, is this the best-looking vehicle of its kind ever?