SUNDAY SUPPLEMENT: Garage Agoraphobia

As classic and modern classic car prices continue to defy logic we seem to have become fixated by the number of previous owners and mileage. (I’m refusing to use the frankly annoying buzzword ‘provenance’ here).

Surely you’d prefer a well kept, slightly leggy 6-owner example rather than a poor, 1 owner car with half the mileage? It doesn’t really matter how it found you, only the fact that it did so in good condition. Ownership numbers shouldn’t dictate purchase preference so heavily but you only need to read the classifieds or head to an auction house (or pub meet) to see the fascination.

This growing trend also plays into the hands of the Del Boy dealer, encouraging him to feed us a load of porkies to push the asking price up. It makes you add to the cynicism of where these, “1 Previous Owner”, “Stunning and Immaculate” examples are coming from.

I also find it such a shame that so many of us are sifting out beautiful examples and then squirreling them away on life support. Only to then sell them on a few years later for someone else to enjoy. It’s a bit like saying, I’m not going to have sex with my partner tonight – I want to save them for the next person!

Excuse the slightly crude analogy but to a certain extent I bet you can relate to what I’m saying now. Telling ourselves to take the daily driver rather than our preferred garage queen. It’s the above sales technique that’s causing many of us to continue treating our pride and joys like this which is a shame. I don’t want to watch the milometer; I want to drive the damn thing.

To contradict myself I am a sucker for this behaviour too. I can’t sleep at night knowing my cars aren’t detailed and wrapped up. However, the difference is I enjoy using them equally as much as I do pampering them – and this is the answer for me. We simply need to find a balance.

I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a diverse range of BMW fans but it’s the individuals striking the balance that receive my admiration. One of whom instantly springs to mind is a BMW Car Club member who’s recently bought a pristine M3 CSL and despite keeping it box fresh and as Mr BMW intended he isn’t shy when it comes to the odd B road blast or local wet pub meet.

So what am I ultimately saying here? Well, before you fill out your next SORN application, ask yourself – are you really maximising your ownership experience or are you simply being garage agoraphobic?

AuthorTim Fathers
Photography: Chris Teagles

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