With reference to Mr. Carson's letter in the May issue of Motor Sport I feel I really must come to the defence of the Vintage enthusiast.
For one thing there are fewer and fewer vintage cars available and for another more and more people seem to be interested in vintage cars, so obviously the prices must be going up. In comparison to the prices of modern tin-ware some vintage cars are still very reasonably priced. Added to this the motor car antique dealers. are not infallible, so the true enthusiast can still find a bargain if he knows what he is looking for. If people are silly enough to pay outrageous prices for rubbish, then let them pay—I certainly will never pay ridiculous prices for what is to me a hobby, but, on the other hand, if Mr. Carson has ever had any work done on an old car, or on anything new if we come to it, he must realise that the price of things is going up all the time.
With regard to Mr. Carson's comments on "restored" cars I must agree it all seems rather silly that old cars with new bodies fetch such high prices, but there again it is entirely up to the individual to pay for what he wants. Everyone knows that dealers in modern cars regard "Glass's Guide" as their bible—perhaps we could produce a vintage guide; knowing dealers, they would probably follow it like sheep!
Let's face it, if a new Bentley is worth £30,000 then a 3-litre must be good value at say £6,500, a 4 1/2-litre at £8,000, Lagonda tourer £4,000 open Riley £2,000, saloon at £800—all in class I (immaculate) condition, of course. The modern equivalent would cost far more.
Quite honestly I am highly delighted that soimeone has found enough time, patience and money to build a copy of a Theophile Schneider from a period engine and chassis, and so, from his account, was the Editor of Motor Sport. [Yes !—Ed.]
Edmonton ROGER POULTON
[Fair enough—except that a vintage car selling for, say, i';500 in 1950 is now priced at .5,000 or more, and how many of us have had our rates Of pay increased ten times within that period?—Ed.]