Vintage prices justified?


I was intrigued to read the remarks of W.B. in the November issue Of Motor Sport, concerning the present inflated prices being asked for vehicles of pre-1931 vintage.

Whilst I do sympathise to some extent with his attitude, as it is certainly frustrating to see a vehicle of this age priced at around I.,5oo, when one’s father or grandfather disposed of an identical model some 30 years ago for a ” fiver,” I feel it should be pointed out, that the very existence of vintage motoring as we know it depends on the fact that vintage cars are so highly priced.

Consider the situation of the enthusiast whose rare 1921 model tourer has broken its crankshaft. Is he going to spend around £40 to have a new one made, if the resulting vehicle is only going to be worth E.5 or so ? Frankly I doubt it, and if such were the case, many of the beautifully restored specimens we see today would long since have passed into oblivion!

The care and running of a true vintage car is, of necessity, a fairly wealthy man’s sport, and if one cannot find the purchase price of one, how on earth can one hope to care for it ?

If vintage cars changed owners for fivers, how many would fall into unscrupulous hands to be used as learners’ machines, etc., ruined beyond repair and relegated to the scrapheap ? This is the fate of many so-so-as-year-old cars at present and should be Confined to them exclusively.

If W.B. obtains a derelict vintage Car, such as are mentioned from time to time in this section, he could close the deal for a few pounds. Subsequent time, energy, and cash expended on its complete restoration, would produce a vehicle of which he could he justly proud. If he sold it at a later date, it would rightly command a high price—and wouldn’t he expect it to do so ?

A great deal Of pleasure can be obtained, at fairly low cost, from the restoration and -Care of one of the lower quality and less rare pre-1931 models. Being an impecunious semi-student myself at present, I have derived immense satisfaction from a 1929 Austin Chummy, but look forward to a more ambitious vintage car in the future, which might be a rally winner !

To sum up, I think it is right that our hobby should have dignity and respect from all, and this will only be the Case while prices are high. Lovers of the arts will pay fantastic prices for pictures and instruments, etc., whose actual monetary value is small, merely because they are rare, and should be preserved fin. posterity.

Long may vintage motoring flourish.

Stoke-on-Trent. J. M. RIGBY.