As the cars I specialise in are between 10 and 20 years old and often with a mileage that is in excess of 100,000 it is inevitable that this is reflected to a degree in the cars' external appearance - e.g. patches of bubbling paint, stone chips, scuffs, shabby alloy wheels and on the interior with dry leather and dirty carpets. All of these are fairly minor cosmetic issues however which I can rectify with a little time and money and can transform quite a tired looking car into a pristine example. What cannot be reversed is a lack of service history or a huge number of former keepers on the logbook. I strive to offer cars with provenance - a stamped up service record by official main agents and independent specialists and a sensible number of keepers on the logbook, if a car has been maintained properly throughout its life and has had high quality replacement parts fitted as and when needed, then it follows that the car will continue to provide a reliable and rewarding service to the new keeper. If the new keeper ensures that this standard of maintenance is perpetuated then it is highly likely that not only will the value of his/her investment be maintained but may actually appreciate as pristine examples become harder to come by and demand increases.
Although my cars are definitely classics, they need and deserve to be driven, usually as luxury or fun weekend toys, there is no reason why they cannot be used as a distinctive means of everyday transport if the mileage limit on classic insurance policies can be kept to however. "Time Warp" super-low-mileage and super-expensive examples do not appeal to me. I've had one and became paranoid about putting miles on the clock, it sat in my garage for months on end, I seldom drove it and consequently never really enjoyed it or became acquainted with its character.
It is my attention to detail that distinguishes me from typical used car dealers. I use each of my cars as my personal car for a fortnight or so in order to troubleshoot any minor glitches that might present themselves, if work is required then it is entrusted to the network of professionals that I've built up. I never use this new breed of "car cosmetic surgeons", if a Mercedes bonnet is too chipped for my liking, I would sooner pay six times the amount and have it professionally resprayed to make for a flawless finish and perfect paint match and one that which will last for many years to come as opposed to a couple of months.
Ultimately it is my passion for these cars that drives me and I thoroughly enjoy what I'm doing. It is always a pleasure to supply a pristine 80's classic to a discerning enthusiast who's maybe had a similar car many years ago when they were current, or like me, fulfilling a dream in buying a car that they drooled over as a schoolboy.
BACKGROUND: BUYING MY 1st PORSCHE
Having been mad about cars from a very early age, it has been a long-standing ambition of mine to own and build up a collection of my favourite cars. The 1980's and early 90's were my "formative" years where I would pour over car books and magazines, hope to spot an interesting car on every journey and dream of one day owning these desirable machines. At the age of 11 back in 1991 I bought an edition of "Performance Car" with a feature on buying used Porsches, henceforth I was hooked on this marque and one model in particular, not the predictable 911 choice, rather the large, flagship 928 model - being allured by its distinctive styling, large V8 engine and the fact that I had only ever seen two on the road suggested that it must be something rather special indeed...
I pledged that I would buy my first Porsche by the age of 27, and at the time I was willing to settle for an old 944 Lux. Working in a well-paid but unremittingly dull IT job I surpassed myself in becoming the proud owner of a Porsche at 23. When getting an insurance quote for a 944 I'd casually requested how much more it would cost for cover on a 928, having double the engine size I was expecting a similarly exorbitant quote, I was shocked to learn that it wouldn't cost me a penny more to insure a 928! My search for a 944 halted immediately and within two weeks my Golf GTI Sportline Convertible had been sold ready for its imminent replacement...
Waiting impatiently at Burger King somewhere in Leeds, I heard the 928 before setting eyes on it! I'd never seen one close up, heard one, let alone driven one. I was taken aback at how deep and loud it sounded, like a real supercar, under its spell I found myself forgetting to perform all my usual checks such as VIN numbers etc, and instead stood staring at it in awe. The vendor blasted me up the motorway to 130mph, faster than I've ever been, and all the attention this bright red 928 was attracting convinced me that I simply had to own this car - and I hadn't even driven it.
Five days later I was back up in Leeds with the cash, still smitten but common sense had returned so I'd arranged for the 928 to be thoroughly checked over by Porsche main agent JCT Brooklands - another impatient wait! Happily nothing of consequence was amiss, a deal was struck and I finally owned my favourite Porsche, a 928 S2, in Guards Red with full black leather piped red and backed up with a FPSH. I still hadn't driven the 928 myself or for that matter an automatic car before, together with the considerable increase in dimensions from a Mk1 Golf, I was somewhat daunted. The vendor gave me a minute-long lesson on driving an automatic whilst I put some fuel in the car and departed. Alone in my dream car at last with a 4-hour journey ahead, I gingerly nosed out of the forecourt into rush-hour traffic and couldn't help but elicit a smug smile when cars stopped on both sides to allow me to rumble into the congestion and afford them a glimpse of the 928's timeless lines...
It wasn't all plain sailing though as some envious reprobate let down a rear tyre when I'd stopped off at a pub near Sheffield for half an hour to let the M1 congestion dissipate. Said idiot announced the problem to me upon my return to the car park, claiming that I must have picked up a nail and gleefully speculating that such tyres must cost a fortune. Of course he couldn't give me clear directions to the nearest petrol station to put some air in, so I limped around feeling rather deflated myself until I found one. What should have been a satisfying first trip in my 928 was marred by my paranoia that I may indeed have a nail lodged dangerously in my tyre, so I stopped at every single service station to check the tyre pressure - it never went down again in my 9-month tenure of the car!