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The Joy & Pain of owning a Classic Car - My Story

Updated: Jul 4, 2021

For those of you who have owned Classic Cars this is a story that may sound familiar. Young kid, watches Starsky and Hutch, Miami Vice, Magnum P.I etc. Then decides he's going to get himself 'that' car one day, and spends the next few years collecting toy cars, sticker books, magazines and imagining he's in the actual car as he races around the garden/house/playground.

Yep, that was my story. But as a young kid, I had only dreams, and didn't realise that the reality - although somewhat of a dream - also included the pitfalls that come with owning Classic Cars!

There are of course, many positives about owning a Classic Car;

  • You look good in it (or rather, it looks good on you!).

  • They're relatively easy to work on (no endless electrical issues).

  • The insurance is pittance compared to the newer models.

  • The value increases over time.

There's a few others in there, but those are the main ones for me.

However, if you're thinking about buying a Classic Car or if you're buying your first Classic Car, there are a few 'cons' you need to be prepared for, so that you don't go running back to the person you bought it from thinking they've sold you a heap of junk just because it's leaking a bit of oil. Well, maybe a lot of oil. Regularly.

That's why I thought now would be as good a time as any to share my story in a bit more detail, just for a giggle!


The top 3 classic cars I always wanted to own as a kid were:

- 1986 Ferrari Testarossa - 1979 Chevrolet Corvette C3 Dark (blue with white interior) - 1976 Starsky and Hutch Ford Torino

I was lucky enough to own all 3 of them at some point in my life, and what an adventure it was! The best to drive was the Torino as it's a proper cruiser and it literally made people smile as you drove down the road. The Corvette was great fun as it just looks like it going fast even when stationary - plus it sounds awesome!

The worst in terms of maintenance/parts was the Testarossa. This was, and still is the second worst car I have ever driven behind a Hyundai Amica. Everytime I drove it was like a full body work out. Well - you try maneuvering 2 tons of car with no power steering!! On top of that I was constantly aware if it went wrong I would need to remortgage the house to fix it.

I mean, don't get me wrong - the Testerossa was a gem in some ways and it got a lot of attention. Unfortunately most of that attention was from men, I assume because it brought back memories of Miami Vice back in the day. However, the Torino got me the attention I wanted - girls loved it!


There were issues with all 3 cars that I wasn't expecting (remember, I'd just been a little boy daydreaming up until that point!) The testarossa had a dry sump and I accidentally topped up the oil while it wasnt running, causing the engine to blow all of the rubber seals. Rookie mistake. And the Corvette and the Torino leaked oil as soon as they left the factory, something that I now know is pretty normal.

Out of those 3 cars, the only car I want to own again is my Corvette. Even Mark, the fella who now owns it, knows I still refer to it as MY Corvette!


Well, that's enough about me - what about you? What's your story? I'm looking forward to seeing you all later this month at the Stonham Barns Car Show! We are going to be taking our 1975 Chevrolet Corvette C3 Wagon - it's one of only two estate Corvettes built by Greenwoods and actually has 4 seats. Its a true barn find but is highly original!

You can buy your tickets for the show HERE - see you there!

And remember:

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1 Comment

mark jenkins
mark jenkins
Jul 02, 2021

Could not agree more Stuart. The cars of my youth were the Trans Ams the Mustangs the Corvettes and the Grand Torino’s.. They signified a different realism to the cars available in Europe at the time. As you reach a certain age you reflect on the ‘old days’ and if you are fortunate enough and have an understanding partner you can re visit the 50s/60s/70s. and drive the vehicle of your dreams. Important to remember though these cars were born at different time and lke the pensioners some of them are they need care and love and forgiveness when they breakdown or spill oil everywhere. Being a classic car owner is an honour and burden in equal measures.

My Corvette…

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