And if I am honest there is also, of course, a third class of owner – for any born enthusiast a pond-life third class – to whom such an artifact is just another financial investment, to be stored, protected, possibly promoted and surely to be cashed-in whenever a profit compared to purchase price might seem possible. Yes, well, one does not have to applaud.
Now as car values have inflated over there long years, what used to be the enthusiast industry of specialists capable of servicing, maintaining, restoring – and in some cases replicating – such machines, has grown to meet demand. And as it has grown so its pricing structures have inflated, and in many cases, the time taken to do almost anything – from changing a spark plug to re-inventing the wheel itself – takes longer, and longer.
Nattering with a friend last night, he mentioned that he has been waiting months for some really quite simple wing sections to be made in aluminium for a ’60s saloon car he owns. No doubt when they do finally arrive the story will be of sweating craftsmen, labouring away for weeks and months, lovingly to hand-fashion these iconic pieces. I also have no doubt that the bill, when it arrives, will reflect that claim – and will be eye-wateringly expensive.