Martyn Raybould

Martyn Raybould

What do ‘The Houses of Parliament and ‘The Classic car world’ have in common?

What do ‘The Houses of Parliament and ‘The Classic car world’ have in common?

Well, two important things in fact. Our man in South Africa Aubrey Malden, made an interesting observation this week about the similarities between The Houses of Parliament and Classic & Collectible Cars.

“The Palace of Westminster is falling apart and in urgent need of fundamental repair, according to the Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renewal Programme. So says a recent BBC News report. “A plethora of problems including crumbling stones, cracking ceilings and warping windows, so essential work is being planned for the iconic home of British democracy, but recent research has revealed a skills shortage in the heritage sector, particularly for jobs such as stonemasonry, joinery and roofing.

Sounds familiar doesnt it?

It is in fact exactly the same problem we have in the Classic car sector, Aubrey reminded us, because this could be where our hobby and trades could be without the strong support we give each other, through our clubs, trade training and apprenticeships etc . Apparently, the Restoration and Renewal bosses from the Palace of Westminster visited the Building Crafts College in Stratford, east London, to hunt for fresh talent to help save the historic palace.

So what DO they have in common?

1: The houses of Parliament are falling apart from old age and constant use. It was first built in 1063 by Rufus II (Son of William the Conqueror), although following a fire in 1834 it was rebuilt from 1840 to 1876. So the building we know as The Home of Parliament is almost 150 years old! And guess what? Parliament and the Building contractors are scouring the UK for artisans, specialist engineers and building heritage enthusiasts to find and keep safe the skills in building and maintaining these buildings in the future. Likewise. The Classic & Collectible car world is bleeding the skills and experience to maintain and restore some of our most important cars, and there is a need to pass on those skills and experience to a new generation.

2: We are delighted to know that there is in fact a group of serious Classic Car enthusiasts, across both Houses of Lords and Parliament who formed a club/committee. Chaired by a well-known enthusiast Sir Greg Knight

Four cross party-house MP’s work to support the Classic Car sector

So. Just like the Houses of Parliament predicament, the Classic & Collectible Car world is on a journey to save the lost skills of servicing, maintaining and building, Internal Combustion Engine Cars (ICE).

Classic & Collectible cars are not the environmental problem!

Classic, Vintage and Veteran cars can vary widely

We all know that Electric Vehicles are coming and fast. But they are not the panacea that some would have us believe, because pretty much 100% of a Vintage Car can be reused and recycled. But, that cannot be said about Electric vehicles as they are built now. There is also what every enthusiast knows, that a Classic or Modern Collectible car MUST HAVE 3 THINGS TO MAKE IT CLASSIC OR COLLECTIBLE:

  • The vehicle MUST be a second vehicle. This means the owner must have an everyday car to do the daily travel and shopping etc
  • The vehicle MUST be restriced to limited annual mileage. There are two reasons for this. 1: Heavy and regular use will wear out your cherished car and substantially reduce its value. 2: The more a car is used, the higher the risk of an accident and therefor an insurance claim (Hence it is usually cheaper to insure a classic Jaguar XK8 ,than an everyday Ford Mondeo)
  • The vehicle MUST be over a certain age, usually 15 years but this can vary by insurance underwriter

We Need You to PASS IT ON!

Expert knowledge from years of experience is important to pass on

Whether you are an enthusiast or classic car owner with experience and skills, a business, we need you to PASS IT ON! That is all, pass on those skills and knowledge to the next generation, so that the skills wont be lost. Pass it on if it’s a family member, a local friend or through the many clubs and forums. Have fun, with making videos on YouTube. Join a club and participate or even join one of the range of fine bodies, like The Association of Heritage Engineers and Historic & Classic Vehicles Alliance. What about making a donation or even sponsoring a young engineer with Startermotor?

Starter Motor. Putting the next generation into the driving seat

StarterMotor CEO David Withers: Our Passion is to see the next generation of young people driving, maintaining and enjoying historic cars. We know that if nothing is done, the world of classic motoring will change and even disappear. It doesn’t take vast research to see society is shifting. The car world is undergoing seismic technical changes, attitudes to driving and the ambition to own a car, particularly amongst the Millennial generation, is changing too.

We need your help…

We have a fleet of classic cars which are loaned to young people to drive and enjoy, that need repairing and maintaining. We take apprentices to events up and down the country, covering their expenses and providing accommodation. We provide resources, including complete ‘learning’ cars to colleges and academies. We support historic car specialists by providing access to Apprenticeship Levy grants to encourage investment in the next generation of engineers. And much more…

You can support StarterMotor financially, by donating resources or even by providing a car for learning or driving. If you are a business you sponsor the charity. If you are an individual donations, however big or small, are vital. Please Contact Us or use the Donate button on our website.

SVA Says: The drive to EV is just another evolution of our love affair with cars, but let us not allow the EV zealots to take over its rollout at the expense of our shared motoring heritage. EV are not the solution, cherished cars by their definition are maintained to within an inch of their life, it is those badly maintained everyday old cars which are the problem. Let’s have a balanced long term view of Sharing the Knowledge & Skills, Funding appropriate training and having a world where Classic Cars and all its aspects can thrive into the future.

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