I have always thought that being a child of the ‘Millenia’, or Generation Y, was a blessing. I grew up in a time of mobile phones, individuality, the Internet and parachute pants (if you are too young to know what these are, look up MC Hammer). However one thing I seem to have missed out on is automotive pleasure. The 90’s seemed to be a period of dire cars with only a few that I would consider great.
The 90’s is the only period in which I dreamed of owning so few cars that I could count them all on one hand; the Jaguar XJ220, Ferrari F50, Lamborghini Diablo, Mazda Mx5, Dodge Viper and the car equivalent of Concorde, the McLaren F1. Thus, when I got invited to go and have a look at JD Classics, I couldn’t wait!
JD Classics is a classic car dealership with a difference. It was founded by Derek Hood, from dentistry, who enjoyed restoring classic cars to their former glory. His attention to detail and care that he put into his restoration started to get him noticed, and after a number of years restoring cars for pleasure he decided to leave dentistry behind to found JD Classics. That was in the early eighties, jump forward to the present day and JD Classics is a world renowned company that made its name through sheer example of its craftsmanship; when exhibiting its work in concourse competitions, private garden parties and in the area of motorsport. In recognition of their expertise, JD Classic is the official partner of the Jaguar Heritage Racing team for Jaguar Cars Ltd as well as being a well-recognised name in the Classic car racing scene.
So you can understand why I was just slightly excited to be shown around JD Classics business premises. Needless to say I wasn’t disappointed. The first observation that shocked me was the sheer number of desirable cars and bikes that featured in the office/show room. I walked into the room to be greeted by cars that were not leaking oil, were not covered in rust, but instead shone in a glory that would out gleam most modern showroom cars. The first cars that welcomed me didn’t disappoint: an original Jaguar XKSS (akin to the one owned by Steve McQueen) being the first, shortly followed by Jaguar’s land speed record breaking XK120, a Lamborghini Miura SV in red with gold sills and wheels, not to mention the number of jaguar XK120’s, Ferrari 275’s and the host of other rare classic cars sitting in the showroom. From there we moved through to the workshops, casually passing a Jaguar XJ220’s having its glorious 3.5litre V6 engines worked on by the skilled mechanics.
The next six showrooms passed in a blur as we went past a number of Ferrari 275s, Dinos, a Testarossa, as well as a large collection of Jaguar XK120s, 140s and 150s. The sheer number of cars that JD Classics had restored lovingly for owners was incredible, as was the diversity of the makes and models and requests that some of their clientele had requested of them. My personal favourites from the tour have to be the Ford GT40, Jaguar XKSS and the Aston Martin Le Mans Race car.
I asked what work JD Classics could undertake for clients and was surprised that nearly anything was possible, from a full restoration to a service for your classic car as well as a full rebuild if necessary. The options available were endless, JD also offers tuning services; if for example you purchased an Aston Martin DB5 and were slightly disappointed with its performance, you can increase the output from the engine with a variety of techniques.
There has never been a better time to be a classic car fan, prices are sky rocketing across a number of models as people around the world are having their heart strings (not to mention their pursue strings) plucked by these living, breathing, snarling works of art. There is so much activity in the classic car market, with a number of record breaking sales values making headlines around the world, that an investment banker put together a classic car index; the Hagi index, to help track the price of classic cars around the world. Effectively they are starting to become a tradable commodity as they have a lot of the properties of a modern currency in the sense of there is a limited supply (dependent on the car), it does not provide you with an income, classic cars are durable, transportable and have non-counterfeit characteristics.
If you have ever dreamed of owning a classic car, now is the time to buy. Apart from being a beautiful functional machine you can drive every day, with the help of JD Classics maintenance and restoration service, it may also become your personal pension fund as well!
I would like to thank the Business Director, Richard Graylen for taking the time out of his day to show me around JD Classics as well being a perfect host and for providing me with a fun and entertaining day out.