Here are a few news highlights from the classic car industry from the last couple of months…
Chancellor George Osborne has given his 2015 budget speech, announcing some significant changes for motorists. Little has been said about classic drivers this year, however the cut-off for tax exempt cars will move forward to all vehicles manufactured before 1 January 1976, as announced in the 2014 budget.
That means that as of 1 April 2016 thousands of classic car owners with vehicles built in 1975, like the very earliest Jaguar XJ-S and BMW 3-Series models, will no longer be required to pay for road tax.
Even old cars deserve a proper burial. At least that’s the philosophy of Walter Dean Lewis, the owner of Old Car City. This woodsy car graveyard and museum is the world’s largest classic car junkyard. Located in In White, GA, Old Car City was started by Lewis’ parents as a general store selling auto parts.
Nearly 50 years later, the collection boasts more than 4,000 classic cars across 32 acres, some of which haven’t been moved in more than 30 years. The old cars are now becoming a part of the forest.
“It’s history. I saved them when other people were crushing them,” Lewis said. “I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t get up every morning and look at old cars.”
If at first you don’t succeed, quit. There’s little point in prolonging the inevitable. Fortunately, there were enough true believers within Jaguar who kept the faith and, thanks to their efforts, the much-maligned XJ-S avoided the chop and matured into a world-class GT.
Conceived in the 1960s, it entered production barely two years after a fuel crisis, just as parent company British Leyland was put on suicide watch. However, it was effectively reborn in the 1980s and enjoyed its most successful year in middle-age: in 1989, some 11,207 were sold, which was a remarkable turnaround given that sales had barely reached four figures at the start of the decade.
Much of the action is concentrated around 1970s and 1980s models, with Aston Martins, Ferraris and Porsches being the inevitable beneficiaries. But there are examples of previous market sleepers beginning to wake up, including Jaguar XJ saloons of Series 1-3, 1950s Ford Consuls, Zephyrs and Zodiacs and Triumph Vitesses. Based on data from Classic Car Buyer, we compiled a table, illustrating more clearly the increasing value of the XJS.
Classic car values are still on the rise although the types of vehicle showing the biggest gains may have changed, according to a new report by Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. The Hagerty Price Guide tracks the prices of 1500 classic car models sold at auction, through dealers, and privately.
In the six months to June, it identified an overall increase of 8.4% across the market, with 23 cars increasing in value over 30%. With three exceptions, these cars were all 1970s and 1980s classics, with the majority valued at under £100,000.
Why not have a read of our blog about the rising prices of all XJS models?
If you’re inspired by the recent good fortune of the classic car industry, why not head over to KWE? We have many years’ experience restoring classic Jaguars back to their former glory. Give us a call on 01635 30030.