The world of classic car ownership is often presumed to be a bit of a boys’ club. One woman who owns several classic cars, Carolyn Aylmer, has said that her Ferrari 348 ‘attracts a lot of attention from men, who of course assume it isn’t mine.’ There is an increasing number of women in the industry, however, who prove that women enjoy owning and driving classic cars just as much as men do. Nadine Katz, who specialises in insuring classic cars, is one of them, saying that ‘a lot of women own their own cars… some even build cars; they know so much about the mechanics.’. A recent survey has revealed that a quarter of the UK’s classics are owned by women.
Car dealer Joe Macari has said that, in his experience, ‘women buyers’ tastes are very different to men’s… pretty cars will always sell.’ Are they so very different, though? We wanted to learn more about why women enjoy owning and driving classic cars. Many of our customers are women, so we turned to them to find out. We invited Jaguar enthusiasts Rachal McHale and Jeannette Hartley to tell us what they love about their classic cars.
The overall look of classic Jaguars was one of the most important features for Rachal. She loves the styling, describing them as ‘gorgeous, elegant and sleek’ with ‘curvy cat-like lines.’ The fact that they are ‘quintessentially British’ is also important to her. One of Jeannette’s favourite things about her Jaguar XJS is its British engineering, and the fact that Jaguar creates jobs for people as the UK’s largest automotive employer.
Both of them agreed that the driving experience was another key factor in their decision to buy a Jaguar XJS. Rachal loves the ‘smooth, easy drive,’ and the fact that the car has ‘the ability to really fly if required.’ Jeannette appreciates that her Jaguar is ‘lovely to drive, comfortable.’
They would both choose a classic car over a contemporary car any day of the week. Rachal notes that classic cars have ‘a strong sense of personality and style – you don’t get that with a Vauxhall Astra…’ and Jeannette appreciates the superior quality and comfort of a classic car.
Furthermore, they both recognise the excellent investment opportunities offered by the Jaguar XJ and XK series. Not only are these models holding their value, but with the right care and attention from a reputable classic car restorer, owners will benefit from rising prices.
Interestingly, both of them think of their Jaguars as feminine. Rachal said that, for her, ‘Jaguars are most definitely feminine,’ although she feels that overall, the brand is male-orientated. Jeannette describes her car as ‘a real lady’ and has fondly nicknamed ‘her’ Lady G. Perhaps this is a reflection of the strong bond and identification between a classic car owner and their treasured car.
It seems that women choose classic cars, particularly the Jaguar XJS, for the same reasons that men do – the beautiful design, excellent engineering, and phenomenal driving experience. It is not a man’s car, or a woman’s car – it is a driver’s car. Rachal and Jeanette’s experiences with their re-engineered Jaguars demonstrate the universal joy of driving a classic car.
What is your favourite thing about your classic Jaguar? Let us know!
KWE currently has a selection of classic Jaguar XJs for sale. See here for more information.