This is a reminder of what should be obvious…
So I was recently perusing the Cars section of Express as I’m wont to do since my friends across the pond have some interesting happenings with their classic automotive market lately, when I happened upon a most interesting article about actually driving classic cars. Now, I’ve always thought cars were made to be driven seeing as they have round wheels, engines, and other pieces of equipment designed to make them mobile, even though certain people think parking a classic in their living room and using the hood as a coffee table is acceptable.
This Express article cites Rodger Dudding, a man who made his fortune in the UK self-storage industry, and his advice about storing cars. Not only has Dudding helped people ferret away their own collectibles in the kingdom, the man owns “Europe’s largest classic car collection” at more than 450 vehicles, so he knows what’s up.
Here’s where the good part comes in: Dudding lectures people about how they need to drive their classic cars regularly or they will experience mechanical problems. Yep, the man who owns more cars than Jay Leno or days in the year is lecturing the rest of us on actually driving our vehicles. Let that sink in for a moment.
Anyway, Dudding apparently isn’t just “Mr. Lock Up” but also has an engineering background, so we must do as he says. I’m kidding, kind of, but he does use that arguing-from-a-point-of-authority ploy in his interview for the article.
Dudding is completely correct about cars being made to be driven and not for just sitting like sculptures or boxes of junk. The man then emphasized that a classic should be driven “in the right weather conditions.” Yep, we all have tons of time during the winter to wait for everything to be dry as a bone, no salt on the road, to take our classics out for a spin – that’s sarcasm, by the way. If you live somewhere that’s particularly cold, you know how ridiculous that statement is for the entire winter. I would recommend keeping your classic in the garage and away from idiots driving like they’re racing around Talladega during a snowstorm.
Well, Dudding does say you should take your cars our “two or three times a year” and drive them about 10 miles at a whack. Do the math if you have 450 classics in your garage – that’s a lot of pleasure driving. Try like 13,500 miles of driving just to keep everything in your fleet of classics well-lubricated and such. Factor in that weather conditions have to be ideal and you live in the UK, and that kind of a demand sounds like an impossible proposition or pretty close to it, especially if you have other stuff to do with your time. And we’re not even going to talk in-depth about UK authorities not allowing people to go on pleasure drives during the constantly-cycling lockdowns on the island.
However, if you own just one classic car and live somewhere with more freedoms, this advice is going to be a lot easier to put into practice, even if you’re in northern Minnesota. So here’s your apparently necessary reminder that water is wet, cars are made to be driven, and you shouldn’t let your classic just sit in a garage or your yard for years without being run or you’ll probably be dealing with some major repairs.