I used with interest, a while back, the classic car valuations based on UK auctions, that is included in this magazine. I think it's fairly accurate and it also means that my '64 model, wire wheels, Mark 2 is probably somewhat under-insured. I found some of their criteria used to knock down values quite revealing:- 1) a daily driver is seen as a bad thing, why? 2) any and all modifications are viewed in a negative light and seen as a bad thing, which is not a view I necessarily agree with. I wish my car had an alternator, synchromesh, better seats and power steering, like the 340 that briefly followed it.
In regard to daily driving, the primary reason forcing me to use the Mark 2 only on select occasions here in Gauteng, is my cautious and prudent response to the psychopaths and criminally insane who masquerade as taxi drivers in our country, coupled to a lack of basic policing. It is not fearing wear and tear on a low mileage vehicle.
A second vivid red light for me is the irreplaceable nature of spares, those items readily available in Europe; a rear window, a door skin, chrome trim, the boot light plinth and virtually any of the complex, curved, lead soldered body panels that are all non-existent here. If they were imported, and if the post was not on strike, and if the bonded warehouse in Durban could ever locate my parcel under four months' of unsorted mail and if it ever got here, they would be prohibitively expensive.
In daily use, the steering is heavy, the gearbox needs double de-clutching in lower gears, and the demister is marginal.
Another hazard, by 2020 standards, is that my lovely little orange Lucas indicators are small, set low down and not the most visible in bright sunlight. A perfect recipe for getting wiped out by something as unspeakably vile as a Daewoo Nubira.
My tiny little slow-motion wipers dance prettily before coming to rest, but are more suited to brushing away light snowfalls and the odd autumn leaf or dandelion than dispersing three inches of intense rain in 30 minutes, and on the Highveld I also have to interrogate all clouds very carefully, watching them for the evil green-blue tinge of impending hailstorms.
Imagine a 56 year old car like this beaten to death by hailstones the size of squash balls while stuck on the N1 North with nowhere to go.
So I proceed with caution and having proper insurance has not changed my attitude to risk by one iota. I cross all intersections with my headlights on full beam, happily accepting the middle fingers, horn-blowing and abuse hurled at me by morons allowed out for the day in their sports cars and SUVs. At least it means that they have seen me, enough to swear at my presence.
In my mind the risk vs benefit calculation keeps my car in its lock up garage, which is a great shame, as do I love driving it. It generates interest among any car lovers, and at every filling station where the technical experts always explain to me that it has survived and is still perfect because it is so strong.
There are also the hundreds of people who invariably come up and tell me that their dad/uncle/brother-in-law/priest/stepfather/girlfriend's father used to have one of them, often in Brakpan, but it gave trouble/broke down/got old/was crashed and so they sold it. And that is precisely it.
They used to have one but now they don't. Therein lies the difference. I put up with the troubles and the challenges of a car getting old and I fixed it.
What cannot be measured or valued is how much of my own blood, sweat, tears and money is built into that car after an intimate relationship that has lasted 36 years, but I still believe it is one of the prettiest 56 year old ladies I have ever known or met.
Lastly, (I risk great hostility and the wrath of many fanatics now) in all humility, truth and honesty, I know that the reduced braking distances and ABS/EBS/EBD low profile tyres, active braking, lighter body weight and modern suspensions mean that most cars are able to outbrake the Mark 2 today, so if they apply emergency brakes, while we are both travelling at 65 - 70mph, with me following them too closely (no doubt running in mortal fear from a homicidal lunatic in a HiAce) I am liable to proceed through the rear of their hatchback and eventually come to rest somewhere in the back seat.
Their hideous scrap will only be fit for recycling and all its airbags will have exploded, rendering the interior into a form of plastic and leather entropy with lots of wire. My car will not (be fit for recycyling), but the front bumper might be scratched quite deeply. Possibly some buffing required.
So, having digressed, I just wondered if any other old car owners had gone through the simple valuation process on the website and arrived at their estimated values, albeit UK-based and in sterling. One tends to forget, living here in Mzansi, that the UK has itself suffered quite serious inflation over the past few years - anyone who has visited recently and bought food, beer or a meal will appreciate this. We tend to feel that we are the only people suffering from this plague but we most certainly are not.
This meant that the old figure I had in my head as an estimate Rand value had become many years out of date. I would not pretend that my car is a condition 1 vehicle, but think it lies between 1 and 2, probably veering toward condition 2. I don't care a fig. To me it is as lovely as the day it was born, and still the embodiment of the motor car it was the week it was driven out of Coventry in 1964 and carefully loaded onto a ship for export to Southern Rhodesia.
So finally - stop waffling and tell us about the value! Well I will not tell you, you can guess, but I will share this:
Economists, charge your calculators at this point please.
It has appreciated by about eighty eight thousand, seven hundred and fifty percent in the 36 years I have owned it. Increased in value at around 2,465 percent per annum by straight line appreciation. If I take what I bought it for, and multiply that amount by a princely 8 750 percent, I arrive at what it is worth, right now, in the UK.
So as I stagger naively into a new period of erratic income and post-60 age myself, would I consider selling it?
I would rather sell my spleen.