The Myth of Classic Car Investment

When the media write articles and do interviews in regards the investment aspect of classic cars, I find myself shouting at the TV. When I’m with a client and they ask me what I think the next great classic car investment is, I normally tell them a story about the last classic car recession or the one about the Honda S600.

I was at a house in Brampton and I was doing an MOT appraisal report for tax purposes. The car in question was a Honda S600 convertible sports car that was very much down in the dumps, body-wise, so bad it had to be carried around on a trailer. To say it needed restoration was only the beginning. After doing my report, I asked him what he wanted for the car, he said he wanted $2,700.00, an amount I thought was at least one thousand too much. I didn’t think again about the car until I read an article about the S600 involving Jay Leno. Now that Jay Leno had anointed this little car among the pantheon of collector vehicles, it was suddenly hot with a capital H. There are some universal truths about collector vehicles:

1) Never buy a 4 door car unless it is one of the Major Marques;
2) Think about demographics, is this car I’m about to buy an old man’s car?;
3) Taking into consideration 1 & 2, buying a convertible is always better;
4) Have a pre-purchase inspection done by someone who recognizes corrosion and the signs of the repair of previous corrosion;
5) If the service and restoration history isn’t available, think long and hard.

Back to the myth of investment, when there are so many aspects of classic car ownership that are hard to control, it’s hard to believe that investment and classic car ownership deserve to be in the same sentence.

Lipstick on a PigLIPSTICK ON A PIG
Avoiding Life’s Lemons

Lipstick on a Pig features excerpts from the vast library of Maurice Bramhall’s experiences.


6 Things to Know About Ford Cruise Control

The Ford brand has an incredible reputation as one of the most reliable auto manufacturers in the world. Additionally, they create a wide range of vehicles, so no matter who you are, there is probably a Ford for you. If you’ve just bought a new Ford vehicle, or if you’re considering making a purchase, you are probably looking forward to using the cruise control function. Though it may seem simple to some, for others, the Ford cruise control system is confusing. To clear up this confusion, we have put together a simple guide on the basics of it.

How to Use Conventional Cruise Control

To use your Ford cruise control, you need to follow a few simple steps. First, turn the cruise control on. This will make it so your Ford is ready to hold its speed on your command. Next, use the gas pedal to get up to your desired speed. The cruise control is not meant to be used for significant changes in speed. Instead, it is used to hold your current speed. Once you get to your desired speed, you can set the control to maintain that speed. Now you are using cruise control! For small changes in speed, you can adjust your knob up and down. For more substantial changes, you should use the gas or brakes to get to your next desired speed and start to process over again.

It is Incredibly Convenient

The reason why people use this function is the convenience it provides. When you’re on the road, and especially for long stretches, it can be tiresome to use the pedals continuously. Cruise control allows you to relax a bit and let your car do the driving while you continue to steer. Additionally, traveling at the same speed can eliminate your chances of getting a speeding ticket. If you are using the gas pedal, you might accidentally get above the limit and end up with a citation. When you set your cruise control to the speed limit or slightly below, you can guarantee ticket avoidance.

When to Use It

The best scenario for using Ford cruise control is when the road is open, the weather is nice, your drive is long, and there aren’t many speed limit changes. In these conditions, staying at the same speed is both safe and convenient. You often find these when taking road trips or on regular drives when you live in an area that does not experience much traffic. When these conditions present themselves, turn on your cruise control with confidence.

When Not To

Unfortunately, not every situation is right for using cruise control. The following four conditions are the most prevalent ones in which you should not use your cruise control: In heavy traffic, when the weather is poor, for very short drives, and on roads where the speed limit changes frequently. In each of these, cruise control will do more harm than good, so it is best to stay off of it.

Which Models Have It?

Given the utility of conventional cruise control and the fact that it was invented in 1948, just about every Ford on the road is going to have it. As far as adaptive cruise control, only certain models and years will have it. No matter what, a car made before 2010 will not have adaptive cruise control, but many made after that year will.

Adaptive Cruise Control

One thing that you might get if you buy a new model is adaptive cruise control. If you do, your cruise control system will come with the capability of slowing itself down when traffic slows in front of you. Additionally, the system will notify you that you should hit the brakes. While this should not be relied on as you would in a true self-driving car, it is beneficial as a safety feature.

Though Ford cruise control capabilities and best practices are likely not at the top of your list when you think about your car, they are definitely worth understanding. Now that you do, you can use your cruise control responsibly while on the road.


1952 Mack B33 Tractor Truck

1952 Mack B33 Tractor Truck
FOR SALE: 1952 Mack B33 Tractor Truck

This tractor has been dormant for the last 10 years. More information on the listing page.




1999 BMW 328iC (E36)

1999 BMW 328iC (E36)
FOR SALE: 1999 BMW 328iC (E36)

This BMW has never been exposed to winter, the body is totally corrosion free. More information on the listing page.



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The Myth of Originality

Originality often has a religious connotation in respect to classic cars. There is now a fashion where totally original “barn find” cars are being venerated with very high auction values. But in real life most of us want a car that offers enjoyment, some level of comfort and the ability to share the experience with our family, friends and collector community.

Having spent some years in the restoration world I got to meet Concours fanatics. One of my clients had his fascia from his Thunderbird on the dining room table for 6 months for the purposes of detailing, the family ate somewhere else. The quest for 99.9 points can be a real burden, but a burden that some of us enjoy. I always suggest to my clients that they enjoy their classic car in the manner that they like.

Originality can get in the way of safety and comfort for no great purpose. My standard advice for improvements for classic cars are, power steering, power brakes and electronic ignition. I also ad to that, if the driver is used to driving only modern cars, getting in a Classic (pre 1974) demands recognition that it can’t stop and steer in any way close to that of the most basic modern car. Letting a family member drive a Classic car without this up front advice can be dangerous to the car and the driver.

One last thought, I drove a white 1974 MGB for many years, I discovered early on that vans and trucks with high mirrors couldn’t see me on their passenger side, so I learnt to keep a safe distance.


Lipstick on a PigLIPSTICK ON A PIG
Avoiding Life’s Lemons

Lipstick on a Pig features excerpts from the vast library of Maurice Bramhall’s experiences.