Kerry London News

Future-proofing classic cars

Tuesday 20th September
Future-proofing classic cars

One of the world’s greatest historic motor race meetings – The Goodwood Revival – showcased some of the world’s finest classic cars at the weekend. On the track, the Freddie March Memorial Trophy hosted stunning sportscars from the late-1940s to early-1950s, including the Jaguar C-Type, Aston Martin DB3S, and the Allard J2X. The Jaguar E-Type, Ferrari 250 SWB, Aston Martin DB4 GT, and an impressive 30 MG Bs, also participated in a dedicated race, the Lavant Cup. Earl’s Raceway also hosted a fleet of 1932 Fords for their 90th anniversary. The Revival celebrated the world’s most iconic classic cars, motorcycles, and planes as part of an unforgettable weekend of historic racing.

The Goodwood Revival isn’t just a weekend of historic racing; it’s also a celebration of a less disposable world, where owners take as much pleasure in repairing and preserving cars as driving them. As the Government banon the manufacture of new petrol, diesel, and hybrid vehicles is set to come into force in 2035, some classic car owners are wondering what the future holds for their valuable classic car collections.  

Preserving classic cars in a carbon-neutral world 

In less than ten years, all new cars sold in the United Kingdom will have to be electrically chargeable, with a fully electric vehicle market to follow five years from that. A new body, The Historic Vehicles and Classic Vehicles Alliance (HCVA) has been formed to represent the interests of the classic car industry in the face of the forthcoming ban. HCVA says the classic car industry is worth an estimated £18.3 billion to the UK each year and plans to demonstrate the value of classic cars to legislators, both now and in the future. 

Most major manufacturers, including Jaguar, Nissan, BMW, and Volkswagen, are already embracing the manufacture of electricity-powered vehicles. The latest statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders shows that battery electric vehicle (BEV) uptake has reached 49.9%, delivering a 13.9% market share this year. Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) accounts for 12.2% of the market. These figures are helping the country meet net zero targets, but the future of classic cars remains ambiguous. 

Converting classic cars to electric 

Under current plans, classic vehicles are exempt from the ban, but there is some concern that this position may change further down the line. 

Lee Partner, Head of Private Clients and Commercial, Kerry London said:

Classic car collectors are passionate about their vehicles, but a healthy concern for the environment, combined with a desire for better performance, is leading many classic car enthusiasts down the electrification road.

Classic car conversions are available to those wishing to make their classic car collection more environmentally friendly. Companies can convert classic cars to electric, providing an environmentally friendly vehicle while retaining the classic look. Lunaz is a firm based in Silverstone that produces high-end EV conversions. Its most famous model is a Jaguar XK120 producing 375bhp and 700Nm of torque thanks to its 80kWh battery pack and motor. It goes from 0-60mph in five seconds and ranges 250 miles. Lunaz is also making a limited production run of the 1955-65 Bentley Continental Coupe and Drophead, the Mulliner Flying Spur, and classic Rolls-Royces. Whilst conversion remains an expensive option, it is one of a few measures under consideration. 

More and more electric conversion companies are being established across the globe, and the fact that manufacturers are getting in on the act indicates that this is a trend that is set to continue. As demand grows, the cost of conversion is likely to come down, and increasingly more classic car owners will find the temptation of environmentally friendly, enhanced performance too difficult to resist. 

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