Some of us may need an excuse for owning a Classic Vehicle, which will satisfy one’s beloved that there is a justification in having this additional member of the family, which may be consuming much of one’s time and not a little extra expense. Those with a more enthusiastic partner may be able to get away with a vague reference to the elderly devourer of garage space as simply being an ‘investment’ or a ‘pension fund’.
Our Man James has found that many would -be enthusiasts do indeed need to show some form of advantage in owning something which after all, is probably going to cause one’s partner a good measure of discomfort and distress in the course of ownership. It can become not so much a talking point, but a cause of fairly serious family discord.
Therefore it is prudent to try and demonstrate that ‘the old girl’ can produce a modest income to help defray expenses.So can we look at ways this might be achieved?
Many good people have turned to this idea with mixed results. Our Man James suggests that not only are there too many cars chasing too few weddings, but the amount of work involved and actual capital tied up in vehicle(s), cleaning materials, fake flowers, ribbons etc, does not represent a reasonable return on energy and cash deployed.
Also it will be noted that whereas there was a tendency for a church service to precede a reception at a desirable venue, the owners of such desirable venues seem to have managed to acquire the necessary legal status, to conduct the wedding on site, thereby obviating the need for traditional transport from church to reception. Thus less classic vehicles are required to perform such a service. You might think that you could offer to take the newlyweds to an airport or suchlike, but beware, whilst both insurance companies and local authority private hire license officials will usually allow the trip from church to reception and indeed collection of bride from home to church, once you go beyond this , the rules change. You will need a private hire license and special insurance.
Then one must consider if the vehicle is actually reliable enough to perform correctly throughout the day, often in extremes of heat, wet etc. Our Man James has suffered the humiliation of having a bride and her father push start a reticent De Dion Bouton down the family driveway. On another occasion a magnificent Vauxhall Grosvenor Limousine had a puncture on leaving a country church. Fortunately the assembled company were strapping farmers and they lifted the car and replaced the wheel in a time which would have been awesome to a Formula One pit crew.
Then there is the physical effort involved. The car must be not only perfect mechanically but it must be immaculate inside and out. Nothing worse than a bride going up the aisle with a muddy patch on her expensive dress, or as in one case a blackened backside, where an operator had thoughtfully polished the leather seat with boot polish beforehand.
If you suffer from nerves, particularly stage fright, this is not for you. It is so important that nothing goes wrong that it usually does. Brides have appeared at a different church to their groom, bridesmaids and mothers of the bride have been stranded far from the target area and all manner of disasters have been known to occur.
Wedding Hire is thus not for the faint hearted and in any case is probably well catered for already by long established firms, with well trained staff and the all important backup cars.
AND NOW just when we thought this might be a good idea, we are told that there are plans afoot to regularise the Wedding Car Fleets. You will need a criminal record check amongst other things and pay a vast fee to be told what you already know- that you are perfectly capable of providing a safe and reliable wedding hire service. Lots of ‘Wedding’ cars expected on the market soon and we all need to think of another excuse to own our Classic Car
The world of films and T.V. sounds romantic and for a few moments of fame, anything seems worthwhile. The 6.30a.m. call to a set in the back of beyond, can lead to a day of total boredom, awaiting the cue for man and vehicle to take part, which may not happen for several hours. A scene is usually shot more than once and sometimes very many times, with a variety of earnest looking people being very polite but telling you to do something different each time. It is great to have your brief moment on camera, but much of your work will not make it to the final cut. Moneywise it can be quite rewarding, especially if you are producing the lead vehicle, to be driven by the hero/heroine.
There are firms that specialize in finding vehicles for film sets. Some will buy a car but more often they will rent it by the day. Good firms will collect your car, look after it and return it to you, usually in good order. Some come back covered in a special effects type gunge which can be hard to remove. Make sure you are dealing with a reputable firm with proper insurance.
Clearly there will be other ways of helping to justify the cost of your Classic Vehicle. Our Man James welcomes any other ideas which might serve to keep a partner happy that the brute is not just a drain on resources.