People collect vintage watches. They collect vintage cars. And they collect old art.
Collecting classic cars are in some way something that is very close to collecting watches. Why? Well, first of all, both are mechanical objects. Second, both appeal first and foremost to men. In addition, many collector of cars do collect watches and reverse.
The challenges with classic cars are also similar to vintage watches. Authenticity, originality, “matching numbers” or “matching serialnumbers”, untouched and original parts on both, all these things are important to determine the ultimate value and desireability.
Having met the owner of Classic Cars Cologne, a German vintage and antique car dealer in Cologne, Germany, during a classic car fair some months ago, I decided to visit him to see all his cars and learn more about vintage and classic cars.
The above (and below) Bentley Convertible was just made ready for delivery to Denmark. The bodywork of this Bentley was made by Park Ward. Together with James Young, he made most bodies for Bentley and Rolls Royce back then. Later Park Ward merged into Rolls Royce.
While I was shooting this Bentley, the discussion evolved about the length of this car. Some mechanics assumed it was about 6.40 meters long. It turned out that it was closer to 5.40 meters. Still a huge car. Common for the time. Not a car you would like to park in a modern parking garage…
By the time I am publishing this contribution, I assume that the new owner has received his new toy…
Let me show you some other beautiful classic cars I got to see during my visit.
This Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II Convertible with body from James Young has been extensively restored. In fully original condition it would be valued around 1 Million Euros I was told, however, in such restored condition, it is more like a between a quarter million to 300000 Euros. Obviously, these are estimations. Amazing cars for sure.
The Silver Cloud II was made from 1959 until 1963.
Take a look at the Emily.
From Rolls Royce once again to another Bentley. In a very cool color combination.
The inside of this Bentley is equally amazing, lots of wood and leather.
These cars were cars of Royalty and Hollywood stars at their time. Nowadays, they are highly collectible and coveted by car enthusiasts.
Here we go to something totally different. A german built car, an Opel Monza. Back in the time, this was a powerful 6 cylinder sportscoupe. This one is a first owner piece as far as I recall in unmolested and fully original condition. A rare find.
This coupe had a powerful engine. And it was considered a very luxurious car. The condition is immaculate, low original mileage and just amazing to find it in this condition after so many decades.
Coming from a first owner lady, this is a rare 320 SL Mille Miglia Mercedes with the characteristic red leather inserts. Only 630 pieces of this car were made. This car can easily be a daily driver. These Mercedes are very reliable. A great convertible.
The owner of the dealership took several hours time to talk with me and tell me stories of all the old cars. This car has a special story with himself. He drove this car for years himself and loved it a lot, it is a very rare car. Only 10 were made as Left Hand drive. The car has a fibreglass body which made most of them survive Among past owners of this car is Sean Connery. They were built between 1962 and 1966. And they were very powerful and fast, highspeed was about 136 miles per hour. That corresponds to 219 km/h. The owner unfortunately sold this car years ago and that is something he truly regrets.
I cannot show pictures of all cars I saw as I did not have enough time to shoot pictures of them. However, there are several extremely interesting cars I saw and here are more pictures.
Below you see a BMW 3200 CS designed by Italian designer Bertone. This car was built between 1962 and 1965. Only 603 were made. This car was considered to be the ultimate luxury coupe back in the day. The look inside reveals the level of luxury with a wood dashboard.
It was the first BMW to feature the Hofmeister kink as you can see below.
Below is a famous car called the “Baroque Angel”. These cars were made in the 1950s from around 1952 to 1958. The below convertible was not born as a convertible, but was originally a four door car converted by a specialist to a convertible in modern times. Still a very cool car, obviously completely restored and remodeled.
This is an amazing automobile, a German built Horch 780 Sport Cabriolet from 1932.
Description taken from the dealer site:
Horch 780 Sport convertible, one of only 303 built vehicles from Zwickau, of which a large part not longer existent. With its comfort and the 8-cylinder in-line engine this convertible was the top-of-the-range model from Horch. This vehicle was in the recent years by an collector who has used it but also several times a year for trips, therefor he was always well serviced. The condition is excellent. The Horch 780 is one of the most stylish automobiles from German pre-war production.
This car was the pinnacle of luxury in the 1930s.
To the last car for this report. It is a Mercedes Benz 280SEL long wheelbase from 1979 with only about 12000 km driven. It was a diplomatic car, and is only a second owner vehicle, which a French Military official used to be driven in. The condition is virtually like new, I even sat in it, the seats are so cushy. A superb example of a 40 year old Mercedes Benz, a car which you could even drive daily now as these are very robust and reliable cars. This is a 6 cylinder, but the 6.9 liter engine had 8 cylinders.
If you like to find out more about any of these cars, feel free to visit the website of the dealership.
I visited a museum exhibition with some exceptional and rare classic cars in Düsseldorf and will write about my visit soon as well. Stay tuned.
I plan to bring more content about cars and art in the future as they complement watches.