On a summer day, I'll take the E-Type Roadster. For wet B-roads the Subaru Impreza or Audi Quattro. The AMG Mercedes or Bentley will impress when I take friends for dinner. For sheer fun, admiring glances and pure adrenalin rush I'll agonisingly choose one of seven Ferraris, perhaps the Porsche 911 Turbo or legendary Carrera RS or maybe one of the Aston Martins.
Rather than buying a new shopping car that would lose a third of its value in a year while a finance plan eats my cash, I decided I deserved to drive something a bit special, but not pay any more for the privilege.
The Classic Car Club has an ever-changing, varied fleet of interesting cars and is run by an enthusiastic team at a bargain price. For a touch over £200 a month, I get around 40-50 days a year in anything from a Morris Minor to a Ferrari. I don't pay any insurance costs - good job as it would cost a 27-year-old like myself a fortune -- or have to worry about big bills leaping at me unexpectedly. Everything's included in the price and, unlike hiring a sports car from a specialist company, I can drive as many miles as I like. In fact, the only catches I've found so far released the bonnet of an E-Type Jag...
The Classic Car Club is based around an integral points system and you are assigned a number of points based upon the package you choose. You trade the points for days in the cars and the more exotic the car, the more points you'll need. Obviously, varying the type of cars you drive will increase the number of days you'll spend in them.
If you only want to drive Ferraris you'll get fewer days, but the beauty is that it's entirely your choice. Having said that, some of the biggest surprises have been from the lower band cars. When I took out my first car from the club, an immaculate 1974 BMW 2002. Basically, a forerunner to the modern 3 series, I parked it next to a new Aston Martin DB7 in my local pub car park and it stole the spotlight.
In August I drove a gorgeous Ferrari 328 GTB, with the most incredible soundtrack and real 'punch-you-in-the-back' performance. All I had to pay for was enough super unleaded to transport my ridiculous grin 450 miles over three days. I even got my golf clubs in the boot.
To rent a similar car from a hire company would've cost me over £1,000 with a hefty four figure deposit and a mileage restriction ,and I'm sure that my experience would have been overshadowed by the fear of anything happening to the car while in my possession. Furthermore, this wasn't one of those 'Drive A Ferrari' ads you see where an instructor briefs you for two hours before you drive three laps in fourth gear round a circuit. I parked the car on my driveway, took it to the pub, picked my other half up from work, waved at friends and pointing kids, drove right up to the doors of my local Porsche dealership... Let's face it, you want to be seen.
The trip to the Goodwood Revival in September wouldn't have been quite so enjoyable if I'd taken our Ford Fiesta, rather than the club's 1974 Porsche 911 RS. I still can't believe the amount of interest the car generated that day and they never knew it wasn't mine.
The club's not just about borrowing cars though. There's a members room with leather sofa's and a pool tables, which forms a great place to chat with other members or simply relax - there's usually cold beer in the fridge, and I've made some good friends. You can't put a price on that.
More here: www.classiccarclub.co.uk/