Classic car daily driver?

Author
Discussion

Huntsman

Original Poster:

6,692 posts

197 months

Monday 14th October
quotequote all
Who's driving a classic car as their main car?

I'm contemplating 26 miles a day, no traffic, A and B roads, in a Mk2 Jag.

Is this stupid?

Edited by Huntsman on Monday 14th October 15:00

RedSwede

245 posts

141 months

Monday 14th October
quotequote all
Only you can decide that, really. Lots of people used to use Mk2s everyday, when they were 10-20 years old and likely a lot more ropey/unreliable than the average Mk2 today.

It will take an awful lot more attention/looking after than a more modern car, and unless you are really fastidious with this, will "break down" a lot more. Whether that is actually leaving you stranded (unlikely with good maintenance) or just not available for use because it is getting worked on.

Cars not being dependable was an accepted fact of life when a Mk2 was 10-20 years old. It isn't now - you have to decide if you can work around that.

There is also the cost, which is going to be not-insubstantial. But may not be too relevant - depreciation offset, personal situation, etc.

Edit: 80s cars had moved the game on a long way, and would be infinitely more usable - something from Merc or BMW, maybe a W126 if you want a big saloon, 635CSI (rust!!) if you want rakish, would still have a chunk of that old car charm

Edited by RedSwede on Monday 14th October 15:36

steveo3002

6,817 posts

121 months

Monday 14th October
quotequote all
yeah if you have the ££ and ability to regularly be under it carrying out preventative maintenance , stock pile some good quailty parts on the shelf for when you need them

if you're hoping to pop into quick fit for an oil change once a year and nothing else then no

carboy2017

480 posts

25 months

Monday 14th October
quotequote all
Huntsman said:
Who's driving a classic car as their main car?

I'm contemplating 26 miles a day, no traffic, A and B roads, in a Mk2 Jag.

Is this stupid?

Edited by Huntsman on Monday 14th October 15:00
Certainly do-able but dont expect the performance of a modern car or its comforts,I used my Triumph Herald as a daily this summer with no issues whatsoever.

Also you should not have unrealistic expectations and not be demotivated if there is a breakdown


Edited by carboy2017 on Monday 14th October 17:22

Riley Blue

15,426 posts

173 months

Monday 14th October
quotequote all
13 miles each way, twice a day shouldn't put undue strain on a Mk2. It's only 130 miles a week, assuming a five-day working week, and it should easily cope with that provided you stay on top of maintenance. I'd happily do it in my Riley.

ettore

2,598 posts

199 months

Monday 14th October
quotequote all
Shouldn’t be a problem with a mk2 as long - as per other posters - you keep on top of it and have a preventative maintenance approach.

I would expect a few teething problems first, before it settles into reliability though. Most classics, even if immaculate, aren’t run enough and there’s always an initial ‘snagging’ period. I would probably consider the odd electrical upgrade if being used all year round (as well as proper rustproofing).

Mk2’s are perfectly civilised and in 3.4 or 3.8 form fully able to keep up with modern traffic conditions.

Turbobanana

1,536 posts

148 months

Monday 14th October
quotequote all
Back in 2005 I ran a 1967 Daimler 250 V8 as a daily, for the thick end of a year, albeit "only" a 12-mile round trip, but through some occasionally heavy traffic. At one point it was my only working car! My advice would be to pay particular attention to stuff like hoses and radiators: ultimately cars were built to run for years, so it should have no trouble, but consumables like these can ruin your day. I blew a hose while crossing the Orwell Bridge near Ipswich and luckily just managed to coast to safety.

I replaced it with something much more modern: a 1971 MGB GT, which I also drove daily for a year or so.

Then family came along, and...

classicaholic

393 posts

17 months

Monday 14th October
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I tried using my MGB as a daily earlier this year (spring) and it was sort of OK but I gave in after a while and put it back in the garage, in 3 months it only stopped working twice but did have a few other issues, hopeless in the rain (driving, wipers and leaks), cold (heaters never worked in the days!) window steamed up. Add the fact that there is no space in older cars and they are incredibly thirsty for fuel, oil and time!

Get a more modern car for a grand and leave the Jag in the garage, if the modern thing goes wrong for more than a few hundred scrap it and repeat.

Enjoy the Mk2 on nice days and join the AA

Norfolkandchance

1,549 posts

146 months

Monday 14th October
quotequote all
I think it depend on how critical arriving at a set time everyday is! If you have a job where being a bit late from time to time is OK then go for it.

However, there will be issues, as I'm sure you realise. I have run some good quality 70s / 80s cars and there are things that fail, simply because they are old. Some of these probably wouldn't be seen as a maintenance item and therefore the "good maintenance" caveat already mentioned wouldn't help. I had an electric fuel pump just stop for example. The car was well serviced and the pump was a Bosch one but short pf replacing every part that might fail, there wasn't really much that could be done about preventing it.

RazerSauber

469 posts

7 months

Monday 14th October
quotequote all
I suspect problems that appear through age will be the most prevalent. Rubbers deteriorate, gaskets fail, parts will break. If it's a rare classic then there may just be a lead time in getting hold of parts so do take that into account.

CRA1G

3,556 posts

142 months

Monday 14th October
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Doesn't Jacob Rees-mogg use a vintage Bentley as a daily.....

Puddles of Oil

23 posts

41 months

Monday 14th October
quotequote all
My son has used his Sunbeam Alpine as a daily driver in the past covering up to 15,000 miles a year but remember to insure it correctly. Classic car insurance usually limits you to 5,000 miles and insists that you have another car as your daily driver. This isn't really a problem though as the Alpine is cheap to insure as a normal everyday car. Much more fun than driving a Eurobox!

Mr Tidy

9,598 posts

74 months

Monday 14th October
quotequote all
I'm sure it would be perfectly feasible, but would need more fettling than a modern car.

But that wouldn't be a problem if you can do some of it yourself as cars of that age are much simpler.

Back in the late 70s I really badly wanted a MK2 Jaguar, but couldn't find a good one - well not in my budget! rolleyes

So I bought a 1973 Rover 3500S in 1979 and used that as a daily for 2 years and 16K miles. I only had a few issues with it. One of the upper mounts for the De Dion rear axle pulled out of the rusty inner wing (a mate welded that back in), the back box on the exhaust needed replacement and the battery charge light came on 50 miles from home. But I managed to get home and replaced the brushes in the alternator and all was good.

Otherwise it was just oil and filter, plugs and points, etc.

In a way I hope you do go for it OP - it would be great to think that someone was still using a MK2 the way it would have been used in the 60s. thumbup

Jag_NE

1,920 posts

47 months

Monday 14th October
quotequote all
If it’s for a year or so, fine, just be prepared for potentially higher levels of hassle.

If you plan to do this for the forseeable, it will end up killing the car unless you like major restoration costs, this also stops it being a viable daily.

mike9009

4,272 posts

190 months

Monday 14th October
quotequote all
Hi Huntsman,

I use my 1982 VW T25 to commute to work occasionally, Ryde to Calbourne 'ish' (I think you are IOW based??) but only when I know the weather should be good. Headlights are terrible, wipers poor, crap blowers, no heated rear screen, no air con, no ABS and not as comfortable as my other vehicles. On a lovely summer's morning, it is great heading across the Downs in the van but a wet October morning in the dark with misted windows, no way.

I even doubt my Smart Roadster in today's weather.... again the headlights aren't great despite some other mod cons....

It just is not fun commuting in an older vehicle even on the island when the weather is rubbish, just makes the commute more stressful (for me!)

Mike

rallycross

10,393 posts

184 months

Monday 14th October
quotequote all
I’d say daily driver no, but ok for semi-regular use and keep it off the road in wet winter / salty road conditions.

A mate mine uses a lovely old mk1 3.4 as a daily car and it’s been quite reliable even doing a lot of motorway driving but it’s had a lot of money spent on it and it has not been without a few hicups along the way (he also has a newer car to rely on).

Definitely good fun to try and use something old like that as regular transport.

Riley Blue

15,426 posts

173 months

Tuesday 15th October
quotequote all
Puddles of Oil said:
My son has used his Sunbeam Alpine as a daily driver in the past covering up to 15,000 miles a year but remember to insure it correctly.
Annual distance shouldn't be a problem, I increased my Riley's mileage by a 1,000 for this year; it cost an extra £25.00 or so. You'd need to ensure that 'commuting' is included in OP's case.

Faust66

1,575 posts

112 months

Tuesday 15th October
quotequote all
Perfectly possible to use a MK2 Jag as a daily IMO…

But, and it’s a big (ahem) BUT: you have to be prepared to spend every other weekend tinkering, fettling, replacing parts and/or servicing.

If you are handy with the spanners and have no other demands on you free time then go for it… if you don’t regard working on a classic as fun, or you’ve got kids/partner clamouring for your attention then it’s perhaps not for you.

I’d happily run my classic (1969/70 Volvo Amazon) for that distance every day (and I have done before!) but I’ve made a few upgrades to help along the way: uprated alternator, new fuse box with extra relays mounted, uprated headlights, heated rear screen (never had them from the factory), fitted hazard lights (ditto not originally fitted), uprated fan blower motor. I’ve also fully poly bushed the whole car, replaced all suspension components, fitted a stainless exhaust and replaced all hoses with silicon versions. Oil is changed every 3000 miles, new set of points and a condenser at least once a year (don’t really like electronic ignition… might have to change soon though as my dizzy is playing up).

It’s a lot of work… all done by me. Outside. Sometimes in the rain.

As the song goes, dedication is what you need.



Sometimes it’s a right PITA driving a classic as your only car… especially on cold wet days. But I wouldn’t change it! I’ve always said that modern miserable dull grey boring cars ( with drivers to match) are far, FAR better at what they do than my old Volvo… yet I’m the one with a grin on my face even when stuck in traffic. Go figure.

austin

1,018 posts

150 months

Tuesday 15th October
quotequote all
I've been commuting about 15 miles each way in my Morris Minor for the last 6 months or so, great fun but there are times when it would be nice to be a bit warmer etc.

Had the car for a few years but only as an odd journey, pootling about type car. But it has been upgraded so 1275 engine, disc brakes etc etc.

You do start to see all the boring niggles when you use it everyday and lots of little things have been fixed over the last few months.

Saying all that it ate the gearbox last week so it's now in the garage in various bits waiting for new parts to arive, which is OK as I have a backup!

I'd say go for it but be prepared.

crankedup

21,728 posts

190 months

Tuesday 15th October
quotequote all
^^^^
Was going to suggest a moggy! Great little car and very reliable for a vehicle of such age.