Over the weekend I attended the Sydney Harbour Concours held at the magnificent house called “Swifts” in the Eastern Suburbs. This was the third year in a row that this event has been held and showcases important cars from Australian owners ranging from the early 1920s up to brand new cars that have just been released – high end supercars. One year they had the first showing of the Ferrari Monza SP in the Southern Hemisphere and this year that honour went to the new McLaren Elva decked out in evocative Gulf Oil colours.
I went along because not only am I a Director of the Royal Automobile Club of Australia who were one of the sponsors, but also because through Astute St Leonards, we have developed finance packages to help owners of classic or vintage cars bring their vehicles up to roadworthy and even concours condition. Many of the cars at the event had only just finished a round of work within the last few weeks and were stunning.
Cars such as a 1920s Delage with an aeroplane engine, a 1930s Delage that not only won a Concours d’Elegance in the decade it was built, however it also won its class in the famous Le Mans 24 hour race. Both cars won awards at this event and were in immaculate condition – notably both are road legal and were driven to the event with the latter coming under its own steam from Melbourne!
Alongside these were 1960s Maserati, Mazda and Jaguars as well as 1970s Lamborghinis, Aston Martins and Porsche. All had been lovingly restored and this is the essence of why I created the finance packages for owners. Older cars are great to look at and they are a reminder of a time when they were individual and not common shapes. They are a tremendous source of joy for the owners and the general public when they are seen on the road!
They can also be valuable assets for families and a reminder of past family members. The Maserati, for example, an early 1960s model, sold at auction during the event for $695,000! Several of the owners at the event spoke about completing work that their fathers had started and as such the vehicles were a homage to those relationships.
To that end I have partnered with two companies: Smart Restorations in Gosford and McCarrolls Classic in Roseville. Both of these companies are lead by highly skilled project managers who understand that a restoration is also a labour of love and must be done properly with no shortcuts and where possible using the original equipment and materials. They know the right artisans for the cars in bodywork, mechanical work, upholstery and paint and by helping owners get their cars back on the road, they are also saving some timeless skills that are lost in modern factories.
If you or your family have a classic car in need of work so that it can be enjoyed again, then give Astute St Leonards a call and we will facilitate an introduction and put together a cost effective finance package to enable these professionals to weave their magic!