There’s a lot of talk at the moment about how fuel prices are set to rocket and it’s clear that, if the most pessimistic forecasters are correct and we are indeed heading for the £2.00 litre, the way we view cars is going to change considerably. I can already see the effects in the office – more and more people are car-sharing now and those who can’t are changing their habits. Some have already bought more economical cars to deal with the pain of it all.
Currently, I am very lucky to run a Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion as my long-termer for Diesel Car magazine and am thankful that I’m not doing the same thing for a muscle car magazine! However, even if I wasn’t, I’d be tooling around in a diesel powered car right now. I bought my first black pump-fuelled car back in 1993 and have never been that far from running one ever since. Currently, a Volkswagen Golf Mk4 TDI is also sitting on my drive and I’ve no intention of parting with it. When a car with a 50 litre tank costs more than £70 to fill-up niceties such as super performance go out of the window.
How, though, does the situation effect my hobby? Well, so far, it’s not been so bad, but only because I’ve not been running my classics over the winter. The Polski-Rover SD1 remains with Mike for the moment as he’s still tweaking its oily bits, while the NSU Ro80 is in my garage slowly being disasembled. Once the summer comes, I doubt either of them will rack up significant mileage, which is a shame, given that the Rover is so nice and really should be a daily driver. Currently, then, it’s fair to say that high fuel prices aren’t affecting my hobby, but they sure as hell are affecting my driving habits.
Interestingly, while kicking the tyres at my local secondhand tat emporium, I spotted a silver 1997 Saab 900. I’d never usually look at a GM900, but the price, which I thought was £295, seemed very tempting. Unfortunately, as I got closer, I saw that it was actually £595. Bugger. I looked anyway and soon saw that supplementary filler, which denoted LPG. That got me thinking. Half-price fuel for 90 per cent efficiency. Interesting… I thought some more and had a closer look. It all looks straight and there’s a load of history backing it all up… so should I buy? Well, if petrol wasn’t £1.40 a litre, I wouldn’t entertain the notion but it is, and I am.
Am I mad?
Yes, probably – but, as I said, this damned high fuel situation is changing everything. Is it doing the same for you?
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.