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    Chairman's Rant, July 2019

    Chairman’sRant – July 2019


    (or,The Thoughts Of Chairman Norm….with apols to Mao Zedong, haha!)

    Greetings, Stratossers,

    So,no doubt you were intrigued by the title, and thought, what’s withhim then? What’s he got to rant about? Well it’s not so much“rant” as in “moan”, but rather just stuff – this and that,things that’re going on, the general ebb and flow of the world, and not necessarily concerning our fave bolide. Although there may wellbe the odd gripe and whinge, but that’s OK – I regard it as areasonable accommodation for having to put up with you lot See, back in the day when there was the regular newsletter, there’d always be a few words from the Chairman, or newsletter editor, or whoever. Don’t get any of that with a Forum…. nottill now, anyway :-P So here it is, the first in an occasional series – just my opinion, with which you might agree, or you might not. See if I care

    Anyhoo,where to start? Well here’s a topic close to most members’ hearts– values of “replicas”. (yes I know neither of the kits available today are true, nut-for-nut, rivet-for rivet replicas, rather more homages to the originals, but “replica” seems to be the generally-accepted term, so that’s what I’m going with.) Yeah, replica values: deffo on the rise. Where a few years back you were looking at £25 – 30K for a decent motor, now we’re into the mid-50’s and rising….both Nick’s blue LB (on their stand at Stoneleigh), and the yellow Hawk at Total Headturners, both sold inthe mid 50’s, Nick’s (inpractically no time at all) to a car collector whose garage already contains a Miura and aMcLaren, and the Hawk taking a few months to sell, having been reduced from the initial £59K to £55K. So what’s going on there, then? Well it seems to me that decent replicas have now transcended their humble “kit car” origins and are now appealing to proper car collectors, who might well be able to afford the Real Thing but who’ve been seduced by the lure of the“Restomod”, i.e. a car that looks like the original but has modern tackle underneath the prettiness, e.g. brakes that work,aircon, heated screens, modern suspension, etc. etc. The fact that our cars have been built by amateurs from a kit matters not a jot anymore, and the one-time stigma of the “kit car” has pretty much disappeared. I think this has all been helped by the high standard of the kits themselves, and the fact that people can’t just nail any old pile of ex-scrapyard bits together and call it a car. (Thanks, IVA.) Also,some classics are now worth so much that owners don’t want to risk them and so commission a replica that they CAN use. So compared to the (frankly ridiculous) amounts being asked for some of these classics (Dino 246 at £350K? DB5 over half a million? you’re having a laaarrrf…) £50-60K for a motor that, to the untrained eye, is pretty much indistinguishable from an original is a bit of a bargain…Thing is, though, that we, as a club, don’t all seem to have cottoned onto this yet. I know values are variable and depend on loads of factors – how well was it built, what motor, blah blah blah, but I think we’re still undervaluing our cars. I’ve no idea what that yellow Hawk was really like, but I had a good crawl around Nick’s when I was deciding whether to go for a LB, and I’ll tell you what - he sold it too cheaply. Another 5k, maybe even more, methinks. Mine’s still in build, and I’m not skimping on it anywhere – I know how much I’ll have in it, and I’ll tell you something: if I ever need to sell it, it’ll be for more than that….a hell of a lot more. No more excuses for it “only being a kit car”!

    This all leads me nicely to another subject, viz:over-complication f modern motors...

    Anybody read the article in the latest EVO, with Gordon Murray? Y’know, the guy who did various McLaren F1 cars, the Alfa F1 “fan car” that got banned, and the McLaren F1 road car? Well,the reason for the article is that he’s doing another road car – gonna have a bespoke nat-asp 3.9 litre V12 by Cosworth, a large fan at the rear to control all the aerodynamics, and it’s gonna be LIGHT and SIMPLE. Seems our Gordo hates the modern obsession with horsepower, lap times, top speeds, and unnecessary fripperies such as electric this and that, and automatic doodahs that just add weight and detract from the driving experience. Hmmmm…..remind you of anything? Yep, that’s right, sounds a lot like the self-built bolides residing in our very own garages...this is, in fact, a large contributory factor in me deciding to go for a Stratos rep, because I too am cheesed off with all the, let’s face it, shite, that comes as part and parcel of modern motors. Lane departure warning? Blindspot alerts? Auto-fold mirrors? Proximity monitoring? Speed limit warnings? Gimme a break! I thought we already had all these safety systems – it used to called “The Driver”. So now I guess allyou have to do is steer the damn thing and the car’ll look out for everything else… whatever happened to personal responsibility and thinking for yourself?? (sorry, REALLY getting into rant territory there!) And there, I reckon, is another reason why our cars are worth more than a few years ago – these (fairly) wealthy peeps, who could splash the cash on a 911 or similar, don’t want all the daft gubbins that go with such cars. So they get a cool-looking motor they actually have to think about driving...just like it used to be.

    So what do we reckon? Am I on the money here? Do you disagree? (Of course I’m right, I’m Chairman and never wrong. Honest.) Let’s hear your thoughts! (er,you ARE thinking, aren’t ya…?)

    Till next time….

    The (Social) Norm!
    Last edited by Normb666; 09-07-2019 at 22:43. Reason: formatting

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