Wedding cars. Such a simple thing, such a big decision. Well, for chaps anyway. And, not to be forgotten, for laydeez too. Except for chaps it's sort of, well, almost definitely probably certainly the point of a wedding.
Be honest soon-to-be-wed men of Britain, and wed men of Britain while we're at, The Cars are a big deal. Bigger than the dress, bigger than the menu, bigger even than the honeymoon. And with some justification. Because if your wedding day isn't an opportunity to drive or be driven in your dream car, when is?
Back in the early days of the Internet, when I got married, choosing a decent wedding car was not straightforward. There simply weren't many options that didn't involve white and Rolls Royce. I am quite proud of the fact that perseverance put me in an Oldsmobile Toronado and the future Mrs Great Escape in a classic Cadillac. Neither of which, at the time we booked them, had actually been driven for several years... A mute point in the scheme of things.
And of course the Toronado, Detroit's fumbled stab at 'advanced engineering', broke down on the way to the church. Several times. Reliability being, in the interests of transparency, a fundamental weakness of the whole Interesting Wedding Car ouvre. But you can't have interesting without a little bit of risk; so while the recalcitrant Olds did cause a little stress at the time, it also didn't ruin the day.
Back then I couldn't drive the Olds or Cadillac because the idea of classic self drive hire cars was in its infancy. Now you can not only hire something interesting, you can drive it too.
All of which really is the point of having an interesting classic car for your wedding. It adds to the day, even when it decides to play up a little. Because old cars mean a risk of breakdown - not much, but it is there. In our experience at Great Escape it's less than 5% of the time.
If you can't handle the risk, get a Beaufort, a new car that pretends to look like an old one. If you think you can, welcome to the wonderful world of interesting classic weddings cars. And here are our five most popular.
1. Jaguar E Type
Coupe or convertible, straight six or V12, it really doesn't matter. It's a flippin' EType. Based on a random straw poll of the weddings we've attended with our cars we can guarantee that the groom will be The Man the minute his guests spot the car. Everybody loves an E Type and nothing, repeat nothing, does Classic English Cool quite like it. We have four E Types for hire including Series 1, 2 and 3 and coupes or convertibles.
2. Morris Minor Convertible
If the Morris Minor was a person it'd be Stephen Fry - loveable, popular, non-threatening and smile-inducing. Everybody loves Morris Minors so for the groom looking to earn brownie points, this is the indisputable top choice. It's also practical (it seats four), a convertible and cheap to hire. The humble Moggy is also a subtle statement of intent - a simple, anti-consumer riposte to all those big shiny Rollers and stretch Hummers. We have a choice of four Morris Minors for hire, including three convertibles in different colours and a Morris Traveller saloon.
3. Chevrolet Corvette
Where the Morris is diminutive and unassuming, the Corvette is big and bold. America's E Type is exactly what you would expect of the land of burgers and big-blocks - a burbling, rumbling beast of a car that announces its arrival from some distance away. If you want to make a statement on your wedding day, few cars make quite such a statement as the Corvette. And for a wedding, it's a pretty good way to arrive. The Corvette looks good, drives neatly and isn't so in your face and obvious as a Mustang. It's loud and happy to be so. We have a C3 Corvette in white with a red interior available to hire.
4. Jaguar Mk2
The Mk2 may be one of the staples of the wedding car scene but it's usually white and usually not actually a Mk2 (most are later 340s or Daimlers, which don't look as good). A proper Mk2 in a decent colour (ie not white) is a traditional and elegant accompaniment to any wedding. And when you can drive it too, rather than be driven, you also discover why the Mk2 Jaguar is so revered. The Jag is possibly the most beautiful saloon car ever made and also great to drive. Which is surely win win for bride and groom. We have two Mk2s for hire.
The original AC Cobra is one of those cars that small boys stuck pictures of on their walls. Which possibly explains why, when those boys get bigger, they see their wedding as an ideal opportunity to fulfill their dream and drive one. Proper Cobras are serious money so we have a replica for hire. It may not be the last word in driving finesse but it looks astonishing and sounds the same. And it has two seats, so your bride can come too. We have a V8 Cobra on our fleet.
To find out more about our wedding cars and our self drive hire packages call 01527 893733 or visit http://www.greatescapecars.co.uk