Get a bigger unit, I thought. Get more space for a workshop. More space to move the cars around. That was 12 months ago, when we moved to a unit half as big again. Now it's full. Obviously, with cars.
My stupidity is your gain, dear customer. Because I never like to see an empty space that a car could so easily fill it means that we've got some new and shiny classics for the 2015 fleet. I've learnt the hard way that the best classic hire cars are the ones you really know, so we now tend to buy projects and restore them for hire. This means we're providing you with a car that we've recently spent a lot of money sorting and you get a car that is in very good, newly restored condition. Buying projects also has an added advantage - we can buy cheap and restore them at cost, so our new car budget goes further. Which, rather inevitably, means more cars.
Alongside the new cars we've also relocated our classic car hire fleet to the Midlands to make it simpler and easier to maintain and hire them. So our new larger unit is rather creaking at the seams. No bother, here are the new 2015 additions that you can book now - or buy a voucher.
1. Triumph Herald 13/60 Convertible
For those who want four seater drop top motoring but find the Morris Minor a little too slow, there is the Herald. Long, low and easy to drive, the Herald is perfect for touring the Cotswolds or as a self drive wedding car. We have restored this car over 2 years, investing over £3,000 to turn it from the car below to the car above.
2. Jaguar XJ12 Sovereign
Until BMW got in on the act there was only ever one big V12 saloon. For many classic enthusiasts, that's really still the case. The Series 3 XJ12 has almost as much waft as a Rolls Royce, but without the high and mighty floatability. You can experience what is arguably the greatest saloon car of all time on one of our popular Jaguar driving days or waft away a weekend in it for just £260.
3. MGB GT
The B roadster may be more common but I actually prefer the BGT. If you're familiar with the roadster then the BGT feels entirely different - more solid, more grown up, more comfortable. In fact, a proper mini GT. So it made sense to add a BGT to our fleet. It's taken a while to transform the project I bought 12 months ago into the restored car you can now hire, but it's been worth the wait. The car has benefited from £4,000 of work and is completely standard except for a warmed up engine. You can hire it for the weekend for £260.
4. Rolls Royce Silver Shadow
The first rule of buying an old Rolls Royce is never buy an old Rolls Royce that needs some work. So we've added this 1978 model to the fleet, which had already had all the work done (over £7,000 spent in the last 12 months) and is in excellent condition. Champagne metallic with a burgundy leather interior and beige Everflex vinyl roof, this car is perfect for ambling through the Cotswolds or pulling up outside the church. Hire it from £349 for the weekend or £199 for 24 hrs.
5. Saab 900 Turbo Convertible
Ah, the Saab 900 convertible. It seats four in comfort, goes like a rocket and is great fun to drive. I should know, I own a few. Enjoy some drop top Swedish style for £160 for the weekend.
6. Jaguar XJR
Jaguars have always been long, low and powerful. But none were as long, as low and quite as powerful as the first XJR. The car's supercharged 370bhp V8 4 litre engine makes this car scintillatingly quick. But in true Jaguar style, you can also enjoy it at more sedate speeds, thanks to its great handling, good ride and very high standards of luxury. Our new XJR is available to drive on one of our popular Jaguar Driving Days or hire it for the weekend for £260.
7. Audi Quattro
Strictly speaking, our Audi Quattro isn't new. It's been on our Shropshire fleet for 12 months. But since not many customers realised that we've decided to relocate it to our Midlands base, to make it easier and more convenient to hire. You can still use it to explore the Welsh roads it loves, but you no longer need to drive to Shropshire to do it. The Quattro is, quite simply, a remarkable 1980s classic and should be on any dream drive bucket list. You can sample it one of our driving days or hire it for the day for £199.
8. Jaguar XJS
Pity the poor XJS. It does most things better than an E Type, except, crucially, how it looks. Despite selling in far greater numbers than the E Type, the XJS is often overlooked as a classic. Let that be someone else's loss. The XJS is an extremely good GT car, it's smooth, fast, comfortable and handles neatly. We have restored this low mileage V12 coupe over the last 12 months at a cost of £2,000. You can drive it for £150 for 24 hrs or £260 for a weekend.
To find out more about our fleet of classic cars to hire, the largest in Europe, call 01527 893733 or visit http://www.greatescapecars.co.uk.