Many of us could never have predicted cars like the Metro and Corsa becoming the rising stars (in both popularity and value) of the new modern classic car scene! Tom Morley explains why these everyday cars of yesteryear are in his garage.
Tom Morley is a man known to many in classic car circles: star of many a Meguiar’s display and a concours King who has been known to give cars such a shine they look better than the day they left the factory. However, unlike many classic owners who focus their attentions on the ‘chrome classics’ or high ticket motors, Tom is the saviour of a plethora of modern classics.
Interested in classic cars since he could remember, Tom told us that his mum recalls quite fondly how at only two years old he gave the health visitor a firm education in motoring. Not only did Tom tell her his toy car was a Ford, but it was a Ford Capri.
With a keen eye for a classic early on, it’ll come as no surprise that Tom’s love of cars has grown stronger over the years and like many, he leaned towards the brands his family had chosen and he felt familiar with; British Leyland, Austin Rover and Vauxhall.
Today, Tom’s love has translated into a fleet of cars many will remember from high streets, pavements and driveways growing up; with an Allegro, Metro and Corsa C gracing his garage and driveway space.
The oldest member of Tom’s fleet is his 1976 Austin Allegro 1100 Deluxe which he acquired in 2005. Totally unrestored, the car only had 9,000 miles on the clock when Tom found her.
The next stablemate is an equally spotless 1.3 GS in original condition. Tom is a long time Metro owner, having owned them for over two decades; with a luxury GS being on the wish list from a young age.
The third choice for Tom’s collection at present is a car which many will agree you just don’t see anymore, a 2001 Corsa C 1.4 Elegance Automatic. Covering a mere 7,500 miles from new with one retired lady owner from new; Tom decided this was THE Corsa C to save as a true car of the modern classics era.
With so many of these Corsas finding themselves being used as bangers or cheap runarounds, it’s an exciting dawn for the Corsa finally reaching ‘treasured’ status.
However, that isn’t where Tom’s love of classics or modern classics begins and ends, because recently he helped a friend undertake a house clearance for a relative. In today’s world where garage space is at a premium, it’s hard to believe ‘barn finds’ can still be found, however Tom did just that. He uncovered an Austin A55 which had been owned since it was a mere three years old and had sat caked in dust for decades. A Lincolnshire based Austin Counties enthusiast took the car on as a project and has recently been spotted on test drives after recommissioning the car.
In addition to this, there was a retro Rover 214SLi which Tom got behind with great gusto and rehomed with the same love as the Austin. The Rover has been donated to the 200/400 Club who displayed it the Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show in March at the NEC.
Just like Lancaster Insurance, Tom knows the value of car clubs and has been a member of several over two decades – including over 20 years in the Allegro Owners Club International (who are turning 50 this year) and he has organised their national rally for the last 13 of those. In addition to this, Tom is the chairman of the Metro Owners Club which he joined in 2009.
Tom told us he believes clubs are invaluable to the world of classic cars and thinks social media will play an increasingly important role because it’s a great way to talk to like-minded enthusiasts; although he does stress that events and gatherings are still hugely important as a way to get people out in their cars and sharing them with the general public.
Tom concluded: “The scene evolves all the time and sometimes we forget some of the cars we view as relatively new are now over 20 years old?” With time seemingly hurtling forward quicker with every passing year, we couldn’t agree more!
With hundreds of clubs supported through the club scheme and thousands of classics insured at Lancaster Insurance (including over 20,000 made between 1990 and 2000), the classic car insurance specialist welcomes calls from clubs and members who are seeking insurance for their classics where it’s understood it’s never ‘just a car’.
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