Classic car values take a dip and expert claims it’s due a to a mechanic shortage

"Old-fashioned" grease monkey mechanics are a dying breed, industry expert says

Classic car values take a dip and expert claims it’s due a to a mechanic shortage
Values of classic cars have fallen by 10.4 per cent in the past year, figures indicate.

Figures suggest the value of classic cars flat-lined and in some cases fallen over the past 12-months and it’s claimed to be in part due to a “dire shortage of skilled mechanics”.

Classic car values have dropped for the first time in more than a decade, according to Coutts, the Queen’s bank.

Philip Warner, co-founder of the Car and Classic website, said: “Prices have tumbled and that is in part due to the dire shortage of skilled mechanics.

“That makes their future very uncertain.

Related: MOT change means forty-year-old classic vehicles to be given exemption

“They are schooled to depend on computer diagnostics without opening the bonnet.

“Sadly, the old grease-monkey is a dying breed of mechanic.

“My generation was able to use a manual to strip down a car and put back together again.

“I seriously doubt the future of classic cars as we know them.

“At best we might see a more reliable modern engine powering a classic chassis.”

Do you specialise in classic cars? Do you agree that there’s a shortage of so-called “old-fashioned” mechanics? Share your comments and experiences below.

5 Comments

  1. there is definitely a shortage of old fashioned mechanics,note mechanics not fitters!.
    we do a lot of classics,i find them much more rewarding to work on than modern cars.
    none of the younger staff have a clue about points,carburetors,ignition timing or have a feel for an engine.
    it would be a great shame to fit a modern engine in a classic as it would take away its heart and soul.

    Reply
  2. All classic non car polluters should have electric motors fitted, i hate the points, shims steering boxes, rust, crap 6 volt electrics, dim headlamps, roll on the 40-year mot rule. i wont be doing voluntary mots.

    Reply
  3. Ards Rover and Mini Centre in Newtownards in Northern Ireland have been specialists in British classics for many years. Especially the classic mini. They also work on the modern vehicle range and their youngest technician who is 25 is getting the best of both worlds and he will be a valuable asset to classic car owners as can be seen in a comment posted by a Rover pub owner thanking Jenny for sorting this car out. Jenny is just 25 and really up to date on the classics as well as being a good technician on the modern vehicles. CHECK OUT ARDS Rover and Mini Centre on Facebook

    Reply
  4. The real problem with the classic car repair market is obtaining good quality parts.we often give this task over to the owner as it can take hours to track down obscure items.this time is hard to charge for and often not apriciated.

    Reply
  5. I am 47 years old and probably the last of the proper Mechanic generation. I was brought up initially on Fords and finished my apprenticeship on Austin Rover cars, (Which was a blessing as Austin Rover cars were so unreliable) The Unreliability of the AR cars meant I had a proper schooling as a mechanic where we still fixed things and the cars were a good mix of modern, with Hotwire EFI just coming on the scene which meant we had an education in using Cobest and other diagnostic platforms yet we were still having to change points and condensers, tune carbs, balance Carbs, adjust Tappets, do Engine and Gearbox rebuilds etc etc.
    At our garage we train our apprentices as much as we can with old skool mechanics as well as training them in the modern workshop with an emphasis on diagnostics.
    I often say to them how can you expect to fix something or diagnose it if you don’t understand how it works first, so go back to basics have a full understanding of the car and its history and it’s development. The beating heart of the car is the same today as it has been for many many years in principle it is just everything that is bolted to it that is now very different.

    Reply

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