For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson, novelist and poet
I first came to New Zealand in 2006 with my eldest son James. Ostensibly we were touring the country for 2 weeks to see if it could fulfill a lifelong dream about relocating the family from the UK, but what a great excuse for a driving holiday too! The country and people exceeded our expectations but our rental car certainly didn’t. I couldn’t believe my choice was seemingly limited to driving such boring ‘white goods’ blandmobiles across such stunning surroundings and uncrowded, open roads. And so I decided if we did make it over, others should get the opportunity to enjoy some quality characterful cars that complemented the wonderful driving environment.
We emigrated over to Nelson in 2008, and in 2012 I started RentAClassic with 2 cars – our 1972 MG BGT which has been in the family since 1974, and the 1999 Saab 9-3 Convertible – you can view them in action here. I decided to concentrate on hiring out classic sports and convertible cars because of wanting to share the fun factor of vehicles that are a bit impractical for everyday life, but great for treating yourself on holiday. And ‘classics’ includes some modern ones that are surely imminent classics. For instance, Stephen Bayley well known UK design commentator noted Saabs had inimitable presence and that “Driving topless is one of life’s pleasures; enjoy the Saab Convertible while you can”. So we’ve made sure you can….along with some Alfa Romeos for the real petrolhead Alfistas….and a Jaguar and Mercedes for people who like posh cars. Our 2001 Alfa Spider V6 is pretty modern but that shape was an instant classic – the headlights alone won design awards. Our definition is if it’s a car that’s characterful, different and desirable, it’s a classic, and on that count we think all our cars more than hit the mark.
Driving convertibles in particular involves all your senses. It makes you feel more a part of the world you’re journeying through – and what a glorious part of the world to feel part of. We’ve loved hearing our customers share their stories and how much more they enjoyed driving around this stunning country in our classic cars, that we decided to join them! So from 2017 we’re offering escorted driving tour holidays, journeying round the glorious South Island destinations in our classic, (and modern) sports cars, making for a very unique, memorable and fun experience….so classic...
Stephen Tanner, Owner, RentAClassic Car Tours
The journey is the reward.
Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain, Author