Journal: How Much Do You Drive Your Classic?

How Much Do You Drive Your Classic?

Michael Banovsky By Michael Banovsky
April 1, 2016
38 comments

I don’t know about you, but when I enjoy driving a vehicle I don’t really get sick of it. When I owned a Citroën 2CV for a short time, I so enjoyed the experience that I was in the car as much as possible. First impressions from the missus weren’t so great: she said after being on the highway, in the rain, for three hours she felt like she’d been on a boat all afternoon.

I was ready to put gas in the car and go another few hours.

As much as I thought I drove that car, though, I didn’t drive it as much as I would have had it been a newer car. Bad weather, salted roads, running late…it all adds up. Anyway, before you answer, consider that the average number of miles driven per year is around 1,000, at least as far as classic cars go, and even insurers like Hagerty often have a cap of 2,500 miles on typical plans. (If you’re planning an around-the-world voyage, best give your insurer a heads-up.)

If the range of a typical classic and typical owner is between, say, 500–2,000 miles per year, how do you fill that time? Hundreds of trips down the block for cruise night, or an epic weeks-long road trip?

Photography by Afshin Behnia, Jonathan W.C. Mills, Jayson Fong, & David Marvier

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Mark D.
Mark D.

This year only about 8000kms. I like longer drives 500 to 1500 kilometers, this includes gravel roads, a winter rally and some commuting when main vehicles are down. I won’t own a car for shows again, I drive it, break it, fix it and repeat.

My drive is a 1979 Mini

Mojave Meier

I am driving my Mercedes 108 everyday as long there ist good weather and no salt on the streets.

Chris Greta
Chris Greta

I drove my 1971 Citroen DS in a light rain to work today.

I drive it to Home Depot to pick up plants and carpet rolls and big boxes because it’s easy to take out the back seat and carry big things.

I drive it on beautiful Sunday afternoons because it’s a pleasure to float effortlessly along a country road.

It’s not a museum piece. It’s a work of art that can carry a lot of groceries.

Alan giger
Alan giger

I try to balance keeping my Austin Healey in top condition (it was concours gold when restored) and driving it as much as possible. The roads in Quebec are horrible, so I have to choose carefully where to go, as I have had broken suspension bits lately.

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Tom French

I drive my 1965 Gilbern GT1800 every day and cover on average about 10000 miles a year. Commuting in a classic transforms a mundane chore into an event, a quiet moment of joy, mechanical theatre before and after the working day.

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Andreas Monsieur
Andreas Monsieur

My e30 baur hasnt driven in the last two years. Started working on it from the day that I bought it. Because of a lack of time the car isn’t finisched yet. I’m looking forward to when the day finally arrives that I can drive it with the top down and the sweet sound of six cilinders surrounding me.

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Alex Jupe
Alex Jupe

I drive only drive classics and am in the very lucky position of having a number of them. It surprises me how many miles I do in them as I often think I don’t use them enough. I checked through my annual UK MOT (road worthy test) certificates and found the following over the previous years motoring in each: Alfa Romeo Giulietta (1982) 3.0 daily: 7000 miles Fiat Dino 2.0 coupe: 4000 miles Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV6 3.5: 2000 miles Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.8: 1200 miles Alfa Romeo 75 3.0: 4000 miles The Dino did a weeks trip to Italy… Read more »

Henrik
Henrik

The Giulietta Spider is essentially a road registered track car with no top. So, I maily go for track-days. Rain sets some linits though; I didn’t go the 120 km to Spa Francorchamps in heavy rain although rain on the track would have been no trouble.
I sometimes pick up one of my children in the Giulietta, that is appreciated.
Total milage an average year may be 1000 miles.

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Mick124
Mick124

I drive my spider most weekends attending Cars and Coffee, car shows and general drives.

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August Montgomery Norman

It’s a young classic but I’ve put 40k miles on this thing in the 2 and a half years I’ve owned it, it’s been all over the US and I regularly take it on day trips around the Northwest. I’m going to drive this as hard as I currently do until it dies, and then I’ll simply put in a new heart. I can’t imagine having a seldomly driven classic. I’m almost to the 100k mile mark and will shed a tear of joy for choosing the right first car.

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Chris Tye

I drive my restored 1968 Chevrolet K20 Suburban every weekend. Usually just short loops around my city on the back roads during the summer, and on longer trips during the cooler months. I always say, if you don’t drive them they will wear out sitting still.

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bernardo66
bernardo66

As often as I possibly can. I’ve clocked 50 000kms since owning it in 2003.

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Eba Normaalne
Eba Normaalne

i dont actually own a real classic but a young one, still 4 months older than myself. I’ll probably drive it in weekends or after work at night, or ealry morning on backroads. as long as i have money for gasoline because rotary.

CapriDriver
CapriDriver

I drive my Ford Capri 3 to 4 times a week, it was designed to be a practical sports car and t gets used that way, i use to go to the home depot, or if i have to buy lots of groceries since it has 630L of space in the boot/hatch

Iain Holmes
Iain Holmes

When I first bought mine I used it as a daily, now I take the train to work but try to use it every weekend.

Another reason to look forward to weekends 🙂

Boxerman
Boxerman

5 classic cars, I drive one of them every at least week weather permitting, and also only once salt off roads and before winter snow, so about 6 -7 months of the year. Cumulativly this adds up to 8-9K miles per year, 30-40\% probably on track, most of the rest vigorous am drives.

Mathieu MAZUEL
Mathieu MAZUEL

Always suprising to read these insurance statistics as the figures seem so low… hard to understand how one can leave its beloved car(s) stuck in the garage… for weeks… and even months ! Of course it depends on what type of car you have but I find some – especially youngtimers from the eighties and early nineties – make great DDs. I drive 2 youngtimers on a daily basis : a Porsche 993 Carrera with wich I have driven 25K miles during the past 2 years and a half… and a Lancia Delta HF Integrale 8v that keeps me delighted… Read more »

Claus Targa
Claus Targa

As having the choice between a few charming old cars, is still manage to put about 3000 miles on each of them. My family (we are 5) enjoys going to the countryside on the weekend in our ´66 Volvo 122S, and when the crowd to be transported is a bit smaller I switch to our 911SC Targa, especially in the summer. Look forward to our new old piece of metal, a 944 – should be the ideal small transportation in winter (snowy roads here in Austria are no exception). I think we enthusiasts should use sour cars as often as… Read more »

St3ph3nm
St3ph3nm

For 12 years my daily drive, motorkhana, & hill climb competitor (and only car) was my Datsun 2000 Sports Roadster. Even the commute to work was a pleasure, with those Solexes roaring every time I hit the loud pedal. She’s off the road now, as we fix the body up, so I doubt she’ll still be the daily after that. But I’ll be driving the wheels off her every chance on weekends!

Marcus Rowe
Marcus Rowe

My daily driver is a 1962 Morris Minor, which is used daily come rain or shine (when i’m not away). I’ll be driving it on our annual holiday to the west coast of Scotland in July (from Oxford, 1000 mile round trip). In 2013 I drove from Oxford to Istanbul and back (5,500 miles). So the Morris is definitely well used and no garage Queen!

Dan Moskaluk
Dan Moskaluk

From late March to late November almost daily. I am blessed to live at very dead end of 26 km of beautiful, orchard and vineyard lined roadway that snakes through the Naramata Bench in The South Okanagan of Beautiful British Columbia. So Ih ave to drive at least 50 km just to get to town, or at least 13 km to the village. I have several loops, all are picked by the amount of time that I have to spend on that particular day with “Joy” my British Mistress. She commands attention where ever she goes. She is high maintenance… Read more »

Alexander Pulido
Alexander Pulido

I’ve put nearly 20,000 miles on my ’72 BMW 2002 within the last year. Though it’s been M42 swapped and has a 5 speed, its legendary spirit lives on. I would be doing the car a disservice by letting it sit. Smiles per gallon…off the charts!

Nick Hall
Nick Hall

I’m not sure if it’s a car or a motorcycle but I go for some big rides around my island home of Tasmania on my 1982 Suzuki GS1100G sidecar outfit which has classic car registration. This would probably add up to about 3000 km, which is about 1900 miles a year. And when I get on it I don’t want to stop. Mostly I have someone come along in the chair. Even quite nervous passengers feel relaxed after a while. Some younger ones have even gone to sleep towards the end of the ride.

Maxime Veilleux
Maxime Veilleux

I did about 8000 miles in my Beetle last year.

Second year of ownership I don’t plan on slowing down either, I’m also lucky to only having this car so there is no excuse for not using it.

I sometime use my dad Westy for camping trip instead of the Beetle for obvious reasons.

hitower
hitower

For me, the most important thing is the driving. With my former DD, a Porsche924 I drove 5000miles a year. About a month ago, I changed it in for a 65 Ford Mustang with whom I’ve already driven 800mls through France and Germany. For me, it is important, that I don’t have a showcar as Daily driver, because I don’t want to be too scared, to drive and park it in city traffic.

Thomas maine
Thomas maine

Funny, I own a 2CV too and I would like to drive it more often, because it’s reliable and can be used as a DD but I am afraid of even more dings and scratches. So now I only take it out on weekends for driving around town. I drive it on freeways too (it’s capable of doing 60 to 65 mph all day, if there are no hills in the way) but traffic on LA FWY’s is so dense, that I do it only if I have to get somewhere quick.

Nom DelaNom
Nom DelaNom

‘Though some might not consider a 32 year old XJ6 a classic, I certainly do and I drive mine every week day, so about 12k per year. My sense is that it was meant to be driven when it was built and that’s how I use it. I care for it but it has its share of parking lot dings and rock chips as a result. It’s impossible, I think, to have keep a classic (or any car, really) in really great shape if you also want to drive it every day on modern roads. There’s nothing wrong with having… Read more »

Drew Ellis
Drew Ellis

I DD my 86 951 but it isn’t quite a fully realized classic yet. I added it to the fleet to keep the short trips on my 79 HJ45 to a minimum, but it is driven about once a week and then most weekends to take camping or fishing. A 250 mile day with about 20-30 miles of gravel/dirt/trails thrown in is not uncommon. No point having it if you aren’t going to drive it.

Harrison Davis
Harrison Davis

If we are going by the government (at least in my area) definition of classics (25 years old) then I drive mine daily still, and put about 12,000 miles on it a year! But I dont really think it counts as a classic yet, maybe in another 10 years!

Steve Goudy
Steve Goudy

I never liked being considered average, so I guess I’ll have to start driving my 124 Spider more often. I live in the country (in Ohio) and don’t have to worry about city traffic. I’m usually out for 30 min.- 1 hour on the local roads thru the hills. However, every August I drive up to Put-In-Bay for the Road Race Reunion or down to Athens for the Cruise-In at the Convo, both trips take about 2 and a half hours. I put about 1,200 miles on it last year.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

When I had em back in the glorious days of classic car ownership .. the ‘ F ‘ words were daily drivers [ had em one at a time .. trading up as I went ] with a Zakseepd Capri then replaced by an Alfetta GT as the backup car when the snow was too deep etc . But how much would I drive one today what with the ludicrously escalating prices , traffic congestion , rapid deterioration of driver skills and civility ( both on the road and parking ) etc etc you might ask ? Not at all… Read more »

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

… I might add my comment on the decay of driver skills and civility applies specifically to here in the US .. as for the rest of the world I cannot comment .

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

As per your reply below my late father did around 40,000 miles in the Daytona when is was his daily driver in the seventies. More recently he did around 40,000 in one of his 365GTC/4’s touring around Europe in the late noughties, both are great touring cars if you live with the wallet eating fuel bills. For that matter Dad also did 14,000 miles in his 250 SWB in the late nineties too, including a trip form the UK to Italy and back for the Ferrari 50th and a trip from London to Lisbon in Portugal. You’re right if you… Read more »

duplexdl17
duplexdl17

About 3000 miles in the Peugeot 205GTI until the old wiring let the smoke out. So put another 1000 on the Alfetta. Use them as Friday office commuter and weekend cars. Every other month as weekend away road trip machine.

Chuck Pompei
Chuck Pompei

4-5k every year in my 02

MMK
MMK

Sadly did only 250 miles last year on my 450SL, but am driving my 1966 230S more, just did a run to the post office. Try to find any excuse to drive the 1966.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

3000 miles in the Daytona last year including an 800 mile round trip to the French champagne region.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

.. the GTC/4 back in the day … on average 10k a year or more excepting the year or two I spent living over y’alls way [ London & Nice ]