After running The Open Road Classic Car Hire for 20 years, having started in 1997, we have now retired.
This is for a number of reasons, not least that in January 2017, Tony started working full-time for the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust in Gaydon as the Vehicle Collection Manager, responsible for the Trust's collection of historically significant Jaguars and Daimlers.
Our last two hires finished on Saturday 28th October and appropriately both of them were more than just standard car hire.
One customer took our 1965 Mustang Fastback out for the weekend as his wedding car. Everyone, including the bride loved it.
But our very last customer took our 1969 MGB Roadster out for the day to propose to his girlfriend. By a complete coincidence this mirrors our very first customer, who flew his girlfriend over to the UK from the US, hired out our Frogeye Sprite and proposed.
What were the chances of that happening?
Over the past 20 years we have been privileged to be an important part of not just these two proposals but a number of others, far too many weddings to count, birthdays, anniversaries and retirements galore.
We have also been instrumental in galvanising a number of customers into action to finish their own long term classic car restoration projects. We have spread the love of classics by being a stepping stone into classic car ownership for many - some of whom have brought their cars round to show us.
We started when the Internet was in its infancy, broadband didn't exist and home dialup was very slow. Nevertheless our first booking came via the Internet from America. We have been in existence longer than Google and Ebay (sadly we aren't worth as much) and have not only seen the birth of TripAdvisor but embraced it as vehicle which our customers have used to give us feedback. We used to give them paper questionnaires, but over the past few years we have welcomed their TripAdvisor feedback which has resulted in a 5 Star rating with 92 reviews and a 2016 Certificate of Excellence.
When we started we were only the 5th company in the UK hiring out classic cars and very few people knew it was possible to hire them. We were one of the first companies in the UK to hire out an E-Type and the first to hire out a classic Mustang. We now leave behind us a thriving classic car hire industry where you are able to hire almost any car you wish, somewhere across the UK and Europe.
We have owned, enjoyed and hired out the following cars:
- Austin Healey 3000
- Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite
- Chevrolet Corvette C3
- Ford Mustang Fastback
- Jaguar E-Type Coupe
- Jaguar E-Type Roadster
- Jaguar Mk2
- Lotus Elan Plus2
- MGB GT
- MGB Roadster
- MGB RV8
- Triumph Spitfire 1500
- Triumph TR6
- Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Razoredge