The Petrolheads’ dream with the opening of a classic car museum and café in Nottinghamshire

Car fanatics will be enlivened by a nostalgic collection of classic motors in the heart of rural Nottinghamshire. The Car Crowd is a petrolhead’s dream – and even offers a stake in some of the iconic cars.

A barn, at the end of a country lane in the village of Edingley – between Farnsfield and Southwell – houses eight vehicles, from cult hot hatches to sportier numbers. One of the latest acquisitions to appear soon will be the 1980s supercar, a £200,000 red Ferrari Testarossa.

Any car lover is welcome to visit the cafe and mini-museum and marvel at the engines, which are set to grow and grow. Founder David Spickett created the Car Crowd to give fellow car enthusiasts the chance to part-own a classic car.

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He had discovered the “split investment” car concept in America in 2019, where he worked in financial services. The 39-year-old said: “I’ve been a huge car fan all my life. It’s in my blood. I’ve always collected cars privately, but as a career I’ve done career in financial services.

“The idea of ​​having a fractional part of one and still enjoying the appreciation of that car, but also feeling like I still owned something and was participating in my passion was a very good concept. I came back to the UK and realized no one was doing it here and thought that with my background in financial services and my knowledge of motoring it might be a good match.”

With the approval of his “very supportive” wife Kirsty, he quit his job and started the Car Crowd, opening up the possibility for people to invest in something they loved. Investors, who have a share for as little as £8 in a Mini Cooper, can visit, sit in the vehicle and enjoy the emotions it evokes – but they cannot drive it.

It’s like having a stake in a racehorse, David said. “You might benefit from the earnings, but you can’t drive it. People benefit from an equity stake in the car, and if that car goes up in value, their stake in that vehicle goes up as well.

“But they can’t come and take it away for a weekend because any mileage the car has driven will effectively depreciate the asset and therefore won’t give you such a big return on investment, so we’re keeping them. here .

“They are very well maintained and run every quarter for a small period just to make sure everything is running smoothly, but they don’t run more than 100 miles a year to make sure the appreciation is maximized for the return of the investors.”

Some classic cars

“It’s about unlocking and opening these cars that would otherwise be in underground garages so that more people can enjoy them. The premise is like a museum owned by an oilman, rather than a wealthy lord or sheik who owns the cars – in fact, you own some of them.”

The investment, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, has already reaped rewards for some of the co-owners when they agreed to sell a Clio V6 to a classic car collector for £38,000. David said: “The gross return was 32% in one year – that’s way better than what you get with a savings account or an ISA. It’s not just a passion-based investment, it’s has the potential for very good returns and shareholders are in control.”

The current collection features a rare £250,000 Spyker C8 Spyder, one of eight right-hand drive convertibles. Also on display are a Sierra Cosworth (the very car that appeared on Top Gear), a Renault 5 GT Turbo, a Peugeot 205 GTi, a Vauxhall Nova, a Mini Cooper and a Renault Megane R26.R.

Given the value of the engines, security is ultra-tight. Protection includes two alarm systems, internal and external CCTV, bollards, panic buttons, smoke grenade if the alarm sounds and 24 hour monitoring.

Inside the Car Crowd Cafe

As part of ambitious plans, father-of-two David hopes to eventually expand the collection to 100 vehicles and move to a larger site in East Bridgford, launching in spring 2024. “We will have many more opportunities to create a real destination,” he said.

During his teenage years, he and his father had a computer spreadsheet, collating information about makes and models, how much they sold for, and how prices changed. “What this shows is that cars that reach around 22 to 26 years old tend to appreciate very quickly.

“It’s just the nostalgia effect your dad had one, your mom had one or it was your first car or the one your friend had and you wanted, or a poster car or a car movie or something like that that evokes a memory or personal You then get a peak rating if it is a rare, numbered or very dangerous car like the Porsche Widowmaker.

“There’s a Lotus Carlton that we just bought because there were less than 1,000 of them. It was associated with gangsters and drove very fast on the M1, a police pursuit type car , so in popular culture it’s become a very popular type of car and it’s those iconic types of cars that are really going up.”

The majority of investors are based in the UK, but a number live in Greece, Australia, the Netherlands and Germany. “You have people who buy a stock out of nostalgia and people who use it as a serious alternative investment and put ten percent in each car and spread their risk over the portfolio of cars that we have. They will probably never come here – they just do it as an investment. We do the legwork – they get the appreciation.

The Car Crowd Cafe is open Thursday to Sunday from 9am to 3.30pm and special theme nights are planned. Visitors can enjoy a cup of specialty Outpost coffee and a snack (cake or sausage rolls from local companies) during their trip.

Barista Phil Henley recently moved to Stapleford with his wife and family after 16 years in Australia. He said: “I was intrigued. I went down and loved it. It’s a cool vibe and that’s what drew me to this place. David and I’s vision was aligned.

“It’s not a bad thing that I don’t know much about cars because I can see it from a newcomer’s perspective. I’m very excited about it. If anyone wants to come in and talk coffee and cars, he is welcome.” “

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