This page: An introduction to the ever-expanding Old Classic Car website, and its creator.
About Old Classic Car.
The Old Classic Car (OCC) website was born late in 2001. At the time, the internet was a very different place to how it is now, significantly smaller, little in the way of social media, with fewer sites specific to the hobby of buying and running old cars, and wallowing in nostalgia relating to the early days of motoring etc, to be found than there are today. Not really finding any existing sites that echoed my own somewhat varied interests in the subject, I decided to put something together myself. Would I do it differently if starting out now? Quite probably, but hopefully the content will continue to prove of interest to the many visitors that do find themselves landing somewhere within its thousands of published pages. While the main focus of the site is, clearly, car-related, there are a good number of references to other forms of transport, so use of the site search will help track down specific items of interest (hopefully!).
In the following video, after twenty-plus years of existence, I talk a little more about the setting up of OCC. I also cover my background and earliest involvements with old cars back in the 1980s, my first cars, and how my "O" Level Computer Studies project funded my first project car.
The history of motor-cars, the people who drove them, and the garages that worked on them, have always underpinned my fascination for ancient vehicles, leading to various collections that are sympathetic to the old-car hobby in general. These range from the hoarding of old tools, toy cars, literature and more, much of which has found its way onto the site in the relevant sections. As a result, much of what appears here is of interest to me.
While my background is more IT-related than wielding spanners, I've been tinkering with vehicles of a certain age since my mid-teens, ie the 1980s. Early experiments with "classic" cars centred around reviving a decidedly-derelict Triumph Spitfire Mk3, purchased by dad for a nominal sum, and the running of a family-owned-from-new Austin A40 Mk1, which survives here to this day. As time went by, other vehicles (large and small) arrived on the scene, leading to where I'm at now, with vehicles ranging from pre-war and in one case properly vintage (1924), into the post-war years, and on occasion with what now seem to be referred to as "modern classic", or "retro" cars. Commercial vehicles have also been a feature of my garage space since the late 1980s, and, as with cars, are often not in running condition.
Jalopy/Old Classic Car.
Before being renamed Old Classic Car, the earliest versions of the site were actually named Jalopy, a reference to the fact that most of the vehicles I'd owned until that point (and indeed to this day) haven't been runners on their arrival at OCC HQ. Most too have been in somewhat dilapidated condition, pulled out of fields, hedgerows, and other such salubrious locations, so Jalopy seemed to fit. As the content grew, and became more varied, choosing a broader title for the site began to make sense, hence the selection of OCC in 2001. Existing content was switched over to the new domain, and the site has continued to grow ever since.
In 2006, the OCC Forum was introduced, designed to be a meeting point for like-minded car enthusiasts. With ownership stories, event news and photographs, restoration advice and more, it's become a very popular corner of the site. In more recent times, OCC Facebook and Twitter pages have been created, to keep vintage and classic car fans on those platforms advised of what's going on at OCC.
At this point I must thanks the many enthusiasts over the years who have been in touch, and provided their own ownership stories, memories, and on many occasions interesting old photographs to share on OCC, broadening the scope of the site beyond my own personal interests and experiences. To them all, I extend my thanks. R. Jones.
Below is a sample of feedback that visitors to the site have been kind enough to send over.
"Found the site via the Goodwood website. And what a find. Forced my wife to read the Living with a hoarder feature. This could have been describing us. Maybe now she will realise that I am not an oddity. I loved your Goodwood screensaver and photos section. Will certainly be coming back again."(Steve,UK)
"Not many people bother to do this but - I have just visited your website and had to put finger to keyboard to say 'What a good one' .. keep up the good work spreading the word of immortalising these beloved and much sworn at machines.." (Chris, UK)
"I have just found your site on the Internet, I am not a car enthusiast but I do like seeing pictures of yesterday's cars, they bring back a lot of memories and good times, I have downloaded some of your photos for my screen savers, I hope you don't mind. Thank you for a wonderful site, and lovely photos, much appreciated." (Brian, UK)
"I think your website is really great as it covers all aspects of motoring nostalgia.." (Paul, UK)
"Great site, been on it many a time ... planned to go to bed an hour ago, but then found your site again and was reading through it. THANKS, its great stuff and very interesting even though I dont have a classic" (Nik, UK)
"Dear Rick, I have had a great time looking at your website. I do like the internet when it is so well presented, and indeed is a terrific resource for the ignorant like me ! " (Serge, UK)
"Bloody BRILLIANT" (Sir Mike)
"Firstly may I say how much I've enjoyed looking at your website and particularly the old postcard views." (Rob)
"Firstly what a great site! loads of info and easy to navigate (even for me).." (Scott, UK)
"I have just visited your www.oldclassiccar.co.uk/toys.htm website and I am wowed by your collection of toy racecars. I am slowly working at getting everyone of them myself .. " (Paul, Canada)
"Just wanted to say what a refreshing change your site made to so many of the poorly done and out of date sites I have seen lately - well done. My Alfa 164 even got a mention :)" (Mike)
"What an unbelievable site, I cant get my head round the graft you have put into it -Keep up the good work" (David)
"Congratulation's what a good site, you must have spent a lot of hour's on this, it was worth it, I have forwarded it to friend's, I have been checking out for well over an hour and will be back lot's, well done" (Terry)
"A great site. brings back many memories of the days (late '50s) when I and my friends could only afford a decrepit old sports car and try to do it up." (Tony)
"Your site is simply awesome. Something i must show my dad. He's vintage car crazy. So am I. I don't own one.. but I have 3 vintage beemers." (Nigel)
"I came across your website, and had it added to my "favourites" almost immediately. Even now, half an hour later, I am drooling at the sight of the vintage/period caravans and motorhomes ... especially the VIKING c'van, an example of which I owned not many years ago." (Arthur)
"I felt I must put fingers to keyboard to say how much I like your site, I like the way you keep updating it I keep finding myself going back to it more and more to see the updates, I have really enjoyed it over the winter when I have not been able to get outside and work on my own cars (Austin A60 and Morris Oxford VI) due to bad weather and not having a garage it is nice to read about someone like myself who loves old cars, keep up the good work". (George)
"Love your website - it has given me many hours of relaxing reading at the end of a stressful working day. As an early baby boomer from one of the outer colonies I was brought up on 40's & 50's little English cars, & have retained a great affection for them. I have never quite got round to owning one, unless you count my prized collection of die cast models. (I particularly like 40's & 50's Dinky toys, but these are getting a bit scarce & pricey
these days !)". (Hugh)
"Hi my name is Phill, I love the web site, one of the best I could find. I particularly love the scrapyard pictures, as walking around old car/truck/plane graveyards is a particular interest of mine. Keep it up.". (Phill)
"Would just like to say how much i am enjoying browsing your fine website, I had been recommended to it by a friend. It has obviously taken you a large amount of time and effort, congratulations on the result." (Pete)
"What a glorious site! Congratulations, I have never come across any other car related site which has so much information set out in such a readable fashion. Just one moan, though. Apart from one or two photos the big Triumphs (TRs 4 to 6) have been ignored, even though you ran a Standard yourself (which reminds me, I used to have an 8 with a 1200 Herald Coupe engine in it - the brakes and handling let it down!)" (Andrew)
"Just a short email to say thanks for a brilliant site which I just found. I've recently acquired a 1969 Mk3 Spitfire and have been building up my "favourites" list of anything to do with Triumphs and/or Spitfires. Needless to say your site is now at the top of my list. I really appreciate the time and effort you have obviously spent creating this site and giving pleasure to classic car enthusiasts the world over. Well done - and please keep up the good work." (Keith)
"I've been on your website a few times now, reading a little bit more every time, and find it very enjoyable. I was wondering if maybe you could add a kind of "readers write" part. If I buy a magazine these are always the pages that I personally find most interesting, if somewhat controversial at times..." (Barrie) (If anyone would like to submit their own article about cars, motoring etc, I'll happily feature it so long as it applies to old cars and isn't libelous!!)
Old Classic Car (C) R. Jones 2023. Content not to be reproduced elsewhere.