Classic Driver Dealer: Historic Classics
When we ran a story on Eagle E-Types at the end of last year, we asked proprietor Henry Pearman why his business is devoted entirely to this one model. Well, since then, things have moved on. While the business remains first and foremost an E-type specialist, Henry’s passion does spill over to encompass other marques. And this passion has finally become ‘official’ with the launch of a new enterprise – Historic Classics.
As the man himself puts it, “The thing I love is a car that stands out as being really special, and that appreciation could never be limited purely to E-types. Be it a Mark 2 Jaguar or a GT40, I value something that’s in really special condition. Since the early days of Eagle, we’ve always had other cars around – 911s, for example, and many Ferraris over the years.
“The clients who come to us for an E-type will often have more than one type of car. The common denominator is that they only want great cars – the best examples available. They frequently say, ‘We would like a so-and-so: please can you find us one, as we know it’ll be a top-class car?’ So this side of our business, which we have christened Historic Classics, is less a separate enterprise and more, we feel, an addition to the services we offer within Eagle.”
Take a look at the Historic Classics website, www.historicclassics.com, and you’ll find some truly interesting cars. You’ll also get the feeling, and quite rightly, that there’s a bit of an emphasis on Jaguar (understandably) and on Porsche. Especially on Group C Jaguars and Porsches.
“We cover both road and race cars,” agrees Pearman, “and over the past eight years there has been much juggling and further tuning of our Group C Jaguar and Porsche collection. But there’s only so much space available, so we generally limit ourselves to a maximum of, say, 25 cars for sale within Historic Classics at any one time.”
Of those 25 cars, there’s a spectacularly interesting cross-section of cars of all sorts. One of the first that catches my eye is the 1938 Jaguar SS100, and no wonder the sight of it rings a bell. “That Jaguar has been in 72 different magazine features, over the years,” says Pearman with a laugh. “It’s the ex-Dave Garroway car. The car went to America in the late 1940s and he was one of the country’s main TV celebrities of the early 1950s – the original host of the ‘Today’ show.
"He put a great big supercharger on the SS engine and blew it up (of course), so he persuaded Jaguar to let him buy a brand-new XK120 engine, which they’d never normally release. Garroway fitted that engine in 1951 and he campaigned and kept the car for over 30 years.” The next owner had it in California for another 30 years, before Pearman snapped it up as soon as it arrived back in England.
“I get a real buzz out of that car. I love reliving the substantial history of it. But then I like so many different sorts of cars – I get immense pleasure from driving a Vintage Bentley, for example, something we’ve done every Christmas morning for the past 10 years. In its own way, it’s as rewarding to drive properly as experiencing 210mph down the Mulsanne Straight in a Porsche 962.” And that’s something Pearman can vouch for, as he was the 2008 Group C racing series Champion in his ex-RLR 962.
Pearman’s interest in Porsches crops up time and again – you only have to look at the Historic Classics website to see everything from 956 and 962, to 993 GT2 and 996 GT3R. “There’s a 2.7RS that we’ve owned for the last four or five years,” says Pearman with evident enthusiasm. “And a 3.6 911 Turbo – like the E-type, these are cars that people have a strong emotional bond with. They’re the cars they had on their bedroom wall when they were growing up.”
Please click HERE to see all Historic Classics' cars for sale in the Classic Driver car database.
For further information on Historic Classics, visit www.historicclassics.com .
Tel: +44 (0)1825 831028
Text - Charis Whitcombe
Photos - Historic Classics
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