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Andrew Mear said those words on the way to school, passing a racing green Rolls-Royce Silver Spur.

“My mother tells me I would say that every time, and that ambition has never changed. There’s something magical about seeing a classic car in mint condition.

“Growing up I was lucky because my grandfather and my father had nice cars. In 1994 my grandfather died and my father ordered a new Morgan Plus 4 sports car, but the quickly changed in 1996 to a blue convertible Jaguar XJS.

Andrew, who lives in Norwood Green, took up the XJS when his father moved to Spain. “It was decided the car was best left in the UK and I had always cleaned and serviced it. I had just finished university and was uninsured to drive it until 2001 when I was 24 so I did a long apprenticeship to take care of it.

The following year he bought the Jaguar from his father – and still owns it today.

As a child, Andrew loved nothing better than earning pocket money cleaning cars.

“My grandfather always had nice cars and spent his Sundays cleaning them. My dad always had a nice company car so I cleaned his car on the weekends to earn pocket money. After my parents separated, I went to my grandmother’s house to clean her car and all the neighbors’ cars. My father-in-law was a car dealership, so I spent evenings with him cleaning cars – “getting them up” – ready for the next customer.

The local businessman and entrepreneur, based in Norwood Green, learned to drive in his father’s Daihatsu Fourtrak, failing his first driving test for breaking the speed limit.

“Riding high gives a perception of slower speed and I think it was a new experience for the tester, taking my driving test in the Fourtrak.”

His father was often abroad, so Andrew could use the car as often as he wanted. “It was an ideal first car because it was relatively slow and cost me nothing to drive.

“Being my dad’s car, I felt I had to keep it in top condition, which I did. The only annoying thing was that it was the only diesel car I knew – and on at least two occasions I filled it up with petrol. This resulted in awkward trips to our local garage, Headlands, where they had to drain the tank and refill it.

Andrew doesn’t just like driving. Over the years he has done many major car repairs, mostly body work.

“When I was a teenager, my grandmother had an old Mini Metro that had a lot of rust around the wheel arches and sills. I removed the rust, filled and smoothed the job, then sprayed it to match to color.

“I’m scared to think what it was really like, but at the time I felt like I was doing a good job. Again, having a father-in-law who was a car dealer helped tremendously with gaining experience .

He relied on those skills during the lockdown, rebuilding a 1978 VW campervan in preparation for a vinyl wrap showing iconic buildings in the Skipton area.

The motorhome pulled out of a field near Andrew’s house. “Spotted him on a dog walk during lockdown. The engine was in good condition having been recently rebuilt but the bodywork was in poor condition. Fixing it turned out to be a great way to pass the time.

“I developed it as the ‘Skipton Camper Van’ to promote all things Skipton with the aim of encouraging businesses to return to the town. It has also helped me a lot in promoting my charity work for Parkinson’s UK, a charitable organization close to my heart.

The motorhome has its own Instagram profile and can be viewed daily at High Corn Mill, Chapel Hill, Skipton.

For many years Andrew, who runs a £10million property portfolio, coveted three cars: the Ferrari 328, the Aston Martin DBS and the 1969 Ford Mustang.

“Having sold a property during lockdown, the decision was easy. A friend of mine from Italia Autosport called me with an opportunity and the dream came true. I am now the proud guardian of one of the best 328 GTS in the county.

The 1985 Ferrari 328 GTS has only done 8,000 miles. “It’s very fast, although it’s not really the speed that counts, it’s the looks. The Ferrari likes to be pushed and sounds amazing even at low speeds. My Jaguar is an automatic and great for cruising, but it’s also a fast car.

He adds: “If you want a fast car, buy a new electric one. My current company car is an all-electric car and would leave all those modern classics in the dust. »

The cars attract many admiring glances, but it is the motorhome that attracts the most attention.

“It must be the image wrapping on the vehicle. The VW evokes a nostalgia like no other.

“The XJS and 328 look amazing when traveling on a sunny day, I haven’t been this far in the Ferrari yet, having owned it for less than a year. The Jaguar has been everywhere in the 26 recent years including a number of car shows such as Warwick Castle.It’s lovely to travel through the Dales on a sunny day with the roof down.

“I’m going to Ferrari Owners Day at Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire this year. I haven’t had time to take part in a vintage car rally yet, but expect to do so in a near future.I would love to do a road trip to my dads in southern Spain, an epic trip that would require a lot of planning.

He adds: “It’s always a privilege to ride in these vehicles and I appreciate every minute spent presenting them in pristine condition and the bonus of being able to drive them.”

Andrew’s cars are identifiable by his private license plates. “I currently have MEA 1R and MEA 4R, plus 60 JM – this one is from an auction. I remember I was around 13 and went with my dad, John Mear, to buy it.

He has been a member of the Jaguar enthusiasts club and the XJS club for years. “It’s fun to meet like-minded people who generally know a lot more about cars than I do. The stories are interesting and through the groups I get to know the events and the regular meetings. There are various publications available to all members which provide an overview of all things Jaguar. I plan to join the Ferrari club in the near future.

For daily use, Andrew has a Mercedes EQC electric car. “It’s a real pleasure and it’s easy to drive. My wife has a Range Rover Sport which she loves. Having an electric car today is the future in a world trying to do its part for the environment.

He doesn’t hesitate when asked about his favorite car. “It’s the Jaguar XJS because it’s been in the family for most of my adult life and I have an emotional attachment to it. It’s a future classic – I love it and would tell anyone, find the same car but in better condition: that would be a very difficult task.

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