Another thing the subjects of Havenhand have in common is that they are all actively involved in restoring and maintaining their cars themselves. “I’m not a mechanic by any means,” admits 26-year-old Ellie Grant when I ask if it can be off-putting, all the breakdown and waiting at the side of the road.
“You just got AA membership,” she laughs. In fact, she’s learned a lot about mechanics and maintenance since buying her first classic BMW, and is part of a larger community of enthusiasts who meet online and IRL.
“There are lots of young people getting into it and everyone is really happy to help each other. It helps that my boyfriend knows a lot about mechanics. There is always someone who can help you.
The community aspect is what struck me the most when talking about Havenhand’s portrait subjects, reminding me that the world of vintage cars is a very friendly place. The advent of the internet has made owning a car less daunting, with online tutorials and forums available that cover nearly every aspect of maintenance.
My own love of cars started when I was a child – inherited from my father, it remains something that binds us together. But I recently rekindled my relationship with old engines thanks to Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, when he introduced the Ultra Low Emission Zone in London, but exempted any car over 40 years old.