Sunbeam Way, Siddeley Avenue, Armstrong Avenue… the street names on the approach to Revival Cars, a classic-car rental company based in Coventry, are just the thing to get you into the mood for some olde worlde motoring thrills.
Your journey back in time continues as you turn into Humber Avenue, beneath its original and now much weathered street sign, and past the old red-brick Humber Hotel. Turn left and you’re on Bilton Industrial Estate, former location of the Humber car factory (many of the old production buildings remain). Revival is halfway down on the right. Unfortunately, the company hasn’t got a Humber on its fleet, although there is an old Sceptre rotting in the car park. No matter – the cars it does have represent a fascinating period of British automotive history and are perfect for the experienced and inexperienced motoring enthusiast alike.
“The average age of our customers is 55 and many of them want to drive a car they admired when they were younger or that their parents owned,” says Miles Garner, a director of Revival Cars. “It may be something they’re happy to do just once or they may be planning to buy a classic and want to feel how one in good condition feels. Other customers include couples just wanting to spend a day or so driving in the countryside in something special.”
For which, I assume, the company’s Morgan 4/4 is much in demand. In fact, Garner says it’s Revival’s most popular hire. Given that the other vehicles on the fleet are a 1964 Jaguar Mk2, a 1959 MGA 1500, a 1964 MGB roadster (an early car with pull handles) and a 1968 Morris Minor convertible, that’s quite something. There’s also a 1972 MGB V8 coupé and, interestingly, a 1994 MG RV8 convertible. In fact, these two are for sale but only half-heartedly, so available to rent if someone insists.
Half-heartedly? It’s one of the attractive aspects of Revival Cars. The thing is, although it’s a business, it’s really just a way for Garner and his co-directors to keep their own classics on the road and in good fettle.