We chat to Hexagon Modern Classics owner Paul Michaels about his love for all things Porsche, racing and his ever-growing car collection.
The most enjoyable motor museum going must surely be the kind where the prize exhibits – at least some of them – can actually be bought and driven away by new owners.
As well as having much more buzz than conventional museums, as cars, customers, new stock and money flow in and out, a place like this also gives non-buying visitors more hope. Maybe one day, they think, I’ll own a car like these.
This new kind of car collection is exactly what Paul Michaels, one of the UK’s best and most experienced classic car experts, has just opened in his familiar stamping ground of Highgate, north London, right next door to a Lotus dealership he also owns on a surprisingly quiet and leafy part of the Great North Road.
Hexagon Modern Classics, as the place is called, is already open for business and, as we discovered on a recent visit, it makes a fascinating destination right now. But building works are still in progress and Michaels would be the first to admit there’s a couple of years’ work ahead.
When Hexagon Modern Classics is finished, though, it will be transformed into a complete car lover’s paradise. There will be two restaurants, a deli, a café bar, an art gallery (Michaels’ wife, Racheline, is an expert in fine art, especially porcelain), a shop selling car-associated gear, a museum that will display selections from Michaels’ own collection of fine cars, and a top-class car emporium where you can browse the best and possibly buy a modern classic of your own.
Some exhibits straddle the line between art and stock, clearly showing the kinds of cars Michaels intends to offer. Within minutes of arriving, we’re looking at a pair of amazing low-mileage 1965 E-Types: a roadster with 8700 miles on the odo and a coupé with 10,500. “This is the level we want to reach,” says the proprietor, proudly. “Cars like this can be hard to find, but we tend to be the first port of call for sellers.”