The £40 Million Classic Car Collection

The £40 Million Classic Car Collection

RODGER DUDDING: Personally, I like to have things as accurate as possible, as to the
way they were when the vehicle was built; it’s part of its charm and its history. COMM: Car enthusiast – Rodger Dudding – has
amassed the biggest collection of classic cars in Britain and, quite possibly, the world. RODGER DUDDING: I suppose, it really kicked
off back in 1968-69. COMM: Having made his fortune through inventing a successful ticketing machine, he embarked
on a mission to preserve historical cars. RODGER DUDDING: As an engineer, I can look upon a motorcar, in many cases, as three-dimensional art. It doesn’t have to be an expensive range of car. It could be a very small range of car. RODGER DUDDING: Well this is obviously the beginning of our reception area and the door
in front of me leads us into the ground floor of our Aladdin’s cave or, as some of my
chums call it, ‘Dudding’s toy cupboard’. RODGER DUDDING: I suppose our collection on an average day is probably north of about
£40 million. We have been offered astronomical sums of money for various of our cars. COMM: Rodger boasts more than 350 vehicles
in his collection and keeps them in a fully staffed purpose built facility on the outskirts
of London. RODGER DUDDING: I used to do quite a lot of work on the cars myself. It has now got so
large that time doesn’t exist. So, we now have a full-time, highly qualified motor engineer;
not just a mechanic, he can make things. RODGER DUDDING: We aim that every three months, according to the weather, our cars would go
out and be driven around the block, do about 5 or 10 miles, to keep all the oils moving,
the suspension moving, etc. We also employ full-time, a car cleaner which is a non-stop
job for him. When he gets around having cleaned the last one, it’s time to start cleaning
the first one again. COMM: The collection features cars from as far back as 1911, from race-cars pre-dating
the Second World War to limited edition luxury vehicles. Rodger’s collection truly caters to all motor heads. RODGER DUDDING: This little white single-seater racing car here has got an Austin engine in
it, so I phoned David Morgan, my chum who restored this and is this authority and written
books on Austin motor cars. I said, “David, I’ve just bought the little single-seater white
racing car and it’s got an Austin engine. There is the shell of a tortoise, upon which
is painted the face of a rabbit with big whiskers and apparently it’s known as the White Rabbit.”
On the other end of the phone was, “What? The White Rabbit, Austin?” Yes, I said,
“*BEEP* hell”. The car has been lost for about 30 years. It has raced at Monaco; it’s
raced all over. RODGER DUDDING: The Aston Martin Lagonda, you love them or you hate them. And I’m
now up to 24. And you probably have to be nutty to own one, to be taken away to the
lunatic asylum if you have got three or more. So I don’t know where that positions me. COMM: As well as being an avid collector of
cars, Mr. Dudding also has an impressive array of motorbikes. RODGER DUDDING: Well the collection we have here
is mainly, mainly British motorcycles and this is the only two wheel vehicle in the
world, permitted to be badged Bentley. But again you have to be bonkers enough to buy
these things. To me, it’s just history. RODGER DUDDING: If people ask me my most valuable car, then it’s not monetary terms if it’s
strictly emotional, this is my late father’s 1952 split windscreen Morris Minor. COMM: Rodger rents out his incredible cars
for filming and special events and his next project will see him build a seven million
pound state of the art storage facility to house his ever-expanding collection. RODGER DUDDING: All the cars high-end? No,
to me they are all high-end because I love them just as much as each other.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Chrome steering wheel. Volga 21. vintage. THE USSR, THE KGB. Into the collection.

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