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ISSUE 300: Welcome to the three hundredth issue of Classic Car Buyer! As those of you who have been with us from the start will possibly recall, I was the CCB’s first editor (from 2009 to 2012) and Chris has kindly asked me back, to pen the leader for this issue. Though I’m now editor of Classic & Vintage Commercials I’m still involved with classic cars, and it’s good to see how CCB has developed over the past six years. So what’s changed over that time? The most significant changes have involved government and legislation. We’ve seen the return to a rolling qualification date for Historic Vehicle road tax – albeit at a much ‘older’ date than was originally envisaged and earlier than many of us would have liked. Less happily, we’ve also seen the closure of the DVLA Local Vehicle Licensing Office Network and centralisation of functions they previously carried out at Swansea. As always, this has worked for 95 per cent of the workload, but a lot of that five per cent that benefits from face-to face contact involves older vehicles… Then we’ve had the pre-1960 MoT exemption; something none of us really expected or had asked for back in 2009. This is still controversial – especially as discussions about extending it are still ongoing – but I will make one personal observation: We’ve had exemption for pre-1960 lorries for over 20 years – mainly because modern Goods Vehicle Test Station equipment isn’t generally compatible with classics – without any issues at all, and while the numbers are smaller, the potential damage from failure is far greater. As I say though, that’s purely my view, not that of CCB, and I’m sure they’ll be plenty who disagree. One other thing I’ve noticed – and this is more an observation on 31 years in classic car journalism than six years/300 issues of Classic Car Buyer – is that cars now, it seems, need to be somewhat older to gain classic acceptance. Shortly after joining Practical Classics magazine as a trainee in 1985 I bought a 1965 – so 20-year old – Volvo 121 ‘Amazon’. Then-editor John Williams was slightly unhappy about me using it to visit readers, but that was purely over its appearance (it was awaiting a repaint and I’d fitted solid blue front wings in place of the original white rusty ones). There was no question at all over it appearing in print as a project. I’m currently selling a 19-year old Volvo V70 estate. It’s a lovely example, and enormous fun to drive, but I really don’t think a 19-year old Volvo in 2015 has anything like the same classic acceptance as a 20-year old one did in 1985…

Peter Simpson
Launch editor