Our associate editor also fantasises about travelling back in time to acquire the classic cars he has always dreamed of.
TIME travel is a concept that has fascinated me no end since I watched Back To The Future.
Apart from imagining simpler times, I’m enamoured with the fantasy of being able to acquire all the classic cars I’ve ever lusted after. After all, with today’s money, they would be relatively affordable.
My idea is to travel back to several points in time, acquire the cars I want and store them in a secure location. Upon returning to the present, my dream garage would be complete.
At the top of my automobile wish list are Mercedes-Benz’s 1963 230SL “Pagoda” and 1964 300SE, which is also referred to as Heckflosse (German for “fintail”).
I’d also like a Jaguar XK140 and a Series 1 1/2 E-Type Roadster. Then there are classic Ferraris such as the 250 GTO and 275 GTB/4, which are also must-haves.
(Our legal eagle Edric Pan also loves this idea and that’s why his column this month covers a similar topic.)
But the more I think about my fantasy, the more I realise how difficult the logistics would be. There are too many practical questions that my imagination cannot answer.
First, there’s the question of money. What currency do I need? How do I get my hands on it? At this point in time, there’s probably very little cash from that era. And even if I could get my hands on it, acquiring it would probably be prohibitively expensive.
I considered acquiring enough gold, which could then be exchanged for hard currency. But buying gold is not only expensive – transporting it could be an issue as well.
I’m not sure what the time machine would look like. It might be easier if it was the DeLorean from the movie, because I could at least place the gold bars/nuggets/ coins on the passenger seat.
But what if the time machine was like the one from the Terminator movies? That means I couldn’t take the gold – or my clothes – with me. I’d arrive in the past penniless and naked, and with no way of returning to 2018.
Jeremy wants to drive to work in a Mercedes- Benz 300SE.
Let’s say I solve the time machine issue. I travel back in time, exchange my gold for the currency of the day and get the classics my heart desires.
But hold on. After buying these cars, where am I going to store them?
Knowing how quickly Singapore progressed from 1965 onwards, I’d have to find a big place that will remain untouched from then until now.
I know of no cavernous caves here. And I can’t just build a warehouse in the middle of nowhere. In all likelihood, it would be discovered, and the precious metal inside would be stolen.
Said warehouse would also cost more than expected, because it would have to be climate-controlled. Rust is a problem with old cars, so I would need a low-temperature and low-humidity storage facility. Now, who’s going to guard my possessions and pay the utility bills?
Other bills would include road tax, insurance and the PQP for COE renewal in due course. After all, the point of this whole exercise is to be able to enjoy these cars from the past, today.
It seems impossible for me to take classic cars back to the future.
Then again, perhaps these machines are destined to remain consigned to history. Poignantly, by remaining out of reach, they can forever be what my automotive dreams are made of.
JEREMY MAY WANT TO TRAVEL TO THE PAST, BUT GIVEN ALL THE MODERN CONVENIENCES HE ENJOYS, HE HAS NEVER IMAGINED LIVING THERE.
GOING BACK TO THE PAST TO BUY THESE CLASSIC CARS IS EASY, BUT STORING THEM FOR FUTURE USE IS IMPOSSIBLE.