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Borrow a classic car for a year with the Classic Car Loan Project

6 March 2023

The classic car loan project has a noble aim. Its mission is to encourage future generations of classic car enthusiasts, by giving younger drivers the opportunity to ‘borrow’ a classic car to use for a year.

Sounds amazing right? Well, it really is and here at Peter James Insurance we are committed to make sure that all the lucky loan scheme drivers can be insured for the vehicles on the programme.

The project aims to inspire the “classic car bug” in new audiences by giving a taster of classic car ownership, whilst being under the supportive eye of a mentor – which is often a club member or the owner of the loan car itself.

Classic Car Loan Project - images shows a selection of the classic cars available within the project

The Classic Car Loan Project in 2023

There are more than 20 vehicles in the scheme this year, ranging from a 1929 Ford Model A Phateon and Austin 7 to a 1987 MG Maestro. The most recent additions to the scheme have been a pair of Triumph TR7s.

Drivers are encouraged to be from the younger end of the driving spectrum, but slightly older drivers wanting to dip their toe in the hobby are also encouraged, the age range is therefore a very varied selection of drivers from 19 to 45-year-olds.

Alvis Handover in the Classic Car Loan Project

How does the project work?

Bob Wilkinson, who manages the scheme explains how it all works:

“This is a private initiative run by me in retirement, having had many years of enjoyment from the classic car world. This has been made possible due to the generous spirit of car owners and classic car clubs who have offered cars into our project. There are no hire or loan charges involved, we just ask that you look after the car as though it was your own and help us to promote ownership through creating content and reports on all the fun you have had on the scheme!

All the safeguards are in place, including classic insurance supplied by Peter James (at “Borrower’s” expense), for all involved to gain maximum pleasure from the experience.
We like cars to be available to new enthusiasts for the show season from early summer. However, we do not have a rigid start date, so applications are welcome at any time of year.

All you must do is apply!

Simply email me via the Classic Car Loan project website indicating which car(s) you wish to apply for. You will then be sent a questionnaire to complete. Following application, the final selection decision will be made by the car owner or the club scheme manager.

You can apply at any time, and the Classic Car Loan project website shows what cars are available for application.”

How it all started…

The Classic Car Loan Project idea was spawned from a combination of Bob’s background as a headteacher and his long-term devotion to classic cars. He started the project as a development of a day course that he had previously directed at the British Motor Museum, Gaydon called “Classic Virgins” which was designed to give newcomers a tutorial in getting started in classic car ownership. The classic car loan project still to this day runs its season opening hand over ceremony at the museum every April.

Bob Wilkinson explained:

“The success is down to cars being well prepared by owners who are not “precious” about their vehicles; good selection of young drivers; support and mentoring; and backed by an involved and reputable insurance company in Peter James Insurance, to whom we are eternally grateful”.

Applicants must have access to safe garaging and have an obvious interest in the classic scene. Good support is given by car clubs, and owners, through the loan period with insurance cover provided by, and sponsored by, Peter James Insurance.

For applications and more information, visit:

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