IT WAS ABOUT THE TIME of the last big financial crisis, when muggins was staring at a superannuation balance that had sunk like a concrete hang glider, that I started to wonder if there’s a better way. Like classic metal.

Two recent incidents got me thinking about this. First was Uncle Cliff’s giant Gotaways section this issue, which features a Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster that was on the market in 1987 for an eye-watering $140,000. It’s now worth 10 times that and is continuing to climb. That same amount in super, at a steady 5 per cent return over years? $625,000.

Okay, the maths is over-simplified, but you see my point: there just might be a better way. The catch with a super fund statement is that, no matter how good it is you can’t take it for a drive. And, unless you’re a very peculiar individual with borderline psychological issues, it’s not going to put a silly grin on your dial. Showing it off to your mates is definitely not cool, only a certain type of partner finds it attractive, and they’ll be calling the white coat brigade if you start polishing it.

Of course the tragedy with a lot of investment cars is they get locked away with the spiders and dust mites, because they’re too precious to drive. That’s nothing an attitude change and an insurance policy can’t fix. Witness the couple heading up our Readers Rides section this issue section this issue (page 190) – Ray and Sue Lodder. I tripped over them at Hanging Rock.

While many folk stayed away because of the dodgy weather, there they were with the 300SL with the top down, sitting beside it on a picnic blanket, happily tucking into the sangers and thermos of tea. Their attitude was clearly sod the value, the weather and everything else, let’s get out and enjoy it. Really, we can all learn something from them.

So, my advice? Buy some classic metal and have fun. (Oh, and don’t even think about the F-86 Sabre in the background.

Old military aircraft are a money pit!) ––– On a different note, our giant 400th issue also marks the departure of Dep Ed Andy Enright to Wheels mag. If you’ve Enright to Wheels mag. If you’ve ever guffawed or laughed out loud at some outrageous comment or caption, he probably wrote it. Sorry to see you go, it’s a big loss, but thanks.

Guy ‘Guido’ Allen