The All-Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group (APPHVG) holds a dinner every year which gives those within the hobby – club members, motoring journalists, plus celebrities, with both Mike Brewer and
Edd China of Wheeler Dealers fame in attendance – the chance to engage with MPs and enjoy a shared interest. We were lucky enough to attend this year’s dinner, which saw a record number of minsters attend, including Chris Grayling MP – this being the first time a serving secretary of state for transport has attended the event.
Grayling’s message was clear: “We are a government that is very supportive and friendly to you [classic car enthusiasts] and what you do.”
During the dinner, Grayling spoke of a love of his Saab 9-3 convertible, expressing a hope that it’ll one day be seen as a classic (and in doing so acknowledged the need for a rolling date be attached to any definition of ‘Historic Vehicle’). Grayling also rejected rumours that ‘the DVLA is out to get you’ though was keen to state that where there were fears of restrictions or concerns that enthusiasts should approach the numerous “parliamentary champions” within the APPHVG to make sure government gets the message. “We do not want this government to do anything that restrains you,” Grayling confirmed.
The All-Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group (APPHVG) comprise of serving MPs and peers who all share an interest in classic cars. Formed by the chair of the APPHVG, Sir Greg Knight MP, and the late Bob Cryer, the pair took the view that the continued use of historic vehicles on UK roads was potentially under threat, not from, as Sir Greg puts it, “malevolence, but from ignorance”. The idea that civil servants very often when putting forward new policies to ministers don’t realise in their attempts to modernise that they may impinge on the continued use of old vehicles. As such the Group campaigns for historic vehicles to be treated as a special case that should be enjoyed without undue restrictions.