Retired traffic policeman Willie MacFarlane has spent 41 years and about £100,000 restoring his beloved classic car. But he ran into a roadblock while trying to get it reinsured.
Willie, 65, is the proud owner of a 1950 Jowett Javelin which he bought in 1979 for £500 with the aim of returning it to its former glory. However, last month he saw red when his annual premium with specialist insurer Hagerty jumped by £80 to £231.
“This reflected a large, unexplained percentage increase,” said Willie.
“I contacted Hagerty about it but they refused to budge from their price.
“I was fuming because I had been with them for two years and I felt that it was unfair to spring such a big hike on me.”
The Javelin was an executive vehicle produced from 1947 to 1953 by West Yorkshire-based Jowett Cars. It was a bit of a wreck when Willie, from Wolfhill, Perthshire, bought it.
“There are so very few Javelins around and, being a classic car enthusiast, I just loved the vehicle,” he said. “But it was a pretty sorry sight when I got it.
“It broke my heart to see it in such a state and I knew it would be an expensive and long-term project to have it restored.”
Willie built a garage at his house for the car and set about the long process of having it refurbished. As well as essential mechanical repairs and replacements, the bodywork was completely restored and the inside of the car was gutted.
“I was really pleased with the results and I thought it probably looked as good as it did when it came out of the factory 70 years ago,” Willie said.
It is believed that there are only five roadworthy Jowett Javelins in Scotland.
“The car sits about six people and I still love driving it,” Willie said.
“It has great sentimental value as I got the Javelin the same year as I first met my wife, Mary, at a classic car club event.”
However, Willie was driven around the bend last month when his insurance costs rocketed and he had trouble getting similar replacement cover.
He was contacted by brokers Adrian Flux who quoted him the same annual price as his previous cover, which was just £142 a year.
He was happy to accept this, until the value of the car was questioned.
“I had been previously insured for about £40,000 but the new insurer would only value it at half that. I was then told it would cost £290 annually to cover the car to a value of £50,000. I was angry with myself for signing up for the insurance, only for the goal posts to be changed. I felt I wasn’t getting a fair deal.”
After an unsuccessful appeal to Adrian Flux, Willie asked Raw Deal to step in.
The good news is that the firm acted quickly. It arranged for Willie to get his insurance for the same price he paid last year, as well as having an agreed value of £50,000 on the car. He was also refunded almost £100 as a gesture of goodwill.
Phil Twite, customer relations manager at Adrian Flux, said: “Thank you for forwarding Mr MacFarlane’s concerns to us and allowing me the opportunity to review the complaint. Having now completed that review, I have written to Mr MacFarlane with my findings. I can confirm the complaint is now resolved and Mr MacFarlane will be happy.”
Willie thanked Raw Deal for helping to sort out the issue.
“I was going around in circles trying to do this on my own,” he said. “I’m now looking forward to getting back out on the road in my favourite car.”
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe