If parking your classic in a garage at home isn’t an option, what are the alternatives? We discover a viable solution

In an ideal world, a classic car would be stored in a dry secure garage on one’s own property. This not only allows classic car enthusiasts to keep a close eye on their pride and joy but also makes working on it so much easier. Even for the less mechanically minded person, there’s nothing more rewarding than spending a wet Sunday morning in the garage, applying a coat of carnauba wax to those voluptuous curves.

Unfortunately, many of those lucky enough to have a garage always seem to find plenty of other stuff to fill up the space, making it impossible to squeeze in even the smallest vehicle. Bicycles, lawn mowers, gardening equipment, unused furniture, and myriad other household items always seem to end up in the garage. A carport is a possible option — it’ll keep the worst of the weather off — but, for many, it’s not the ideal solution.

We recently caught up with Graeme Michie and his wife, Lisa Jensen, who have come up with a viable solution to your car-storage woes. Their company, Jensen Classics, offers so much more than a mere parking space or garage, providing discerning car aficionados with a unique secure facility in which to store their classic, exotic, investment, or collectable car.

To find out exactly what the business offers and its point of difference, we put a few questions to them.

Who is Jensen Classics?

“Lisa and I are now at an age where the cars we once owned or wanted are classics — well, in some cases. Lisa first learned to drive in her boyfriend’s Ford Escort van, and I have fond memories of my first Vauxhall HB Viva,” Graeme recalled, although he’s not sure it could be called a classic even today.

“Now that our children are grown up, we have indulged in a few classics, starting with a 1976 Triumph Spitfire in 2013. Lisa and the family weren’t exactly thrilled at the prospect of a Triumph parked in the garage, but instantly fell in love with the cute British sports car once they’d experienced a drive. We soon came to the conclusion that one classic car in the family wasn’t sufficient and imported a 1973 Jensen Healey from the UK.

“If that wasn’t enough, I purchased a Jaguar XJ6, which was accidentally acquired from a local auction site. In order to keep my marriage intact, the Jaguar was subsequently sold — only to be replaced by a 1967 Fiat Bambina! Unfortunately, due to lack of garage space, the cars were kept either in a small single garage at my mother’s retirement village, out in the weather, or in damp conditions — all unsatisfactory for classic cars. When we started searching for alternative storage options, we found that many facilities lacked the services that classic vehicles require for ongoing maintenance and care.

“It was this realization that prompted us to investigate various storage options, and, when finding nothing suitable, to investigate the business opportunity this market gap represented.” 

What services does Jensen Classics provide?

“We’re excited at the prospect of being part of the historical aspect of the cars. Our goal is to provide classic car owners peace of mind though our security and exercise programmes, and to ensure that the cars are ready when the owners want to use them,” Graeme said.

When asked to elaborate on the ‘exercise programme’, Graeme explained that, “Our intention is to offer a service where all cars are plugged into battery chargers that are appropriate to the vehicle. We would run the engine up to temperature on a regular basis, and ensure moving parts remain in operating condition. In addition, we would keep a regular check on all fluids. We would not drive or move the cars from the facility except as part of our drop-off / pick-up service.” He added, “And we will also be offering a high-quality, breathable car cover for each car as part of the basic package, with the option of more expensive covers depending on the customer’s requirements.”

“We also intend to provide one fully-equipped working bay, which would include a hoist and a full set of quality tools. We’re not proposing to allow for any welding or panel beating, but more a facility for owners to carry out general maintenance or restoration tasks,” Graeme said. “Access to the inside of the storage facility is restricted to Jensen Classics staff. Cars will be delivered to a dedicated pick­up and drop-­off area within the facility, or to the working bay if required.” 

Why use Jensen Classics?

“Jensen Classics is centrally located in Auckland, with easy access from all motorways,” Lisa explained. “All vehicles require specialist care and maintenance, as well as secure and dry conditions to reduce deterioration from damp, thus minimizing restoration and maintenance costs — it is especially important for classic, vintage, race, exotic, or investment cars, which are primarily stored and driven little, if at all.” 

Security is undoubtedly one of the main priorities for Jensen Classics. The storage facility provides on-site staff 24 hours, seven days a week; is fully fenced and gated; and has a comprehensive security system, including high­-definition CCTV. 

Graeme and Lisa’s mission statement is, “To provide a safe and secure home away from home for classic and specialist cars, to give each one the same care and attention our clients would themselves, and to ensure our clients have peace of mind that we treat all vehicles as if they were our own.” 

Lisa and Graeme are only too pleased to discuss owners’ individual requirements, so for more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can contact Lisa and Graeme at +64 22 452 9718, info@jensenclassics.co.nz, or jensenclassics.co.nz.