It was a Ford Sierra XR6, pale-ish blue, spoiler at the back, thick tyres with white mags and a gentle grunt to it. We felt like we owned the streets when we were allowed to cruise in it. It belonged to my best friend’s mother. If it could tell the stories, it might have spoken of being broken into on the streets of Joburg in the early 1990s outside a club called Countdown, and how my passport, amongst other things, was stolen so we had to report it at the menacing (and then known as) John Vorster Square Police Station. Or the accident we had, skidding into the pavement at a famous traffic circle in Maseru, as we headed to a party. We had to walk most of the way to my friend’s home to tell his mother.

The memories created in that car will stay with us for the rest of our lives. And something similar is what prompted the establishment of Creative Rides in Bryanston, Johannesburg, by Kevin Derrick and his partner Bryce Roberts. 

Derrick says, “We become emotionally attached to cars. That’s the passion of it. How it is tied to nostalgia. I have been collecting and building cars for thirty-odd years. I just had a love for them from a young age. At 4 to 5 years old, I could already tell you car, make, year, etc. just from seeing and hearing it drive past. The first time I had some spare cash, I bought an MG A.”

...if we can do this, make some money, meet people and share our passion with them, you can’t ask for more.

Creative Rides specialises in American muscle and classic cars but also ensures that there is a healthy spattering of European cars to cater for those who collect specific cars. For example, there are clients who only go for Alfa Romeos, or Ferraris, or Aston Martins, or Porsches, or Maseratis, or even VW kombis.

Derrick explains, “I can help you source cars and guide you in terms of what you want done but I won’t do cars for you. Builders are not always the most reliable and, while with Ford Mustangs and some of the other cars, you can take them to someone who knows how to restore a car, for the high-end ones, like a Ferrari, you need to find an approved, by Ferrari, restorer. That is why we don’t have a workshop facility and sell the end result.”

He does personally purchase interesting ‘barn finds’ and has someone restore them, which usually takes up to 18 months. These or other vehicles brought into the country from auctions like Barrett-Jackson auctions in the US, may end up on their floors.

They will also guide you in determining what to purchase to enjoy and drive around and what to buy as a possible investment, particularly with ‘numbers matching cars’, which is when the car has all the original factory serial numbers on the engine, body and mechanical parts.

“You need to select what it is you want to have and what experience you want out of it. An original car, original miles, numbered – that you almost don’t drive if you want the value to continue to grow. You move it about on a flatbed,” Derrick says, to which he adds, “The beauty of what you are seeing on the floor is a rand hedge – you’re buying in pound sterling, US dollars or euros so these cars maintain their value at that. You’re talking about an international value trend. So therein lies another aspect of it – you can add a couple of specialist cars to your investment portfolio knowing that they will increase in value over time.” 

Extremely passionate about cars, Derrick recommends Porsches, Ferraris and Mercedes-Benzes, particularly two-doors. He states that, with the Mercedes, even models from the 1980s and 1990s have the potential to become really valuable. At the same time, with the cultish element around more contemporary cars like the VW Golf, these can also possibly become valuable in time.

Creative Rides is also starting to build café racers (classic motorcycles) and serve as sole distributors for specific mag wheels from the US, like Chip Foose and US Mags.

Derrick reflects: “This is a passion. I love it and always have loved it. So, if we can do this, make some money, meet people and share our passion with them, you can’t ask for more.”

It’s about the opportunity to buy something that’s enjoyable, a collectable and has the potential – if you buy cleverly – to help you gain financially. 

I still can’t decide between a Pontiac GTO, Chevrolet Impala or a Jaguar...