• THE CLASSIC CAR RESTORER

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    E3---Ferdi-Raquelsantos-320160112IT should not be a surprise that Ferdinand Raquelsantos is a bike and car enthusiast. But what may set him apart from most car and bike enthusiasts is his owning two cars that are more than 65 years old.

    In his garage are an immaculately restored 1949 Ford Custom four-door and a 1948 Plymouth Super Deluxe, both of which he bought from previous owners in the Philippines. He found the Ford Custom in Bulacan and the Plymouth Super Deluxe in Pampanga.

    Raquelsantos said his love for collecting classic cars started with a 1976 Porsche 911 Targa that he bought when he was living in the United States from 1984 to 1990. But the first car he restored was a 1968 Toyota Corolla Sprinter that he purchased for P120,000 ten years ago.

    “About ten years ago, I finally got the same model [of the Sprinter I once owned]and then I restored it. It’s an old ’68 model, the same model that I used to have. I wanted to get the feel of having the same car I used in college. Actually, it took me eight years to find the car and I finally I got it, and that’s when suddenly I started doing restoration [of cars],” he said.

    The latest addition to his classic car collection is a 1970 Pontiac Firebird that he purchased for P700,000.

    Usually, classic cars, being very old vehicles, need extensive restoration to bring them to good running condition and a near mint or mint finish. Sometimes the restoration bill could even exceed the classic or collectible car’s acquisition cost.

    In the case of the Ford Custom and Super Deluxe from the late 1940s that were bought for P600,000 and P480,000, respectively, the restoration costs exceeded the acquisition cost of each collectible.

    But collecting and restoring cars to Raquelsantos is not only about adding more wheels to his garage: it is also about sentiments. For one, the Ford Custom was the first vehicle of his father that the family used to go to places like Luneta, Manila.

    “Suddenly, I had to look for the first car my dad ever had. That one [Ford Custom] took me long, long years to find,” he added.

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