I started collecting cars at a very young age. I started collecting matchbox cars, then I moved up to Bburago cars and their different variation of sizes. Then the moment I was old enough to buy a car, which was 17, I bought a Land Rover 90 which taught me a lot about cars and how to fix them, and how to drive cars which are awkward in a sense. Since then I’ve been obsessed with cars.
Following that I got an Alfa Romeo GTV, a BMW 320D and a 320i and E30. I’ve got some friends who collect cars and I had a couple of grand in the bank account all to my name. I thought instead of it being in the bank account earning no percentage I might as well buy a classic car for that price. So I spoke to one of my classic car friends. I asked him if he had anything for sale, and he had an E30.
“It takes a while to fall in love with the car but once you do there’s no turning back. As cute as it is to look at, it’s even better to drive.”
I didn’t even know what an E30 was—I thought they weren’t for me. He allowed me to go around the block by myself and it was the first unassisted—without traction—car I had ever driven. I fell in love with it. I was sliding everywhere. It had really bad tyres in the back and I had so much fun driving this car. So I put down a deposit.
In the meantime, a friend of mine knew I was going to buy an E30 and he found one for sale which was really good as well, and the same price. I went to see that and it was much better than the first car I had seen, so I lost my deposit on the first car. It was no issue because the second one was so good. Literally one of the best detailed jobs I’d ever seen—it was so clean! I bought that car. Then my love for BMW grew even more, and I found out about the 2002 and I grew to love the car. I wanted one, made stupid decisions to buy it and bought the wrong one. It cost stupid amounts of money and I made a few mistakes along the way. But you live you learn. The value is there in the car (with a laugh)—a bit. I bought the 2002 as well as opposed to an Alfa GT Junior or GTV because I know these are much easier to work on.
Following the E30 I bought the BMW 2002, bought a Peugeot 106XSI and bought a Porsche 911 Targa. The 911 actually wasn’t my dream car, but I’ve always got my eyes peeled for an investment, irrelevant of what it is. It could be stocks, currencies, houses. I’ve always got my eyes peeled for them. And I know 911’s have gone through the roof completely. I was fortunate enough to be able to afford to buy a cheap but good one, and that’s an "investment and fun" car. You can’t drive stocks and currencies!
When I had the E30, it needed a bit of TLC, which I didn’t end up doing to it before I got hooked onto a 2002 TII 1975. Driving it, it had a couple of niggles here and there. It needed shocks and brakes to be re-done. It wasn’t at its best. Automatically, when I drove [the 2002 TII 1975] I was much more at home than I was driving the E30. The E30 had bad tyres so I was drifting everywhere, which was fun, but you can’t go too fast because you end up wrapped around a pole. This car feels more solid. I prefer this engine—the M10—to the M20 engine which is in the E30. This is quicker as well than the E30.
My daily car is a Peugeot 106XSI 1994. I chose the 106 because it’s a small 800 kilo car with a 100 bhp, so it’s small, quick and quite efficient. Also it’s dirt cheap to fix. It doesn’t cost anything to sort it out and it’s very easy as well. You can literally get parts of a 106 for free, but luckily I’ve not had any problems with it so far. Also 106’s are going up in value. All classic cars—early 90’s cars—are starting to go up. I bought it cheap, I’ll restore it, I’ll get another daily car, and then eventually I’ll sell it.
I like that this car is really underrated. When you look at it you don’t think “this is a fast car.” It’s a sleeper. It looks really cute. It’s got a cute smiling face if you look at the nose. My favourite details are the large lights up front, the large grille and the shark nose. The lines are really unique. It takes a while to fall in love with the car but once you do there’s no turning back. As cute as it is to look at, it’s even better to drive. It’s such a solid car and it’s quick. The feeling that you get when you’re driving it is way better than when you’re looking at it, and I love the way it looks. It just goes to say how perfect it is to drive.
I want a car to be driven. I’ve had a Garage Queen before. I’ll make sure not to restore this car too perfectly, because I know that if it’s too perfect I’ll be a bit too worried about it. Most of the restoration that’s going into this car is race spec. It’s not cosmetic. Eventually I plan to strip the car down and do a full restoration, but I’ll cross that bridge when it comes to it.
“Since I found out about the event, every year I go I kick myself for not selling an organ to take part in it.”
I’ve wanted to do the Mdina Grand Prix since I found out about the event, and every year I go I kick myself for not selling an organ to take part in it. Then I was fortunate enough to buy a classic car, so I’m really excited to participate and I’m really expecting adrenaline. I know I’m going have a lot of fun. I’m going to try to stay at the back because my concern is other people’s expensive cars, so on the day of the race—even if I position well in the pole position—I think I’ll request to stay at the back. But we’ll see what I feel like on the day.
We wish Paul the best of luck at this year’s Malta Classic. Luckily, one does not need to sell an organ to participate—only a sense of adventure and a passion for classics!