Owning a classic car is an impressive feat, but when you have the largest collection of classic cars in the UK, it puts you on another level. Entrepreneur Rodger Dudding owns more than 350 vehicles and the collection has been estimated to be worth £40 million. Dudding’s fleet features Ferraris, Jaguars, Lamborghinis and vintage motors. Due to its varied nature, the collection is considered one of the most important in Europe.
The first vehicle Dudding purchased was a Jensen Interceptor FF in the 1960s. But his passion for cars started with his dad’s 1952 Morris Minor, which Dudding now owns. He’s stated that it’s his most valuable car. At 79-years-old, Dudding has amassed several unique vehicles, such as a 1911 Vulcan tourer and a replica of Del Boy’s van from Only Fools and Horses.
When asked about his love of collecting, Dudding said “I can look upon a motorcar in many cases as a piece of three dimensional art. It doesn’t have to be an expensive motorcar. And as an art collector of major specialist brands, I thought there was a gap there and people were not necessarily saving for posterity, for history, and that’s why I buy unusual pieces of machinery.”
An unusual car to feature in his collection is the Aston Martin Lagonda. Dudding owns 24 out of the 645 models that were built. The Lagonda has received mixed opinions, due to the lack of curves on the exterior. According to Dudding “you probably have to be nutty to own one, and you should be taken to the lunatic asylum if you’ve got three or more. I don’t know where that positions me.”
Dudding made his fortune by relying on his engineering knowledge. In 1970, he invented a paper ticketing machine to help manage queues in busy shops. This system is still used today in places like Selfridges and Harrods.
With the recent development of a £7 million garage extension in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire Dudding can grow his collection. The structure features a state-of-the-art sprinkler system and 24/7 security
To have the money to afford a collection is important, but the passion Dudding has to maintain his cars is the mark of a true enthusiast.