Harry Kersh: I’m Harry, and today we’re gonna take you for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at one of Europe’s biggest car collections. The 450-plus car collection is owned by businessman Rodger Dudding. He’s been collecting cars for 50 years and has quite the collection of rare rides spanning from 1918 all the way to the present day. Rodger estimates his collection is valued at over $45 million. With so many vehicles, he hired a team to handle the upkeep and eventually turned his collection into a business renting out cars for TV, films, photo shoots, and events.
Inside Rodger Dudding’s $45 million car collection.
Rodger Dudding: This is the oldest car in our collection.
1918 Hispano Suiza Type 24.
Rodger: And allegedly it’s the only one or maybe one of two left in the world. This is more comfortable than your favorite armchair at home.
Harry: Okay. That’s a bold claim.
Rodger: If you want to get in it, jump in.
Harry: Jump in a piece of history.
Rodger: Only one door opens. You slide down behind the controls.
Harry: Here we are. Wow, I’m sitting in a piece of history.
Rodger: Part of our purpose in collecting these cars is to maintain history.
Harry: Do you have a particular favorite era of cars? Is there a decade where you think they produced some really great pieces?
Rodger: Yeah, I think the decade to me is very much the era of the Lagonda wedge which is the late ’70s running into the early ’80s, as it were. Here we have some of the wedge collection, Lagonda.
1976-1989 Aston Martin Lagonda.
Rodger: And they say — they, whoever they are — say you’re mad if you own one. You’re totally bonkers if you own two. I happen to have 24.
Harry: So what does that make you?
Rodger: If you look at the design of this car, it is off the wall. So, therefore you love it, or you don’t like it.
Harry: So we’ve got another Lagonda here, can you tell us what’s special about this one, Rodger?
Rodger: This one is a one-off entirely, built for a Saudi Arabian prince and all brightwork inside and out the car is 18-karat gold plate.
Harry: So in many ways, you’re an art collector, not a car collector.
Rodger: I think there’s a very fine line between what people consider conventional art as a painting, which is beautiful, or Lalique glass or something like that, which is beautiful. But these things are literally three-dimensional. If you look at this Jaguar here, look at the different angles, just walk around it. It is a passion, and motor cars, particularly classic cars, it is an emotional thing. I think once anyone starts to spend more than, should we say, $20, $25, $30,000 you are starting to buy with your heart, not with your head. We have such a wide variety of cars and various people came here to see the collection. Then one day, someone said to us, “What about the cars being used in film shoots?” So we thought if we could become the one-stop shop for a prop company they could call us, and we got our cars up and running. So, that then has gathered momentum, which does help produce revenue to maintain this collection.
Harry: Rodger Dudding is a true car aficionado. And with such a deep passion for the beauty he finds in cars, it’s hard to believe his collection will ever stop growing.
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