Hubert Burda Media

Classic car collectors: Benjamin Tan (3of4)

He may be in a business that handles modern vehicles, but our third collector reveals why he has a soft spot for classic cars.

BENJAMIN TAN

With the 1974 Porsche 911E 2.4

When it comes to classic cars, Benjamin Tan attributes his purchases to fate: “At least that’s how I approach it. Sometimes the car comes looking for you.”

With his 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster — which he recently sold — Tan reveals there had been many instances that the car was available. “Each time, either I had no budget or someone else had gotten to it,” he recalls. “Six to seven years later, a friend who needed to sell the car came looking for me. The next thing I knew, it was sitting in my garage.”

So instead of actively looking to add to his fleet, he leaves it mostly to chance. For Tan, that “chance” may come by a little easier, since he is the CEO of AutoInc Eurosports, a 12-year-old automotive business in Singapore. Of course, what he does for a living has further ignited his love for cars.

He shares: “Modern machines are awesome with state-of-the-art technologies. But they are in turn being replaced by new models so quickly.”

At the moment, he has two cars in his stable — a rare 1974 Porsche 911E 2.4, and a 1990 Porsche Carrera 2 that he purchased only a couple of months ago and is undergoing a full restoration. Apart from the aforementioned Speedster, he’d also sold a 1996 Ferrari F355 Spider.

The 911E, he shares, is his all-time favourite, despite purchasing it only last year from a collector who’d kept it in pristine condition for more than a decade.

“I have seen his collection many times. Only the 911E attracted my attention. It was a rare opportunity that he was willing to part with it last year,” he says. “From chassis to engine, VIN number to originality…every specification of the car is genuine and bona fide.”

Tan loves classic cars because to him, they have “more soul” than modern ones. Whether it’s the drive, feel, touch or even smell of classic instruments, he relishes that sense of calm when cruising in them. “From the curves and contours to the nostalgic dashes, buttons and dials, and the smell of pure vintage leather or fabrics, the experience is simply therapeutic. The modern car cannot offer anything like this,” he says.

Classic Car Tip:

“It’s always hard work to find good classic car engineers or restorers. So among the enthusiasts, we share information about workshops that do well in certain services such as restoration.”