What do you do when you have some amazing cars in your collection, but no space to put them all? If you’re looking for the ultimate solution, you create a facility like The Archive.
In a city like Cape Town, parking spaces are a luxury and can often come at quite the premium. Sure, you might own a multi-million dollar apartment or a beach-front mansion along the city’s famous coastline, but because property is so pricey in these neighborhoods you won’t necessarily have a lot of parking space at home for all your supercars.
Facilities like these are becoming more popular around the globe, especially in major cities. It’s quite a sustainable business, I would say, because space is continually becoming a problem, as cities, the population and of course wealth keeps growing.
Basically what I’m saying is rich people with expensive cars will always need someone to look after their prized possessions.
It’s not purely limited to wealthy people though, as another popular option is for a group of friends to rent or buy a warehouse to store and work on their cars. It might not be as high-end and flashy as this, but can still serve the same purpose.
The Archive was born when three partners, Johann, Richard and Alex, looked at the parking problem and decided that it was a good problem for people to have and a good opportunity for them to capitalize on.
Their vision was to build a business to service all aspects of the specialized car market. The company is broken up into four main segments: storage, detailing, brokerage, and vehicle customization.
They found a building right in the middle of the city in one of the best areas, and from there the dream quickly started becoming a reality.
When the guys started out, they were determined to make the space a comfortable environment for clients, and nothing like your typical dealership or workshop.
The Archive houses multiple car storage lifts and other storage bays. There are also packages for car owners, including battery maintenance, tailor-made car covers, tyre rotation, specialized detailing and so forth.
They also manage the licensing, servicing, detailing and movements of cars without the owner needing to do anything more than letting them know.
The demand has actually been so big since opening, that The Archive is quickly running out of storage space.Hot Metal
At any given time you can find an amazing variety of very desirable cars in this high-end storage facility. On the day I visited there was a Jaguar E-Type, Outlaw Porsche, Mercedes-Benz CLK63 Black Series, Misha Designs Ferrari 488, Darwin Pro McLaren 650s and even an Austin Mini Cooper S.
One thing that sets The Archive apart from other similar storage facilities around the world is the fact that this place is open to the public. There’s an on-site coffee bar and cigar bar, with views towards the cars but no physical access to them.
Along with memorabilia and plenty of interesting reading material, some of the limited edition racing posters on the walls are even available to purchase.A Perfect Playground
Cape Town has a large exotic and classic car scene, which is a big part of the reason a place like this can exist in the first place.
The city is an immensely popular destination for tourists, investors, celebrities and lots of foreigners, all which equates to a lot of money available to spend on nice things, aka expensive and rare cars.
It was voted World’s Best City in 2018 by Travel and Leisure so it’s no surprise that it’s such a popular place for people to bring their dream rides to. The weather is great most of the year, the coastal roads and mountain passes are to die for and there’s no penalties for owning exotic and high value cars here, as you get in some other cities in certain parts of the world.
Most international people and even local people would be surprised to find a place like this and especially these types of cars in South Africa.
Historically, exotic cars are very pricey to acquire here and we often pay way more than you would for the same cars in other countries. A good modern example is the McLaren Senna. In the UK, they’re around $1 million, but to land one here, especially because of crazy import taxes, you’d pay $2 million for the same thing.
South Africa might be a third world country, with a terrible public transport and a completely corrupt government amongst other things, but there will ALWAYS be money for amazing cars here. Talking about the Senna, we’re a pretty small market if you compare us to the European or US market, but we actually have 8 Senna’s and even 2 Senna GT-R’s heading here, we have two McLaren F1s, more than a few Ferrari Enzos, F40s and the list goes on.
We’re also a massive market for Porsche and we actually have the largest Porsche dealership in the world, located here in Johannesburg. Who would’ve thought?
Classic cars are much more of a rare find in South Africa than their modern counterparts.
There’s a lot of cars we never received, which bigger markets did, so lots of classics had to be privately imported, which came at quite a cost most of the time. Nowadays we have dealerships that specialize in rare classics and you can physically walk in and see some of the best classics you can think of. Mustangs, Camaros, Chargers, E-Types, Corvettes, you name it and it’ll probably be available.
They still come at quite a cost though, but at least they’re accessible, if you have a loaded wallet that is.
The next time you find yourself on holiday or a business trip in Cape Town, be sure to stop by here. You don’t get a much better view than overlooking some beautiful cars while sipping on a strong, full-bodied coffee.Cutting Room Floor