‘GT’ just loves his classics
At 32 years old, Glen (GT) Thorpe is a proud lover of classic cars. The young entrepreneur, who imports, buys, and sells cars for a living, told Automotives, of his fondness and appreciation for vintage vehicles that dates back to childhood.
“I like unique cars and iconic cars ever since I was a child,” he said. “I appreciate these classic cars because they help me to stay in line and remember where I’m coming from.”
He says, “No matter how many new cars I have, I have to have some classics.”
The former St Catherine High School and Portmore Community College student said it was when he had completed his studies that he first owned a motor vehicle. At the time, his ‘ride’ was a 1988 Suzuki Swift FTI.
“I kept that car for a year. It took me to work until I decided to sell it,” he recalled. “After selling it, I made a profit, and I thought, ‘Wow! I could make a living from this, so I used the same money and bought two cars.”
Back then, he operated as a sole trader, often using The Gleaner classifieds to solicit customers. Now, GT’s Auto Market 876 is a thriving car dealership, operating out of Mountain View in Kingston. There are, however, plans to move the business to Portmore, where he currently resides.
Like a movie
Currently, Thorpe has two personal classic cars: a 1963 Chevrolet Impala and a 1994 BMW 3201 Coupe.
He describes the Chevrolet Impala as something similar to cars we would see on TV or in ‘old school movies’.
With this comparison, it is clear that the focused businessman is enjoying the ‘movie-like’ feel of his prized classic cars, which explains why he continues to maintain and restore them.
“I just restore them as a token for now,” he said. “I bring them to car shows and drive them occasionally, especially when I’m feeling melancholy.”
He said, “Driving them gives me a peace of mind, and it always puts a smile on everyone’s face as I drive by, and that makes me happy.”
To some, it might be hard work and a tedious process, but time and time again, the adage has proven true – if you love what you do, it never really feels like work.
“I love the process!” he said proudly. “It’s not as complicated as these modern vehicles.”
According to Thorpe, “There’s nothing like an old car that actually looks new. I call them time machines.”
Certainly, others are impressed by his work and would sometimes present their own classics for restoration and upkeep. Referencing these scenarios, Thorpe said: “I introduce them to my duco shop. I mostly just input my ideas on how it is supposed to look and leave it in the work shop.”
With a business mind, Thorpe recently opened an import courier company, where he sources hard-to-get parts for his customers. He is motivated by a genuine love for all things motor vehicle and especially those classics.