Owning, maintaining, restoring & cherishing classic cars is a very British thing. The classic car movement provides enjoyment, not only for those who own the cars, but by all those who see them.
The industry of providing support for the cars/owners (ie. parts, servicing, restoration services etc.) makes a significant contribution to the economy.
Many cars are only driven for a very small amount each year – one or two thousand miles max.
The VED, costing hundreds of pounds, means that the "per mile" cost of the VED is excessive and often means that the cars in question are not driven for a year and just left in a garage. (When this happens, no money is spent maintaining, servicing etc. – depriving the economy of that spend).
It is wrong that a car that was 26 years old when Gordon Brown fixed the date is considered as "Historic", whereas a car that is 35 years old today is not.