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An architect driven by a passion for classic cars

Updated 29th June 2015
An architect driven by a passion for classic cars
Written by Milena Veselinovic, for CNN
Ian Foster learned how to drive when he was six years old. Growing up on a farm in Northern Ireland, he would help his father herd cattle on a motorcycle, going up and down a mountain close to his parents' home. For the 50-year-old Hong Kong based architect, this sparked a lifelong motoring passion, and today he owns a collection of 40 classic cars and 130 motorcycles.
When I buy or when I'm looking at new cars, there's got to be something that I'm passionate about.
Ian Foster
Even though Foster's day job entails designing master-plans for cities and big resorts in China, he managed to devote enough time to his hobby to create a classic car museum, housed in former sheds of his parents' farmhouse in Northern Ireland.
"When I buy or when I'm looking at new cars, there's got to be something that I'm passionate about -- maybe the age of the car, maybe I remember a movie or when my father had it when I was a youngster. My collection is based on that, not necessarily a collectible car," he says.
The most prized possession Foster acquired in his 25 years of collecting is a rare Belfast-made DeLorean DMC 12. It has a right hand drive, and Fosters says it is one of only 12 ever made.
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"I can remember when I was 14, coming back from rugby practice and seeing the two test cars going through my local town, and always wanting to have one of those cars, thinking one day I'll have that car," he recalls.
For the past three years, this architect with a serious penchant for automotive history has been the chairman of Classic Car Club Hong Kong, and has also been researching a book on the first 100 years of motoring in the city. "I've been collecting photos, old stories, stepping through the decades," he says.
There is however, one car that he would still like to add to his impressive collection: "If I could afford it, I would like an Aston Martin from the 1990s."