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Today we want to tackle an ugly subject: the battle between an old car and house renovations.


There is no middle ground on this subject.


Prisoners are not taken in this bloodbath and there is little room for compromise or peace between the warring factions.


You want the dream car that occupied a big part of your youthful fantasies – the other G-rated teen-aged fantasies that starred cars. The one (car) that got away was unattainable for many reasons, not the least of which was cash.




You have long gotten over the notion that the cheerleader squad was definitely not interested in you during your high school years. But that elusive car of your dreams was always there to haunt your adult dreams and now an opportunity to buy one has serendipitously crossed your path.



You can now swing the car financially and the window of opportunity is open- but there is one minor hiccup in your plan: your lovely bride has decided that a major kitchen renovation is a better investment. It is now a simple choice between a car and a kitchen.



You are faced with a sales situation similar to selling bottled water to a drowning man or air conditioners in the Arctic during the winter. It is a massive understatement to say that your spouse is not likely to see the merit in an old car over new cupboards and appliances.


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Consequently where does a car guy go in this case? A case that would even have been turned down by the late Johnny Cochrane of OJ Simpson fame? This guy managed to get an acquittal in what appeared to be an open and shut case, but Cochrane would have shied away from your problem.


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You are facing long odds in the car vs. kitchen case. The kitchen is a big part of a home for women. It is family central and it is an area where a great deal of waking time is spent for homeowners. It has to be tasteful, stylish and functional.



Human beings are competitive by nature. It’s part of our DNA and it explains survival of the fittest in nature. So we fight our modern battles in games of one-upmanship in a civilized world. The kitchen is a new battleground for women in the modern sense of competition.



Kitchens get outdated and that does not enhance your chances for success on the old car front. Women do not line up at collector fridge and stove auctions to build a better-looking kitchen. Old kitchen stuff is simply somebody else’s junk problem and they want brand new state of the art kitchen stuff.



And you want that old car of your dreams instead of a new kitchen from somebody else’s dreams. You have little wiggle room in this debate, beyond a cost analysis of the two events. Let’s assume that old car and new kitchen are neck and neck in a price sense.



Your only financial argument is that a well-bought collector car will appreciate in value, while a kitchen will depreciate immediately upon completion-unless you renovated to enhance the sale of your house. Advantage old car.


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You are in the fight of your life, so you will also have to draw any future and present kids into the debate. Throw in the special family nature of a collector car as a unifying family investment, complete with Sunday drives and cherished events like a daughter’s wedding car.


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You have to bond the car emotionally to your family in whatever cheesy and underhanded fashion that you can to win this one. Give the car a name and pet-like status. Better yet, humanize it and attach admirable qualities such as loyalty and dependability to it.



Draw on her competitive nature and remind her that everybody on the block has a new set of cupboards and appliances, but nobody has a car with fins or hood scoops in the driveway.



It is still very likely that you will have a new kitchen instead of an old car in your life. Women are not stupid and we are not that smart. But you have to go down swinging every time you get a chance to buy that dream car from your past.


Sooner or later you might actually win the new kitchen vs. old car debate, but bear in mind that Perry Mason never lost a case and you, my friend are Hamilton Burger in this one.


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And that is a long version of hamburger in a fictional lawyer’s name.


Jim Sutherland

Many successful old car stories at https://www.mystarcollectorcar.com/2-features/stories.html