There is nothing that makes this world a better place than an old car-except another old car.
Most people are afraid to own ancient automotive artifacts because these babies do not fit into their predictably bland worlds filled with too much non-adventure and too many kiddie soccer games flying under the false flag of excitement.
An old car can cure many of today’s woes; a sad world where everything is bubble-wrapped with a sense of safety overkill. Old cars were built during a different era when kids were plentiful and safety was scarce, so they are a good link with a time when the rule book was a little on the thin side.
Which brings us to the first good reason to own an old car–no seat belts. Seat belts were non-existent (or an expensive option) during an earlier automotive era. The traffic laws in many 2017 jurisdictions recognize this fact and do not ticket drivers who choose not to add seat belts to an old car that never left the factory with them.
No seatbelts means drivers have a choice not to add them. Seatbelts are a good idea-but they are somebody else’s idea- and an old car without seatbelts lobs the idea right back to the owners-right where the choice should belong.
The second good reason to own an old car is vintage vehicles are a cure for shyness. Old cars make their owners the center of attention because the owners will be forced to answer all questions (and listen to every trip down memory lane) presented by a curious public.
The questions and anecdotes presented by onlookers will range from interesting to irritating, but it will cure the shyness issue.
The third good reason for owning an old car is they make their owners more interesting to the rest of the world. The vintage rides have a unique style that makes the old cars rock stars in the 21st century– and the old rides’ spotlights shine brightly on their owners.
Owners may be as boring as a junior high math class taught by people who live for the duller things in life, but an old car makes their owners more interesting by osmosis. The cars will drag them along in their popularity slipstream and even give them an actual personality in some cases.
The fourth good reason to own an old car is the pure adventure. A handful of vintage vehicle owners are misguided optimists who actually believe they will make a trouble-free trip from Point A to Point B. This happy ending will never (as in ever) occur 100% of the time because the vintage rides have a radically different game plan: a highly inconvenient mechanical breakdown.
Most realistic old car owners have an expect-the-unexpected attitude when it comes to their vintage rides. The only questions left in this scenario are when, where, and how their vehicles came to a sudden halt on the side of the road.
The fifth good reason to own an old car relates to the fourth good reason: Problem-solving and subsequent character-building. A breakdown is a problem and requires a solution, so old car owners who throw up their hands and whine like a spoiled brat when their car breaks down need to learn how to handle a problem.
They will be forced to adapt to the situation and figure out a game plan that solves the problem. A solution will provide them with a warm and fuzzy car guy moment of pride.
Anything less than a solution should force them into shame and a much needed, quick old car sale.
Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section.
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