One of our favorite tasks here at MyStarCollectorCar is our interview process with the vintage vehicles’ owners.

The interview process involves a series of questions about the relationship between the old car or truck and the owner.

Just for the record, MyStarCollectorCar is now past its 13th year, and we still enjoy talking with the owners and their vintage rides to flesh out a story about them.  

Jim Sutherland

There is no hard and fast sequence of questions since one tends to lead to another, but our starting point in the interview process is typically “Why do you own this particular vehicle?”; an important lead-in question that heads directly to the other four questions.

The best answer to the question for MyStarCollectorCar article purposes is the emotional connection between the owner and the vehicle. Owners who have long term bonds with the vehicle through its family links are the high-water mark for our interviews and we will actively seek them out via whatever means available to us at shows or on the social networks.

The second question is “How long have you owned it?”. We like to establish the owner’s level of commitment to the vintage vehicle because it is a very important element of the story. For example, a vehicle that was bought somewhat recently on a whim while drunk at a car auction is not a car story-it’s an escapade fueled by a generous booze buzz. On the other hand, any car guy whose vehicle ownership is measured in decades gets our attention in a big way. 

A high level of commitment is vital to a good story and leads directly to our third question: “What has been done to your vehicle over the years to ensure its survival?”. There is a good reason old vehicles survive over the long haul, and every reason is directly linked to the owners’ intervention. Some owners have simply pampered the vehicles and avoided subjecting them to harsh conditions and too many miles on the road, but most owners have invested time and money to restore or resto mod them over the years.

The fourth question is also significant to our story: “Are you in the automotive trades?” There is not a right or wrong answer to the question in our opinion here at MyStarCollectorCar. An automotive trades guy who works on his vintage ride during his free time is somebody who is in the right professional field, mainly because these cats love old iron enough to work on their vehicles after they spend their days working on somebody else’s vehicles.

On the other hand, car guys who are willing to tackle a major project without professional automotive skills will also earn our respect, mainly because they have the guts to jump into the deep end of a pool with no swimming lessons.

MyStarCollectorCar’s fifth and final owner interview question: “Have you influenced any member of a younger generation to develop an interest in the old car (or truck) hobby”?  We like a “Yes” answer to this question because the future of the hobby depends upon it, plus we know a positive answer means the owner understands his vital role in the vintage vehicle hobby’s good health.

In fairness, there are many other questions during a typical MyStarCollectorCar interview process to assemble a complete story, but these five are the ones we like best.  

Jim Sutherland

BY: Jim Sutherland

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.