Car guys know they’re going into battle every time they eye up a classic piece of iron.
The biggest battle will come from a spouse because it’s pretty hard to justify the cost (and practicality) of a 50-year-old car or truck.
Reason number one you can defend your purchase – you look cool behind the wheel. The only way you can look cool behind the wheel of a Kia Sportage is to turn the air conditioning up to full blast.
That old iron cool factor also extends to everyone in the car so you, your wife, your kids and your dog all become instant stars every time you hit the road. It’s right there in the cool old car handbook.
Reason number two is based on pure economics. The list price of a ’69 Plymouth Road Runner fell under the magic 3000-dollar mark back in 1969 but try finding even an extremely marginal project Road Runner for that price in 2020.
Any guy who was smart enough to hang onto his Road Runner since new and look after it for 51 years is looking at a return of at least 10-1 on his initial investment back in 1969.
If he also owns a new 2020 Hyundai, that car lost him the factory price of his ’69 Road Runner in the first three blocks after he left the dealership. The math is easy.
Reason number three is the fraternity of the car hobby. You won’t find a more positive world than this one because it’s based on fond memories like drive-ins, cruising main street and cool cars so joining it is a no-brainer.
Think of your old classic as a time travel machine back to a less complicated world where kids played outside until sundown, there was only one phone on the house and TVs only had 12 channels and you were lucky if you used three of them.
Reason number four is related to reason number three. The old cars and trucks are simple machines so even if you have a problem on the road, you’ll be able to limp home thanks to a trusty old wrench and a screwdriver.
You may not have any working lights and you’ll have to stop every five miles to let it cool down, but your trusty old classic will get you home. Your new car won’t be so forgiving if it quits on you.
Reason number five is because you need a challenge in life. Classic iron is fun – but old cars and trucks have a completely different feel to them.
The steering is vague, brakes are a lot more work, old transmissions don’t shift like new ones and your top speed far exceeds the car’s handling ability. There’s your challenge.
Will these reasons convince a skeptical wife? That’s a question for the ages but at least you can give a bullet point presentation for the purchase of classic iron.
By: Jerry Sutherland
Jerry Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer with a primary focus on the collector car hobby. His work has been published in many outlets and publications, including the National Post, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Regina Leader-Post, Vancouver Sun and The Truth About Cars. He is also a regular contributor to Auto Roundup Publications.
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