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Most car guys will try to avoid the last cruise as long for as they can, but eventually the ride is over for everyone.


Death means the end of the decision process, so car guys really need to outline their game plan before their trip on the long lonesome highway of the afterlife.


There are various ways to approach the subject of death and its impact on the vehicles that outlive their owners.



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Some car guys may not even care what happens after they are no longer able to drive due to death and the subsequent permanent loss of their license, among other post mortem restrictions.


The late car guy may believe the “till death do us part” clause applies to cars as well as marriages and run with that idea. He may assume a For Sale sign on his ride’s windshield is the best game plan for his bereaved survivors because none of them shared his love for old iron.


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This scenario plays out quite often in the car hobby when the beloved car loses its only real emotional connection to the family with the death of its owner.


Then it will become a saleable commodity to the family and find a new home with another car guy who will love and care for it.


The only thing left for a car guy under these circumstances is to establish a benchmark price for the vehicle before he heads to the great garage in the sky.


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The shift from his beloved ride to an item in an online ad will be swift once the car guy checks out, and there will be unscrupulous people who will try to buy the vehicle for a fraction of its value.


Sure it will not make any difference to the dead guy, but his family should be given an opportunity to get fair market value for the vehicle.


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The car guy may want to ensure his family learns how to assess the vehicle’s true value after he is gone through online research and trustworthy local car guys he met through the hobby.


The ideal solution is to keep the vehicle in the family. The best way to keep it in the family is to throw a wing around the next generation and get them involved in the hobby.


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That is a tall order in today’s world where a new smart phone or I-pad with a few more whistles and buzzers than last week’s model has more appeal than an old car for most of the younger generation. But it is not an impossible task.


Most of us older car guys have a connection to the car hobby because of our fathers. They influenced us in our younger years because they loved cars and we followed in their footsteps. We saw the beauty in the old cars and wanted a set of wheels before we were even old enough for grade school. We played with toy cars and dreamed about real cars.


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There are many distractions for the hearts and minds of 21st century kids, but there is still room for an old car in a new world. Old car guys have an opportunity to introduce a new generation to the car hobby- their children or grandchildren.


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They can show their kids or grandkids what it is like to see the world through the windshield of an old classic. They can teach them how to change oil or a water pump on an old ride and give them a chance to experience the world of an old school car guy.


They can show them how to work a three-on-the-tree transmission and why they need to give enough room to stop a big car with drum brakes.


Eventually the big payoff may be a promise to give that beloved old car a new owner within the family when the sun finally sets on the old owner.


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Is there a better incentive for a new generation of car guys and girls than the promise of a legacy car from his or her car guy parent or grandparent?


No, because the vehicle will become a way for the next-gen car guy or girl to connect with the late relative every time the new young owner gets behind the wheel.


That scenario is the best game plan for any car guy who wants to leave his car in the right hands.


Jim Sutherland

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