Cyber-land is one of the biggest advances in the history of the world but that doesn’t mean you ignore the landmines set out for the average car guy.


‘I let most things slide when I read online pseudo-automotive advice pieces because the battle against odd, shallow thought processes in cyber-world is simply unwinnable, so normally I move on and forget about what I just read, but there is a breaking point.’



I reached the breaking point when I read a piece about 4 mistakes you don’t want to make when you buy an old car.





Most of the stuff I read is pretty accurate so I clicked on this one because I believe there is no limit to how much you can learn in the old car hobby.


This one made me reconsider that philosophy.






The guy who wrote it needs to meet a real car guy because anyone who’s spent even a few minutes at a car show would never take his advice seriously. He told his readers not to expect to find GPS, Iphone docks, “nice air conditioning”, ergonomic seats or even a good sound system in an old car. I guess we know why so many guys pass on a mint old pickup—it doesn’t have heated leather seats and the AM radio reception really sucks.






You wonder how many prospective classic car buyers would turn down a ’57 Ford because it didn’t have crumple zones or advanced side impact systems, but apparently this old iron expert runs into it all the time. His cautious advice would literally kill every old car deal ever made but this is what he told novice buyers to consider when they go on a buying trip.





He told rookie car guys to factor in the degree of difficulty with repairs because not every shop can fix an old car and I’ll give him that one—to a point. What he didn’t consider was that most car guys can get an old ride up and running and limping home and they’re all a phone call away.




Once you’re part of the fraternity of old iron you’re automatically surrounded by car guys who can and will help you and your ride. The new stuff will just leave your car dead beside the road until the tow truck gets there because that’s how it works in today’s hi-tech world, but an old car may be just a stuck carb float away from running again.





He went on about how uncomfortable old cars ride and how they don’t stop very well so basically he’d done a hatchet job on pretty much anything older than a 2003 Toyota. One note of insight—comfort-wise, he’s never ridden in a vintage Buick. They may not stop like a Ferrari but they ride like your favorite easy chair.





In the end, his advice column about four mistakes novice old car buyers make really distilled down to one huge mistake on my part.



I read his column.



Jerry Sutherland



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