We all seek out life-affirming moments, mainly because they are a pleasant diversion from a steady diet of life’s booby traps and minefields.

MyStarCollectorCar has spent the past 14 years celebrating the vintage car hobby in all its glory because it delivers so many life-affirming moments for its practitioners.

With that idea in mind, we want to provide a list of five old school vehicles that will change your life and make you a better person. MyStarCollectorCar will not put that guarantee in writing but hope to provide solid examples of why old cars and trucks can be game changers for their owners.

Jim Sutherland

The first vehicle on our list is the second-generation Nash Statesman built between 1952 and ’56. Mainly because these four-wheeled wallflowers were not beautiful in the tradition sense-or any sense for that matter.

Instead, the Nash Statesman resembled a refrigerator on wheels, possibly because the car was built by a famous home appliance manufacturer named Kelvinator via its merger with struggling car company Nash.

The 1952-56 Nash Statesman was a car with plenty of personality because it completely lacked beauty. Consequently, any Statesman owners will automatically become 53% prettier every time they get behind the wheel of these ugly ducklings.

The second vehicle on our list is the 1968 Corvette, a monster available in beast mode with a 427-inch/435 horsepower big block version that beat up the competition and a new design that turned heads in a big way.

The result was a tire-melting road rocket that still turns its lucky owners into rock stars every time they climb behind the wheel. Compare the ’68 Vette with the 1979 Vette (complete with a neutered 350 small block that maxed out at 225 horsepower) and most car guys will conclude the ’79 is the automotive version of the Village People. Buy the ’68 big block Vette, become Jim Morrison, and avoid the embarrassment.

The third vintage ride on our list is an oddball car known as the Amphicar, a car that took to the water like a duck and captivated the imagination of every baby boomer kid during its production run in the 1960s.

The Amphicar drove like a fish out of water on land and would lose a race to arthritic turtles on a lake, but it was a fascinating vehicle for kids during its heyday as a slow car and even slower boat. In fact, an Amphicar will make its owners more popular than Santa Claus during his summer offseason.

An added feature is the sketchy reliability of the Amphicars means their owners may become world class swimmers and/or rowers on water.

The fourth addition to our list is any beat-up pickup truck that lacks creature comforts and was built at least 50 years ago. These trucks wear their history on their aging metal skins and have been put through the grinder during their histories as invaluable tools for hard-working owners.

The result is Hollywood has embraced old pickups as a very useful tool to cultivate an image for its actors in movies. The movie hero truck owner is typically cast as a free-spirited, hard-working, and honorable tough guy who ultimately wins the day because of his virtues.

The net result is an owner of a battered old truck can benefit from this image and become a real-life version of the movie guy…even if he is an accountant in real life.

The fifth and final addition to MyStarCollectorCar’s list is the 1957 DeSoto, a car that rocketed to the top of the fabulous Fifties finned wonder list. The ’57 DeSoto had very large tailfins that housed round taillights designed to resemble afterburners on a jet or rocket-not an accident during a very active Space Race era.

The ’57 DeSoto was an outrageous example of the outrageous fin car style, a car that looked ready for takeoff, even at a standstill. In 1957, manned space travel was still a few years away, but a 1957 DeSoto made it seem possible as soon as their owners climbed into its cockpit and rocketed down a new freeway.

In a way, the ’57 DeSoto owners became an astronaut before the term became popular, simply by driving one because the DeSoto’s wild Space Age style was a game-changer- then and now.

MyStarCollectorCar’s final bit of advice? If you want to channel your inner astronaut, buy a 1957 DeSoto.        

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.