Old cars have their own personalities—unlike new cars and most contemporary TV stars.

You could make a case that old cars are a member of the family, but in reality, many old cars are a heartbeat away from starring in a divorce or estate sale.

So what’s the long-term game plan for your classic?

The first thing to do is treat your old car like an old Cocker Spaniel. That may sound odd, but your family Cocker Spaniel has a lot of old car traits—or vice versa. 

For example, your fifteen-year-old Cocker Spaniel doesn’t like frigid winter weather any more than your sixty-year-old car. Your dog has done his time in dog years—he knows what winter weather does to his aging body.

You can say the same thing about your old car because your 60-year-old Oldsmobile may have survived many brutal winters, but the results haven’t been good. Salt wreaks havoc on metal—it’s kind of like a cold acid bath on your car’s finish. Once rust reaches deep into the sub-frame of a car, you’re looking at an automotive version of palliative care.

Here’s the life lesson. Put your old car in winter hibernation–and do the same thing with your old Cocker Spaniel. It’s the right thing to do because your old car means a lot more than your Isuzu Ranger–so kick the Isuzu out of your garage and tuck your classic in for the winter.

Old cars make total sense to car guys, but they make no sense to non-car guys–and sadly, non-car guys are in the majority. I know this makes no sense to us old car addicts, but the non-car guy numbers are climbing because cars are becoming toxic pawns in political agendas.

I know what you’re thinking. It’s bad enough that we have to drive soulless, plastic clone cars in 2023 but we’re lurching into a future where cars could become illegal—or incredibly expensive. It’ll be like a 21st century North American version of Havana, Cuba.

You might ask yourself whether a world without classic iron is a world worth living in, but the fight should continue because old cars are a link to a kinder, simpler past. There’s no way we can scrub the incredible automotive history out of our history books simply because a few agenda-driven clowns want gas-powered vehicles to disappear.

An old car is more than an antiquated mode of transportation. Old iron is as important to history as old buildings—that’s why you’ll never see Buckingham Place imploded and replaced with a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

The fifth lesson is simple. Protect your old car like you protect your old Cocker Spaniel because if we get to the point where we can’t own dogs or old cars, we’re not living—we’re merely existing.    

Park your old car in a garage in a garage for the winter and while you’re at it—give your old Cocker Spaniel a winter break too.    

Jerry Sutherland

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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