OCTOBER 13, 2014: WE DON’T GET IT–WHY IS THERE SO LITTLE LOVE FOR ORIGINAL PRE-WAR CLASSICS?

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The dawn of the automobile was a game-changer back in the early 1900s.

 

Horses were jealous and people were curious, because these contraptions could go faster and farther than anything not riding on rails at the time.

 

Needless to say, the early cars were the object of considerable attention in the 19-ought period of history.

 

 

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The cars were brand new and the idea of a horseless carriage as a principal form of transportation was the stuff of dreams for people in the early 20th century.

 

The game has changed for these old classics from the dawn of the automobile because they no longer carry the same weight in the public eye. An original car or truck that was built between 1900 and 1939 is simply a minor historical curiosity for most car show attendees these days.

 

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The only way these rides catch a wave of attention is with a big block, preferably a blown big block. A stock pre-war car or truck does not attract interest at shows. We have taken over 150,000 vehicle photos over the past 5 years and have to fight the crowds around the show-stealers to get a good shot of the ride.

 

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Not so much for the original pre-war classics, because they do not find the spotlight at car shows-unless they have been chopped, slammed and tubbed. The hot rod will trump the stock version every time at a show.

 

Let’s face it, the hot rod culture has been around for a long time and rods are an important component of the car hobby.

 

In fact, the hot rod culture is old enough to have its own vintage segment and many car guys will try to recreate a retro hot rod, complete with a built flattie.

 

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An actual hot rod deuce built in the 50s or 60s is a true legend in the 21st century, but an actual survivor deuce will fight long odds to remain original in 2014. Most car guys would have a completely different game plan for a pre-war survivor.

 

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This summer we attended many shows, but saw few original pre-war cars. The owners of the original versions are likely much older car guys and they want to preserve the vehicles as a reminder of their childhood when the cars were driven by their long departed parents.

 

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The cars have to be preserved in their original form because very few of their childhood memories of the cars included 350 Chevy engines, nitrous boost and Detroit locker rear ends. The cars were comfortable at 30-50 mph during a time when their young lives moved at a slower pace.

 

 

These keep-it-original car guys get behind the wheel and the world slows down to that pace for them once again. There is no need for speed on the nostalgia journey behind the wheel of a vintage original ride from the pre-war era.

 

 

We at MSCC salute the small segment of car guys who embrace the originality and history of the early automobiles.

 

You may not drive the rock stars of car shows, but you have done a huge service to the car hobby with your efforts.

 

Jim Sutherland

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