I was at a small car gathering last week and someone pulled out a camera to show me a picture of a really cool car.
She was a younger female and in many ways she was enthusiastic about the car hobby, but I knew her knowledge in all things automotive and classic was a little weak.
That was really clear when she showed me the picture.
It was a new Camaro and the only thing remotely interesting about it was the blinding yellow paint job.
Don’t get me wrong-I love new tech. Cars and trucks can deliver over 400 horsepower, get 35 miles per gallon, idle like a dream in traffic and outhandle an older Vette.
That’s the upside.
The downside is cars like the new Camaro in the photo really have no soul. They’re incredible pieces of technology but they haven’t done the minimum amount of time to be considered a classic.
In my world, that’s around 40 years with a few exceptions like Buick GNXs and Shelby GLHs and anything with a T-roof.
There is very little difference between all SUVs no matter where they’re built because there are no badges, tail lights or any other distinguishing marks to tell you whether you’re looking at a Hyundai, Mercedes or Porsche. If new cars were humans and you had to pick one of them out of a lineup for a crime, you’d end up with a lot of felons on the loose.
You’ll never have that problem with a ’59 Ford because it looks nothing like a ‘59 Chevy, ’59 Plymouth or even its cousin, the ’59 Mercury. Try and even guess the year on a new car whether it’s a domestic or foreign car. You could even ID old Austins or Volvos but stacks of new cars in traffic have no defined identity.
There’s another reason why new cars don’t rock my world. They’re invading annual car shows at an alarming rate and that doesn’t make any sense to me.
They’re called classic car shows for a reason so how a row of new cars at a classic car show makes the cut at a classic car show is beyond my “stuck firmly in the past” perspective. Car guys call them warranty cars and that isn’t flattery-it’s a shot at the newness/blandness of new rides at old car shows. Give me a row of old Beetles, not new Golfs.
Realistically no car show organizer would build a show around a salute to the Prius because all you’d get are the owners and passengers. Car guys are looking for shoebox Fords, deuce coupes, Mopar muscle, rat rods, ’58 Impalas—nowhere in that lineup will you see the word Prius.
Some new cars like a Hellcat, Ferrari or GT-40 will make the grade at a loosely structured car show but most need not apply because showrooms are full of the same old same old.
Just because a car guy can fork over a registration fee doesn’t mean his or hers 2015 (insert car name here) should be welcome at a show. There’s no blood in the game beyond a monthly payment.
If you want to distill why I didn’t give a — about a picture of a brand new Camaro down to a simple statement it’s this.
“It didn’t rock my car guy world”.
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