Journal: Now Is the Best Time to Own a Vintage Car

Now Is the Best Time to Own a Vintage Car

By Adam Kaslikowski
November 1, 2013
18 comments

It is all too easy to cast a long glance to a bygone era, yearning to have been in the presence of Citroën 2CVs clogging European roads. A time where a Porsche 356 wasn’t a ludicrously expensive item, or even when a new DeLorean could be had for the price of well-equipped Camry today. The past certainly seems like the perfect time to own a vehicle. While that may (or may not) be true, it is clear to me that today, yes today, is the best time to own the very same cars we wish surrounded us daily.

True, cars and motorcycles were more interesting back then, it’s also correct to say that vehicles from “then” are more accessible today to work on in your own garage. Not to mention they are more tuneable and customizable than ever before. But the past is not all roses and sunshine, attempting to restore and run a 30-year old vehicle from any period other than the last decade or two is a completely different enterprise.

Only now are enthusiasts able to keep a greater number, and a eclectic stable of vintage metal on the road. We are in a golden age of old cars and motorcycles hidden amongst our midst. No longer are we forced to be interested in domestic or utility vehicles. Gone are the days of relying on garage sales and yearly meet-ups for parts and advice—we’ve got eBay and Craigslist!

In a big way we should thank this “internet” thing. We can now jump on Google and find a rare euro side-marker light faster than we can flick a turn signal. We can now easily find other like-minded vintage car soulmates who are just as excited about rare Alfas or Indians to form virtual ad-hoc communities—we are no longer bound by geography.

Parts and advice are a forum away, not to mention your new project car. Yes, old school hot-rodders and experts are still notoriously internet illiterate, but that stereotype is quickly fading. They have now resorted to recruiting their grandchildren to create video tutorials and enshrine their knowledge for any and all to utilize.

The rise of restomods have reignited the next generation to appreciate these iconic rolling sculptures. By dumping new technology into these old shells we ensure that they remain on the roads longer and enjoyed by everybody even more. While some balk at the idea of changing the essential characters of their vintage steeds, throwing the latest tech into them keeps them on the road—which should always be the main objective.

Enjoy today, because new cars are turning more and more into boring appliances and irreparable rolling computers. Before you know it, you’ll find a garge full of non-operating modern machines not worth fixing– not that many are interested in even trying. Interesting, soulful cars and motorcycles are turning into an enthusiast’s delight right before our very eyes. The split has already begun between the boring and reliable washing machines and interesting, high-dollar exotica, and it will only get worse. But for now, owning and running a vintage vehicle has never been better. So enjoy the road, tastefully.

(Above are photos by Petrolicious from past articles featuring young people with their vintage machines: Newly Minted Porsche, An American in Paris Creates Custom-Bike Heaven, Aaron’s Duetto, and An Unlikely Pair.)

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18 Comments on "Now Is the Best Time to Own a Vintage Car"

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Craig Zeni
Craig Zeni
3 years 27 days ago

‘struth. Completely. I’ve had my Midget for over 20 years and parts are significantly easier to come by now. Some of it’s poorly made Chinese crap, but the forums and Feebay have really connected the MG community together. It’s quite impressive…

Stephan P
Stephan P
3 years 27 days ago

The internet has allowed me to both buy and sell classics as well as parts. When I sold my Fiat 1500 I had a much larger market due to the internet and I would have never found my Lancia Fulvia for sale in Italy had it not been for the internet. Parts too, I had some old Ducati parts that I wanted to be rid of but just couldn’t throw away so I put them on ebay, I was surprised at the demand. That brings up a downside, bargains are harder to find because everybody has access to price comparisons.

ASB
ASB
3 years 27 days ago

Does anyone know what I should call that Porsche’s incredible green paint? Was that color available from new or is this just a really nice custom job? It is incredible! Whenever I browse Petrolicous each day I see some great cars but this has to be one of the nicest older 911s I have ever seen.

Christian Peta
Christian Peta
3 years 27 days ago

here is the original article:

http://www.petrolicious.com/mint-porsche

ASB
ASB
3 years 26 days ago

Thanks Christian!

Will Mederski
Will Mederski
3 years 28 days ago
i don’t know if the internet is quite the game-changer you claim in this article. and this comes from both a digital-gen 20-something, and someone who grew up with a garage full of vintage bikes and cars. i think the real driver, along with your mention of the soulful nature of old machines, is entry price. (ref: economic crisis) you can pick up a running bike for $1000, spend a weekend or two cleaning it up, or chopping it up, and have yourself something to be proud of. ebay, craigslist, all that still don’t matter as much as genuine knowhow… Read more »
Eddie Relvas
Eddie Relvas
3 years 27 days ago
I’m with Matt on this. If all you need can be found locally, of course it’s much nicer to get it that way. But for some of us who live way out of the main action, owning something rare (and getting rarer) can be quite a handful. I grew into this hobby as a teenager, and found myself trying the internet on my first year of college, which is when it really started being useful (circa ’93 – gosh, was it really 20 years ago?!). I found advice from experienced owners living half-way across the world, parts from places I’d… Read more »
Todd Cox
Todd Cox
3 years 27 days ago

Without having to have lived in the pre-internet world where only mail order parts took 5 weeks to arrive at your door (often the wrong ones) through a single supplier you can’t ever understand how difficult it was to maintain even a moderately popular car; forget trying to own anything truly unique. And if you wanted parts, you’d better have been awfully good at picking them out of the junkyards before they rusted to pieces.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
3 years 28 days ago
While I agree with you basic point about entry price I do think the internet has opened up the classic car world considerably especially if you own something rare or unusual. The internet has globalised the market for classic car parts, I have parts on my car that were sourced via ebay from the States which proably would have been a lot more difficult because on the internet. The internet has also made it a lot easier to communicate with other car people, I’ve made quite a few friends from the car world from internet forums, twitter and even Petrolicious… Read more »
Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay
3 years 28 days ago

Yup.

Todd Cox
Todd Cox
3 years 28 days ago

Truth. And I think they are more appreciated now than ever, because even the ‘ordinary’ classics have gained a degree of respect that they didn’t have before. Air cooled VWs and Fiats are now appreciated for the beauty of their design and the fun they inspired.

Karly P
Karly P
3 years 28 days ago
Totally agree with this article! New cars are soulless, boring and designed to be replaced in a few years. My ’60 beetle makes daily commuting enjoyable and its easy to find parts thanks to the internet. I no longer hear the mechanic telling me ‘sorry the computer says everything is okay’ like I did with my 2010 VW polo which I quickly sold after trying to commute in a new car for a year! My old car is cheaper to fix, maintain, insure, register and due to the savings I’ve made, I’m now getting a ’65 karmann ghia back on… Read more »
ASB
ASB
3 years 28 days ago

I agree. In today’s world, we do have access to the internet. Said internet means my mk1 golf has a healthy diet of parts. But it has also created lots of want ! Internet access has created insatiable lust for what we cannot have. Without the internet, I would not be on Pistonhads looking at Lancias and Renault Clios with my morning coffee.

Dustin Rittle
Dustin Rittle
3 years 28 days ago

One of the best articles soo far! I have been wanting to own a vintage car for a long time. I been saving up money which is the easy part for me but choosing which car to get is the hardest part for me lol. because new cars are turning more and more into boring appliances and irreparable rolling computers is the greatest and truest line i heard all day

Tsvetan Tsekov
Tsvetan Tsekov
3 years 28 days ago

“choosing which car to get is the hardest part for me”

I thought I was the only one having this problem….I feel a little better now…thanks! 😀

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