Journal: Do You Daily Drive Your Classic Car?

Do You Daily Drive Your Classic Car?

By Michael Banovsky
March 4, 2016
45 comments

There was a period for a few months when I’d cycle about 10 minutes to where my Citroën 2CV was parked in Toronto, Canada, hop in, and commute for all of another 3.5 km (~2 miles)…happily paying the more-than-$10 parking near work for the chance to exercise my tin snail.

The weather was nice, it was a joy to wake up early, and the route wasn’t too taxing on either me or the car—what a great way to start the day. Leaving work, on the other hand, was neither as pleasurable or as fast as cycling home, so I often left Bertrand until later in the evening when it was less busy.

Though by no means the most extreme example—you’ve seen our I Drive New York film, right?—it makes me envious of those of you who live in warmer climates and can daily drive your classic without real inconvenience or sacrifice. If I’d tried that during winter, the salt would have eaten the car before I had a chance to pay for parking.

As far as the rest of the Petrolicious team goes, yeah, they really do drive their classics all the time in sunny California. Do you daily drive yours?

Photography by Afshin Behnia, Sean Lorentzen, & David Marvier

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Želimir Blažević
Želimir Blažević
4 years ago

Vozim svoj e39 iz 1998.👍Već sada ga smatram klasikom, 520i arkticsilber. Vrhunski auto i idem s njime na posao cijele godine. Malo kilometara prijeđem ali u svim uvjetima.

Pedro C
Pedro C
4 years ago

Normally every friday I drive my 69 Bettle to work in Brazil. Always a good option to get a lot of topics for breaks at the coffee place. Would drive it daily if it wasn’t for the heat and storms in summer.

Mike Miessler
Mike Miessler
4 years ago

About to pick up a 74 standard Beetle to be my DD. Because telling your boss you were late because the Civic or Juke is in the shop is boring. Calling them and telling them your beetle/alfa/vette broke down is somehow sexier and more acceptable.

Tóth András
Tóth András
4 years ago

My daily is a 1979 Lada 2101. This is the only car that I own.

Vinay Shekhar
Vinay Shekhar
4 years ago

I drive my Mini 1275 E to work everyday. It’s my only car and I drive it everywhere.

Harshana Gurusingha
Harshana Gurusingha
5 years ago

My daily runner, W123, 240D 1984.

Brian Grant
Brian Grant
5 years ago

I drive my mini every day it’s not raining.

Rob Clubley
Rob Clubley
5 years ago

I plan to daily my 1985 Audi quattro, when it’s finally on the road.
https://www.facebook.com/ProjectRustyquattro

Ivo Poblete
Ivo Poblete
5 years ago

Preferably daily drive it if you have a good excuse to get on the highway for the whole trip, I say. Dunno, but city driving has never been my cup of tea.

Hilaire Pace O'Shea
Hilaire Pace O'Shea
5 years ago

Rock’n’Roll Touring. 170km covered today getting the Band’s gear back to record company.

Colin Sebern
Colin Sebern
5 years ago

I mob through San Francisco every day in this. I scare at least one Prius driver a day…

Henrique De Resende Mendonça
Henrique De Resende Mendonça
5 years ago

I use my bicycle in daily basis but my second transportation is the classic car. Right now a BMW 635CS Hartge tri-carb.

Eugene Gene
Eugene Gene
6 years ago

I have a ’72 Super Beetle. It’s a semi-daily driver as I don’t drive that much.

Bartolomeu Forte
Bartolomeu Forte
6 years ago

My 205 is my only car, since I sold my Alfa Romeo 33. I drive it every single day even if it needs some work. I do not have the interior mounted now, but I don’t care (I can hear the engine better this way!). I do have to walk 1.8 km every day to drive it, but when I do it, it is such a pleasure! 😉

Juan Luis Redó
Juan Luis Redó
6 years ago

I drive my Volvo Amazon 1969.

Ricardo Braga
Ricardo Braga
6 years ago

I drive my 1973 toyota corolla all year it is my daily car i enjoy it a lot

Swedishcarstories
Swedishcarstories
6 years ago

I wish I could drive my 1985 saab 900 turbo aero every day. But the weather does not allow me to. Also it’s quite expensive on gas.

Check it out on http://www.instagram.com/swedishcarstories

Per Eldh
Per Eldh
6 years ago

I drive my ’85 Fiat Argenta 120ie daily, these days only April-Oct. When I got it in 1993 it was all-year but the swedish road salt never did any wonders anyhow.
Love this car to this day and will prob never sell him.

Connor Jones
Connor Jones
6 years ago

I happily daily drive my 1974 Triumph 2500Pi Estate, it is fun and somewhat reliable even practical nearly

Steven Jepson
Steven Jepson
6 years ago

I happily own two – my ’81 Lancia Zagato, and the new kid on the block, an ’89 Dodge Lancer Shelby (a classic in my mind). When the weather is good (read: not raining hard), I’ll drive the Lancia as much as I can. She works as a good commuter car, and I’ll occasionally find new ways home to open up the 2.0 and the firm, yet forgiving, Lancia suspension.

The Dodge will be used more as a long distance vehicle, but I’ll be choosing blue roads instead of interstates for this beauty!

Chris Greta
Chris Greta
6 years ago

I’ve been driving a 1971 Citroen DS for the last almost four years. I live in Texas and some days it’s raining too hard (curses on hail) or too hot for a car with no AC, but overall I put more miles on the DS than I do my “daily driver” Honda.

Driving the DS is a joy. It drives better than any modern car I’ve ever driven. Yes, it’s 40+ years old but the ride is sublime. Everything happens in slow motion (OK, it’s not fast) but it’s a very zen experience. Parts are easy to find and it’s easy to keep on the road.

Besides that, it makes people smile. Everywhere I go, people smile and wave and want to know about it, or just look. It’s nice to cheer up strangers with something so random.

And it gets good gas mileage.

Juan Baroli
Juan Baroli
6 years ago

I daily drive my BMW 316iA E30, which is surprisingly economical, comfortable (with automatic transmission) and still turns heads.
Daily driving a classic is possible, and I think why you´d waste your time daily driving a boring, “plastic” or cheap car while you can use that time of your life conmuting on a better and funny one?

Júnior Almeida
Júnior Almeida
6 years ago

Yes! I drive my Citroën 2CV and Volkswagen Beetle in Brazil , despite the heat in some seasons the chilled air go very well . If I have a problem with one of the two , I caught my smart fortwo !
See my Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/kollingjunior/

Robbert Klunder
Robbert Klunder
6 years ago

Yes! I (We) do to. Its a classic mini 1275. It allso stands in the rain at its parking space.. sad story as you’ll know english classics do turn to rust when left outside for to long.. But everytime its a joy to drive! Even to the supermarket. I know a short trip isn’t whats best for the car. It has to warmup and stuff. But if its broken I’ll fix it! we even went to Belgium With our mountainbikes on top of it and the drive was excellent! 700 Km drive and no problems! See my insta for more pic’s! https://www.instagram.com/p/_7xJJaneWp

Laurent Stomboli
Laurent Stomboli
6 years ago

I just regret the time during which I was driving my Citroën 2CV6 on the French riviera.
Now, living near Amsterdam, there is hardly an alternative to public transport for my daily trips.
Luckily, I can still take the “deudeuche” (nickname for the 2CV) around here when the sun agrees to it.
Also, I can now enjoy almost 6-hours drive on board of a late 80’s Citroen CX when going to France for a week-end or a holiday.

Carlos De La Barra
Carlos De La Barra
6 years ago

I drive my 911 daily, but as some of you may complain about snow and salt… those of us who live in hot weather have other problems…
Me for instance in Cabo is the dust and the heat! You get probably 3 months of incredible weather, but when it is blazing hot, it is not the most practical commuter and the amount of dust in Cabo makes it imposible to keep the engine clean! I guess all of us may “Suffer” from a couple of issues with our cars… regardless I would not change it for the world! And ultimately it is not about complaining for when or when not to drive it, but much more that all of us have the pleasure to drive them!

Wade Devers
Wade Devers
6 years ago

I drive my Porsche 911 as much as I possibly can. If I lived in an area of the country with no salt on the roads i would drive it every day, for sure.

Gonçalo Gago da Câmara
Gonçalo Gago da Câmara
6 years ago

I use my Classic Mini almost everyday since it is my only and first car. Love it!

forestghost07
forestghost07
6 years ago

I’d LOVE to use my MGB GT daily but drivers where I live are so vicious, and collision rates so high, I’m reduced to exercising it pre-dawn on weekends :'(

back in the garage by 9 AM, unless we’re on a road trip

Aussielars
Aussielars
6 years ago
Reply to  forestghost07

I alternate between my 1988 SAAB 900 Aero and 1992 900 convertible. My daily driver used to be a 2000 Viggen but I sold it since I enjoy the pre GM Saabs more.

VintageB/GT
VintageB/GT
6 years ago

With exception to this last cold snap & quasi-snowfall, Toronto got off easy. It’s a difficult choice. Do I take the 69 MGB/GT or the 72 Alfa Spider?

Wes Flack
Wes Flack
6 years ago

Daily has been an E30 since I bought my first in 2006. The ultimate driving experience is also surprisingly economical,

phsouza
phsouza
6 years ago

Every day I use my 1970 beetle to go to work. Sometimes it’s very nice, but few times it’s very stressfull because of The traffic. But I really drive and travell a lot with my old fella!

JsT Fartin
JsT Fartin
6 years ago

I’m retired and bicycle for most of my local travel so I drive perhaps less than once a week. However, every time I hop into my 1971 Volvo 142S DD I’m reminded of the joys of driving. Usually I’m annoyed that I have an errand that requires driving, but by the time I leave my neighborhood I’m smiling at the sounds and smells of an old car plus the smiles of people waving or giving a thumbs up. I don’t know how other generations are going to feel about it but I always wanted to be an old guy with an old car and it’s completely worth it (I was going to be an old guy eventually anyway).

Nar
Nar
6 years ago

Used to daily my 90 CRX but now i only drive it on non rainy days and when i don’t have to leave it for extended periods of time. Also they tend to get stolen quite often especially if in good condition so there’s that to worry about. Doesn’t bother me though cause i always find an excuse to take it out and disappear for hours at a time several times a week.

Mustafa Uyal
Mustafa Uyal
6 years ago

Yes.. Why do we have them ?

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
6 years ago

Another Amazon user here. Mine is a ’66, it lives outside all through the year here in London and loves the winter. You mustn’t be too precious with a daily driver you just need something that is cheap, easy to fix and nobody is going to steal. It’s also probably best to have something in reserve for those times when you need to do occasional maintenance!

Jarrod H
Jarrod H
6 years ago

In Washington, DC urban/ suburban sprawl, my dailies (every day as long as there was no snow on the ground) have been an ’88 MKII Jetta, a ’72 MGB GT, and an ’83 Toyota Land Cruiser BJ60. As soon as the disposable income allows, a classic will be a DD once again.

chad johnson
chad johnson
6 years ago

I wish. Bumper to bumper Atlanta traffic, even at 6AM, would be brutal on the clutch. Now on the weekends, the country roads in the ‘burbs…

Maxime Veilleux
Maxime Veilleux
6 years ago

Yes, But im in the same position that you were Banovski.

Im in Montreal so my Beetle does not go out in the winter, But as soon as April hit, The beetle does not go inside til November. Its not a daily per se. But im driving it rain or shine everyday of the week!

Martin Philippo
Martin Philippo
6 years ago

If a ’96 Saab convertible is a classic (and I think it is but it certainly will be) then yes, I drive my classic on a daily basis.

Kris Laarmann
Kris Laarmann
6 years ago

My only car is a classic car, because I’m young and yes, I drive it it daily, because I can’t think of any better way for transportation. Also it’s kind of rare to see a classic car at this time of the year in Estonia, but when I go somewhere, I always get looks and smiles from other people. Current car is a 1970 Volvo Amazon

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
6 years ago

So y’alls living up Toronto way is you ? Best hold on Banovsky ! If our elections get ‘ Trumped ‘ y’alls gonna be seeing an influx of Yanks like you’ve never imagined coming up your way …. possibly including myself [ your immigration site got crashed due to the numbers after the most recent wave of ‘ trumped ‘ caucuses and primaries .

Back on topic though … yeah … when I still owned them … I did … keeping a ‘ snow ‘ car around only for the absolute worst of days … the joke being the ‘ snow ‘ car was a 77 Alfetta GT . In dry as a desert CO [ and near zero salt ] driving a classic in winter isn’t that big a deal .. in fact you’ll see classic 4 x 4’s from the mountains right down to the prairie [ high plains steppes actually ] along with the ever present classic Porsches that seem to appear year round regardless of the weather or location

B Bop
B Bop
6 years ago
Reply to  Guitar Slinger

The wonderfully nice and pleasant Canadians don’t allow BS artists to come into their great country, so I guess you will be staying right where you are

CharlesNeufeld
CharlesNeufeld
6 years ago

Well, it may not be a classic quite yet, but I daily drive my ’93 Mazda Miata in Laguna Seca Blue. It is worth it for the fun, not to mention the looks when I’m driving in the winter in Chicago with it. However, I might add that the weekly (sometimes bi-weekly) wash and salt cleansing ritual does get a little old.