Does Technology Make Classic Cars Better?
Photography by Afshin Behnia & David Marvier
I realize how the headline reads, but after all, we’re an online-only publication that relies on technology to tell great stories. It’s natural for us to check build threads for inspiration, or scroll through hundreds of Instagram pictures for the perfect shot. But is technology helping car enthusiasts in a more fundamental way?
An article about technology was recently shared in our team Slack channel that brought into focus some ways that technology has benefitted classic car owners. The Jalopnik story, “People Are Paying For Car Tech They Aren’t Even Using”, was about owners of modern cars who end up paying much more for features that end up unused. It makes sense: who fires up a car’s self-parking or network router functions every time they go for a jaunt?
As the discussion continued, Jonathan WC Mills said it best, with an equation that looked something like this: “Classic car + cell phone = perfect”.
He’s right: we went through a list of things we’ve done here in the office, and it’s staggering. With a phone in your pocket, you’re not only able to watch our videos (thanks!), but film your own, connect with your insurance provider, send photos of restoration troubles to an expert, call for roadside assistance, scan and store your receipts(getpatina.com), navigate to a well-hidden road, gauge the accuracy of your speedometer using GPS, rent a classic car, purchase one at auction, buy parts, look up the finer points of importation procedures (Try explaining a VIN-less 1985 Citroën 2CV to Canadian customs.–Ed.), track lap times, catch up on Monterey Car Week…
Texting and driving and other improper use of cell phones is abhorrent, of course, but do you think that technology has improved classic car ownership?