Journal: What Classic Car Exemplifies Perseverance?

What Classic Car Exemplifies Perseverance?

Brian Garrity By Brian Garrity
January 13, 2015
16 comments

Photography by Turbometal blog

This is the introduction to a series that will highlight classic cars that exemplify the perseverance and innovative spirit in the face of hardship that defines our community of enthusiasts.

If you’re anything like me, you probably admire enthusiasm and perseverance in the face of automotive hardship in all its forms. Whether this passion and grit manifests itself in the completion of a restoration project in time for an upcoming show, in the patience and diligence of spending months or even years tracking down the classic car of your dreams, or in using your ingenuity, skill, and, on occasion, ability to flag down fellow enthusiasts and make new friends to help get you and your treasured classic back home, safe and sound, after a bit of bad luck on the road.

Whenever these daunting and, occasionally, unexpected challenges arise, classic car enthusiasts never lose sight of the silver lining that, while just beyond that moment’s reach, is undoubtedly on the horizon. We know, in our two-or-four-stroke hearts, that these trials and tribulations will make us, our love for our classic, and our bond with the classic car community just that much stronger, while making the next cruise down our favorite road just that much sweeter.

Similarly, many of the most beloved and revered vintage cars were, themselves, the result of a special kind of perseverance, passion, and grit despite seemingly overwhelming obstacles. Cars that originated in this manner were often born in the minds of automotive pioneers and engineered by gifted innovators within an environment of seemingly insurmountable odds. These are the cars that have risen from a war’s ashes, survived in spite of a suffocating oil crisis, or simply thrived in the face of seemingly oppressive government regulation.

Perhaps, part of our fascination with these cars can be explained through a subtle recognition or subconscious identification of this kindred spirit existing deep within the soul and DNA of these cars. And while most attempt to encapsulate this ‘can-do’ attitude within the enthusiast community and exemplified in these marvelous automotive creations by saying we’re making lemonade when we’ve only been given lemons, I think I can speak for all who drive tastefully, in saying that our community simply appreciates when an automotive soul “steers into the skid.”

But before I give some of my personal favorites, I’d like to hear what you think. Is your classic car the result of ingenuity in the face of automotive adversity? If not, what do you think is the classic car that best exemplifies the perseverance that I think we all so admire within the enthusiast community?

Image Sources: motortrend.com, flickr.com

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chuck breidt
chuck breidt

Well being a Ford guy Mustangs are my favorite. In my opinion a true classic is all stock an no modifications brings out the true nostalgia of the Era

Richard Love
Richard Love

Morgan. Over 100 years old. Same family ownership all that time. Started making three wheeled cars in 1909. Reintroduced them. Still make 4 wheeled cars the same way they made them in the late 30s. All this in the face of increased government regulation. Who else has stayed so true to their original selves over such an extended period of time?

Evan Bedford
Evan Bedford

Even though it doesn’t have the requisite number of wheels, I’d have to mention the Royal Enfield motorcycles. Going now for more than 100 years in various incarnations. And currently selling a mid-sized bike with only 27 hp? Now that takes chutzpah!

Tim Scott
Tim Scott

Land Rover Defender. Great initial design, albeit not perfect. Continuous improvements that have not compromised its intended purpose ensure it is still at the top of its segment 40+ years on.

Todd Cox
Todd Cox

Jeep. Borne of necessity and proved itself more capable than ever intended. It is the epitome of simplicity and durability, and in that it is beautiful. There are a lot of cars that could enter this discussion, but you simply have to respect the Jeep; without it, there is a very good chance the world we live in would be a very, very different place today.

Martin James
Martin James

VW – Micro Bus . Hands down . The longest continuously running production vehicle in automotive history that practically took an act of god/government [ Brazil ] to finally bring it to an end …last year .

Andreas Pihelgas
Andreas Pihelgas

My personal favorite for sure is Saab. They did so many things differently. Some on which worked out great, others not so great. But I love them to bits. Saab was never a rational purchase. Back in the day I imagine you had to risk a bit for being different and buy a car from a small company. But for sure it paid off. When you drive it, you get the “I know something you don’t…” smile. And the classic 900’s were very reliable. And yes, this is what I own too. In fact a 1993 900 Aero is my… Read more »

Martin James
Martin James

” Whats the equivalent car ….. ? ” Answer ? Nothing . Though Subaru seems to of taken SAAB’s place in the hearts and minds of SAABistas world wide

Ae Neuman
Ae Neuman

old rubbish like morris minors, mgbs etc – awful to drive, treasured by deluded owners.

Lucas R
Lucas R

I guess any car company that tried to put a better product in the market and had to fight against the big ones, and didn´t end up selling to them deserves the honors… Tucker, Duesenberg, TVR, Koenisegg, Tesla… Those guys had innovation in mind and went for it! Some succeeded, some not, but hey, they gave it their all! Even brands that went bankrupt, closed for good, and then their rights were bought by big corporations: Bugatti, Maybach, Lotus… and remember there are very few brands that started on a high! Most of them were built from the ground up… Read more »

Joao Miranda
Joao Miranda

Toyota Hilux, Old Mercs…

Bertram Wooster
Bertram Wooster

Every car in Cuba!

Todd Cox
Todd Cox

I think I might give that honor to the innovation of the Cuban mechanics 😉

Martin James
Martin James

I think regardless of my other post I’m inclined to agree completely … and therefore 3rd the motion . Those self sufficient and creative by necessity Cubanos and Harlistas make the rest of us so called GearHeads look like a bunch of inept wimps in comparison

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

It doesn’t really qualify as a car yet alone a classic, but for perseverance I think Paul Moller’s attempts to build a flying car which started in 1972 and are still going, deserve credit. Actually maybe credit is a bit much, we’ll settle with mention.

Emanuel Costa
Emanuel Costa

VW Beetle, Mini and Land Rover Series/Defender