Why Did You Buy Your Classic Car?
I’ve only purchased one vehicle that I hadn’t lusted over for an extended period of time. Every other vehicle I own(ed) was in my sights for years, some decades. My “must own before I die” automobile list was almost entirely written before I could legally drive. I’ve wanted a Datsun 620 pickup since I was a boy. I’ve dreamt of a stepnose Alfa since my 7th to 8th grade summer break. And, although not quite a classic—call it a modern classic—I’ve pined for an E36 M3 since my freshman year.
But why these specific oddballs? Well, the Datsun 620 “bulletside” is just cool. Sure, it’s not particularly good at being a truck, it’s certainly not great at being a sporty car despite my attempts to flog it otherwise, and it’s not very desirable to most enthusiasts—I just like it. When 13-year-old me saw a Bertone 105 Alfa for the first time, I thought it was a vintage Ferrari—so astonishingly beautiful, its captivation never left me. When I got to high school, some lucky senior got his father’s hand-me-down black 3 series coupe. He slapped an M3 front bumper and wheels on it, lowered it a tad, and despite the nicer cars in the parking lot, to me, he had the coolest car at school.
My, admittedly weird, preference for cars boils down to one thing: aesthetics. I’m obsessed with proportions and design. Clean understated lines catch my eye while messy, busy, cars with scoops and wings and things couldn’t disinterest me more. There are hundreds of automobiles I’d love to own, but my auto bucket list consists of obtainable vehicles I initially took a liking to for their design—almost always my reason for purchase. Thankfully, they all happen to be fun to drive in their own ways—I suppose there’s a correlation between good design and performance (excluding the pickup)?
I find it hard to relate to enthusiasts who never seem to know what they want. I’ve got this friend who texts me weekly if not daily, forwarding me countless Autotrader and Craigslist links to whatever car he’s most certainly buying this week. Dead set on his latest obsession, he researches his newfound love that’s sure to fill the void. To no avail, a few days later he’s convinced himself not to buy X classic because A-Z reasons, and it’s back to sending me for sale ads. I’ve desired the same cars for so long, it bemuses me when enthusiasts are essentially clueless as to what they really want.
Some choose a car for its performance. Sometimes it’s just a bargain that couldn’t be passed up. Other times, cars seem to find their owners in obscure ways. Many select a classic because they couldn’t afford it when new and they’re finally able to fulfill a childhood dream.
Anyway, I want to know why __________ is parked in your garage… What made you buy your classic? With so many spectacular automobiles produced, how do you choose?