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Hagerty Employee

6 pros and cons of vintage car ownership

If you got all your vintage car information from TV shows, you’d likely think all classics had paint shinier than the sun and, if they didn’t, had to be restored in 30 days or someone would be forced to sell their shop. The truth is stranger than fiction, though. When contemplating a vintage car purchase, or justifying the one (or two, or three …) you currently own, you’ll waffle between the joys and the inconveniences. The conclusion we reach from weighing these pros and cons will be different for everyone, but don’t shy away; join the conversation and add your own reasons, either for or against, in the comments.


I wrote out some of the points of vintage car ownership I have personally debated and discussed with friends and family over the years. These have shaped both my collection and my life, and hopefully they can help shape yours.


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143 REPLIES 143
Pit Crew

I tell anyone who wants to listen that buying a classic gives you two hobbies, driving the car, and maintaining it.  Accept it and enjoy the ride.

New Driver

My old cars are my passion aind the worse shape they begin the more rewarding the project! Consider this when thinking about a vintage car:

 I have a 1969 Camaro, when it needed a muffler it was $60 installed, when I needed the heads milled, new valves, springs and cam I still paid less than $1500 for all that work. All the parts were readily available even with COVID. The car sounds right, looks right and takes me where I want to go. All the mechanical labor costs remain about the same as 1990. Alternators and starters are still less than $50!

 As far as safety is concerned, if the cell phone is in the glove box or better yet the trunk, there are nearly zero distractions. I know how to turn on the heater by pulling the 3 knobs down and the AM radio gets tuned by turning the dial till you hear what you want. No Bluetooth, fancy auto heat, nav screens, or any number of “features” to fiddle around with. I ask you what can top the staccato thump of a solid lifter Duntov cam anyway?

Pit Crew

ABS & discs don’t make a car safer. They just result in more speed & tailgating. 


Thanks for the comment and thoughts @SteveNL. There are all types in the car world, and we need all of them, but it certainly seems some have more fun!

New Driver

My biggest driving thrill is to startup my 1940 hotrod, take in the smells and sounds, and go for a drive.   Cruising in that thing just brings a smile to my face.   I also think that if done correctly, owning an old car doesn't have to be expensive.  If you buy the best condition car you can afford, then maintain and upgrade it as needed, your costs over the long term will be no higher than if you buy a brand new model and have it depreciate just sitting in the garage.  My 1940 is no show car, but 20 years from now, it will still be worth more than a 2020 SUV and the miles per smile will be far greater.

Intermediate Driver

Kyle; this is as honest and well-written an article as I’ve seen. The “Image” section especially so.

You write “cars of the 1960s were never expected to last 60 years…”, and you’re right, but most cars of the 1960s, and even 1950s, would last longer age-wise than their 1970s and 80s descendants. Their build quality was usually higher.

Thanks again.

Intermediate Driver

A favorite classic quote is "The two best days I had with my boat were the day I bought it, and the day I sold it.

Intermediate Driver

Way back when, I used to talk to my FIAT Spider. Usually bad language. In Italian too. 

Nowadays I'm mostly talking to myself. 

Pit Crew

Very nicely written article - thanks for the re-affirmation of all my automotive beliefs.  Funny thing is - this hit my in-box with the Subject line "6 Pro and Cons of Vintage car owners."  My wife had a bit to add to that.


That has just replaced "Get In Shut Up & Hold On" as my new welcome message!