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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.

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com:

https://www.hagerty.com/media/lists/6-pros-and-cons-of-vintage-car-ownership/

143 REPLIES 143
Detailer

Hmm... Turnpike Cruisers came out in 1957 (more than 50 years ago) and 55 speed limit wasn't a thing until 1973? in USA. You don't promote a 55 speed limit unless it was higher somewhere...

 

Granted, I'm not sure many states had roads over 65mph back then (quite a few have over 70mph roads now). But it raises an interesting question of what speeds did the 50s and 60s designers have in mind? I'm not saying it is prudent to drive a 57 Mercury at 70mph in traffic, but on a 70 mph (or higher) road with little or no traffic I don't think that car lets you down or feels scary. A 1930s car... yeah probably scary. I'd be interested in others posting that have actually driven stock-spec cars at speed from these vintages.

 

As an aside, many offramps and such in my area were built to specs for speeds nearly double the usual posted limits. You can tell by the banking if you get out and walk them (not necessarily safe to do). It's a stark contrast to some of the newer ones that a person going slightly over the limit feels on the edge (or about to go off the edge of the road).

Hagerty Employee

this gif. We've reached peak Kyle.

Passenger

Great article, covers all the bases.  The clunks, etc. never end so all I will say is its more a fingers crossed balancing act approach to what you think you can put off and the oft surprise repairs that come up.  Additionally, it keeps getting harder to find shops to deal with these cars (assuming you can't do it all yourself) and as a result they can be far away and expensive with long waits.  Hmmmm anyone want to buy a nice 63 vette roadster lol. 

Pit Crew

Cars of that era could hit speeds in the 70's, and even higher.  But they couldn't be maintained for long without some modifications.  Generally the driving and road conditions then were far different than now.  With two-lane roads requiring slower speeds, the cars often being unstable at high speeds, and the frequent small towns that showed up every 20-30 miles or so, the higher speeds weren't maintained for long.  Compare that to now, where the conditions on the superslab allow for 70-80 mph for very long distances.  Earlier cars often had overheating problems at those sustained speeds, and vaporlock was a common occurrence when the cars slowed or stopped for through-town traffic.  An average speed of 40-50 mph over a long haul was considered making pretty good time at the time.

 

New Driver

Pro: They’re the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

Con: They ARE money pits.

Remember this however, life is finite and no matter how much or how little money you have when you die, everyone is the same in the cemetery so enjoy it while you can.

Intermediate Driver

The comment about ignoring new noises is so important. With many parts unavailable, minimizing a problem by catching it before it literally explodes could mean the difference between continued enjoyment or a basket case.

 

Modern "vintage" cars have another horror. Electronics. If your 20 year old ECU craps out, then you're likely off to eBay to find a used one. Eventually, every ECU and electronic box for these older "new" cars is going to be gone and we'll be programming Arduino's to substitute.

 

Still, I have totally enjoyed my affairs with vintage cars. They are friends and companions. I talk to my Ferrari when I walk past it in the garage. I plead with it before starting to not throw a code or make a weird noise. I thank it when I pull into my garage after a spirited drive and all the parts are in the same condition as they were when I pulled out. 

 

Who am I kidding? It's all about love.

 

Gated Ferrari 360 Spider with custom hardtopGated Ferrari 360 Spider with custom hardtop

 

Intermediate Driver

You have to go back well over 50 years to find cars that will not cruise at 70.  70 mph two lane roads were common at that time, even faster than today.

Pit Crew

Before going for a ride, I'd always as prospective passengers:  "Do you have your pushing shoes on?"

Pit Crew

Just enjoy them...like most of our time these days...the time we spent enjoying things has been limited. Just get in, fill it up and drive when you can!!!!! Just a bit closer to home these days...