Nice article, I was 15 fifteen when I rebuilt my first GM transmission, that was back in 64 never stopped repairing ,I made my first field machine from a 1950 Olds. 4 dr. haven't stopped working on cars, worked on all my friends from school rides, rebuilt 25 autos and trucks, still cant stop.
Oh, that’s the grandson I should have! I so understand how it is to be enthralled with all things automotive from days gone by...I’m 70 now and my Dad was a brilliant mechanic, welder and fabricator and was working as a line mechanic at The GM Plant in Van Nuys, CA when I was born in 1951. He inherited the car gene from his father and passed it to me - so, girl with a car gene. Weird. All I can say is if he finds his way to SoCal, I have a 1957 TR3 I would love to teach him to drive. He’s my hope for the survival of all our vintage and antique cars going forward.
My advice to any young person is to take a good look at 1961-73 Ford Falcons, Mustangs and Mavericks. They are easy builds. All are basically the same chassis/frame. Parts are mostly interchangeable chassis, frame and powertrains. Its easy and cheep to install the performance heart of a Mustang into a Falcon or Maverick. Performance and handling, they are all basically the same car. So there is no confusion I'm referencing 61-69 Falcons, 64-66 Mustangs and 70-73 Mavericks.
This was me as a kid as well. I've always loved everything old and vintage, and very especially cars. Car shows and antique malls were the greatest outings for kid me. I'm 40 now, but when I was 10 or so, the top gift for me was receiving a copy of the the Auto Trader branded "Old Car Book", the thick monthly national classic car ad book with photos that our local gas station carried. $3.75 if I recall. I still have all of them on my bookshelf. I would page through those for hours and hours, finding my favorites and dreaming about one day when I could own and drive one. Nowadays I instead spend hours browsing craigslist and online car listings doing the same dreaming, along with imagining rural properties with huge garage buildings. As a kid I learned to identify by quick look just about every classic car out there. My bedroom posters were never bands or sports stars or whatever my friends had, but were all full-page vintage 1950s car ads from the Saturday Evening Post or Life Magazine. My parents indulged it as a curiousity but nothing more, but I have never known anyone else interested, so have never had any real hands-on opportunities. Sadly, I still have yet to be able to purchase any car for myself, much less a classic, and it hurts when I stumble upon some amazing finds on occasion but can do nothing about it. Sigh... I've been patient for 30 years, I can be patient for more. Maybe the dreaming is better than the having anyway.
Not sure about the sugar gas tank thing on cars.....But it sure worked on older dirt bikes. Had some thugs taking advantage of my grandfather in the early 80's, under the guise of haying his farm property. At the same time they were partying, taking things from his barn, ripping up the property with their dirt bike. So I decided I had had enough of that. Put about a cup in the tank when they weren't around. Had a great big laugh when I heard them bring the bike out next day. You could hear the motor seize from the house.....Maybe it has to do with the quantity...
It is important for seasoned hobbyist to understand how the next generation is approaching car ownership. After all, they will be the buyers who determine demand and supply twenty, thirty, forty years from now. While I do not own an example, I would like to suggest a neo-collectible for your nephew. The mid-1990's Chevy Caprice/Buick Estate Wagon-Roadmaster/Olds Custom Cruiser wagon is a good option for a car that is unique and useful. These cars would meet mom's requirements and since the wagon is neither a Jeep, truck, or tired Civic, it would certainly be a stand out in any high school parking lot.