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Living the Car Lust Lifestyle: Owning One

Mgb_2We here at Car Lust often compose soaring prose to cars which the larger society relegates to the dustbin of history, odd bits of automotive flotsam and jetsam that occasionally rise up from the depths of our personal histories and break upon this little corner of the internet that all may see and wonder at the quirkiness of our collective automotive history. Who among us hasn't clicked over here to see a car that  brings back recollections of youth, maybe your first car? It's always great to see a car your parents owned, one that calls up those warm fuzzy memories of snoozing in the back seat, safe in the knowledge that mom and dad would get us wherever we were going safely.

And so we read these missives to cars gone by and at least every once in a while think how neat it would be to find one of our favorites in good condition, lovingly cared for by its owner, and ready, with minimal restoration, to carry us back to those thrilling days of yesteryear when our main concerns were how much time we could spend hanging out with friends and getting more guys/girls into the car with us. "Yeah," we think, "I'll get me one of those and cruise around town with the old songs playing, the wind in  my hair what hair I have left, and everything will be groovy/cool/rad/[insert-decade-specific-adjective-here]."

And then one day ... you do it. Barring a rapid no-fault divorce for making such a flaky impulse purchase, you're the proud owner of your favorite old car. Now what?

I can tell you first hand, it ain't no picnic.

As I previously described I am, in fact, the proud owner of a typical Car Lust model: the late, barely lamented 1974-1978 Mustang II. How I acquired it is detailed therein, but suffice it to say that it truly was an impulse purchase, albeit a necessary one. And now from the pedestal of having owned the dumb thing for going on 18 years now (has it really been that long?), I feel I am in a position to offer you, the Car Lust reader, some advice if you happen to one day let your emotion get the better of your good sense and actually decide to act on a lust.

One hopes the reader will forgive my bluntness, but there is one overriding rule of thumb to keep firmly in mind when contemplating the purchase of an older car: Old cars suck. Oh sure, they look pretty good on the outside. Those sensuous curves, classic (or not so classic) lines, all screaming Performance! Luxury! Good Taste! But once you get them home and start living with them for a while, you come toAmb appreciate the advances in technology and quality that have come about in the last couple of decades.

Good looks aside, we're still talking about old technology. Depending on how far back you go you may end up with only lap belts or no belts at all which may induce feelings of abject terror at highway speeds. For the most part you can forget about fuel injectors; you'll get sometimes finicky carburetors to deal with which, depending on the make and year, may have you under the hood more than once manually adjusting the choke just to get it to start. The steering and suspension will be soft and squishy, especially on American models, and by and large it will be creaky, drafty, noisy, and occasionally leaky. Drive on the highway for more than an hour or so and your ears will feel like you just got out of a rock concert. And forget about having a quiet conversation with your passenger; you'll find yourself hoarse after nearly shouting at one another the entire time.

Have I mentioned repairs yet? There are approximately 20,000 parts on an average car and they don't all wear out and/or break at the same rate. This is both a blessing and a curse. If they all went at once, no one in their right mind would drop the amount of money necessary to fix them all. On the other hand, you are virtually guaranteed that at any given time something is in need of repair. Sometimes it's big and expensive, sometimes small and inexpensive, but perhaps more irritating. In many cases, basic parts are easy to come by, especially if the major drive train components were used on a lot of models. But just try to find, say, that little bit of rubber that goes on the end of the sun visor for a Mustang II. Really, it's almost as much fun trying to describe what it is you need as it is to actually find it (I did, by the way). Did you know that a short-circuit in a rear window defroster can cause the entire back window to shatter? Twice? And I've lost track of the times I've had to rewire that ^#$@*)($ defroster. At the moment, I am (knock wood) only dealing with a front seat latch that has a broken cable.

This naturally brings us to the subject of restoration or modification or "restomodding" as it's sometimes called: taking an older car and refitting it with newer parts to create what amounts to a modern car under a classic car body. This has become something of a cottage industry of late with several TV shows devoted to creating "project cars." New engines, transmissions, steering, more and better insulation, modern climate control systems, new seats, all there to give you that "old car" feeling without all the discomforts that go along with them.

Isn't that a bit like cheating? Frankly, I'm of two minds on the whole restomod issue. On the one hand, I will confess that I did, in fact, swap out the old 139-horsepower 302 in my Mustang II for a newer 5.0-liter fuel injected engine with dual exhaust. I had several reasons for doing so, but it largely came down to having a dirty, underpowered, inefficient powerplant in an otherwise nicely functional package. Engine modifications were one way to go to get more power, but that would more or less sacrifice mileage in the bargain and these days it's not all that sensible to be driving a 7 mpg car. And, in a sense, a new engine doesn't really change the basic operation of the car: it's mostly just more of the same power (though in my case a bit more noise as well).

In the end I chose to keep the remainder of the car more or less as-is (sorry, I must have something other than an AM/FM 8-track 10-watt stereo). Yeah, the seats aren't the most comfortable, and it's still rattly and creaky and drafty and noisy, but that's part of the fun of having an old car: every time you get behind the wheel you step into a time capsule and experience what you or others experienced back when it was all shiny and new.

And there's something undeniably appealing about the simplicity of old cars. Sit in a new car today and you will be surrounded by DVDs, iDrives, iPods, GPS, OnStars, touch screens,Plymouth_sapporo_ad TomToms, Bluetooths (Blueteeth?), paddle shifters, CVTs, and a virtually endless alphabet of other devices all designed to make the driving experience ... easier? There is something altogether viscerally rewarding about having an engine, transmission, steering wheel, gas and brake pedals, and not a whole lot else. Behold, I press my right foot and I go down the road with nothing but a star and an oil company map to steer by. If I am cold I turn on the heater; hot and I open the window (and remain hot, but maybe not quite as sweaty).

Don't mistake this for an ode to Ludditism. I wish to heck that my Mustang handled as well as a base model Honda and be warm on a cold winter's day within five minutes of starting it up. But, it is what it is and memories of "the good old days" need a shot of reality every now and then lest they become a bit too warm, fuzzy, and rose-colored. To be honest, if/when I get another car I'll no doubt grab the most reliable and technologically bullet-proof and sophisticated one I can find.

Is having one of these things worth it? It's certainly not for everybody. It's almost a requirement that you become at least somewhat mechanically proficient, if only to avoid putting your mechanic's entire extended family through college. In most cases, there's no investment opportunity as very few cars will ever appreciate in value enough to recoup the time and money spent on keeping them up. It all comes down to whether or not the satisfaction and pleasure you get from driving the car is worth the various investments you put into it. For me, having a car that I could have bought new when I first got my driver's license and seeing people break into smiles when they see it is worth all the little niggly problems and inconveniences.

And now if you will excuse me, I have a seat latch cable to replace.

The photos are, in order:

-- A 1969 MG MGB Roadster, which is probably the single most common car that people buy to "fix up and drive some day"

-- A 1965 AMC Rambler ambassador 990 Sport Coupe

-- An ad for a 1978 Plymouth Sapporo, née, Mitsubishi Gallant Lambda

--Anthony J. Cagle

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Anthony Cagle: "Old cars suck."

This is absolutely true. The name of this blog is "Car Lust" - not "Car Intelligent Purchase." If "the wages of sin is death," the wages of car lust is owning a car that is probably inferior in nearly every way to a brand new Kia.

When I write about a great or terrible old car, I usually try to make clear that this is all in respect to their era. Age flattens out those differences. As I mentioned in defending myself from the Mustang II fans in my Mustang II Poseur Muscle Car post, the differences that existed between, say, the Monza and the Mustang II barely matter if you're judging them as vehicles today. They're both old, interesting and kinda neat, and neither one stands up in any sort of rational way with any car made after 1990.

This even goes for old muscle cars, by the way. The vast majority of small-block muscle cars can barely keep up with my 2003 Honda Accord in a straight line; and in every other measure they are vastly inferior. Late 1980s and 1990s cars compare a little better.

New cars are fantastic - they're fast, reliable, usually fuel-efficient, they handle well, and they are very comfortable. This is an amazing time for automotive technology--perhaps the apex of internal-combustion engined automobiles.

So, if all this is true, why does the blog exist? Well, because I'm like Anthony. I appreciate new vehicles; but lust often leads one into poor decisions. My Valiant was an abjectly awful car, but I loved it. Saabs and Citroens make no sense at all; but I want one so badly I can taste it. I know there are sacrifices involved, and that's okay.

Lust and rationality exist on two planes. Before acting on your lust, you need to realize that you may wake up one morning to realize you have an awful car in your garage. If that realization makes you grin, and not grimace, welcome to the club.

Let's not forget the biggest advantage of some old cars: your cost per mile will often be way lower than with a newer car. My '85 Corolla costs virtually nothing to insure, gets 35 MPG, and still has 4 doors and can keep up with traffic on the freeway. A brand new Corolla gets the same gas mileage because all of that fancy new technology (and people's increasing expectations in the area of engine power) makes for a much heavier car. Ok, so I'm probably not gonna be that safe in an accident, but if I was really worried about safety I would stay away from cars in general.

I guess my favorite thing about older cars is the honesty and simplicity of their designs. You can pop the hood and see an engine, not a plastic cover that serves no purpose except to say "pay no attention to the engine behind the curtain." I actually want to know what is going on with my car. It's a lot easier to tell what parts do what (and to become a good mechanic) with an older car than with a newer one, and I think that's a good thing.

You know, the first time this dawned on me was when I rode in a friend's 1965 Mustang. For quite a few years I'd been enamored of those old Mustangs, but my only recent real experience with them was my brother's '86. Then I got into the '65 and we drove away and my first thought was "This feels like riding in a beat up old pickup truck."

Anyway, funny story on the whole sun visor rubber-thingy search. I went to a place that use to be called the Mustang Ranch up here in WA state (it's since gone out of business), told one of the guys what it was I needed, he thought about it a bit and then we went back to a big storeroom just chock full to the ceiling with engines and transmissions and fenders and seats and boxes and boxes of Mustang stuff. He went to a back corner, climbed up on something, took a box down from the top shelf -- a completely unmarked box at that -- and dug around in it and brought out the part.

Sillypickle: "I guess my favorite thing about older cars is the honesty and simplicity of their designs."

That is one thing I regret about replacing my engine with a newer one. I can't even find the distributor cap anymore.

Well done, Anthony.

There's a tendency to ascribe to older cars a level of style, class, personality, soul--call it what you will--that the new stuff doesn't have. That's not really true. In every era there are cars with soul, and cars with no soul. My '08 GTI (future car lust topic) has soul; an '08 Camry is just an appliance. The older stuff seems more interesting because of a sort of Darwinian selection--all the uninteresting cars from, say, 1963 have been abandoned, forgotten, and fed to the electric furnace at your friendly local mini-mill. You go to a car show, and the only '63s you see are the ones that were interesting enough to someone to preserve--the GTOs and Avantis and XKEs and 409s.

Cookie the Dog's Owner: "The older stuff seems more interesting because of a sort of Darwinian selection ..."

You're right - the most interesting cars are remembered and preserved, and the dross is ignored.

But I'll take a slightly different angle on that. Even the run-of-the-mill 1963 car accidentally preserved all of these years will get appreciative looks and questions. It's rarity at work - even if those cars were uninteresting at the time, they are interesting within the context of the cars on the road in 2008. Witness the Ford Falcon - a bare-bones little car at the time, now a cult favorite. Same deal with the Pinto, Gremlin, Maverick - people are starting to rally around the cars, form clubs, and values are starting to rise.

It's even more than scarcity, I think. These cars are now so old that they have begun to accumulate memories, anecdotes, and fond recollection. That's the lesson of this blog, I think. Most of the cars we feature aren't great cars, but people remember them fondly.

From my Defense of Ugly Cars post:
http://www.carlustblog.com/2007/09/in-defense-of-u.html
"The thing is, I like these cars. They evoke a bygone era--thousands upon thousands of people drove them and look back fondly on them. My extended family was a bunch of AMC fanatics that owned a Pacer, several Alliances, and a bunch of Jeeps. I saw a pristine blue Ford Maverick at a car show the other day that took my breath away--much more so than the 485th spectacular Chevelle SS at the show that looked just like the others."

From "Thoughts on Terrible 1970s American cars ..."
http://www.carlustblog.com/2007/12/thoughts-on-ter.html
"Many 1970s American cars are empirically bad - slow, inefficient, overstyled, under-engineered - but they are still interesting. Most people read history in books or watch it on TV; 1970s cars are rolling history, imbued with the spirit of both the people who design them and the people that use them.

Take, say, the Pinto. Not a great car. In fact, many people think it was one of the worst cars of the 1970s. Somewhere, three decades ago, a designer proudly unveiled it to the bosses at Ford; workers spent their waking hours building it. Young families bought Pintos, showed Pintos off to their friends, washed Pintos in their driveways, drove their babies home from the hospital in Pintos. Some of you drove Pintos; some of your parents or grandparents drove Pintos. Pintos were on TV, in movies, in magazines and newspapers.

The Pinto is part of the fabric of our history. Drive one today, and you can share that. The sloppy suspension, the awkward styling, the tractor-like engine; these place you bodily back in the 1970s. You experience exactly what drivers experienced in the 1970s. The realities of the OPEC difficulties, the emissions crackdown, the priorities of Americans in the 1970s--these are all reflected in the Pinto, frozen in sheetmetal and glass.

A Pinto isn't just a crappy car from the 1970s--it is a veritable time machine. It's an anthropological statement that is still useful enough to do the vast majority things that people do with their cars every day. You can still get to work, pick up groceries, or drive long distances on the freeway."

As an aside, every now and then I am seized by the temptation to go through all of my repair receipts and calculate how much I've spent on this thing over the years.

Then I hit myself over the head with a hammer until the urge passes.

CH: "The Pinto is part of the fabric of our history."

Well said. Although they're incredibly neat, I get a bit tired of all the attention paid to supercars and such. 99.999% of the public will never drive a Bugatti Veyron or a Countach or a Deusenberg, but nearly everyone has had or known someone who had a Pinto or a Chevelle or a Falcon, which helped the bulk of the population carry out their daily business.

It's actually something of an issue in archaeology. Archys have tended to focus on only the big exciting stuff -- tombs, temples, and texts -- which were used by only a tiny portion of the ruling elite. But that 99.99% of the population which is largely anonymous is what made all the cool stuff possible through their daily labor and carrying on with their lives.

Anthony, you speak the truth.

When I was coming up my dad insisted on owning Studebakers. He also had only daughters, so guess who had to help work on these beautiful, but totally unreliable cars over the weekend? And I remember very few weekends that we weren't tinkering with cars. My girlhood was blighted by never knowing of a morning whether one or the other of the two Studebakers (the Commander was worse, but the Avanti later got that way) was going to start up, or whether there would be fraught moments before taking off for work or school, of my dad having to go under the hood to dick around with the carburetor, snarling at us kids just because we were there; having to wait outside in the car for.freaking.ever while my parents were in some store or other, with one foot lightly on the accelerator, ready to give it a little gas because of a distressing tendency to stall out at idle, and if it did, God only knew if it would start up again (often it didn't). When later on my own cars included an AMC Pacer and a Chevy Citation, they imparted a certain sense of familiarity, like the abused child who grows up to marry an abusive mate. Vintage cars, bah! And yet--when Florida discontinued the antique/collectable license plate, I was disappointed. My '90 Nissan 240SX, which I gave my son to drive, would have been eligible in '10. Oh, well...

Anthony: "Although they're incredibly neat, I get a bit tired of all the attention paid to supercars and such. 99.999% of the public will never drive a Bugatti Veyron or a Countach or a Deusenberg, but nearly everyone has had or known someone who had a Pinto or a Chevelle or a Falcon, which helped the bulk of the population carry out their daily business. "

Anthony, it's as if we're sharing one brain. From the In Defense of Ugly Cars post:
"Cars are like people--beautiful, perfect people are interesting from time to time, but if that's your entire world, they get very dull. That's one failure of some car magazines, I think--they overdo the exotics to the point where they become mundane and commonplace. There is beauty and wonder in all levels of the automotive world."

Several weeks ago, one of our neighbors down the street had their annual yard sale. Among the items they were trying to unload was a 1963 Chevrolet Biscayne, the bottom-drawer entry-level Chevy with the straight 6-cylinder engine, three on the tree, and no options. It had the original silver paint with red vinyl everything on the inside. This was probably somebody's first new car once.

It was nothing special in '63, and aside from the very different look of the thing, the five foot long rear end typical of early 60's GM cars, for example, it wasn't anything special now. I figure most of them probably wound up, as Cookie suggested, in the recycler. This could, by virtue of its ordinariness, the very last '63 Biscayne within a thousand miles of central New York.

I don't know where the car wound up, and my wife probably would have raised holy hell if I bought the thing, but I should have begged to take it for a ride, just to say I did it.

Thanks for the reality check!

"Old cars suck"

Eh.... sort of. I mean, they don't have the performance or relability of a brand new vehicle, but so what. I've owned 'old cars' my whole life, and one of the benefits of an older vehicle is that they're generally easier to work on. Try replacing a starter in any new car. Ugh. On an old car, they're generally pretty easy. Most things are rather easy to replace on an older car, and a new car does NOT guarantee reliability. My daily driver currently has 268,000 miles and is 19 years old. Know what? It's fine. It's simple, reliable, and fun to drive. Same with almost any other older car I've owned. I think old cars are great... the only reason I don't have something a bit nicer is because I don't want to subject something really rare to the awful winters we have around here. If I lived in Cali, I'd definitely be rolling around in something even older, and more exclusive. :)

Sorry Cookie... I don't think any new VW has 'soul'. It starts just as reliably as the camry, is just as complex, etc. To be fair, I really don't think my SVX has much of a soul either. Now my 89 accord LX with a 5spd and weber conversion? It is about as soulful as an old british roadster. You need to KNOW the car in order to drive it well, you need to recognize what squeaks are okay, and which noises might be problems.

My first newish car was a '92 Dodge Spirit R/T.

My car after that was a 1966 Oldsmobile F85...

The F85 was way more reliable, and it looked classier. Only thing it didn't have was speed.

I think if you're going to jump into old car ownership, you better have a backup plan. I try to balance the old with the new between my vintage BMW 635CSi and the newer Subaru Forester. Some days the BMW is bliss, the inline 6 purring as the highway miles melt away. Other days, it can be a real bastard. Right now it's awaiting a part from Germany (thankfully available). Some days I have my mind on other things and just want to climb into my newer cocoon-like appliance and not have to worry about something going wrong.

In defense of old cars, sometimes what makes them good is what they DON'T have. I feel much more attentive when driving an old car, increasing my perceived safety without modern equipment.

Seguin - You are absolutely right about the reliability of the Spirit R/T. I mean, we're talking about a car with three turbos and a TIMING BELT. Ultimately, it was the fastest, most interesting K-Car ever made, and it ran like it.

I still want one.

As for old cars - I understand. I have a '64 Chevy C-10 that just blew a clutch last weekend and does 0-60 in about 2.3 days (283 V-8). I have a '93 Dakota with all kinds of fun, non-critical problems, including a passenger door that won't open from the inside because I locked my keys in there one day and the tow truck driver that came out to let me back in knocked the door latch loose. On the one hand, the Dakota can be a little infuriating. On the other hand, it is supremely easy to work on; I don't know who came up with torsion bars, but from a pure ease-of-repair standpoint, they are the most beautiful things in existence.

Then again, it's fun to do things in old cars that everyone else takes for granted. When I drive 50+ miles to work each waya, I think I'm doing something amazing because I'm putting over 100 miles on a 15 year old Dakota; if I was driving, say, a newish Civic, who would care? When I go to the gas station in the old Chevy and put a few paper towels under the nozzle because the truck was built for larger leaded gasoline nozzles, I'm proud of my ingenuity. When I have to let a friend drive the old Chevy and I explain why 1st gear isn't worth it, it puts a smile on my face. Sure, these are all things that can be done better, faster, safer, and probably cheaper in just about anything made in the past five years, but so what?

Now, ask me about my IBM XT with the 20 MB Winchester drive... oh yes, it works. I even installed TopView on it last year, just to see if I could do it.

Most cars have to pass the test of time before they are appreciated. There are a few instant classics, as every Ferrari, Mustang, and Corvette ever made has a heritage and a following. But a few special interest models suck as Fieros, BMW Sharks, and Mustang IIs have their special place among those of us who don't have the keys to one of those... yet.

such

Nice writeup on the Mustang II,
"Is having one of these things worth it? It's certainly not for everybody. It's almost a requirement that you become at least somewhat mechanically proficient, if only to avoid putting your mechanic's entire extended family through college. In most cases, there's no investment opportunity as very few cars will ever appreciate in value enough to recoup the time and money spent on keeping them up. It all comes down to whether or not the satisfaction and pleasure you get from driving the car is worth the various investments you put into it."
I don't think you did anything wrong by modding it, after all you're the one driving for the near term. A car that doesn't look half bad ought to have a little muscle, after all. As for the value of these cars, well, who can guess but the value is in driving the hell out of it.

Nice piece, Anthony. Your first photo hit me especially hard, because my first car was a 1968 MGB. It was 11 years old when I bought it, and even then it was a challenge to use as a daily driver. I can only imagine what it's like to maintain and drive a 40-year-old MG! Which is why my current old car is a '67 VW convertible. Inexpensive to own and operate in the 60s, and by my estimation the least expensive "classic" car to maintain and drive today.

Yes, driving a truly old car today can be challenging and frequently downright scary. I drive my old VW veeery carefully, allowing greater distances behind other vehicles and with a heightened awareness of what other motorists are doing. I also find that I am not in as big a hurry when I drive it. I allow more time, and enjoy the journey as much as (more than?) the destination. So what if I don't make that traffic light? I'll sit and listen to the engine for any unusual noise, check my brake lights in the reflection of the bumper of the truck behind me, and make mental notes of items that need my attention. And of course field questions from folks around me. It's amazing how many conversations I've had with people in nearby cars at traffic lights, usually beginning with, "What year is it?" closely followed by, "I had a (fill in the year). Great car!"

So, is having that old car smart, or wise? Not necessarily, but it sure helps ME to reconnect with some of the things that make driving really fun. And remember that we are talking about objects of LUST, and lust doesn't have to be sensible. Now where are those old MG photos . . .

The old phrase "80% of everything is crap" works for cars. Cookie is right, we forget about the 80% when we look backwards. The trick is to find a car that 25 years down the road will be looked on as a part of the 20% which wasn't crap. Recently it seems that the 80% is an optimistic number, my family car is a Honda Odyssey. The Odyssey is a great car with decent acceleration, ride and handling (with room for 400 lbs of teenagers and 200 lbs of dogs), but it won't be remembered.

An acquaintance of mine has an unrestored TR-4 that he drives around town on warm sunny days. At one point I asked him if he kept it garaged all winter to avoid the road salt. His response was that he kept it garaged all winter because it wouldn't start when the temperature was below about 40F. He has a toyota celica that is a daily driver. If the TR doesn't start in the morning he moves on spot over in the garage to a car that always starts.

You are right, owning a classic car is a lifestyle rather than a mode of transportation.

True, it is a lifestyle, and at times can be overwhelming, with little repairs, big repairs, tags and plates on multiple cars, taxes, lube and gas, storage and weather preparedness. I've got a 71 MGB GT and an 84 Mercedes 300D, and they can take a lot of time and attention although after several years they are both fairly reliable. I have a Jetta for foul weather days and the times the others don't want to cooperate.

everything has gotten so much better. The things I really notice are climate control and seating.

Actually, mine is my "daily driver", though for all but a year and a half, I bus to work so it's really kind of a backup car.

Funny, but I seem to be more up in arms about the state of our local roads and streets than normal. I ascribe this to the fact that I feel and hear nearly every stinkin' bump there is, while everyone else has nice, quiet, smooth-riding cars so they don't notice it as much.

The Spousal Unit has a 1997 Honda, but honestly, when we go on driving vacations we usually take the Mustang just because it's more fun to drive. Well, okay, more fun for *me* to drive. OTOH, whenever she does have to drive mine to work she always comes home and tells me about all the BMWs and what-not she blew away that day.

I drive a 71 VW Karmann Ghia on a daily basis, 50 miles total per day. Through all weather, every day, and have had very few problems. I have had 4 breakdowns in the 5 years that I have been driving it. In 3 of those, I was back on the road within 15 minutes, and on my way. Now, no defroster to speak of requires a towel to be kept in the back seat, and you are not going to drive over 70mph on the freeway, but I can handle that. Oil changes require a whopping 3 qts (.5 qt goes in the oil bath air cleaner, 2.5 qt in the engine) and they are done every 3 months with my mileage accumulation.
The incredible upside is that I can build the entire car with new parts still being produced today.

And then there are the times, when picking up one of my kids that I can hear a group of 50 or so kids being stilled into utter silence as they ask my daughter, Is that your dad's car?

Rob

One of the most entertaining car lust blogs I've read, good work. I admit to reading it with a great wistfulness in my heart, as I still lament the loss of my '78 Camaro. Yes, I do remember manually manipulating the carburetor to start it, and the loss of interior quiet was not conducive to any kind of conversation, and I would never go back to no air-conditioning - but still!! I had a different, more exciting identity driving my red sports car, and yes, my hair did blow in the wind quite romantically (never mind the hellish knots to untangle after the car ride ended!)Even with all of these drawbacks, I held on to my beloved Flame as long as I could, but having little mechanical ability, and no capable person handy to work on the car, and no money (serious divorce and court costs!), I finally had to let go. I never see decent looking Camaros on the road anymore, but I still continue to look for them, and I will definitely smile, and wave, and make a fool of myself if I ever see one again. Thanx.

You took all the bolts and nuts right out of our lusting for old car mouths.I have to have my 1969 mgb back and by god i can't stop this obsession until the deed is done.Help!!!!!

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