Why Build An Old Car??
We all know the type....lives for his old car(s), thinks every part he bolts on is worth whatever the box says, "they don't build them like they used to", new cars are plastic crap, thinks his 40 year old --insert car here-- handles, accelerates, brakes and rides as good or better then new ones, slams some paint on a car and calls it restored despite the fender flares and aftermarket wheels, and is generally not very informed.
That's not me.
There are many varied reasons for getting into old cars as a hobby. Some people like to tinker, some are trying to recapture their youth, some like hardcore drag racing (and the big engines drop into cheap older cars with no problems) some say its easier (cheaper) to build good HP and torque with an old engine, some just won't part with the car they've owned for years, some like the challenge, and some just like the shows and the friends that you make.
There are many levels to the hobby as well. The guy in the first paragraph tends to give the hobby a bad name. There is no real top, as it depends what you are interested in. In my mind however, the concours cars are the top. It takes a LOT of money, time and research to build an almost perfect restoration, and they own the cars that show the general public what these machines were like when new. I don't think the average person has any idea how hard it is to put together a 40+ year old car to any level of perfection, or what it costs. Most people can't even keep their new cars looking nice for a year or two.
Personally, I stumbled across the hobby when I was still in high school... new cars out then were not that quick...I liked power so there was only one way to go, buy an old car and fix it up. That I stumbled across a fairly rare and interesting car was a total fluke, but I had no money to modify it so it basically stayed stock over the years, and as the value of the car started going up, I realized it was best left that way.
30 years later the car is simply part of my life. It has lots of power but I have no illusions about being the fastest guy around...I simply enjoy driving my car....it's different and people react to it in a positive way. Every time I take one out for a drive, it makes me laugh and there is certainly something to be said for driving a car that you put together yourself. Anyone can buy a car.
I enjoy the challenge of trying to restore an old car back to what it was. My convertible has been the biggest challenge so far ...now thats its done I will drive it when I can, and very few will see or appreciate the money, time, blood, sweat and detail that went into it but that doesn't matter because I built it for me. The new machines (Stingray, C63 AMG coupe, M4, Challenger, Camaro, etc) will of course run rings around old musclecars stock for stock but the old stuff is still a lot of fun and I have the satisfaction of saving a car with some history from becoming another frying pan hanging on Wal-Mart's shelf.
That, to me, is what its all about.
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updated Nov 2016