How does the classic car world look? Are we, as reported in a modern-car magazine recently, a bunch of tweed-wearing saddos? Are we a bunch of crashing bores? Who don’t know when to shut up?
Or are we at the forefront of an exciting, dynamic hobby that can turn every commute into a pleasure-drive and every trip into an adventure?
I’d suggest the latter. But I’m biased. Running an old car has its fair share of challenges, and I don’t just mean the mechanical ones which have to be overcome with perseverance, parts, personnel (sometimes) and a deal of luck. I mean the unseen things we face every day we venture onto the highway in an interesting car. There’s the petrol station conversations “My Dad/Uncle/first boyfriend had one of those”. I can handle them.
Worst of all the procession of chancers, freeloaders, bottom-feeders, wiseguys, blaggers, opinionates, friends-of-friends, losers, ne'er-do-wells, herring-eaters, skinflints, and the day-trippers, who’ll come up and offer ill-formed hearsay as fact. These pub bores will always regale you with the tales of why you shouldn’t have bought a Triumph Stag “they overheat doncha know?”. Ford Escort “they’re worth millions now”. TR6 “problems with fuel injection on them mate”, or Moskvich “them’re rubbish them are moite” , as I was told on at least five occasions over last weekend’s Race Retro event where I put my own one on show.
But even though this attention offers challenges, it means classic lovers are BEING NOTICED. And above all, isn’t that why we love old cars – for the attention it gets us? Roll on the summer.