by Steve Favill
So, why do we do it?
Saving old and decrepit vehicles, and rebuilding and refurbishing them when we can just to prevent their continued decay can become something of an obsession with some. Hours spent in a cramped, damp and chilly garage (if we’re lucky) might be good for the soul, but it won’t do your arthritis any favours.
None of us do it for the skinned knuckles or the occasional face full of rust particles, and I’ll guarantee that we are not looking to get rich, having spent any and all of what we might laughingly describe as “disposable income” on parts and consumables for a vehicle that might, if we’re lucky, allow us to just about break even should we decide to sell it.
Terms such as “new old stock” and “breaking for parts” will have us reaching for our credit cards without considering how we are going to pay them off, and summer weekends will see hundreds of kindred spirits heading to swap meets and car shows in an effort to re-kindle their enthusiasm or add to their stockpiles of parts.
Then what is it that makes us do this? We all have our reasons, almost as many and varied as the vehicles that we love. There will be some who want to save a piece of a rapidly-vanishing history, others whose parents owned such a vehicle so they will try to hold on to a piece of their childhood. Some of us will have lusted after such a vehicle when we were young, and there will be people who view their car as artwork that should be preserved.
Admiration and respect will invariably come from our peers, and there will usually be someone who will walk up and say “My dad/ I/ My grandfather had one of these”, sigh and gaze wistfully at the car and yet would not dream of finding one for themselves. There will always be soulless types who see no point in preserving older cars, and conversely others who will walk away so inspired that they will start taking steps to join the hobby, however humble their new project may be.
To be honest, there is probably a part of us that likes the looks and the attention that you get. But that is merely a fringe benefit, and certainly not the reason for doing what we do. I think that a psychiatrist would have a great time studying us, don’t you?
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