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Thread: Classic Cars and Classic Owners

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Classic Cars and Classic Owners

    Are old cars for old people?
    It seems to be so - if you go by what one typically sees at an old car show. The owners are mostly at least as old as their cars - and most of them are more than 40 years old, which is roughly the line of demarcation between modern cars - those with computers - and those without them, which were last made in the very early '80s.
    The owners of pre-computer (and now classic) cars are now "classics" themselves. They are into these cars because they grew up with them and remember what cars used to be like before Uncle ruined them. And ruined driving - which used to be fun, too.
    But people who are in their '20s and '30s today have no memory of what it used to be like. Most have never been in a car with a carburetor - and without air bags. They are as unfamiliar with cars that don't parent them as they are with not being asked for ID and compelled to allow a government goon to evaluate the heft of their genitals prior to getting on an airplane.
    Flying used to be fun, too.
    It isn't anymore. It is something to be dealt with - and gotten over with - as quickly as possible.
    Similarly, cars are just appliances to most in their '20s and '30s and driving isn't fun because of the endless pestering and constant threat of over-the-top sanctions for trivial offense against arbitrary statutes.
    Try to imagine being a 17-year-old kid today and having to deal with "zero tolerance" policies with regard to alcohol - something which most teens still regard as fun. The slightest whiff of beer - and there goes your license.
    Imagine being 20 - and no longer a kid, really. Possibly, working full-time. That same whiff costs you not just your license but also your job.
    It makes driving not much fun since you can't go anywhere fun or do much that's fun. Unless you're a nun - and they aren't supposed to have fun.
    Cars with computers are also forbidding things compared with the mechanical things most over-40s today grew up with yesterday. Especially to a 14 or 15-year-old, which is about the age people used to form emotional bonds with cars because they (used to) begin working on them around that time. Which they had to, usually, because the cars most kids that age had access to were old jalopies - like classic Beetles, for instance - they bought with their summer lawn-mowing and winter snow-shoveling money in anticipation of getting their learners permit at 15 and change and their full license (and adult privileges) at 16.

    Today's kids don't get adult privileges until they are practically adults - and the cars available to them are mostly almost-used-up computer-controlled cars, which aren't tinker-friendly in the way an old Beetle or similar relic was.
    Raise the Beetle's hood - and there it is, the engine. All of it. Mechanical components you can see and touch and take apart to see how they work and so understand how they work. It was the same, basically, for all cars made before the early Eighties.
    Software is harder to see - harder to take apart and understand. Or care about. It is not the same thing, even if you do understand it, to read a code as opposed to physically taking apart a carburetor and replacing a bad accelerator pump or leaky float. There's not much charm in pulling a defective electric whatever-it-is, throwing it away and plugging in a new electric whatever-it-is.
    People aren't attached to their smartphones, either.
    So long as it works - and so long as it's the latest thing - then it's "cool." But when it stops working and is no longer the latest thing, it gets thrown away.
    People didn't used to throw away their cars. They kept them, they fixed them and they handed them down to their kids (or sold them to some kid) for them to fix. Some fixed them to better-than-new and held onto them until they became "classic" cars.
    By which time, the kid who owned it had become one himself.
    ...
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  2. #2
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    You are correct in that older people want to collect cars from their youth. Basically, the cars they couldn't afford at the time. Personally, I just like to collect "neat" cars. I began driving when I was 8 on a tractor. I would have learned at 7 but couldn't reach all the controls. My mother started teaching me to drive a car at 12 but learned right away NOT to tell me to miss the pot holes on a beat up country road.

    I'm trying to wean myself from old cars. Everything I have right now was made in this Century. Well, sort of, the Cadillac is a 2000 and that was technically the last year of the 20th. On the other hand, I've titled and plated around 250-300 cars so far in my life. (Not counting cars bought for parts.)
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  3. #3
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grouch View Post

    I'm trying to wean myself from old cars. Everything I have right now was made in this Century. Well, sort of, the Cadillac is a 2000 and that was technically the last year of the 20th. On the other hand, I've titled and plated around 250-300 cars so far in my life.
    Seriously? I thought I was a bit excessive with about twenty or so
    under my belt plus around that number of bikes.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  4. #4
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    Seriously? I thought I was a bit excessive with about twenty or so
    under my belt plus around that number of bikes.

    Ken.
    I've had as many as 9 vehicles plated and insured at one time. Some I've kept for a few weeks, one just long enough for the title to come back, and some for 15-20 years. I currently have a 2000 Cadillac Escalade, a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500, a 2004 Chevrolet Impala as well as a 2002 Honda Goldwing. I think I've had 9 or 10 motorcycles but I don't really collect them or work on them for fun. I had a Kawasaki Concours (GTR1000 in Europe) that had 6000 miles when I got it and 110,000 miles when I sold it. I also had a 1980 Kawasaki KZ1000E that I put 50 miles on and swapped it off as it scared the snot out of me. That bike went through 3 more owners until one extended the swing arm and made it a drag bike. Someone had either swapped in or bored out the engine to a drag engine. At 60 mph, it began to bog down and I grabbed a handful of throttle and leaned forward out of irritation. Big mistake. In 4th gear the carbs cleared and caught and the bike reared up on me.

    I tried once to make a list of all the cars and trucks I've owned in the past. I finally gave up as I kept forgetting this or that. The state passed a requirement that if you buy and sell more than 12 vehicles in a year, you have to have a dealers license. That put a crimp on me for a bit but I'm getting older and don't work on them like I used to.
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  5. #5
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grouch View Post
    I've had as many as 9 vehicles plated and insured at one time. Some I've kept for a few weeks, one just long enough for the title to come back, and some for 15-20 years. .............
    I found it expensive enough taxing and insuring one car plus one bike. The thought of taxing and
    insuring nine vehicles (assuming they might be driven on public roads at any time) horrifies me.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  6. #6
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    I found it expensive enough taxing and insuring one car plus one bike. The thought of taxing and
    insuring nine vehicles (assuming they might be driven on public roads at any time) horrifies me.

    Ken.
    the state is prompt about getting their taxes as well as my county. However, our taxes are a lot lighter here than in the U.K. I managed to find a complete set of Top Gear, Seasons 1 through 15 and I'm working through it. Those guy sure aren't shy about complaining about the taxes and other fees folks get hammered with. They really raise a ruckus about speed limits that change without notice.

    Here in Indiana, I pay a county wheel tax, state excise tax plate registration fees and a few other minor ones. I renewed all my plates a couple of days ago. One bike, a trailer, , car, SUV and pickup truck ran me $345. That makes my plates good until July 21st, 2020. The excise tax is a property tax on the vehicle. The nice thing about Indiana is the tax drops each year until after 10 years, anything is the basic rate. A 2019 basic car and a Maybach would be vastly different on tax rates. At 10 years old, both cars are taxed the same. Don't get me wrong, you WILL pay your taxes and fees. Indiana is just more reasonable. Your speed cameras would work here as we don't have plates on the front of our cars. Some states do, Indiana doesn't.
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  7. #7
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grouch View Post

    Here in Indiana, I pay a county wheel tax, state excise tax plate registration fees and a few other minor ones. I renewed all my plates a couple of days ago. One bike, a trailer, car, SUV and pickup truck ran me $345.
    Now that is really low cost - my tax and insurance this year, on a ten year old 2 L Mazda 3 TS2
    was, at current exchange rates, $1094. The tax on the car came to $295. Our gas is $5.99
    UK Gallon.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  8. #8
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    Now that is really low cost - my tax and insurance this year, on a ten year old 2 L Mazda 3 TS2
    was, at current exchange rates, $1094. The tax on the car came to $295. Our gas is $5.99
    UK Gallon.

    Ken.

    Insurance here is separate. The Cadillac being 4X4 is a bit high because of the risk of going off road to have an accident but I think my insurance on the trailer and three 4 wheeled vehicles is about $650 for 6 months. I'm in a higher rate because of the miles I pile on. If I lived 2 miles closer to work, it would drop quite a bit. The insurance for full coverage on the bike is about $210 per annum. We pay quite a bit less in fuel taxes and this morning, a U.S. gallon ran around $2.68. I'll be across the state line in Kentucky later today and plan on loading my empty generator fuel cans to fill at $2.39 a gallon.

    Fuel in the U.k. has a slightly higher transport cost but most of the difference is the taxes piled on. Here, just driving 2 miles to the state line means 10 cents per gallon less fuel tax. Since I live outside the city limits, I've thought about putting a fuel transfer tank on the front of the truck bed. I don't know about filling it with 250 gallons of fuel though.
    Last edited by grouch; 06-17-2019 at 01:19 PM. Reason: I kant spel wurth a durn.
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  9. #9
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grouch View Post
    Insurance here is separate. ........
    Yes, it is here too, Grouch. I just lumped the two costs together to give
    an overall total. Adding a bike on would have added another $435 or so
    for insurance and $100 or so for tax to the bill.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  10. #10
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Does fuel bounce all over the place on price in your neck of the woods? Indiana has 10 cents per gallon more in the way of gas taxes than Kentucky. However, today, I saw prices from $2.86 down to $2.39 per gallon. I'm thinking tomorrow or the day after, it will go up. It'll definitely go up before the 4th of July Holiday.
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  11. #11
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grouch View Post
    Does fuel bounce all over the place on price in your neck of the woods? Indiana has 10 cents per gallon more in the way of gas taxes than Kentucky. However, today, I saw prices from $2.86 down to $2.39 per gallon. I'm thinking tomorrow or the day after, it will go up. It'll definitely go up before the 4th of July Holiday.
    Yes indeed, Grouch. Fuel costs here can change day by day. Variations in my village have ranged
    from 1.199 per liter to the current 1.329 per litre over the last few months. Considerable cost
    variations between gas stations in the same town are quite common.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  12. #12
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    Yes indeed, Grouch. Fuel costs here can change day by day. Variations in my village have ranged
    from 1.199 per liter to the current 1.329 per litre over the last few months. Considerable cost
    variations between gas stations in the same town are quite common.

    Ken.
    I know of one station that is an outlier. Fuel was $2.66 but closer to the Interstate, one station is $3.19. If you're ever in the U.S. and need to fuel up, don't pull off the interstate and fill up at the first station. A couple of blocks farther away it may be substantiallly lower.
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