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We have been talking a lot about new cars lately, which makes sense because there are a lot of new brands, and new models and new deals available. But as we go on into the second year of this pandemic, we are also seeing that there is much interest in older cars, in getting the cars that you’ve always thought about, something that you can work on with your kids. This is a great thing because it puts us more in touch with the vehicles we love, and it allows us to connect and communicate with other like-minded individuals who also may have more time on their hands than before. Or create those connections ourselves.
If you are looking at diving deep into this world without a lot of prior or even recent knowledge and experience, you need to go in eyes wide open. These vehicles are not the modern or reliable machines you may be expecting or even remember from your youth. You will need to learn a fair amount just to be able to make a good intelligent first decision. You should do your homework first, not just pull the trigger on one of the first cars you see. Rather, you should arm yourself with the knowledge you need so when that one particular project car becomes available you are ready to make that decision.
There are lots of things you need to take into account that may well be very model-specific. This goes past mechanical solidity or cars with a crash history. Some vehicles may be prone to wiring and ECU issues, for example, which can be extremely frustrating unless you know where to go to fix them. 
There is a saying that you can tell the most about a car by how much the owner needs to prep you before you test drive. Almost all these old cars will have little idiosyncrasies. All the more so if you are looking at something with little or no or very old electronics. You will start to learn that yes you can indeed flood a carburetor if you don’t start your car properly. You will learn to understand the smells of gas and oil and grease. Maybe even the beginning or lingering smells of mold. 
As with any type of environment like this, where there is sudden demand, we also need to be more wary, especially if you are coming in without a good amount of knowledge. You may, for example, start thinking about a first generation Mazda Miata, or putting together an old Ford Escort. But if you’re coming into this relatively new, you do not necessarily have the depth or breadth of experience or connection to the community. That is, honestly, pretty essential in accessing these cars and keeping them running and restoring them,
We saw all this a few years ago, when certain vintage watches started becoming increasingly in demand to a more mainstream market, and therefore more pricey. We saw pieces coming out that were never really on the market before. Some were excellent, but others were somewhat sketchy in their provenance or their integrity. It is in your best interests to have as much knowledge as possible going in. 
You’re seeing the same thing in cars. Now we completely understand that buying a car that is 20 or 30 years old will be coming with issues, and lots of the joy of these old cars is sorting out those issues yourself, or with a group of friends or family.
We do want to make this an experience that will be enriching and memorable, and generally positive for all. So if you do start looking into purchasing or repurchasing the car of your childhood or the car you’ve always wanted, or the motorcycle you’ve always dreamed of, go into it with your eyes open. These will not be vehicles that can be assessed or tested by just anyone in the general automotive world. Many of them will require specific knowledge. And a key understanding of where to source parts and the experience of knowing which parts will be failing at this point in their lives. Also as these cars get on in years and become more popular to the general mainstream public, you will get a wide variety of people who just started joining that community. The Ferrari club owners of 20 or 30 years ago are completely different from the Ferrari club owners, for example. Nowadays, the same holds true for many such products. Previously vintage car owners had to get used to doing everything themselves to having days where the car just won’t work right to learning the idiosyncrasies and temperaments, of each special car. Nowadays they often just sign checks. Which is sad.
The learning and the journey and the hardships are part of the fun. So we fully support the idea of having something fun and interesting that you can learn about. But please understand that it’s not all romance and roses. It’s a lot of hard work, And you will need a lot of dedication. In one vintage American muscle car documentary, everyone talked at length about the cars they love and why. And then when the interviewer asked, ‘so what’s it like to drive this to work every day?” The owners all smiled and said, Oh, these are just our weekend cars if that. We all have Toyota Camrys for everything else.

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