YOU KNOW THERE’S a fine line between apology and modesty. I’m chatting with a couple at a car show and ask what they drive. They shuffle their feet and mumble offhandedly something like Ferrari. A little further probing reveals it’s actually something very desirable and, with a few more questions, they slowly unwrap the story. It turns out they bought it a while ago when the prices were substantial, but before they went nuts. Fortunately they had the good sense to hang on to it. Good luck to them.
Speaking of hanging on to things, I was having a chat to a young owner of a Mustang the other day and she said she was toying with the idea of selling it, because she was a bit too busy to use it much and she figured she could always buy another. Now at that stage of her life, my very strong advice was not to sell unless money was an issue. It wasn’t.
Chances are a house, career changes and even kids might pop up on the horizon, and that’s when any hope of buying a similar toy simply disappears out the window for a couple of decades. In my view, it’s always easier to keep an existing classic or swap it for another, than having to start all over again from scratch.
Anyway, back to our Ferrari owners. They had the grace, I suppose, to worry about seeming boastful about their car. Maybe one too many people had given them the cold shoulder, assuming they were stuck-up rich folk. In fact they were neither. They were car nuts and clearly enjoyed their choice, well at least in between the sometimes challenging maintenance sessions.
Another, a Monaro owner, almost apologised for his car. It was a first-gen HK. “It’s just a GTS 186S with a Powerglide,” he said, as if apologising for not having the ultimate 350 version. Really? Mate, seriously, I’d give my proverbial eye teeth to have that car. Okay, it’s not the $300,000 version. So what? It’s a chrome bumper classic and, if it gives you joy, good luck to you.
Of course the chrome bumper part is not compulsory – people gravitate to different eras. There’s no doubt the post-chrome bumper market is on the move, for the right car. Like a VN Commodore SS. Morley has one and we recently shot a stunning reader-owned example that’s been given the full resto treatment. Not because the owner thinks he’ll get rich from the exercise – he knows he won’t – but because he likes the car and thinks it’s worth preserving.
As Morley mentions in his Workshop column this issue, the poor bugger copped some flack on anti-social media (aka Faceplant) when we posted a quick photo of the project. In my experience, the most vociferous critics of your choice of car are those who have no real experience in what they’re talking about. And, these days, there is a group that derives a weird satisfaction from bitching about and picking holes in pretty much everything they see online.
There’s no need for it, people. Be happy. Close the iPad, grab the keys and point your transport of delight down the driveway. Don’t come back for a week. We did that recently with the Mighty Kingswood (see page 104) and the world seems a much better place. Give it a go…
Guy ‘Guido’ Allen
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