If you enjoy driving, you’ll love the physical sensation of controlling your vehicle. But modern-day cars are less satisfying than the old, mechanical ones, in that hands-on way, as many people are finding. Perhaps you’re one of the many who hanker after those clanking, rumbling old models of fifty years ago – those dear, old, eloquent cars with their simple, accessible workings. If so, perhaps it’s time to do something about it. There’s a growing trend for going back to those golden times with a classic or vintage purchase, often as a second car, just for local pottering – so how about one for you?
Here are some of the charms and benefits to consider:
Mechanics bring you in touch.
The old models will respond with rewarding sounds and vibrations to your pedal, gear and handbrake control. Hear the engine whine in its plea for a gear change, and sigh with grateful thanks when you supply it. Feel the clunk of the gear stick and the clicking of the handbrake in the palm of your hand. Enjoy the empowering sensation of unassisted steering as you turn the big, old wheel and, on a really old car, watch the indicators pop up like ears as you switch their levers. Classic cars are fun.
Older cars are easier to fix.
Before electronics came in, a car’s workings were plain to see. Anyone with a basic understanding of car mechanics could usually analyze the problem, and often even sort it, too, without any professional help, whereas the complexities of today’s designs usually require expert attention. If you’re pining for the days of fixing your own motor, a historic car could be the solution. Doing your own repairs will also save you money, especially as classic cars require frequent servicing, and rates for such rarefied work can be high.
Vintage and classic cars can be low on insurance.
Requirements for low car insurance tend to be ones you’d naturally want to adhere to as a classic car owner. They usually include using the vehicle as your second car, for short, slow drives only, keeping it under cover in a dry environment and maintaining it in mint condition. If you can meet these criteria, you can save money that way. Some of the older models also have excellent fuel consumption. Types and individual vehicles vary in this respect, so check before choosing, but you probably won’t be clocking up much mileage anyway, so miles per gallon may not concern you. On the downside, spare parts are likely to be expensive, being rare and hard to come by, so allow for these in your calculations, and for the high costs of maintenance and servicing – unless doing these yourself. As for the selling price, check the guides on classic car websites before pinning your hopes on an immaculate, vintage Jaguar, or anything of that caliber. You’ll find a wide range of prices, so set a budget limit before browsing. This will clarify what you can get for your money and whether it’s a viable option for you at this time.
A characterful car from a bygone era will draw all eyes, and you’ll look pretty debonair at the wheel. Any smart, shiny vehicle from a previous era will exude personality, whether you go for flashy – with a Cadillac, Chevrolet or Ferrari, say – or cute, perhaps with a Volkswagen Beetle, Austin Mini or one of Britain’s much loved Morris Minors, to name but a few of the smaller models. If you can stretch to a truly vintage vehicle dating back to the 1930s or ’40s still in good working order, you and your acquisition will be the talking point of the town. But whatever you choose, it’s sure to be a treasure in your eyes.
If a vintage or classic car would fulfill a dream for you, perhaps it’s time to break into those savings or see if an interested friend or relative will split the cost for a shared venture, back down memory lane. Where there’s a will, there’s usually a way.