22nd Jan 2013, 09:11

Today is much different for young drivers. In fact they are lucky to even have or drive a car as a teen.

I got my license in the late 60s. My parents added me on their insurance. I paid for everything else; car and gas.

My insurance for 2 teen drivers was 400 more a month. Their concern is for paying for fuel, not about upgrades or maintenance. They have to be reminded. Times were different on my end as well. It was a simpler time. My younger ones are more into cell phones, iPads, iPods, video games, computers, TVs with 300 channels, Facebook and the like.

My father and grandfather taught me about cars. And it was fun. We had sports, scouts and the like, but they passed down their knowledge. I have done my best to do the same. My oldest son in his 30s has tremendous car knowledge as well. But he was pre-internet as well.

Nowadays you don't see people outside as much in a community. I am aware as I have not moved. We didn't want to be inside til dark. One TV, one phone in the kitchen, 3 good TV channels to view. Not lots of toys then. We made our own, made tree houses and spent time under hoods of cars as soon as we could drive. There were fantastic cars even in high school. Used high performance Chevelles, Camaros, Road Runners, Mark Donahue Javelin, Lotus Europas, Porsche 914s, even a TVR Griffith. 55-57 Chevy for 500.00 range. It was a very special time. We didn't spend our money on high priced electronics as today and cells, etc. It was on performance car parts and tires. Gas was under 40 cents. You had very few single parent homes, and most moms did not work. My father, and even I today, are home at 5PM. But it is very hard to compete with the media.

My dad and I had our best times when he was working on his 60 MGA he bought brand new. I was there to mainly hand him tools, but I knew them all. My older son helped me work on my 69 SS Camaro in the pre-internet days. His hands on talent will always be there.

Today's cars are more complex and intimidating. I helped my younger son put new bulbs in his Civic EX. Didn't think you had to pull a battery to change a headlight. Front wheel drive and others have almost no room to even work on them, You have to buy a diagnostic tester, special tools, Torx drivers SAE, Metric etc. No wonder they want to go back inside.

The internet pluses I have found are YouTube videos on specific repairs. My older son pulls parts off his, eBays them for cash and buys upgrades the same way. I am sure there are exceptions with kids that love cars more than their cells etc. But the biggest thing against them is fuel cost, and if they want anything new, it's typically a subcompact or compact. A cool old luxury car is neat until a major repair hits. Then I suspect it will sit.

Give me the 60s any day. The only way I spend really high quality time today with all together is on our boat. They leave the crap at home.

23rd Jan 2013, 07:42

You know it's strange, whenever I have extra money to spend, instead of going out and buying some new shoes, clothes, or some new electronic item, I spend it on my classics. I'm always looking out for them, as if they were my own children LOL. Cars are like people in some ways; you need to feed them good food (quality fluids), bath and house them (car wash), and if they get sick, they need to go see a Doc for a repair or maintenance check up. If everyone just lounged around all day long and never moved their bodies, they would get sick or probably wind up with serious physical problems. Same goes with cars, they need to be driven; when they sit, especially for a long period of time, everything starts to deteriorate; fluids, rubber parts, bushings, tires, etc...

I enjoy the bond I have with my cars, and knowing when I fix something, it's done right the first time. I've been to repair shops in the past where they either messed up on a job, or I had to take the car back numerous of times. It gets ultra frustrating when it happens often, because then you get the feeling like you can't trust any mechanic to work on your ride anymore. Thankfully I'm mechanically inclined to do most of the repairs needed, but there are just some things a shop is better and faster at doing than yourself, if you don't own a lift at home.

Regarding the 70's Lincolns, all I can say is wow! My favorite year models are the 77-79's with the Rolls grille. I just think they look so menacing and scary when in all black! That front end has to be one of the most attractive and imposing designs ever on a car. The grille and hood is so massively lovely, and the sharp edge like fenders with the chrome signal lamp coverings is a nice touch. I mean those were the days when cars had soul, were real, and luxury was at its all time best.

You got a lot of car for your money in the 70's, there's no arguing about that; you'd have to spend 3 times as much today, just in order to obtain the same kind of interior room of an old classic 70's rolling land yacht. A 7 Series Beemer is still smaller on the inside than a 70's Continental and a Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. You'd have to shell out $400,000 for a new RR Phantom or a Maybach, just in order achieve the same status and size of the 70's luxury cars. And even so, the 70's Lincolns and Cadillacs, IMO look better than the Maybach and the new Phantom. Not to mention, no new car in the world will ever have the same level of softness and comfortable plush seating of the pillow top velour seats inside a 70's Continental Town Car, Imperials, and the Caddy Fleetwoods. You seriously have to sit inside one to believe me, they are in a league of their own. God, I wish new cars had softer seats, they are all too damn hard! Even the slightly soft ones still aren't nearly soft enough. On long road trips, the harder seats start to become uncomfortable after awhile.

Long live the 70's titanic's of automobiles! They are truly the last big cars worth driving and saving from the crusher, as long as rust hasn't ruined them!

23rd Jan 2013, 09:39

Once you get your car restored, there shouldn't be a lot of winterization. I fill mine up, and add Stabil and Startron for ethanol separation. I pull each out for 20 minutes drive to keep the seals wet. I always run maintainers on my batteries, not chargers. I don't have brake pedals that go straight to the floor. Long term, I have even used a 2 x 4 to keep the clutch in. I put mouse baits in the car and near my exhausts. I park my old cars on 6 mil poly under the tires for concrete wicking and dry rot. Nice days, year round, they come out.

I use good filters, and add ZDPP to my big block domestics. All my detail supplies I buy from US Auto Supply in Philadelphia or online. My garage is a killer guy cave with memorabilia. I have no desire to vegetate on a couch! I have friends with electric free standing car lifts in the 2k range. Do it yourself kits. That's my next item my money is going towards. You can park a car on top and one under. Then I can save for another classic to fit.

Dreams keep you motivated and happy. And off the couch.