Hello dear reader(s)!
Do you own an old car? How about a classic car? Maybe a muscle car? Or a classic muscle car? How about an old classic muscle car?
Well I don’t. But I did own a 1966 Pontiac GTO at one point in my life. That was awesome, except for not being able to afford gas, not being able to afford to fix it up as much as I wanted, and needing reliable transportation in months that were not summer.
However, now I own a car that is 20 years old. That car, despite having low miles, does need work on it from time to time simply because of its age. Like today for example, when my car (The Beastess) decided not to want to start this morning. I knew what was wrong, because the issue actually started about a month earlier while going back and forth to the hospital. One particularly stressful day, I was heading home and parked at a local drive-in burger place to get some delicious grubs (no, sorry, just grub) and I went to start The Beastess back up after getting my food only to hear click, click, click. On opening the hood I saw a shit-ton (technical term) of corrosion on the battery terminal. My dad came to jumpstart it, and then we went out to his house to clean off the corrosion and make sure the battery was fine. The battery was fine, but the shit-ton of corrosion on the terminals made taking them off hard to do, and the lead of the terminals was damaged in taking them off. We put them back on, clean and shiny, but with the cracks and gouges in them, it was only a matter of time.
That time came this morning, when I needed to follow my mom to the airport to drop off her rental and then hurry up and get back so I could meet a friend for coffee which ended up getting cancelled anyway. We got it running, and made it okay, but then it was time to get to work on replacing them. I walked to the auto parts store so as not to strand The Beastess somewhere other than the driveway. I picked up everything I thought I’d need, and got to work. I got the battery terminals off! Hooray! So far so good. Then, I tried to cut the cables behind the terminals with my wire cutters. Then I tried again. Then I knocked my wrench down into the engine compartment where I could not get to it. Then I fought back the feeling of utter defeat and called my dad to rescue my attempt. He saved the day.
So with that, you may be thinking, “Well Josh, that sounds like a pain in the ass. What could be good about owning an older car?”
Well, I will tell you.
- You can fit your hands in to places for small repairs. This repair would not have been possible on a newer car without removing the entire engine, or having the hands of a 6 year old girl.
- Things are cheaper. I spent about $25 on two new terminals, a set of wire cutters, and some wire brushes. If the terminal of a newer car gets corroded, you would have to pick all that up, plus the $4,795 sensor that went out in the computer because of that, plus the $5,565 in labor to replace that sensor which means pulling the engine and plugging in a wire connector.
- Power. New cars can go just as fast as The Beastess. Not many new cars have the power that The Beastess does and if they do, they cost much more adjusted for inflation than The Beastess ever did. And any politician will tell you, power is a wonderful thing.
- Weight. The Beastess weighs more than many cars on the road today. That weight, combined with acceleration, makes momentum. Simply put, if I am hit by a Kia Rio, I am not the one going to the hospital.
- Durability. Notice I did not say reliability. However, these cars are more durable than their all-plastic counterparts today. That is why you see so many cars still on the road with huge dents and parts held on with chicken wire. They take a lickin’, and then make an annoying ticking sound you can’t find where it is coming from but you don’t really care because if something breaks you (or your dad) can fix it.
- Character. Newer cars are like suburban houses. They’re all made out of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same. Granted, The Beastess is not old enough to where you don’t still see a few just like it here and there, but it is not the flavor of the week that many new cars are. It stands out saying, “Look at me, my owner is broke!”
- Nostalgia. The Beastess takes me back to a simpler time. The mid-90’s, when you could still go to a school without prison fencing around it. When music that played on the radio was produced using instruments and voices. When there was no such thing as an iPhone and all the morons who live on them. (Posted from my iPhone.) Just kidding, I don’t have an iPhone. And nothing was actually simpler than, just different. Get over living in the past, people, you make me sick.
What do you think? Do you like your cars on the older side, or do you like them hot off the showroom floor? Or does it depend on the cars?
Here are some pictures of cars at a recent big car festival thing we had here.