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rconlon
rconlon HalfDork
12/15/10 3:47 p.m.

I have a confession to make.

I don't own multiple classic cars or even expect to own more than one at any time or more than 3 in my life. My wife owns the 1993 Miata and it is gettng older and, unfortunately, beat up.

I don't work on my Spider every weekend or even more than once a month. It is reliable and most of the repairs that I did in the first year still hold up rather well after 50,000 miles and 12 years. It is my principal vehicle since I don't drive to work.

I found the Fiat in 1999 to become my commuter sportscar which has, much to my surprise, evovled into a classic and then I started a club that meets 3-4 times a year. The Fiat was the best I could find and afford at the time and I stay with the make because I now know the car and I like the people that I met - they have become my good friends. I am founder, editor and a member of The Roamin' Chariots MO-AR-OK-KS Chapter Fiat/Lancia Unlimited car club.

I read two car magazines, CMS and have subscribed until 2019 and Ricambi of the FLU club to which I submit regular articles. I don't try to win a prize at a car show or race but do like to read about others who do and will attend a few car events throughout the year. I spend an hour each day on a couple of car forums.

The portion of my income going to the classic car hobby is about that same as what I toss in the loose change pot every week, i.e., not very much.

I go for one long (1 week and 1000 miles) tour each year on average and use the Fiat. I would do the tour anyway but touring in a classic car opens up a whole range opportunities that you just don't get in a Honda Civic.

So I scarcely dip my toes in the sports car hobby but I do enjoy other aspects of it vicariously through others.

Cheers Ron

André Rousseau
André Rousseau Dork
12/15/10 4:46 p.m.

I was like that too... Then the racing bug bit.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/15/10 5:03 p.m.

I think the important thing is that we all have some involvement with classic sports cars. Some have a warehouse full of cars, others have one that lives in the driveway. Either way, it's cool with me.

TR8owner
TR8owner New Reader
12/15/10 5:37 p.m.

There were times when I owned two or even three classics at the same time. I found even owning just two classics is three times as much work/effort as just owning one. Right now, I've only got my TR8 but am thinking of a TR7 rally project. You'd think I would have learned by now.

KaptKaos
KaptKaos Reader
12/15/10 6:49 p.m.

I love owning more than one classic, as it exposes you to other worlds, ways of thinking and technologies. It's also cool to see the technology across brands. A bosch throttle position switch is the same on a Porsche as it is on a Volvo. Stuff like that is cool. It also helps you to source hard-to-find parts.

benzbaron
benzbaron HalfDork
12/15/10 9:21 p.m.

Seriously one old mercedes is enough for me but I'll be damned if I don't want to get another "little something." I don't think I can afford another mercedes though, I'd love a fairlady datsun or fiat 850 though.

TR8owner
TR8owner New Reader
12/15/10 9:29 p.m.

I'll only ever get two or more classics if they compliment each other - eg TR8/TR7, Spitfire/GT6, Alpha GTV/Spider, etc, etc.

When I owned different marques at the same time, always thought you're spreading yourself too thin. At one time I had a mini, Triumph and Porsche all competing for my attention. Felt like I was being pulled in three directions.

racerdave600
racerdave600 HalfDork
12/16/10 8:43 a.m.

I used to be of the mindset that you could never have too many. For instance I once owned 8 Alfas and 3 Fiats at one time. Yes, you can get spread too thin, but at the time I didn't really think so. Right now I'm down to one classic, and it is in the starting phase of a restoration.

Lately though, I've been thinking about selling it and buying one already finished. I've restored cars in the past and like it, but I'm so busy at work and we have a grandson now, there's just never any time.

So, I've also drawn the line at one classic, and probably on the "I'm already finished" side as well.

Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
12/16/10 10:33 a.m.

I have serious issues in this regard with a current inventory of 4 cars and 17 vintage motorcycles. I am likely to sell a few of the bikes in the next year as they simply are not being used and I am an end user. I buy them to drive them and not just have them.

I have had as many as 10 cars at once and with that many they simply deteriorate by not being used and cost more to keep.

The sweet spot for cars for me as far as numbers go is about 5 or 6 cars max. If I am back in California I have year round driving weather and all of the cars get used and enjoyed regularly. As said above, I also tend to buy cars that do different things and that way I look to each of them for different reasons.

At the end of the day if you are involved with even one vintage or collector car it is a good thing.

rconlon
rconlon HalfDork
12/16/10 12:30 p.m.

One point about the classic car hobby is, when I am involved with an event, tour or a repair, I am 100 percent involved. It is like playing a sport. At the end of the day, I am spent but also refreshed.

Cheers Ron

bravenrace
bravenrace SuperDork
12/16/10 12:58 p.m.

I have 5 vehicles that could be considered classics. I've been trying for a while to get down to one.

Gary
Gary Reader
12/16/10 2:12 p.m.

I’ve been wrestling with this for a few years now. I already have Miata and Spitfire toys, but every day I think about buying something else. I have a 5-car short list of what that could be. A restored and road-worthy example of any one of them is within my budget, so that’s not a problem. And my wife even encourages me, bless her heart. But in the past year or so I’ve passed on 3 potential acquisitions because common sense took over before I pulled the trigger. My Spitfire isn’t finished yet, I don’t have garage space for another toy, I don’t have enough time, and I don’t want to voluntarily make my life more complicated. So I’ll stick with what I already have and like it, at least for now.

bravenrace
bravenrace SuperDork
12/16/10 2:40 p.m.

I really wish I was a one car guy. You know, guys that just love their car and wouldn't trade it for anything. I like too many different cars to be that guy, and it really screws with my better judgement.

Raze
Raze Dork
12/16/10 2:44 p.m.
bravenrace wrote: I really wish I was a one car guy. You know, guys that just love their car and wouldn't trade it for anything. I like too many different cars to be that guy, and it really screws with my better judgement.

I used to be that way, but once I went the opposite route of a different car for every occasion it's like stumbling into an oasis. You always have a spare for when your main is down, you get to have the utility of a truck when you need it because you have a truck, you get a top down cruiser classic because you have one that can be both at the same time, and you have the dedicated track car which you don't mind beating until something breaks because you can load it on the trailer and go home and fix it.

I LOVE HAVING MORE THAN ONE CAR!

racerdave600
racerdave600 HalfDork
12/16/10 3:50 p.m.
bravenrace wrote: I really wish I was a one car guy. You know, guys that just love their car and wouldn't trade it for anything. I like too many different cars to be that guy, and it really screws with my better judgement.

Which is why I am north of 120 cars now. I look back at this and think, I could have had any number of awesome cars if I hadn't diverted so much money to so many...then I wake up...I've enjoyed everyone of them.

Now it's just getting harder to do all the work you have to do...I'm scaling back in my old age!

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
12/17/10 5:47 a.m.

Here's how I self-limit the number of 'toy' vehicles in my fleet: I have 3 garage bays. Since I live in the land of road salt and humidity, the non-galvanized cars I tend to gravitate to must be stored inside to keep them from evaporating. Especially the Mini, which is made of some kind of steel that I swear corrodes from air molecules. If I had more bays, I'd probably buy more cars, but honestly, 3 is enough to keep up after. And now I crammed a motorcycle in there...

bravenrace
bravenrace SuperDork
12/17/10 6:45 a.m.

In reply to ddavidv:

I do the same thing. (Un)fortunately I have room to park all of my 9 vehicles indoors.

racerdave600
racerdave600 HalfDork
12/17/10 8:23 a.m.
ddavidv wrote: Since I live in the land of road salt and humidity, the non-galvanized cars I tend to gravitate to must be stored inside to keep them from evaporating.

This needs to start with a "put down the Diet Coke" warning before you read it!

bravenrace
bravenrace SuperDork
12/17/10 11:43 a.m.
ddavidv wrote: Here's how I self-limit the number of 'toy' vehicles in my fleet: I have 3 garage bays. Since I live in the land of road salt and humidity, the non-galvanized cars I tend to gravitate to must be stored inside to keep them from evaporating. Especially the Mini, which is made of some kind of steel that I swear corrodes from air molecules. If I had more bays, I'd probably buy more cars, but honestly, 3 is enough to keep up after. And now I crammed a motorcycle in there...

Same here. Years ago I bought an old Chevy truck out of Texas. It was rust free. I didn't use it in the winter and parked it inside. After a year or two I'd go into the garage and there'd be pieces parts on the floor under the truck.

Ian F
Ian F Dork
12/18/10 3:00 a.m.

I'm also space-limited. Right now, we arguably have 2 too many: my E30 and the '07 MINI (while maybe not technically 'classics', both are used as such and the E30 even has classic ins). Otherwise, the 1800ES, '79 Spitfire and her '03 MCS will easily fit in her garage and a smaller car and my TDI will fit in my garage. Unfortunately, the E30 and TDI will not easily fit into my garage and it annoys me to have a garage and have to scrape my car during the Winter...

aeronca65t
aeronca65t Dork
12/18/10 5:38 a.m.

I have three, and I guess that's my limit. A racing Spridget, a racing A35 project and a '69 street MGB.

The race-Spridget live in the one car garage at our summer house along with a Honda Ascort 500 thumper (I also have a Midget parts car strategically hidden under the deck there)

Also have the Aeronca (hangered). My street car is a '00 Miata that I bought new. It's never seen the inside of a garage.

I may have the chance to buy a Ford Model T pickup in the future (an old friend has it). I'd love it, but I don't know if I want to push her '08 Accord out into the cold.

OFracing
OFracing Reader
12/18/10 5:08 p.m.

I don't know if it's due to eBay, Craigslist, televised auctions or the economy, I've seen too many , gee I'd like one of those, cars on the market in the past year or two. I'm space limited too so when I get a few of my parts Spitfires dis positioned I'll be ready to buy again. I've been thinking of a theme in car types, expanding on what I have to other marques. I guess I'm drawn to limited production, hardtop versions of popular convertibles. From the Spitfire world, my first love, I bought a GT6. I have a 77 Mercedes 450 SLC, fixed roof, stretched 450SL variant.

For my next purchase, I've been keeping an eye out for a MGB GT (V8 would be a plus), an XKE 2+2 and if I'm lucky, a BMW Z3 coupe.

(/Dream on)

Can't wait for the kids to finish college so I can move in with them and spend all my time and money on toys.

(Dream off /)

mike

Series6
Series6 Reader
12/18/10 10:22 p.m.

I'm a late starter to the hobby. I have a great running 67 Sunbeam Alpine with a Ford 2.8 V6 and BW T5 trans. I bought it from a friend and made some improvements. Worked my nerve up and convinced myself to build one from the ground up. Found a 66 Alpine body/chassis. Now that I am familiar with the Alpine, I just want to see if I can do it.

rconlon
rconlon HalfDork
12/20/10 4:47 p.m.

I find that I am strongly attached to this one car. It would take something very special to take its place in the garage. Probably if I had two classic cars, both would want something done to them instead of having one of them perfect at all times. Maybe after I retire this will change. Cheers Ron

cyncrvr
cyncrvr New Reader
12/21/10 6:47 a.m.

Interesting to see all the posts and how similar they are to my thoughts. I have three right now and would likely have more except for the space limitations. I live in Michigan with a two car garage so two stay in the garage in winter and one sits out with a car cover. I don't like that but what else can I do? And of course my daily driver sits out too so I am always scraping snow and ice off of it every morning. I agree with Andy as I tend to have different types of vehicles so they have different applications. In the summer I try to drive each one once ot twice a week to keep everything moving, the downside to that it seems as if I am always cleaning them as I tend to like them detailed. At any rate I may build an additional storage barn in the spring so I may be acquiring a new addition soon.

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