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hunter47
hunter47 New Reader
5/25/21 8:42 p.m.

I want what I don't have. 

My desire to own a Shelby Cobra is rivaled by my desire to own a Cayman GT4. They both are appealing to me in separate but equal ways. 

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/25/21 8:55 p.m.

I know most guys here lusted after something that was fast when they were teenagers. 
 

I didn't. I had almost no interest at all in cars when I was a teenager. I still can't actually tell you what was cool when I was in High School. I don't actually know. I was 40 years old when I first started having any interest in cars.

I love great engineering, but for me it's a design aesthetic. And I can't even explain it. It's like looking at a pretty girl, and your buddy doesn't even notice her. Tastes vary, and I don't necessarily notice the same things you do. 
 

I think the body lines of my Model A are gorgeous. I was also lusting after a new Supra yesterday. 
 

There are lots of cars I notice that I find aesthetically pleasing. From many, many decades. They are a rolling art exhibit, and history lesson all rolled into 1.

For me, there definitely seems to be a much higher percentage of great looking classic cars than modern ones.  We've got lots of cars that drive well, but are boring as crap. I can't even tell a lot of them apart. 
 

Show me a cleanly executed modern drivetrain in a fabulous classic form and I am deeply in lust. It will always be hard for me to notice a Kia, no matter what's under the hood. 

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/25/21 9:08 p.m.

I don't like old cars. I THINK I LIKE them and every time I get one I hate it for not being new. 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
5/25/21 11:24 p.m.
Tom1200 said:

So as someone who drives a lot of new cars at track days but races old cars I will say this:

New cars offer a level of precision no old car can; driving one is like being machinist, it's all about increments.

Old cars move around on the tires and tend to skate from one spot to the next; they are like wood carving, one works around any inherent flaws. 

 Or for a more basic analogy; it's Ballroom Dancing vs Slam Dancing................I like punk rock. 

Tom.  
  I'd call your car modern.  Certainly better than my MGTD with it's hand crank and 54 horsepower. Oh and knock off wire wheels plus a fold down windshield. 
  The cut away doors mean I can reach down and touch the track.  But Yeh!! 75mph is about my top speed. 
   Now that's a powerhouse compared to  some of my friends Model A race cars with their 40 horsepower and mechanical brakes.  Top speed around 50 mph. 

AaronT
AaronT Reader
5/25/21 11:27 p.m.
Wicked93gs said:
AaronT said:

Lots and lots of words that fail to address the biggest point: 

We lust after the cars that were quick when we were kids or young drivers. Boomers like pre-oil-embargo muscle, gen x and elder millennials like import tuners and rally inspired cars. 
 

If this were not true we would all be driving 32 Fords or some car that makes most 'classic' cars look modern and feature-laden.

I don't think this is true. I have never once particularly cared about 90s cars(which would have been my teenage years), This isn't to say I didnt build a 90s car or two...but I am constantly drawn to older and older cars. After I finish the '66 mustang I think I am going to look at 30s-50s Ford truck as my next project. Old cars have personality, new ones do not(90s cars included as "new"). The only new cars that are intriguing to me are the oddballs...things like a Subaru SVX, etc that look like they were designed by a person instead of a committee

It may not be true for you and it is not an infallible, universal truth. It is statistically true, though. The explosion in price of Integras, E30 M3, Supras, etc is part of the proof. The demo that owns classic muscle: Boomers. Who's going to buy those cars as boomers age out or die? The car enthusiast outliers like yourself don't make enough of a market to meaningfully impact buying trend.

https://www.caranddriver.com/features/a15112517/baby-boomers-created-the-classic-car-marketand-could-crash-it-feature/

c0rbin9
c0rbin9 Reader
5/26/21 12:23 a.m.

In reply to Yourself :

FD RX-7 and a Lotus Elan? What a garage! You have good taste.

ddavidv
ddavidv UltimaDork
5/26/21 6:45 a.m.

I did not notice that, as I moved toward newer and 'better' cars and bikes, my interest in them was waning. I had zero interest in working on my E36 M3, hardly a 'modern' car today. But, it was no fun at all to tinker with. It was always a chore. My wife's ten year old Jetta was worse.

When I picked up a Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycle as a project I rediscovered the joy of working on machinery. Simple and easy to understand. Everything accessible. No Fluke meter necessary.

I also realized I was watching a lot of YouTube content from guys like Uncle Tony and Derek Bieri that dealt with cars from the 60s-70s. Simple cars a guy could diagnose in mere minutes.

Couple that with modern cars being wholly unappealing cosmetically and I no longer pay attention to the latest and greatest. Sure, they are better in every way technically from the old stuff but...meh. Fine if you regard a car as an appliance. Not great if you view it as an interactive entity.

My next project (and it will likely be my last in this lifetime) will be a 1960s car. I'll put up with some of the archaic-ness to get something visually appealing, easy to work on and without the worry of a sensor or module becoming discontinued.

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
5/26/21 11:11 a.m.
frenchyd said:

Tom.  
  I'd call your car modern.  Certainly better than my MGTD with it's hand crank and 54 horsepower. Oh and knock off wire wheels plus a fold down windshield. 
  The cut away doors mean I can reach down and touch the track.  But Yeh!! 75mph is about my top speed. 
   Now that's a powerhouse compared to  some of my friends Model A race cars with their 40 horsepower and mechanical brakes.  Top speed around 50 mph. 

I'd agree with that statement. I happen to think the 70s & 80s are a sweet spot, especially for the Japanese cars that I love. Cars of this era have most of the new car convenience but still drive the way I like.

 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
5/26/21 3:35 p.m.

In reply to ddavidv :

A big part is empowerment.  The ability to know how to repair the car yourself without resorting  to electronic diagnostics. 
    I mean you can set pints with a feeler gauge   or confirm electricity by touching a lead to ground.  Skills that go back to the invention of cars.   
      80's 90's and beyond that's just not possible. 
    Aside from that as regulations resulted in safety as a priority over appearance cars got bigger and heavier. 
     Mind you, I'm glad the air is cleaner and people are safer.  It's just fun to go back to your roots. 

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/26/21 7:02 p.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to ddavidv :

A big part is empowerment.  The ability to know how to repair the car yourself without resorting  to electronic diagnostics. 
    I mean you can set pints with a feeler gauge   or confirm electricity by touching a lead to ground.  Skills that go back to the invention of cars.   
      80's 90's and beyond that's just not possible. 
    Aside from that as regulations resulted in safety as a priority over appearance cars got bigger and heavier. 
     Mind you, I'm glad the air is cleaner and people are safer.  It's just fun to go back to your roots. 

There's a very different component, though- the fact that modern cars don't even need to be worked on.  The only thing my Miata has ever needed were timing belts (once every 60k), brakes, and tires.  In the same time period on my Alfa, the head gasket has been changed, the trans rebuild, the engine completely rebuilt, etc.

Newer cars just don't need the same attention.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/26/21 7:08 p.m.

For me, I'm not all that fond of the sameness of all cars.

When I went to look at the new Alfa sedan, other than the nose, it's identical to every other sedan on the market- from BMW to Toyota.  I even told the dealer that.  Compare that to even the 164- which was similar to other cars, but far from the same.  Back to my GTV- it looks like nothing else, and the sedans of that era are very different from each other.

I've posted this before, I very much know that my Miata is a better car than my Alfa- faster, better handling, easier to keep going, etc, etc  But for some reason, I enjoy the experience racing my Alfa. There are just more things being told to me by the car.

Would I want to DD the Alfa?  No, not really.  Sometimes it is better to not be that engaged.  

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
5/26/21 7:33 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

That's great for those who need a transportation module. Which admittedly is most people.  
   There is a different group though.  Car enthusiasts.  We care beyond specifications in a sales brochure.  We like to get our hands dirty. We actually find it fun to work on our cars.  

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/26/21 7:50 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

We also have multiple cars.  One that doesn't wear on you as you go to and from work- which is also a car that you don't really mind if it gets dirty, paint chips, won't rust, etc.  I would never DD my Alfa, because they are hard to find in good condition.

And there are even enthusiast cars that you can DD.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
5/26/21 9:49 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

Valid point.  I DD my pickup, and did with its predecessor.  I like the fact that it worked well and needed little.  
      But for fun?   Give me something  more than 50 years old.   

"the classic-car market operates in the ventricles of the heart, where logic does not apply."   A quote from Jack Baruth of Hagerty Media

  This quote pretty much sums it up for me.

Chris_V
Chris_V UberDork
5/27/21 8:36 a.m.

I've had old cars (some of them were merely used cars back when I got them in the '80s). In fact I've had over a hundred cars. I've decided that I don't LIKE working on cars, especially when you HAVE to in order to get to work or to some event that you wanted to go to, that the car has decided it didn't want to run for. I worked on cars because I HAD to, because I was too poor at the time to buy a car that actually always worked. For example, Miatas are just better than MGBs. They give a similar, but better driving experience and you know that you're going to make it home from whatever driving event your doing that day. Even my MINI Cooper Roadster, with it's undeserved reputation for unreliability, only needs routine maintenance and optional fun upgrades when you want to do that, rather then constant needed tinkering just to make sure it runs.

And there are plenty of new/er cars that look great, too.

People complain about the "sameness" of new cars, but seriously, cars of EVERY ERA have looked similar to other cars of their era and category. Shared design cues have always been there and you can instantly recognize what era a car is from by those shared cues, even if you don't know what exact make and model it is. And then again, cars really don't look alike now, it's just that many of the older folks on here simply don't pay attention to them. Does a MINI Cooper really look like a CRV? Do either of them look like a Fusion or a Challenger? Of course not. Are there shared design cues today? Yes, there are. Just like in every era.

Saying that only old cars had style is forgetting the huge numbers of basic sedans of the '50s and '60s that were frumpy and boring and had no style other than the shared design cues of their era. I mean, when you have to tell '50s cars apart by only their grille and taillights and a few bits of side trim, you KNOW that they all looked basically alike, because modern cars are definitely more diverse than just grilles and taillights. Yes, there are standouts of every era, but that's still true today.

I'll give you a part of a car and you can determine what car and era it's from.

You may not know the car, but you can instantly tell the era. Why?

Yeah, modern cars have no style AND they all look the same frown:

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
5/27/21 8:57 a.m.

In reply to Chris_V :

I've always had the luxury of a DD and a classic.  Well, once past my teen years.  
     You are absolutely correct about how nice it is to have reliable transportation. 
  Plus you make a valid point about every era had dull boring cars.  But they also had hidden gems.  A Jaguar XKE  from the 60's.  A MGTC from the 40's. Etc. 

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/27/21 9:30 a.m.

I've been thinking about this question since this past weekend.  I spent the weekend at the track instructing and as part of that experience I got to drive several really cool cars one of which was an original Mini.

By any objective measure the Mini is a horrible car and a stupid choice for a race car.  It somehow manages to have both no torque and torque steer, in fourth gear the throttle is more of a volume control than anything else, the seating position, steering wheel angle and gear shifter reminded me of an old Allis-Chalmers tractor that I spent some time on as a kid and I'm sure I've run faster lap times in my RAM 3500 while picking up and dropping off corner workers.  But, the thing was an absolute hoot to drive and I had just as much fun running that around the track as the 911 Turbo that I also drove.

Both cars elicited a positive emotional response from me.  Certainly the fact that they both have character is a big part of that but the character of each is very different.  Is it just that we're drawn to the different?

Chris_V
Chris_V UberDork
5/27/21 10:27 a.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to Chris_V :

 Plus you make a valid point about every era had dull boring cars.  But they also had hidden gems.  A Jaguar XKE  from the 60's.  A MGTC from the 40's. Etc. 

They are the exceptions that prove the rule, like that Aston I posted. The point was I was responding to ddavidv who complained about the sameness of new cars, when that's just blatantly untrue, AND ignores the basic sameness of every era. I did mention every era had it's standouts, but the vast bulk of cars in every era looked the same as other cars. Here's an example from 1939:

And most cars in, say, the '60s were not '65 Rivieras (as beautiful as they are) but cars like this:

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/27/21 10:27 a.m.

 

See the source image

Chris_V
Chris_V UberDork
5/27/21 10:31 a.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

 

See the source image

See my post on the '39 sedans. As I said, cars of the same category have ALWAYS looked similar to other cars of that category in their respective eras. But, can you tell me with a straight face that a CRV or Telluride looks like  a Fusion or a Volt or an Aston or a Challenger or a MINI Cooper? Please. BTW, I can tell those crossovers apart at a glance, much like you might be able to tell apart all '50s cars at a glance. Why? Because I pay attention.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/27/21 10:42 a.m.

Why Do All New Cars Look Alike? | 5th Color

mad_machine (Forum Supporter)
mad_machine (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/27/21 10:49 a.m.
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) said:

I don't agree with the argument that old cars were simpler so they lasted longer.  That's been comprehensively disproved many times over the years.  We've more than doubled the age of cars on the road over the last few decades, heck even since 1995 the average age has risen from 8.4 to 11.8 years.  I seem to recall back in the 70's the average age of cars was only around 5 or 6 years.  

I can attest to that.  My two daily drivers.  the 2003 Landy is 18 years old and the 2012 Fiat is now 9.  My mother has a 2013 Buick as well

Chris_V
Chris_V UberDork
5/27/21 10:56 a.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

Why Do All New Cars Look Alike? | 5th Color

I'm a gonna ask you again, can you tell me with a straight face that a CRV or Telluride looks like an Aston, Malibu, Golf, MINI Cooper, Volt or Miata? Answer that instead of your bullE36 M3. I already said CARS OF EACH CATEGORY IN EACH ERA SHARE STYLING CUES. But none of those sedans are the same any more than any '50s or '60s sedan is identical to each other. BUT there are more differences between the sedans you posted than between a '50s Dodge, Chevy, and Ford sedan, where you have to look at and KNOW the grilles and taillights to make the identification.

Oh and from top to bottom: Altima, Camry, Fusion, Genesis, Accord, Cruze, Audi A4, Lexus LS

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/27/21 10:59 a.m.

In reply to Chris_V :

I think the fact that you can tell them apart at a glance is great, but not the common opinion.  I think you'll find that you're in a very small minority of people who think the "sameness" is equivalent when comparing old to new.

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