Classic cars are lovely. They’re great to look at, entertaining to drive and evocative to smell. They’re also, almost universally, a pain in the arse to live with. There are various factors, all working together as a malevolent force, lurking in the background to strike at any time and ruin your enjoyment.
Unreliability, for starters, comes as a consequence of age. Anything will naturally degrade over time and so seals will become porous, metal will corrode and whole Lucas wiring looms will turn to dust or spontaneously combust. Maintenance simply has to be kept on top of, else you’ll suffer the worst of all consequences- guilt. This is the feeling of owning a once cherished, original classic, and being responsible for its downfall. Restoration is a terrifying prospect; a black hole capable of absorbing any money, time or relationships that aren’t nailed down.
Often, modernisation is chosen instead of restoration. If originality isn’t paramount, optimization is often a better bet. Sometimes it’s done with reckless abandon, so the original identity of the car is lost after far too much cosmetic surgery. Sometimes, though, a modernisation is carried out with beautifully measured subtlety. It’s all a question of knowing when to stop.
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