A 19 year old student in Halifax, Nova Scotia put up a classified ad looking for a vintage car. The make, model, year and body style are all irrelevant. What Spencer, the ad’s creator, is looking for is “…a classic car with a past that I can keep alive, and continue to keep alive through future generations, continuously adding to the history of a special car.” And he doesn’t want to pay a cent for it.
For those of you who live and die by Farago’s fatwa of 800 words or less, be warned – the ad is a bit lengthy. Spencer wants a cool vintage car, something to set him apart from the masses. It must be able to go on ultra long jaunts through the Nova Scotian countryside while delivering the utmost pleasure behind the wheel and also be a reliable grocery-getter. As far as I know, no vintage car can do all of the above in a trouble-free, cost-effective manner.
Nicholas Maronese of Sympatico Autos spoke to Spencer in an interview, and the comments were split between criticizing the “entitled” attitudes of today’s youngsters, and sympathy for a young man with a dream. Personally, I think Spencer is way in over his head, and his repeated viewings of The Graduate have put ideas in his head that have zero grounding in reality. Owning a modern, reliable car is expensive. Owning a vintage car, with carburetors, flimsy build quality, scarce spare parts and peculiar driving characteristics is expensive and trying – especially for someone on a student budget.
The idea of carrying on someone else’s automotive legacy strikes me as a flight of fancy, the kind that dissolve rapidly when your car won’t start at 3 A.M. in a desolate parking lot in a shitty neighborhood. Everyone’s first car, no matter what it is, will be part of a series of unpredictable and unknowable series of triumphs, failures, financial ruin, bliss and heartbreak. But they are yours, and yours alone.
Fortunately for Spencer, there is a car that can do everything he wants, whether its buying cereal or blasting around with the top down – it’s called a Miata. It’s great on gas, drives like a dream, and starts every single time you turn the key. Hopefully you have your own Elaine to keep you company.