By on June 8, 2013

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Hate is a powerful emotion. Sure, its impact has been diminished by its new fad-like use as a term for everything from mild irritation to medium discontent, but I am still old school about the term.

If I hate something, I really hate something in that full-on way that respects the power of the emotion. Hate is not something to be treated lightly as a term, and people who accuse others of hatred should realize that it is considered to be a major decision to accuse somebody of hatred. If there is one thing I hate, then its new cars at classic car shows.

I was at a recent car show in a picturesque little town that builds the appeal of the annual show around the old iron, yet they allow brand new vehicles into the show.

The main street of the show was a blend of brand new cars and trucks showcased with the old classics. This foolish approach was one of the reasons that many car guys have stopped attending the show in recent years.

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Most of us have an enormous amount of respect for the new vehicles. They offer state-of-the-art engineering and every reason to appreciate their sheer 21st century efficiency. We also know that these new vehicles are seen on every street and highway in North America 24/7, 365 days of the year, including Christmas Day.

What we don’t see every day is a steady diet of vehicles from the last century. They have been largely wiped out by the ravages of time and use, so we celebrate them with car shows that honor the style and appeal of vehicles from yesteryear.

The subject of unwelcome guests at a car show was misinterpreted by one woman who felt that some of the older vehicles that were showing lots of wear and tear were the real culprits at the show. These esthetically challenged vehicles got her attention for all of the wrong reasons and she felt that they were an eyesore.

She had no car guy soul and could not connect the dots on the old car culture. She was completely oblivious to the fact that every one of those un-restored vehicles had a long history behind them and had lived to tell their story in 2013 through their less-than-perfect cosmetic appearance.

The new cars and trucks on the same center stage with the old cars and trucks at that show were the real intruders. The new vehicles had no story to tell because they were brand new. New car salesmen are still telling the new cars’ stories, and their only real story is their list of new car features.

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I toured the side streets and rail area to find many of the banished older vehicles that should have been front and center on Main Street at that show. Instead, they were inexplicably replaced at the main show by new cars and trucks that were the real unwelcome party-crashers for most car guys at that show.

Yes, I really do hate new cars at a vintage car show in the old school sense of the term for hatred.

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89 Comments on “Car Collector’s Corner: Hate Is A Four Letter Word – Reserved For Rare Occasions...”


  • avatar
    Syke

    Amen. And I will wholeheartedly join you in that emotion.

    Bringing up a close second: Those owners who take a low end, straight six with three-on-the-three or cheap automatic in restorable or even currently daily driveable condition and turn it into a “tribute” of some desirable muscle car.

    • 0 avatar
      slow kills

      Both groups have the same misconception that scarcity or performance, not history and nostalgia, are what matter. A small number of anal-retentive fanboys give a damn, but the average sight-seer wants to see the past accurately portrayed, not some colorized best-of reel.

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        “the average sight-seer wants to see the past accurately portrayed, not some colorized best-of reel.”

        Brilliant.

        Even though your name & avatar are kryptonite to me.

        • 0 avatar
          mnm4ever

          How would either of you know what “the average sightseer” wants to see?? I would rather see the tribute car personally. And judging from the number of tributes vs originals, I think its pretty clear which ones most people want to see. I would say your logic is reversed, only a small number of anal-retentive fanboys want to see the original low end 6cyl cars.

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            Well, for starters, women make up at least 40% of the strollers through the classic/antique shows I attend. They seldom care about engines, suspensions or modding, but, if my wife, ex and daughters-in-law are any indication, instantly recognize and appreciate the lost antiquity of lavish chroming and enameling of heavy steel. They do, after all, have extensive experience in hunting other antiques of the same periods.

            But setting aside your unconscious misogyny, all you have to do is listen to the elderly majority commenting on the cars that they still vividly remember from their youth. They remember what was OEM or not, I do, and we certainly don’t want to see these cars cheapened in any way with recent parasitic growth or disfigurement by contamination from today’s culture.

          • 0 avatar
            slow kills

            Yes, go to a show with a civilian. They will wonder why the hoods are up, ruining the lines of the car. They love the style and the color.
            It’s a show, not an auction. Can a non-afficionado “see” that the engine is a little bigger or that this was an especially rare variant? Of course not. While the owner prattles on about production numbers, serial numbers, cubic inches etc, the gawker is thinking of whitewall tires, chrome bumpers and hubcaps, and cool hood ornaments.

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            The emotional magic these unmolested cars can still work on a crowd of all ages is part of the history on display.

            It’s like standing nearby when a 2000 hp WWII engine fires up at an airshow. Respect rapidly ensues.

          • 0 avatar
            mnm4ever

            I think you guys are just old. My wife and daughters can immediately pick out a “base model” car vs. the hotted up one and every time without fail wonder why the base models look so boring. I have no misogyny here, if anything by assuming girls only care about body lines and chrome then you are guilty of that my friend. The girls I know can tell a Boss Mustang from a base model from 50 ft away easily, and they like fast cars more than history or antiques.

            And that’s not even the point here. I never said we shouldn’t have base models at shows, I welcome ALL cars, not just the ones I happen to find the most interesting.

        • 0 avatar
          Pig_Iron

          What’s the point of even opening the hood of new cars, when you’ll only be confronted with some needle blown talc filled polypro sheath hiding the engine, as though the maker is ashamed of it.
          :-/

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Three on the tree manuals weren’t that uncommon until the late 60s…buy I get it. It’s the Grand National syndrome. Buick only made a few thousand blown models yet there are scores now.

      • 0 avatar
        Power6

        Bad example, Buick made close to 30k GNs. Not sure if you were implying that lesser models are being changed over, that doesn’t really happen plenty of GNs and not enough repro parts. I think Jack coined the term Grand National syndrome as the only models worth preserving were the GNs so they seem even more common than the decent production figures.

        Conversion of base model to SS, 442, Z28 “tributes” etc. happens all the time as the repro parts market is strong.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m never selling my SRT8 and I’ll never mod the exterior.
      It’ll be one of those cars I pull out of the garage to show to people who have Flying cars, Electric cars and self-driving cars that don’t have steering wheels or gas tanks.

      The kids will call me a crazy old man (they’d be right), but I’ll say:
      “Hey kids…WATCH THIS BURNOUT.”

      I know a guy with a 1972 Lemons Pontiac in mint condition.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfKNtRcBexk

      I have to admit, I didn’t have respect for the old cars until I started driving all the new disappointments being produced today.

      My uncle and I restore FORD CAPRIS with crate engines and turbochargers/superchargers. We also restore Mustangs. We order parts from Germany and Australia. Not very easy getting parts anymore. We also do car shows.

      He swears his twin turbo capri can beat my supercharged SRT8, but we haven’t had that race…yet.

      Always nice to have someone in the family who can help you do car work.

      http://backfires.caranddriver.com/users/16057/photos

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      ………Bringing up a close second: Those owners who take a low end, straight six with three-on-the-three or cheap automatic in restorable or even currently daily driveable condition and turn it into a “tribute” of some desirable muscle car……..

      Can’t say that I agree with that, as long as they are honest with what they have done. The only reason I feel this way is that the real musclecars are being priced out of the hobbyist’s ability to buy them. A “clone” affords a person of average means the ability to have a car they would otherwise not be able to have.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I totally disagree. The type of attitude in this post is why I stopped going to car shows altogether.

    Why not make a comment on how the rodders and ’60s owners have just about completely replaced the stock pre-’55 vehicles?

    I don’t LIKE seeing new cars at a show, but I get bored seeing 50 red ’66 Mustang GTs as well. I don’t hate either one though.

    Who makes the call on what is “correct enough” for a general admission car show? What’s the line you draw in the sand? ’78 Civic? Is an ’86 Olds 442 okay? A ’90 Pontiac Safari? An ’02 Prowler? An ’07 STS-V? A completely hot-rodded and modernized ’35 Ford?

    • 0 avatar
      Tomifobia

      Generally, a show will lay out the requirements for participation when the show is announced. One common rule is vehicles should be 25+ years old. However, that still doesn’t prevent some people from showing up in an late model M3, Camaro or Challenger.

    • 0 avatar
      SoCalMikester

      “Classic” implies 25 years old, or older. That would be 1988 or older. For the ones from the 80s I probably would expect clean, low production number cars- Shelby GLH’s, SVO mustangs, clean IROC daytonas and camaros.

      The 442 and civic would be welcome to apply, the others? HELL to the no.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        It seems completely arbitrary to me.

        An ’88 Camaro is fine, but a ’92 Corvette ZR-1 or ’90 Grand Prix Turbo is destroying the sanctity of the hobby? I’m sorry, but I’m not going for that.

        Not to mention that the majority of amateur car shows put on by local chambers of commerce, charities, and radio stations are billed simply as “Car Shows” not “Classic Car Shows” with any official year guidelines.

        I’d be interested to see the flier for the show that Mr. Sutherland is complaining about.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        Chevy Citation X-11???

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        That’s antique in most states. Classic is 15 in most states. So a classic car show would be 1998 or older now. An antique show would be 1988 or older. Time marches on but the post-war culture is still caught in boomer terms

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      +100

      If you think your car is even remotely worthy of my attention I would love to see it, whether its a traditional classic, 80s, 90s, or brand new. One car show I went to had no less than 10 60′s Pontiacs, including 8 GTOs and 2 Safari wagons. I enjoyed checking out every last one of them.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        I remember someone bringing an old fake wood station wagon to the close by car show.

        But a fake wood wagon older than a Panther is a rarity, so even something that “uncool” is welcome to show up.

        And this old guy around here has a sexy green Safari wagon I’d love to get a good look at…bet it has a 428 in it. Oddly enough, it has hidden headlights, which I didn’t think any Safari wagon came with…must have been a conversion.

    • 0 avatar
      @markthebike

      Totally agree with that sentiment and besides most shows around here limit entries to pre-72 or some such year. I too get sick of seeing a parade of cookie cutter cars with 350-turbo 350 power trains in non-GM cars…now that’s what I really hate.

  • avatar
    kmoney

    Agreed, this type of thing is pointless. All collector car shows I have been to have always had a “late model” section, but it’s usually small and definitely not the main part of the show. Even then, most of the late model cars that take part are either heavily modified or out there stuff that is cool and unique; most of those mustangs look close to stock.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      I reserve real hatred for the ghettoization of beautiful, classic vehicles. Google image any car you’ve always loved, there’ll be more examples of grotesque, slammed, bling-wheeled perversions than restored originals.

      It’s like, I know we lost the culture and population wars. But I detest constant reminders.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        Sadly this seems to happen a lot to old full-sized GMs.

        Cadillacs, Pontiac Grand Prixes, Olds 98s, Impalas…

        • 0 avatar
          Summicron

          Yeah, nothing old and beautiful is immune. Hell, it even happens to Volvo Amazons.

          They’re f-in’ desecrating our temples. And they sure as hell know it.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            I wonder if you could even still find an unmolested 71-76 Delta 88 coupe any more.

            Always liked that body style, GM knew how to make a cruiser.

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            Any full-size GM from the Super Fly era is like the tenderest virgin to these creatures.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            I’d much rather have a 1977 Delta 88 coupe with a 403V8. The 1977+ models were much tighter in the body structure.

            But yes the big silly wheels trend has got to stop.

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            @PrincipalDan

            Yes, I’ve always been a huge fan of the downsized GMs. Handsome, handsome rides with much less superfluous flappy stuff.

          • 0 avatar
            Tomifobia

            @NoGoYo: Yup. I saw a showroom-fresh ’76 88 in triple tan last year in Vermont. 5,000 pounds of classy Colonnade.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Volvo Amazon?…(scratches head) What could someone do to an old Volvo Amazon and why? So, I had to look…OMG! Some are actually pretty creative.

            There’s nothing wrong with customizing an old car, hell, they’ve been doing it since the model”T”, but they belong in Rod & Custom shows. When I go to a classic car show I want to see it as it came from the factory

          • 0 avatar

            It’s funny how folks here have this visceral hatred towards the whole donk/box/bubble trend, but no one really gives a toss about the stupid “stance” craze that’s plaguing VWs and BWMs or the ridiculous tuner car craze that’s made non-riced Civics from the late 1980s up to about 2001 a relatively rare species (nevermind the ones that’ve succumbed to rust). I won’t even get started on the redneck lifts that have ZERO off-road functionality. 95% of those trucks don’t even see a single speck of mud.

            Maybe it’s how the adherents gobble up 70s/80s/90s full-size American iron, which up until recently could be found and bought for cheap in urban locales. If it was happening to relatively disposable FWD fare like Corsicas and Cutlass Cieras, the outrage might be a bit more muted. Likewise if people were donking out Camrys and Altimas.

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            If the topic here had been “stance”, ricers or rednecks you’d see plenty of squiggley viscera so directed.

            But it wasn’t. So I guess you’re complaining about our being pertinent.

  • avatar
    Tim_Turbo

    My father in law has both a 69 Camaro and a 2010. He only takes the 69 to the shows. I apprecitate a newer model that has some mods done to it, but if I want to see a bone stock 2012 Mustang GT I can see that at my local dealer. The weekly show/gathering in my area has a section for both old and new which is nice.

  • avatar
    snakebit

    First, let’s banish the over use of words like Hate and Amazing. If you find fault with something, tell me specifically what you dislike, that’s more useful. I’ll listen. I shouldn’t have to explain what is wrong with Amazing.

    Mustangers, bring on the GT-H’s, Supersnakes, and ’65 2+2 GT’s. But don’t be ashamed to bring your ’66 notchback Sprints and survivor little old lady base hardtops with no options but Cruise-O-Matic.

    I’m reminded of a dude from the UK who came over here to the States to buy
    a ‘yank tank’. What he found was a ’57 Buick Special sedan. Not a Riviera hardtop, not a Cabellero(sp) pillar-less wagon, but a plain Jane
    ‘not so special’ Special. And it looks fine. Not everybody could afford the top model car, so nothing wrong with bringing your Biscayne, Del Ray, Catalina, Olds 88, Ranch Wagon, whatever. It really is all good.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      I saw a guy with a nice ’65 Mercury Comet 202 with the 200 straight six. I’d personally prefer a 289, but the car looks great no matter what motor is under the hood.

      • 0 avatar
        snakebit

        Exactimondo, NoGoYo

        My friends parents drove Comets, but they weren’t Cyclones, Calientes, or even S-22s. So bring on the 144 CID, 170 CID, and 200 CID sixes.(save the 289s for NoGoYo and me).

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          I’m sure back in the day you could have special ordered a 202 or 404 Comet with a V8.

          Then again, the Comet and Falcon don’t seem to have been as popular as the Chevy II/Nova, so…maybe not.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            The Falcon outsold the Chevy II about 2 to 1 and lots of them had V-8s. The Comet was not as popular but even more of them had V8s. By the time the Nova became the name for the Chevy compact, and not just a trim package then yes the Nova outsold the Falcon. The Comet had moved to the midsize and the 6yl is rare in those.

            The V8 was not “special order” and back then the majority of cars were ordered to customer taste, buying off the lot was reserved for the top of the line model in the showroom that someone had to have today or the strippo “1 only” that was used as a price leader.

          • 0 avatar
            snakebit

            Looking at the 1963(1st year of Falcon 260)to 1965, I think the preponderence of Falcons came with six cylinders. As for Chevy II’s, I bet 75 percent or more 1964(1st Chevy II 283)to 1965 versions were six cylinders. I think 1966 was the beginning of heavier V8 orders for Chevy II/Nova. As for Falcon/Comet, 1966 also was the year when more V8′s were specified. I think people interested in a late’64-65 Falcon V8 bought Mustangs instead.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    @Summicron: My choice of downsized GM would probably be the Cadillac DeVille. I still see DeVilles and the later nearly identical Fleetwood/Fleetwood Brougham driving around, and they manage to be less absurd than the previous models while still saying “Cadillac”.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      +manys

      The DeVille was the only Cadillac I’ve truly wanted. The very definition of BOF American goodness. The only car I ever drove where I had more energy after a drive than before.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        The downsized DeVille (and its platform mates) and 79-85 Eldorado are the last “classic” Cadillacs in my eyes. Probably because they were the last longitudinal V8 Cadillacs.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      My dad had a ’78 Sedan DeVille, which was one model year after the down-size. To me, it was the nicest Cadillac he ever had. It was fast, handled great compared to it’s predecessors. I thought it superior to the much more expensive Seville of the time.

  • avatar
    west-coaster

    I conpletely agree, especially when there’s limited parking space.

    My local cruise night is almost not worth going to, as many of the prime spaces are taken up by late model Corvettes, Camaros, Mustangs and Challengers. The sign even reads “Classic Car Night.” Yes, Mr. New Corvette Owner, I know you just dropped 70 grand on your new ride, but guess what? I can walk into almost any Chevrolet dealership and see one exactly like it.

    Meanwhile, someone who shows up with an actual classic car has to circle the lot three or four times for a place to park, eventually having to leave his car a block or two away (and thus not in the CLASSIC CAR SHOW), or gets discouraged and goes home.

    Close runner-up: The non-enthusiast who somehow ended up with a somewhat classic car in lousy shape (inheritance, etc.) and decides that the cruise night is the “perfect” place to try to sell it, even though he can’t even be bothered to vacuum the interior before displaying it. Yes, there’s always the chance that the car was a diamond-in-the-rough that someone was really looking for, but more often than not it’s just some old POS that gets parked there week after week after week, taking up a space that an actual show car could be occupying.

  • avatar
    raph

    It all depends I say, if its a classic car show and those are the rules fine, but if its general admission I don’t get picky. I don’t care what it is, if the owner has a lot of sweat and passion in the car then I can appreciate it from a full on restored period correct Model-T to they guy that maintains a spotless daily driver to a full custom low-rider to well constructed race car to full on rat rod.

    If car shows keep people passionate about cars then mission accomplished.

  • avatar
    Summicron

    I wonder which weighs more; the red-striped Mustang or the ’67 Impala behind it?

    Hulking, stupid behemoths, like Swede vs. Gunny Highway.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      The Impala weighs in at 3704 lbs and the porky Mustang 3845 lbs

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        Yeah, checked the Impala out on OldRide.com. Man, they’ve got the stats. So I backtracked a few years… interesting to see the weight creep up 100-300 lbs. each year. I had a ’66 which seemed like God’s Own Barge when I owned it in the 70′s , but it was about 300 lbs. lighter than that Mustang.

        The prices from that era are to weep over, too.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        As if that would really work to the Impala’s advantage. Assuming that’s a 2012 GT500 with EPAS and an aluminum block the 174 pound weight penalty isn’t much of a penalty at all when the Mustang can flat blow the doors off of the Impala in every quantifiable metric except sheer size.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    I agree, but I won’t go so far as to Hatred.

    I use to belong to a classic car club, show off a old Chevy I had, but at the same time I daily drove a PT Cruiser. At the bigger shows the local Pt Cruiser club would show up. Most of the cars were very tacky, and I eventually stopped mentioning I had one too; as I had no interest in joining the club. But the same with new Mustangs and what not. Just nothing really special about a brand new or nearly new car that I really want to see.

    On that point, I got out of the whole car show scene. In the end, old or new, they were still the same cars, and it got to the point the majority of the owners didn’t even build or restore their cars; just bought them.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    Yes, new cars like the Shelby are impressive but I can stop in at any dealer and see one…maybe even test drive it. If you are showing a new car it had better be built and I mean more than some big speakers and amps in the trunk. Otherwise who cares.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    @Scoutdude: I guess I’m used to the modern optioning system that forces you to upgrade to a new trim level to get a different engine. Then again, if I see 289 Comets for sale online, they’re usually Calientes and not 202s or 404s.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yup, back then virtually every option was ala carte. Yes as you moved up the model ladder some things became standard that were optional on lesser models and there were some things that you could only get on the top of the line model. Certainly you are more likely to find a 6cyl in 202 or 404. Here is the 64 brouchure page for the 202 that states “All engines (“6″ or V8) are available in the 202 series. http://www.oldcarbrochures.com/static/NA/Mercury/1964%20Mercury/1964_Mercury_Comet_Brochure/1964%20Mercury%20Comet-14-15.html

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    I’m okay with cars from different era’s mixing it up at local shows. If we start excluding cars for arbitrary reasons, people will stop coming. And then another part of car culture will slowly start dying off.

    When I see something new at a show, I won’t pay any mind to it. Unless it’s fairly rare such as the super performance edition of Mustang or similar. My hated goes to the poorly done “ricers” of all makes.

    I do get sick of red 57 Chevys too. At the last Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, someone had a pristine brown 79 or 80 Horizon or Omni. With window sticker. Way more interesting than the umpteenth 57 Chevy, 65 Mustang or any of the “classic” classic cars. I appreciate them and the care their owners put into them, but I’ll pass it by for the time warp 88 Mustang GT convertible or similar car from MY younger days

    Every car has its place in our car history,

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Pittsburgh’s Vintage GP is great though as years wear on theyhave to Iinclude more 2002s and the early Z-cars as the allards and early lotuses simply disintegrate. It’s a step different from traditional car culture state side though. The people who go there could care less about 57 chevies and more likely want a pearce-arrow or a maserati. Two different circles completely.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I highly recommend all “car guys” come and attend the Vintage Grand Prix at least once… its a very unique event and it gives you such perspective.

        • 0 avatar
          gearhead77

          +1. Another interesting place is the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville. All manner of European cars, most very rare in various states of restoration. On my list of must do in Nashville

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Have seen a 1980 Chevy Citation, a 1975 AMC Concord DL Coupe, and 1985 Riviera Convertible Special Edition (white with burgundy interior) with original stickers, at various shows!

      As I’ve stated, an all-original, near-mint 1987 Cutlass Brougam Sedan, loaded with every option (including wire wheels and whitewall tires FTW) plus the 307 V8 and 4-speed AOD would be a fun “summer toy”–take to a local show or three (local gathering Saturday evenings at a local Wendy’s comes to mind), then tuck it safely away in a storage unit for the winter. Would only swap out the Delco cassette deck for a Delco CD player with Autolock, a GM electrochromic day/night mirror, and perhaps a flash-to-pass mod found on G-body.com.

      As I’ve lamented elsewhere on this forum, sadly, I’m sure any of these that are left, as stated in other threads in these Comments, have fallen into possession of a certain demographic with a predisposition towards wheels from the average 747, and sound systems that can blow windows out of the 20th-floor of a skyscraper a quarter-mile away.

  • avatar

    The show last weekend builds its marketing around the vintage iron, yet allows the new stuff into the mix. Today I was at the world famous Reynolds Automotive and Aviation Museum in Alberta Canada for their annual History Mile show. It featured everything automotive from over a hundred years ago into the early 80s. Very solid antidote to last weekend. The show included an Amphi-car, Isetta, 1952 Nash convertible, 1947 Buick Road-master convertible, 1959 International Harvester Highway tractor/hauler, 1952 Austin 4 door sedan, along with a long list of pre-war cars and trucks. Very good way to spend a day.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    Our local small town show is welcome to everyone. I’m a British Car guy but I don’t mind going to it, but that’s because it’s just a short drive for me, it’s free and I can goof off awhile instead of mow the lawn.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    I think the author is no better than the woman he was complaining about in the article. Who are you to decide what is cool and what is not cool?? And how can you call yourself a “car guy” and then “hate” on anything car related??

    You should be happy that people are passionate about their cars and even showing up to the show. Around here most of the car shows have died off, and I will say its mostly due to attitudes like yours. The shows they do have just have the same 30-40 people show up, never anything new or interesting.

    I could care less about seeing a 3-on-the-tree 6-cyl model or yet another Tri-5, but I am certainly not going to tell those owners they shouldn’t attend “my” show. I understand that some people might enjoy the history and realism. I happen to like restomods and tribute cars, but that doesn’t mean I cant appreciate a good original car too. And I like seeing new cars too, if only to compare the new with the old, and celebrate the fact that these cars are still around and appreciated. I don’t like donks or lowriders, but if they want to come park and be in the show, fine, bring em in and let them show. Maybe some people will appreciate it, maybe not, who cares? At least they are passionate about their hobby.

    If you don’t like new cars at your favorite shows, then why don’t you organize your own show and limit who can come, and see how that goes for you? Or get together with your own classic car and your classic car buddies and make sure you register early and get there early and get the good spots for yourself?

  • avatar
    omer333

    As a kid living in Kansas and Missouri in the 80s, you’d see lots of American cars from the 60s and 70s because people couldn’t afford brand-new cars. In the areas I lived in a new car was about as exotic as a Ferrari or maybe even a Barracuda is today.

    The biggest problem I have with car shows and motorcycle shows is that they’ve reduced machines, that should be appreciated for what they are and what they do, to circus animals.

    “SEE THE 1969 FERRARI GTO!”

    “WITNESS THE 1963 CORVETTE STINGRAY!”

    “THRILL TO THE SIGHTS OF THE SHELBY COBRA!”

    I love cars, that’s why I check out TTAC, but I can’t stand the attitude that’s creeping up in car shows from people that see themselves as defenders of the faith. I don’t care if there’s an old Buick Roadmaster from the 50s parked next to an Alfa Romeo from 1919 and a Bugatti Veyron on the other side of the show, it’s all pretty neat stuff, it’s all amazing and beautiful and other adjective you want to use.

    But at the end of the day, they’re still cars, they’re still machines and they should still be used. These guys that hermetically seal old cars and even new cars, because they’re “collector cars” or some drivel like that, they’re the ones that don’t get it.

    I met a guy on my honeymoon outside an Office Depot in Pismo Beach. I was taking a picture of his Ford GT. We got to talking and he told me about his old Shelby Mustangs and other cars, and I loved our conversation because he called every car he had a piece of shit, he said he drove them, raced them, wrecked them, repaired them, and he saw them as any other car, a piece of shit that should be used.

    That guy got it.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      Oh yeah. If I got a “lead-sled” style late 40s/early 50s car, I would be DRIVING IT. Hence why any classic car I own would probably make people angry due to having power steering and disk brakes added for driveability.

      I don’t want to die when I go out cruising because my car weighs 3800 pounds and has 4 old drum brakes.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      “he called every car he had a piece of shit”

      But he probably calls everything that; kids, too.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      “but I can’t stand the attitude that’s creeping up in car shows from people that see themselves as defenders of the faith.”

      I feel this way too. I have a pretty wide appreciation of cars as a culture, so I like to check out a good variety of shows and gatherings. Defenders of (their) faith are the bigots of the car world.

  • avatar

    I attend a long list of car shows every year for one specific reason: I want to engage myself in the automotive past-not present. Most shows I attend make this limited-to-older cars policy a rigid rule for entry. The show in my oped builds its advertising appeal around vehicles from the past, yet allows new cars into the show. That is the core issue here and it has begun to affect their overall attendance for this reason.

    We have a weekly show in our town that allows cars of every year, make and model to attend. The small collection of newer vehicles tend to cluster in their own group and the whole system works, although few if any spectators pay much attention to the new cars and trucks, given that the same cars and trucks are on every dealership lot in town.

    I look for the 3 on the trees and the odd vehicles at car shows because so few of them survived the long years between then and now. I have found that our weekly show offers a wide variety of vehicles, but most people are also drawn to the unusual vehicles. Our weekly show has grown out of every parking lot because they have gotten more popular every year with the car guy culture.

    I agree that the Tri-Fives(and 60s muscle and ponies for that matter) are over-represented at shows, but both have a massive following and were a big part of the history of American iron.

    I guess that I am not a car guy because I lean heavily toward the old iron, specifically the unusual old iron. Yesterday my interviews included the various owners of a 1959 Isetta,a 1952 Nash convertible,a 1966 Mercury four door and a 1947 Buick convertible. For some reason I was more interested in these cars than a story about a brand new chipped-up Mustang in the adjacent parking lot, so yeah-I am not a car guy.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      Actually @Jim, you are a car guy for enjoying such unusual cars, I too like the unusual or rare vehicles. But my problem is with the holier than thou attitude against cars that don’t meet your superior standards for “unusual old iron”.

      I attend car shows for one reason too: To engage myself in the automotive enthusiast world. Past, present, future, unusual, mundane, exotic, American, Japanese, European, whatever. Why does it matter, and more so, induce hatred, if someone has a car that isn’t on your approved list of what should be at a show? Just walk on by, and take pleasure in subtly letting the owner know that you could care less about his 2012 Mustang or Corvette. But when you say things like “she has no car guy soul” or “few if any spectators pay attention to the newer cars and trucks” just makes you sound like snob.

      I am just happy that people care enough about our hobby that they take pride in their car and want to show it off and get involved. Especially young people, even if their idea of a cool car is a donk, a stanced VW, or a jacked up 4wd truck. Better than showing off the latest iPhone and not driving a car at all.

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      I personally agree with the woman that Jim was slamming. For me, a classic car show is like going to a fashion show: eye candy because of it’s novelty factor, total irrelevance to my lifestyle or aspirations, and a chance to watch self-congratulatory people celebrate how they’re the only ones who get-it.

      I’m of the opinion that tomorrow’s car is way better than today’s or yesterday’s. I feel that the only car show that caters to me, a middle age die-hard yuppie, is the wine and cheese product launch at the local import luxury car dealership.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Whenever I see something odd like an AMC, Packard, Nash, or Hudson at a car show, I always gravitate to it. And fortunately people here in Pennsylvania who own cars from long defunct marques seem to enjoy showing them off.

  • avatar
    ajla

    @ J. Sutherland:

    “I guess that I am not a car guy because I lean heavily toward the old iron, specifically the unusual old iron.”

    And who said that exactly? People aren’t claiming you aren’t an enthusiast. I don’t see the need to be so exclusionary at local car shows with no official rules (or unenforced rules), while you seem to feel the opposite.

    When you start throwing around stuff like “she had no car guy soul” and “I care more about the ’47 Buick than that tuned 5.0L Mustang” it seems like you consider yourself the superior “car guy” because you prefer old cars. That attitude is why I quit going to car shows. Who wants to be involved with a hobby that has such a strict caste system?

    I never looked at the new cars when I went to shows, they didn’t interest me, but I never felt that they were unworthy of attendance either.

  • avatar
    snakebit

    OK, I just got back from an all-Corvette show in Boston. Everything was stock-looking. Maybe that is the nature of the Corvette person. Don’t know what the equivalent is in Corvette Kingdom, but in Cougar show terms, no
    ‘mangy cats’ here.

    The majority were C6(2005>)and C5(1997-2004?), then two 1953′s on loan from a Corvette restoration organization, two 1957′s, three 1958-9′s, one
    1962, two 1969-era, one 1970-1 coupe, and one 1967 small block coupe in
    Lynwood or Lyndale Blue(looks like gun metal but is called blue)with factory side exhaust, the steel Rally wheels with the unique-to-1967 small center cap(on other 1967 Chevrolets they’re part of the front disc brake option), and teal/blue leather seats. As I wrote, the lack of modifications maybe is part of the Corvette hobby thinking.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    You know what I hate? Classic cars with tasteless huge chrome rims, only excusable if bigger brakes were installed behind them.

    Well that an old expensive cars with modern radios tacked into them, even when hidden it just screams “spoiled” to me.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I agree, that like a rock show, new (nu?) metal seems out of place at an old metal show. However, I don’t hate these cars for being there, I just look at them a little less. Unless the owner truly has done something special or different with it. The generic car shows are fine to hang out and do the cruise. I sometimes grow tired of the same old too.

    That’s why in the last while I’ve been hitting up a lot of traditional hot rod shows. These are very strict on their entry guidelines, usually ONLY pre-’64 (rare exceptions for gasser style ’65s or ’66s), no billet, no wheels styles made after the ’60s, no independent front suspensions on fenderless cars. These car shows are populated by a great driver crowd, yet is still heavy on customization. The last show I went to 2 weeks ago had a nearly certain rain forecast, yet over 200 pre ’64 cars (including roadsters) DROVE to the show. I really dig that culture.

    Not to say I don’t appreciate the high dollar street rods an exotics, just when it comes to which car show to go to, I’ll be at the traditional show hands down.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    I dunno. I have a hard time thinking there are that many car shows that have that severe a space limitation that there are many cars getting locked out.

    I don’t care what you drive…if you show up like an hour and a half after the show/cruise night starts, you’re not in any position to bitch about finding it filled up…if that even happens at most shows, as I say.

    I like whatever is there, although as others have said, I would much rather find a ’65 Wildcat with a 425 in it than the usual bazillion ’66 Impala SSs that will be there.

  • avatar
    340-4

    Hate’s a bit strong. I just walk right on past; your car is on my local dealership’s lot. Stick to your driveway.

    That said, I also tire of ‘restored’ Mustangs, which are legion.

    Car shows around here are like old money – same old same old. Rarely anything new or exciting or different.

    These are the same jack-holes that look down their noses at my GS-340 and act like they are Buick experts. ‘They didn’t make that,’ I’ve heard. Oh ho. Go back to polishing your ‘street rod’.

    I’d like to see stock, worn, original cars. And cars from the 70′s and the 80′s that are holding on – big Olds’ or Cadillacs with whorehouse-red interiors and acres of metal and options that don’t work anymore. Cars in ugly green. Wire hubcaps. Landau tops. Show me cars that have mostly vanished from the road, which have been crushed instead of restored like every Stang or Camaro pulled out of a farm field.

    Ah well.

  • avatar
    Sky_Render

    I used to go to a lot of local car shows with my Mustang. But honestly, I got tired of them. Why? Because I would see the same cars at every show. And a lot of the people there were pretentious, stuck-up douchebags like the author of this article.

    I spend my time going to autocross, track, and drag race events now. The people there are friendlier and have an appreciation for any car you’re willing to bring out and race.

  • avatar
    @markthebike

    “I spend my time going to autocross, track, and drag race events now. The people there are friendlier and have an appreciation for any car you’re willing to bring out and race.”

    and they aren’t lost in the past and afraid of the future

  • avatar

    Far from pretentious and stuck-up Sky Render- douchebag would be a judgement call. The cold hard facts are that I do mix very well with others at car shows and I do like that rusty old 1965 pickup truck more than a full load 2013 diesel 1 ton at shows. My attitude would tend to make me less of an elitist by most definitions of the word.

    This issue really boils down to what I want to see at car shows as an attendee and also a writer for my collector vehicle website, but I can assure you that most car guys are firmly onside with my point of view and none of them are elitist or snobby by any means.

    Most car guys are really friendly down-to-earth people and I am puzzled by your experience with them at shows. Perhaps you need to look under your own hood when you label strangers like me as douchebags.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “This issue really boils down to what I want to see at car shows as an attendee and also a writer for my collector vehicle website”

      No, the issue is that you HATE it.

      You wrote “If I hate something, I really hate something in that full-on way that respects the power of the emotion. Hate is not something to be treated lightly as a term, and people who accuse others of hatred should realize that it is considered to be a major decision to accuse somebody of hatred. If there is one thing I hate, then its new cars at classic car shows.”

      That is very powerful language. It is not at all “friendly” and your reasoning behind it certainly sounds like the textbook definition of elitism to me.

      You think you are the superior enthusiast. You think you have more “car guy soul”. No one will want to see a car that’s only two year old. They are hurting the hobby. They are “unwelcomed guests”. They don’t deserve to be here. I HATE that they come here.

      The “new cars” (if allowed in at all) go in the corner while we take center stage. And, we won’t look their direction.

      It’s a caste system. I don’t like it. I’ll keep my classic car in my garage.

      Most new car owners are friendly down-to-earth people too. With a real passion for automobiles. Maybe the collector car owners should try to work with the new car owners instead of just hoping they disappear.

  • avatar

    You got me there-I do hate new cars at shows that pitch old cars as the main attraction in their marketing strategy and I did not intend to equivocate on that point.By virtue of your parameters, I am also an elitist when I expect to see old cars at a show purported to be for old vehicles by the town’s advertising strategy. I have no similar expectations when I attend the annual new car shows in the major cities closest to my town-or when I am in a showroom. The fact that new cars are not the center stage attraction at our weekly car shows seems appropriate to me, in view of the tremendous interest in the lesser-seen-on-the-road old cars. Incidentally, almost 100% of the old car owners are also new car owners, thus they belong to both “castes”.

    You are free to imprison your classic car in your garage if you see no value or sense of camaraderie in the old car hobby in your town. That is your choice but most of this debate has entered the redundant stage, give or take an anonymous poster’s claim that I am a douchebag. I feel that we have reached an inevitable impasse in this debate and thank you for your feedback.

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    I’m on the fence with this.

    One the one hand, in general I don’t pay a lot of attention to new-ish cars at old car shows.

    On the other hand, with things like Mustangs, Camaros, and Challengers there is something to be said for some modern examples side-by-side to really see the evolution of the model and to compare the retro cues with the originals.

    On the third hand, I’m also a big fan of when things are what they say they are (or “it does what it says on the tin” if you prefer). So if it’s explicitly advertised as an old/classic car show but it primarily draws newer iron, then there is a conflict that needs resolution — especially if the older cars are now being crowded out.

    It sounds to me like the organizers of the event need to decide what the focus should be and adjust the promotion for the event accordingly: remove any connotation of the show being about classics, or adjust the entry guidelines to favor the mix they espouse.


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