Car Collector's Corner: Hate Is A Four Letter Word - Reserved For Rare Occasions

J Sutherland
by J Sutherland
em car collector s corner em hate is a four letter word reserved for rare

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.

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.

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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  • Jim Sutherland Jim Sutherland on Jun 12, 2013

    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.

  • WildcatMatt WildcatMatt on Jul 17, 2013

    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.

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂