Car Collector's Corner: Survivor Car, Or Not

A survivor car is a pretty narrow category in my opinion. It means that a vehicle has come through the years with all of the originality that made it highly desirable in car guy world. Lately, the definition of a survivor car has been diluted down to a wishy-washy. I watched a TV program that featured survivor cars and tried to include a repainted car in the collection as a survivor model.

So let’s re-establish a set of basic ground rules about what makes the grade as a survivor car.

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Car Collector's Corner: Honk If You Love The Classic Sound Of A Real Car Horn

Horns have always been a very important part of a car. They were invented to warn drivers of other drivers on the road. Horns were also invented to assist the middle finger in descriptive impromptu editorials that register drivers’ displeasure with other drivers on the road, and to engage in general non-verbal communication with other traffic participants.. History does not appear to have recorded the chicken/egg side of the equation which would sort out which came first in the automobile horn/middle finger debate.

Car horns have saved lives and cost teeth, depending upon the traffic circumstances and emotional control of drivers. An errant car horn can be an instant turbo-boost to uncontrollable road rage under the right conditions, but we still love them. Let’s see how much we do.

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"It Has Just One Small Rust Spot:" The Old Car Decoder

You have decided to jump headfirst into the old car game, and you are anxious to pull the trigger on the process by buying a four-wheeled blast from the past. Ahead lays a very cruel path of pain and disappointment if you make a bad decision.

The initial purchase price may be well within the price range of most car guys, thus many of them may begin to get buck fever about the vehicle. This is the exact point where emotion might blind side common sense, and where a car guy finds himself to be the proud owner of a four-wheeled nightmarish money pit.

The first step is to truly understand the consequences of an old car purchase.

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Dear Uncle Sam: We Used To Measure In Miles Per Hour As Well, Honest

I realized how far we have come off the tracks from that golden era of miles per hour when I had to cuff my over-30 nephew after he asked how many kilometers were on a large 1972 Chrysler Imperial. Those of us from a kinder and gentler time knew that old Impy was a miles car – not a kilometer kar.

Canada used to be a miles per hour country, until we recklessly elected Pierre Trudeau to run our country from the late 60s until the early 80s, with an-all-too-brief timeout from the guy in the late 70s.

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

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.

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Home Improvement's Patricia Richardson Talks About Cars

One of the worst kept secrets in show business is actor Tim Allen’s legendary love of cars, an affliction that has almost reached Jay Leno proportions. In fact the Toolman made his car addiction a major part of the storyline for his classic situation comedy “Home Improvement”.

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What's The Best Car Movie? My Take: American Graffiti

‘American Graffiti’ exploded onto the movie screen in the early 70s, a little over 10 years after it happened 1962, according to the movie plot.

“Where were you in ’62?” became the question of the day in the movie trailer. Back when, most of us wished that we had been old enough to cruise around in the cool ’62-era iron shown in ‘American Graffiti’. Today, we wish we would have been born after that.

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Car Collector's Corner: When Is It Time To Let Go?

Cars are a little bit like pets. The years are not kind to either over the long run. The wear and tear begins to take a toll. They have less spring in their step, and moving around gets painful.

We notice the changes and hope for the best with a little more time together, but time waits for no one and no machine or pet. Sooner or later tough decisions have to be made and the pet or vehicle become a fond memory with a little heart-break when the decision to say goodbye is made at the end of the relationship.

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Car Collector's Corner: 1980 Plymouth Roadrunner One Owner T-top Beeper

In 1980, Chrysler was headed into the financial whitewater rapids of a 2-year recession, paddling a leaky canoe full of weak sales. Their products weren’t moving, and the survival life raft full of government loans was a year away.

Sound familiar?

They needed customers in the worst way, and in early spring 1981, 18-year-old Don Sutherland saw a brand new black T-top 1980 Plymouth Roadrunner sitting in the corner of a local Chrysler-Plymouth dealership. This was his first brand new car.

In theory.

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Car Collector's Corner: This WWII Willy's Jeep Is a Documented D-Day Survivor

D-Day (June 6 1944) was a turning point in WW II. 160,000 Allied ground troops hit the beach that day and casualties were high.

This Willys Jeep survived that day.

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Car Collector's Corner: Hidden Treasure - A Great Classic Car Museum At An Undisclosed Location

Some of the greatest car collections are not public friendly for a very simple reason. You can’t trust the public. That’s why some guys keep their collection on a “need to know basis”.

This is one of those cases where you don’t seem to have it. Not to worry, we smuggled-in a camera.

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Car Collector's Corner: The World's Nicest Survivor 1974 Dodge Van

Survivor cars are the new gold standard for car collectors. The ultimate dream for collectors is finding and purchasing a documented low mileage 427 Vette. You can do a ground up restoration, but a 1967 427 435-horse Sting Ray is original only once.

After that, what you have is a different car by varying degrees because it’s like an organ transplant in humans.

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Car Collector's Corner: Hatfields and McCoys 2012 - A Chevy Guy Brings a 1956 Chevrolet Into a Mopar Family

Years ago, Tim Sinclair married Sherry Swainson, and they lived happily ever after except for one issue. The Swainsons are a hardcore Mopar family.

So hardcore that their Chrysler allegiance extends over several generations. Also, Sherry’s family has owned and operated a Chrysler dealership since 1971.

Tim is a hardcore Chevy guy. His first car was a 77 Camaro, so this transition from single Chevy guy to mixed marriage GM-Chrysler couple had bumpy ride written all over it.

It got worse when Tim ventured into the old car world.

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Car Collector's Corner, Memorial Day Edition: 1952 Ford Jeep M-38 Korean War Vet

Lee Stronach has two passions in life. He’s a military history buff, and he’s a vintage vehicle buff. This Jeep M-38 was the perfect marriage between this afflictions. Ford built the Jeep M-38 under contract for the Canadian military; its relatively low numbers make this military machine a fairly rare piece of military history.

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Car Collector's Corner:1974 Valiant Brougham With A Long Family History Gets A New Lease On Life

When you see an immaculate 1974 Valiant four door sedan at a car show, one thing is very clear: There is a story behind this car.

Few people would restore one of these dependable Mopar compacts from the 70s unless there was a good reason.

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  • ToolGuy If I had some space I would offer $800 and let the vehicle sit at my place as is. Then when anyone ever asked me, "Have you ever considered owning a VW?" I would say "Yes."
  • ToolGuy In the example in the linked article an automated parking spot costs roughly 3% of the purchase price of the property. If I were buying such a property, I would likely purchase two parking spots to go with it, and I'm being completely serious.(Speaking of ownership vs. subscription, the $150 monthly maintenance fee would torque me off a lot more than the initial acquisition cost.)
  • ToolGuy "which will be returned as refunds to citizens of the state" - kind of like the Alaska Permanent Fund? Make the amount high enough and I will gladly move to California to take advantage (my family came close to moving there when I was a teen, and oodles of people have moved from CA to my state, so I'm happy to return the favor).Note to California: You probably do not want me as a citizen.
  • ToolGuy Nice torque figure.
  • ToolGuy Pretty cool.