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Married To The Motor - The tragedy of classic car enthusiasts

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Married To The Motor - The tragedy of classic car enthusiasts

Geoff Maxted
August 30, 2013

Classic Car Restoration
To many people, history is just a bunch of old stuff that’s already happened. That’s a shame because, although you can’t change it, you certainly can learn from it - although social evidence seems to show the opposite, to be frank. Never mind. There is a branch of society that still considers the past to be of importance and something worth treasuring as all classic car enthusiasts will be pleased to tell you and probably at some length!

Sufferers. Classic car restoration is an addiction. This isn’t of course suggesting in any way that enthusiasts are roaming the streets looking for shady suppliers lurking in doorways, who are offering Triumph TR6 A-type overdrives and other tasty motor morsels. Yet they will and do go to great lengths to preserve that which cannot be duplicated and keep alive the traditional automotive craftsmanship so sadly lacking in modern cars.

Owners of classic cars have to devote so much of their time. Many, many hours and days and weeks of blood, sweat and tears must be put into a rebuild or restoration. Children grow up and move away with just a vague memory of an oily man. Wives take on an air of frosty martyrdom, a sacrificial lamb to the cause of the addict. It would be sad if it were not all so necessary.

Then, one fine day, your car is finished but you haven’t. There is another decision to be made. Now that all the work is done, what is this vehicle actually for? Is it intended to be a practical classic car, meant to be driven every day or is it to be cherished and loved in the depths of your garage like a stolen work of art or a mint vintage copy of Rustler?

A car that is in concours condition needs to be shown and seen otherwise what is the point of it all? If you use a car regularly it will get dirty and need servicing - wear and tear magnifies with age - but that comes with the territory. You have put in time, hard earned cash and effort into the project and you deserve to reap the rewards and enjoy the rush.

But then what? Now what are you going to do with your time? Your wife and family are fed up with you mooching around the place getting under foot and thus a solution becomes clear. Sell the finished project and start another one! The cycle begins again because addicts just can’t help themselves. The home / restoration balance is restored.

Body paint must sorted and dents dealt with. The interior must be re-upholstered to a factory fresh finish, redolent with leather. Wood must be preserved and polished; chrome must be dipped and shone. The list of jobs goes on and on. Parts must be sourced and favours called in; this is how you must feed the habit. Don’t try and fight it; that way lies madness. Give in to the passion. You know you must.

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