Some of us get bitten by the bug at an early age , when we see our first cool car or hear the sound of that rumbling exhaust note. Once bitten by that bug it stays with you for life.
I pulled my first car out of weeds higher than the cars roof line and I can still remember that Camaro’sÂ nose sticking out from behind all that grass. It wasn’t much of a car with all the rust and rot that years of neglect can do to metal, but it was still worth buying. I remember my dad telling me that the owner should have paid me to take it. That was the beginning of my love affair with American muscle cars.
There is something about all those cool cars from the sixties and seventies that I just can’t move past, even with all the advancements of today’s automobiles . The simplicity of the engines, all the metal and chrome, the chirp of the wheels when pulling second gear. All the things that pulled at me back then still tug at me today, but the one thing that is lacking in today’s cars is nostalgia. The feelings and memories of being a kid race thru my mind every time I see an old car.
Describing the feelings that you get while restoring a broken down, rusty old car areÂ damn near impossible to put in words. It’s similar in a way to falling for your first girlfriend. You want to be around her all the time. Take care of her. Show her off. Sit and listen to her. Tell everyone about her. That crazy feeling inside that makes you forget everything around you except when you’ll spend your next moments in her company.
There is something that is very gratifying about wrenching and building your own car instead of buying one already done. You put your mark on it. It becomes a part of your personality. You sit in the drivers seat and everything slows down. You know it sounds silly but its not the same as just driving your Jeep or Toyota. Those are transportation and this is your piece of rolling art that you crafted so carefully just the way you dreamed it would be. All those bloody knuckles, cold afternoons in your garage changing parts, searching junkyards and the internet for that hard to locate steering wheel cap. That’s what makes old cars so special.
There has never been a period in my life when I wentÂ any length of time without an old car in my garage. Selling one off is like ending a relationship. As soon as its gone your out there looking for another to replace her. Even today as I write this, I just recently put the finishing touches on the latest build. Old car with new technology. They call it a resto-mod. I guess it had to be called something. Great idea these resto-mods, putting today’s bigger brakes, overdrive transmissions and fuel injected ls3 computer driven engines that spit out 400-500 hp and average 15-20 miles a gallon into yesterdays classic body’s.Â All of which were unheard of when these cars were driven off the assembly line but now possible because of an enormous demand for restoring these cars.