I’ve always been a fan of older and classic cars. People have often asked me why I don’t tend to drive more modern cars. I think there’s a number of reasons.
Firstly there’s the consideration of economy, at least when starting out car ownership at 17, new cars are phenomenally expensive, and buying something a few years old seemed rather futile and was going to land me with something rather soul-less at best. After rather a lot of shopping around, I saw a series one Land Rover. It was a little over my price range, but after a few weeks I rang the owner who had managed to put a hole in the radiator since I saw it dropping the price considerably. A deal was done, savings were withdrawn and we set off to collect it. The drive home was possibly one of the most eventful 20 miles I’ve ever been. The poor beast needed to stop just about every mile for more water if not some other problem. At one stop my mother who had been following ran over excitedly to announce that she’d got her Sierra as high as third gear at one point in the preceding mile… It was possibly the least practical transport imaginable, thoroughly broken and quite unsuitable for my daily journey to school. Yes, you guessed it, from that point, I was completely hooked.
There is also the consideration of appearance, in that I simply think that modern cars are rather dull, and that there are countless beautiful designs from yesteryear (OK, the TR7 doesn’t count…).
I’m also a thorough believer in being able to mend ones own things, or at the very least perform routine maintenance. While that’s not impossible on a modern vehicle, it’s a lot less practical than on a more mechanically simple vehicle. Where a modern car would have a sign warning the user not to remove the covers, my Land Rover has a reference on the correct adjustment of the valves, encouraging the owner to maintain their vehicle.