Owning a Classic Car – the Pros and Cons

For many motoring enthusiasts, the ultimate buzz is owning a unique or classic car. Capturing the days of thunder with a fine example of old American iron or a muscle car is the dream of many.

For those who aspire to ownership of a popular classic like a mid-60’s Mustang or Dodge Charger, or something rarer like a Chevy Chevelle or Camaro, here are some of the pros and cons of owning and maintaining a classic.  

A sense of uniqueness

In a world rapidly becoming mass produced and functional, many classic car owners speak of a sense of uniqueness. Owning and driving a scarce or rare example of a car from a bygone era when more emphasis was placed on beautiful lines and big power plants is a breath of fresh air to many. 

Owning a classic also brings with it a sense of inclusion in an exclusive club and a glance at my favorite car club in San Diego highlights that communal spirit.

The drive and handling

Generally an older classic car doesn’t drive like a modern production car. The days of massive torque and leaf spring suspension meant a driver really had to know how to handle a car. For cars pre-dating ABS braking and power steering, this often means a classic ride is less forgiving of mistakes by the driver.

This could be arguably seen by some as a con, however, for motoring purists it is definitely a pro, and it conjures the days when a driver was just that – a skilled operator steering and managing the beast.

Maintenance and basic mechanics

Surprisingly, many people find that an older car is easier to work on. Once a car has undergone restoration work, it is often easy for an owner with some basic mechanic knowledge to carry out minor maintenance tasks. Remember these vehicles hail from the days of basic systems, and without the complexity those more basic tasks are easier to accomplish.

With a good network of parts suppliers and mechanical support for the bigger tasks, ongoing maintenance and upkeep can be relatively inexpensive.

Not eco-friendly

Generally speaking, the popular classic car cohort existed in the glory days long before the term ‘eco-friendly’ existed! As such, a vintage or classic car is typically far less environmentally friendly than it’s modern-day counterparts.

Lower gas mileage and higher emissions may be the order of the day here. Furthermore, things like seals, gaskets and bolts really need attention to ensure leakage is prevented.

General safety

The lack of complexity with mechanical systems also extends to general safety features with an older car. A classic car will typically pre-date safety innovations like airbags, anti-lock braking systems and all round disc brakes. Coupled with more basic suspension and steering systems, an older classic car is generally less safe than modern vehicles.

Interior comfort with some older cars is also quite Spartan, with basic heating and air conditioning systems.

To wrap up 

Perhaps the sheer numbers of rare and unique classic and muscle cars still seen on the highways stand testament to the fact that very often the pros far outweigh the cons for the motoring purist.


~ by velofinds on August 27, 2021.