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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was at the Ford garage today, talking to the mechanic and the paint man, wishing time would hurry the hell up and go by so the Cougar would be finished, and the thought crossed my mind...

How many times can a car be rebuilt? My uncle had a Model T Ford. The thing was older than Moses but he could still get parts for it. For how many more years will parts be available for our Cougars? If we rebuild these 351's and 429's and 302's and whatever elses, will there be parts available in ten, fifteen, or twenty years when they need another rebuild? How about body parts, carburetors, or interiors? Will someone always be willing to make parts for the cars that remain on the road? Eventually, all the parts cars will rust into oblivion, their interiors long worn out in other cars.

I ask because I found myself telling the paint man that I would go back to the original white "someday." When someday comes, if it needs more than paint, will I be able to find the parts? I had an email conversation with Phil Parcells about stereo speakers recently. Sounds like it's not related, but he said we live in a "throw away' world. Something breaks, throw it away and get a new one; that's how we do things. We can't throw away our Cougars because they don't make a replacement for them anymore. I'm selling some albums on eBay for a friend. They don't make them anymore. Someday, the needle will grind its way through the last album on earth and then they will be extinct. Will the 67 to 73 Cougar someday disappear from the earth?

It's only Monday and I'm already getting philosophical....
 

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Good question Chas but there is really only two ways to look at it.
You can treasure you car and put it up on blocks in a heated garage covered with white sheets and go out and look at it once in a while and say shes going to be the last cougar left and will be worth a fortune someday.
Or you can do what I plan on doing, run the wheels off it til it quits then find a way to get it going again. I know parts will become obsolete and fenders will be hard to find but in my lifetime everything will still be available for a price.
My kids or whoever ends up with wvcat after I'm gone can worry about it but one they will be able to say is John really enjoyed this car, it was part of his family for years and he took pride in it.
John
wvcat
 

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John-
AMEN!!! Well spoken. I personally would love to own one of those 'special' cats that should be garaged. etc., but I know I will never be disciplined enough to do something like that, so...DRIVE ON!!

chuck
 

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Hey....CHEER UP!

Don't be so gloomy ;-)

When some cars are so rare and irreplaceable, like a Bugatti, blocks and things are machined. Sometimes from scratch. In the case of FE engines that are becoming rare, cylinders can be sleeved. That may become more common as they get rarer and good cores become big $$$$. Someone is coming out with a new 427 in iron and/or aluminum. It's not cheap (no, not at all!) but if I had to replace a motor in a Thunderbolt it would at least be possible (no I don't have a T-Bolt........darn!).

Just like the people restore quirky and obsolete Model Ts, people will specialize in 4bbls and Clevelands and such.

To some people cars are an appliance, but not many people restore refrigerators. If they were you could find a reproduction of a 1954 Kalvinator door handle.

Also, I don't think classic cars are all doomed to rust into oblivion. The Titanic maybe, but it's underwater ;-) The evolution of Titanic is eventual but sure. Our old cars on the other hand is not. We will lose a few more to accidents, theft, natural calamity and rust. But most of the remaining cars now are likely to exist as long as we'd like.

Tim B
1969 XR7 428 CJR convertible
http://members.aol.com/timbrands/index.html
 

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Chas

Just buy a couple more, that way you minimise wear and tear.

I personally find owning one of the rare ones a real chore as you have to do everything right - which leads to some Bugatti style restorations.

My 69 - Mazda mirrors, 302, aftermarket gauges, big wheels, 4 wheel Falcon discs - I'll just keep re-inventing it and welding in new panels until it is totalled or I turn up my toes

Our cars are to be enjoyed - our tastes might change - but unless your in it for investment then drive them, race them and cruise them and figure out how to fix them if (when) something breaks

After all they're only cars
 

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Discussion Starter #6
wvcat said:
...you can do what I plan on doing, run the wheels off it til it quits then find a way to get it going again.
That's exactly what I mean, John. Cars are built to be driven. There are some out there who will cringe when I say this, but even the rare should be driven. I don't think every car should be driven til it dies or even be a daily driver but a car on a trailer on the back of a truck isn't a car; it's either a work of art or a pile of metal.

But I see a lot of historic homes that are neglected to the point of collapse and then demolished. A lot of hard work went into building them and they are worth saving. Cars are the same. Unlike houses though, parts for cars will just scarcer and scarcer until they are gone.

And, Leon, SHAME on you! "After all they're only cars...?" Blasphemy!
 
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