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Does a non-motorhead have any business owning a classic car?

  • YES!

    Votes: 8 66.7%
  • HELL NO!

    Votes: 4 33.3%
  • WHO GIVES A @#&%!

    Votes: 0 0.0%
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Discussion Starter #1
The question of the day: Is it necessary to be a motorhead to own classic cars?

Being one who knows bupkus about the mechanics of automobiles (but, hey, how many of you can design and build a house - and make money doing it?) I wonder if that lack of knowledge is reason enough to avoid cars without warranties. I can clearly see the someone with cj's knowledge of the Cleveland engine has a distinct advantage, but is it a requirement?

I think - more accurately, I HOPE - it isn't. Maybe I CAN'T tell a 351C from a 351CJ or a manifold from a head cover, but I CAN tell when the engine purrs like one of my cats. When that stops happening, I can take it to a qualified mechanic.

Okay, I do know the difference between a manifold and a head cover, but my point is I wouldn't even THINK of taking either one off. I've worked with wood all my life. Go figure.
 

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I think that the only qualification is a love of the hobby.
Those of uss who have the knowledge do have an advantage, as far as saving some money goes, but I find it hard to believe that Jay Leno - who has done a lot for the classic car community - has grease under his nails! :D
 

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Like the man says:

Don't crush 'em - Restore 'em!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good point about Leno...

Even if he was the Supreme Motorhead, where would he find the time???
 

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Some people like to work on 'em... Some people like to drive'em... Some people like to just look at 'em. If you fall into one or more of these catigories you can enjoy your classic! IMHO


Don:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
wow, i qualify in two categories!

i love to drive them and i could look at them all day.

i park outside a large picture window at my office where i get a three-quarter front view, looking down about two feet. with the cougar and my pt cruiser, i sometimes have to stop and just stare. when a car is designed to perfection you know it.
 

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I've been invloved with cars for longer than I want to admit and never messed with wood except maybe to build a dog house.
But I needed to attach a garage to my house and decided that I was going to do it myself. Guess what? I set my mind to it, asked some questions, got some help from some friends and I put the SOB up. The roof dont leak, the siding and windows look good, what else could I ask for? I made myself into a first class wood butcher. My point is you can learn as you go IF you want to. Your old Cougar is much eaiser to learn on that the messes they pass off for cars now days. Get some books, (the liberary is full of them) ask some questions and dig right in. Experiance is still the best teacher. mm
 

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Discussion Starter #8
man, you guys are relentless!

i give up already, i give up! i'll go to the library (though in this small town i'm skeptical) and see what they have. i'll buy a few magazines and see what's available. hell, i'll even go to ebay and bid on a couple manuals. then i'll study it all til i'm god of the motorheads.

but i'll STILL end up with bloody knuckles...
 

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I think it`s OK not to know how to work on your car,but you should at least know all of the "specs" on it just in case someone asks. I`ve been repairing,and modifing cars as a hobby most of my life,and not only do you save a lot of money,the satisfaction you get from it is tremendous,and the pride you feel in telling someone you "did it yourself" is overwelming! And it`s NEVER to late to learn!
 

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Jeesh, my sister never cried when she skinned her knuckles. I never cried when I hit my thumb instead of the nail building the garage either. ( I swore loudly though!!!!)
 

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I consider myself a motorhead. But I'm not a mechanic. I know many people who aren't mechanically inclined who own collectible cars. It's very important, especially for the mechanically challenged, to know about cars and the mechanics though. I'm pretty good at diagnosing problems. I know about good body work. I do my research. Know what repairs cost. I buy "good" cars to start with. You don't need to be a painter to appreciate or own a Van Gough!



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

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Discussion Starter #12
good points, 68xr7, modmark and tim...

and i don't think i'd ever seriously consider buying a fixer-upper. this car is nearly perfect and any that follow will probably be the same. still, cars do break down eventually, even new ones. it does help to know enough not to get ripped off on the repairs.

one of my cousins lives in the oakland, california area. for nearly thirty years, he has been in the business of restoring cars, mostly 50s and 60s chevys. he comes back to carlisle PA at least once a year to sell and shop. i have seen him find a rusted scrap heap in someone's barnyard, buy it, and a few months later drive a perfect and beautiful automobile out of his garage. he amazes me. i wouldn't even think about doing that.

now, give me a rundown old victorian house and i'm in seventh heaven!
 

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Sisters

My kid sister changed the gas tank of her 73 Catalina in the parking lot of her dorm at college. She did the junkyard scrounging to get the replacement tank, took it back to the dorm and changed it herself! She just crawled under there and bench pressed it into place. Way to go Sis!

This is also the same sister I loaned my Beta Cat to after the Catalina was no more. She needed a dependable car for her senior year away at college, so I loaned her one of my spares. She got 'caught' street racing a carload of guys. Well, not caught by the cops, but I heard about it later. Anyway, they were teasing her, a petite 4'-11" blonde, driving an old, beat up looking car that has a bit of rumble. She got the drop on them at the light and left them in her dust and smoke. Next traffic light, same thing. They followed her all the way back to her dorm and made her pop the hood. They couldn't believe they got blown away by a girl driving a beat-up old Cougar. :p After I heard about this, I took my Cougar back and let her drive my almost-new Plymouth Reliant K-car.
 

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Motorhead???

I think I inherited my motorhead status from my dad who got it from my grandfather. Some people have talents that come natuarally and others have to learn them and work a little harder to understand them. You may never be a great mechanic but I believe anybody can become a parts changer with a little undertanding of how things work and a manual, wheather your a carpenter or a stockbroker it really doesn't matter. One of the best things about this wonderful hobby is the support system that goes with it. I know if you lived close enough I would come over and help you and I'm sure there are a lot of others like me right in your area.
I'm lucky I built the motor in wvcat right before I designed and built a 2 story addition on my house......everybody has there strengths.
 

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I guess the true answer is .... you can do as much as you feel comforable with..... I don't have the time to do go a complete ground restore project (much less the coins) but that does't mean that I don't enjoy tinkering with my cat. Mine was gone through a few years ago before I bought her but she needs a little TLC. That , I have time for. My greatest plesure comes from driving her and getting that thumbs up for "kids" who wern't born when my cat was new. Do what you can to your cat "73" and if you can't do something, take it to a pro you can trust..... anyway.....just enjoy the sh_t out of your cat....... I do...

Don:cool: :cool: :D
 

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The Buck Never Stops Here

This thread has been pretty well covered, but I'll add my three cents' worth (it used to be two cents, but prices keep going up). I think the real issue here is what you can do yourself versus what you can afford to have done.

Restoring a classic on a budget requires that you be able to do as much of the work yourself (or mooch it from friends) as possible. The rest of the work you'll have pay someone else to do. So, if you aren't a wrench yanker, have no wrench yanker friends and you're broke to boot, you'd best stay away from classics and ride a bicycle.

In other words, you don't have to be a motorhead to own a classic, but it helps. You also don't have to be crazy to own a classic, but that helps, too. :rolleyes:

Keep on Cattin'!

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #17
so, to sum it all up...

there are three definite must-haves for owning and restoring a classic car: money, a general understanding of what a car needs, and a love for the metal critters.

the money is needed in an amount at least sufficient to buy the car in the first place and buy the needed parts for restoration. though i guess if one is given to you along with a parts car, that wouldn't even be a must-have.

the general understanding can be as simple as recognizing that there's a dent in the fender or as complex as knowing that that slight tick is a valve going south.

the love of cars can range from loving to sit in them to loving to drive them to loving to work on them.

okay, so maybe there's only one absolute must-have: the love and enjoyment of owning a one-of-a-kind, never-again-to-be-produced, i-look-cooler-than-hell-driving-this classic.

i can live with that!
 
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