The 10 Laws of Vintage Car Ownership

Modern cars are household appliances: turn them on, they go. Need to go faster? Just tell Siri to press the accelerator. Those of us who have owned older vehicles, however, know this is a different matter.

Your stomach will try to crawl out of your ear between twisting the key and hearing the engine. You start packing tool boxes for road trips. You spend a lot of time on the freeway trying to figure out if you smell like your marginal catalytic converter at best or part of industrial America.

But you definitely won’t head to another true crime podcast while you’re driving, because that what’s wrong at the back of your brain keeps your mind grounded in every sense of the present. If your ride gives you a trouble-free stretch, you’ll be there for every rattle, twist and sidewall sag that makes old things so fun to throw down the road.

If you already own something old, you know the following rules. If you’re shopping, maybe read them.

The 10 Rules of Vintage Car Ownership

  1. There is always something to fix, but not now.
  2. You should sell it while it’s working well, but you won’t because that experience is the reason you own the thing in the first place.
  3. No, you’re not going to make any money out of it.
  4. One in 10 parts will not arrive in time for the weekend.
  5. This rattle.
  6. There is always a better example to sell.
  7. You can never have enough spare parts.
  8. You will never use all these spare parts.
  9. Rust is an enemy worth fighting to extinction.
  10. This rattle.

    If you have one to add, share it with us in the comments below, because rule 11 might be that living with vintage stuff means a series of lists that never end.

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