Author Topic: Looking to the future of classic cars.  (Read 2030 times)

Offline Mike Josephic CLC #3877

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2017, 05:10:00 PM »
This topic comes up about on an annual basis -- but this is one of the better threads
on the subject I've seen.

I agree with most of what has been posted, especially concerning the "restorability"
of the newer cars.  Automotive plastics are meant for disposable parts.  I know
since I worked for a company that supplied the basic materials that you see in
most of the vehicles out there.  They have a life span of maybe 10 years +/-
according to where you live (sunlight, temperature, humidity etc.).  Who will
make these parts when the supply runs out?  Some of these are quite large and complex.  I don't see them being easily and cost effectively reproduced, despite
the wonderful 3D printers that are coming to pass.

The other issue mentioned which is critical is the electronics.  Being a HAM radio
guy for many years I know a bit about that subject.  Most of the gizmos that run
our vehicles are not easily rebuilt.  Like many of the other parts, they are
considered to be disposable.  The belief that somebody will come up with an easy
way to take the place of ALL the computer interfaces and circuit boards in a
modern car is wishful thinking.  There are just too many.

Mike 
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 05:12:48 PM by Mike Josephic CLC #3877 »
1955 Cadillac Eldorado
1973 Cadillac Eldorado
1995 Cadillac Seville
2004 Escalade
CLCMRC Museum Benefactor #38
Past: VP International Affiliates, Museum Board Director, President / Director Pittsburgh Region

Offline bcroe

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Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2017, 06:34:30 PM »
Quote from: Mike Josephic  CLC #3877
The other issue mentioned which is critical is the electronics.  Being a HAM radio
guy for many years I know a bit about that subject.  Most of the gizmos that run
our vehicles are not easily rebuilt.  Like many of the other parts, they are
considered to be disposable.  The belief that somebody will come up with an easy
way to take the place of ALL the computer interfaces and circuit boards in a
modern car is wishful thinking.  There are just too many.  Mike   
 

That is the bottom line.  Those who think the electronics will continue to be
available don't understand the problems.  Without working electronics, you
just have a stationary museum piece.  Being a HAM since 1958 and a career
in the industry, this is not just a bystanders opinion. 

As for reliability, I see it as steadily increasing, with lower maintenance, for
8 decades.  Then I see maintenance intervals continue to increase, but car
complexity explodes.  The individual parts may be as reliable as ever, or a
little bit more.  But the number of things to go wrong degrades the overall
reliability.  The 79 I drove today has been in recent times been to Canada,
Florida, California, and New Hampshire with complete reliability.  My 77
has this bumper sticker.  Bruce Roe

Offline gkhashem

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2017, 05:20:12 PM »
As I have suspected the electronics will be a major issue.

How about the ECM Computer in cars into the 1980s. How often do they fail and they do seem repairable? Also the BCM on later cars?

Will this be a problem?
1959 Cadillac Coupe Deville
1964 Oldsmobile 98 Town Sedan
1966 Cadillac Coupe Deville (Senior #861)
1970 GMC C/K 1500
1978 Cadillac Coupe Deville (Senior Crown #959)
1984 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royal Brougham Coupe
1989 Buick Reatta
1991 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo (OCA 1st)
1991 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz (Senior #838)

Offline Mike Josephic CLC #3877

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2017, 06:34:23 PM »
Back in the day, about 25-30 years ago, these were being rebuilt and the
old units recycled for sale.  Here is a rebuilder I found in a quick search:
https://carcomputerexchange.com

I never used these people, but just wanted to show you that somebody
is still doing this!

My wife had an '81 Olds Toronado that she really loved and her car's
unit went bad. I replaced it with a refurbished unit and gave back the old
unit for credit. This was in 1990.  It took about 15 minutes.

Mike
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 06:41:22 PM by Mike Josephic CLC #3877 »
1955 Cadillac Eldorado
1973 Cadillac Eldorado
1995 Cadillac Seville
2004 Escalade
CLCMRC Museum Benefactor #38
Past: VP International Affiliates, Museum Board Director, President / Director Pittsburgh Region

Offline 64CaddieLacky

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2017, 02:59:29 AM »
The electronics will be the biggest issue here obviously, but soft parts such as weather stripping, interior bits and pieces, trim items and the likes will also be a challenge to obtain depending on how many cars were sold at the time, and how many are actually still around in 20-50 years from now.

From my observation, and currently owning a new car, the new cars simply aren't built to last 50 years like some of the old school Cadillacs were before plastics took over everything.

The 30's all the way up into the 70's, Cadillac used a lot of metal for its parts, everything, for the most part, was heavy duty and over-engineered at times, flash forward to the 90's and 2000's, all that long lasting steel, has now given way to more and more plastic parts, composite materials and other lightweight materials that wont hold up for decades.

So say if there's a light dent on a fender, on an old school Cad, you could just knock the dent out and have a body shop fix it, on one of these of modern Cads, you'll most likely have to replace the entire fender. So some things aren't as durable as they used to be, exterior door handles are one of them as they use plastic hinges and will eventually break.

Interior plastics and seats also aren't as durable, as high quality, or strongly put together like a 30's-60's Cad.

The simplicity of the older cars is what makes them so great and allows them to keep being around for another 50 years, electronics in cars are a wonderful thing, but to be honest, when I get behind my 64 Deville, it performs just as well if not better than my 17 Impala, and is way more comfortable than the Impala too. But trying to restore it in 30 years, forget it!

My Cad is considered ancient in comparison to my new Impala, but with all the improvements made to modern cars, they fail to isolate you from the bad roads, and also fail to give you that extreme comfort like the old cars did.

Even with new technology that goes into suspension components including new designs, the Short Arm-Long Arm suspension with a rear multilink setup is still superior in ride quality and road isolation than any FWD.

BTW parts will be astronomical for these cars in the future, and it honestly won't be worth it.
1964 Sedan Deville
1994 Fleetwood Bro
1972 Sedan Deville (Sold)
1968 Coupe Deville (Sold)
1978 Lincoln Continental

Offline James Landi

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2017, 07:11:43 AM »
Mr. Cadillacky nailed it... I absolutely love driving and admiring  my 2007 XLR-- it's an extraordinary piece of refined design and engineering, but God forbid someone backs into one of my head lights or tail lights-- these electronic components and there associate LED technologies are not our 1057 dual filament variety! So many examples of pre-80's Cadillacs were literally run into the ground, having survived a series of owners and finally becoming the cheap used car that provided adequate transportation for someone who had only a few hundred dollars to spend.  On this blog, we see evidence of these sad, very wore out cars... with interiors that are so worn, the final owner was sitting on front seat springs.  While we all believe contemporary car engineering can provide a couple of hundred thousand mile of decent , reliable transportation, the true challenge for modern automotive technology is not mileage, it's age. 

Offline Big Apple Caddy

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2017, 08:42:15 AM »
Below is an article from 1955 reflecting views on "classics" and "modern cars" of that time.  While makes, models and model years may change, the new/modern vs. classic comments, or at least sentiments, of some classic enthusiasts carry through generation after generation e.g. new cars all look alike, have too many gadgets, etc.


Fast Growing Club of Ancient Auto Owners Look on New Cars With Disdain
New York (U.P.) – Anybody got an old beat-up Duisenberg?   Or maybe an Auburn of Cord?  Or a rusty, dusty Marmon 16?
   Don’t throw it away.  It’s a classic.  Restore it – and live.
   There’s a fast-growing club here with members in all states and in many foreign countries that looks upon modern motor car styling with a tolerant disdain best expressed by the word, “Ugh.”  They call it the “bathtub, or bubble, era” of automobile design.
   These men, and some women, of rugged tastes for individual design, who thrill to ownership of a car of classic, vertical lines and like to commune with a mighty motor through a lever to the transmission, hark back to the late 1920’s and the 1930’s as the golden era of autos.
   They want a car with two big standout headlights, proud and alone at the prow…four wheels spinning bright and nude, uncovered by skirts dropping down from the fenders…running boards, beautiful in utility.
   They like the feel of the road through the wheel in their hands.
   They tremble at the mighty names of Stutz, Franklin, Pierce-Arrow, Cord, Auburn, Marmon, Packard, DuPont, Duisenberg, Rolls-Royce and Kissel White Eagle.  They bow at the great name of Isotta Franschini.
   “The Classic Car Club of America” started in 1952 with 80 members.  Now it has more than 1000.  They’re not worshipers of antiques.  Their constitution specifies that the classic is one of the super-fine cars built between 1925 and 1942.  They believe that the real classics, despite their age, are right now the finest cars in the world.
   “A lot of us are die-hard classicists,” said their president, Arthur Perrow, and encyclopedia editor, “figure they haven’t made any classics since the period bounded by 1928 and 1933.  After that, the builders started in with phony streamlining, skirts on fenders, bulbous bodies, superfluous metal.  They covered the radiator with big metal so it wouldn’t cool the car, and shoved it forward of the axle.
   “We’re interested in the discovery, rescuing, and restoring of a classic.  It breaks our hearts to see it sit there and rot.”
   The club has a monthly bulletin and a quarterly magazine.  The regional clubs all over the country have monthly “meets” with driving, performance, and style competition.  There are three big national contents annually, for which owners prep and groom the old beauties.
   They have their own language.  “Rough” means a classic discovered dirty, rusty and falling apart.  When it’s been restored to perfect mechanical condition, it’s “mint.”  An “iron” is a heavy, cumbersome, old car; an old limousine with hard top and four doors and little style.
   Instead of horsepower, they’re likely to say reverently that a certain number of “horses live under the hood.”  The Duisenberg Model J, dating from 1927 to 1936, when supercharged had 320 horses living riotously under the hood, more than any car made today, Perrow said.
   As for prices, the Duisenberg ran from $10,000 to $25,000 new.  Now you may get one rough for $1000 or less and restore it for $2000 to $5000.  The classic lovers exchange such information by grapevine.
   Gordon Webber, the first president, believes the fast club growth reflects “people’s revolt against standardized living, against all cars’ looking alike, as they do now; it’s a return to individuality.”
   Webber said the complaint against modern cars is that “they’re too heavy, gross of line; squashy on the curves, tires squeal; don’t have the roadability and durability of the classic, don’t have the workmanship.”
   Perrow puts it this way: “Modern cars are too full of gadgets, too easy to operate.  It’s like sitting in a living room and pushing a button.  We like some movement.  We like the gear shift on the gear box, like the feel of shifting the gears, when you get to know your own transmission.”
   Classic owners like to make the meets family affairs.  They put a lunch hamper, and the whole family, in the phaeton on week ends and let the finely-tooled engine rasp throatily across the miles.

Offline 59-in-pieces

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2017, 11:37:50 AM »
Well once again late to the party.
But I will add my "me too - me too" to the mix.
Without throwing mud - the Alante was likely the older brother of the XLR.
And what I recall of the discussions surrounding that car as it aged, was "be careful if the circuit board goes out - it's a ton of money". NO personal knowledge - just what I read.
Right or wrong, it does put a fine point to the discussion of electronics and how it can color the value of a car going forward.

Those of you who own or know the XLR, there is hardly any metal in the car - just plastic every where - backed by very sophisticated electronics that operate just about everything you touch.
But thank GOD there is a metal mechanical handle next to the seat bottom at the floor (forget reaching it if you are a bit full figured as myself) that opens the door by a cable when the power is lost - bad battery - to release the electronic door locks.
And by the way - lose power and NOTHING works - windows, doors, horn, ignition - NOTHING.
How do I know this, I was trapped in the car on a Cadillac dealer's showroom floor - pounding on the windows to draw attention to escape.
Big dumb me - I still bought an XLR - just not that one - I love that car (in spite of its weaknesses).
I also have to believe that there will always be a cottage business that provides electronic repairs - replacements with refurbished - or smaller more powerful replacement modals - plug and play (at a cost for sure).
I don't believe that our electronic classics are doomed to be huge lawn art, or that they will rust away - after all they're made mostly of plastics.
Have fun,
Steve B.
S. Butcher

Offline cadillac ken

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2017, 12:20:32 PM »
Future of of classic cars is indeed dim. :(

Current cars as well as those of the '90's will be un-restorable.  Owed to the points many others have made here about the electronics, plastic parts, and most importantly, the costs.

As a restoration / custom shop owner for over 26 years (who has built 6 figure cars) I can say with absolute certainty, the hobby is fading out-- even when talking about the cars we traditionally think of as Collectible (30's through the 60's). 

Collectors with millions to spend buy done cars at the big auctions.  They do not have the patience or want to "build" a car.  And at the other end working class folks do not have the extra cash to "do" a car.  Despite the TV shows that make it seem like tons of cars are being built, the reality is this hobby is in sever atrophy and very few projects, for whatever the reasons, are not making sense to very many folks these days.

Offline Bob Hoffmann CLC#96

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2017, 12:54:03 PM »
Ken,
 I agree!!!
Bob
1941 62 coupe custom maroon
1970 DeVille conv. triple black
1968 Eldorado slick top ,white/red interior
2015 Holden Ute HSV Maloo red/black interior.
             
Too much fun is more than you can have.

Offline 64CaddieLacky

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #30 on: October 06, 2017, 05:22:49 AM »
In all honesty, once Cadillacs became less imposing, less grandiose, less flashy, which happens to be the 1980’s on up years is probably the only era of cars aren’t worth saving because the issue with advanced tech controlling the engine components, lower quality materials used overall compared to decades before, and less than appealing styling.

Do i expect my 94 Fleetwood to be around for another 20 years? My guess is “I hope so” if I can still find  a PCM for it, sensors and other electronic parts for it in that time. I feel if anything takes out my 94, it will be a computer related issue that’ll be irreplaceable and render it undrivable.

Then it’s off to the junker.

My 64 on the other hand will keep on going as long they’re parts for it, no sensors to worry about, no expensive computer controlled parts to fail, expensive and costly suspension components or anything that will make it impossible to fix and keep it on road.
1964 Sedan Deville
1994 Fleetwood Bro
1972 Sedan Deville (Sold)
1968 Coupe Deville (Sold)
1978 Lincoln Continental

Offline 59-in-pieces

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #31 on: October 06, 2017, 11:59:30 AM »
I did have a thought or two left after reading all the negative posts causing the dark side in me to well up.
Every conceivable luxury or safety device is readily available on an economy "import" - so why would you buy a Cadillac.
Why buy, certainly not because of its cutting edge design - prestige logo, not any more.
Just a bunch of aging grumpy old men hankering for the past hay days, while their kids and grand kids shake their heads and wonder why grandpa is getting so wrapped around the axle about a Cadillac.
It's easy, the kids have no reference to the past - it's: no work for their entitlements, fast food, disposable everything, lease not buy, change is good and the faster the better, out with the old and in with the new, no touch stones.
Conclusions - our cars are anachronisms, and so are we - "a person or a thing that is chronologically out of place; especially one from a former age that is incongruous in the present...".
Our legacies are our classics to be sold for cash - for the next "wiz-bang" by our heirs.
Please pardon my doom and gloom - I guess I will go clean the whitewalls on my car - Oh! wait! that's out of place these days too.
Have fun, if and when you can - for as long as you can,
Steve B
S. Butcher

Offline Big Apple Caddy

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #32 on: October 06, 2017, 02:15:25 PM »
The negativity or doom and gloom feeling expressed today is not unlike the feelings some had 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60+ years ago yet the hobby has continued to evolve and move forward with new faces, new models, etc.  Classic car enthusiasts have long had disdain for new cars, doubts about young people's interest/enthusiasm, doubts that modern cars of a given time would have appeal as classics in the future, doubts that modern cars with all their gadgets would be repairable in the future, etc.  Back in the 1950s, a car as new as 13 years old was viewed as a classic by the Classic Car Club of America and that’s only a little older than even the average age of cars on the road these days.

People didn't know what the future held for the classic car hobby decades ago and people today don't know what the future of the hobby will be down the road especially as new technologies (3D printing is just the beginning) are created and improved.  Time will tell.....meanwhile, enjoy the hobby and classics of today! :)

Offline gkhashem

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #33 on: October 06, 2017, 03:29:11 PM »
While not happening soon, it will someday. This is the new reality no guessing NO AGREEING, all these opinions may not matter.

http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/11/autos/countries-banning-diesel-gas-cars/index.html

http://autoweek.com/article/green-cars/california-mulls-combustion-engine-car-ban-after-similar-uk-france-and-china


Then what will you do?  Maybe only the super rich can play this game if there is any fuel to be had. If not then that's it.

1959 Cadillac Coupe Deville
1964 Oldsmobile 98 Town Sedan
1966 Cadillac Coupe Deville (Senior #861)
1970 GMC C/K 1500
1978 Cadillac Coupe Deville (Senior Crown #959)
1984 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royal Brougham Coupe
1989 Buick Reatta
1991 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo (OCA 1st)
1991 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz (Senior #838)

Offline e.mason

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #34 on: October 06, 2017, 03:44:37 PM »
 I have found all the replies to my original topic, to be both very interesting and informative.  It appears as though many find the future and interest of classic cars to be vanishing for a few different reasons.  Mainly interest and money.  Yes, there have been the naysayers in the past that predicted the doom of classic cars.  They were proven to be in error.  Today with all the advancements in electronic technology, it is doubtful many will attempt to restore older cars.  Regards to the televised auto auctions, it does appear that the classic car "hobby" is, if not already, a rich mans game.

Offline 64CaddieLacky

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #35 on: October 07, 2017, 03:10:52 AM »
I have found all the replies to my original topic, to be both very interesting and informative.  It appears as though many find the future and interest of classic cars to be vanishing for a few different reasons.  Mainly interest and money.  Yes, there have been the naysayers in the past that predicted the doom of classic cars.  They were proven to be in error.  Today with all the advancements in electronic technology, it is doubtful many will attempt to restore older cars.  Regards to the televised auto auctions, it does appear that the classic car "hobby" is, if not already, a rich mans game.

It is becoming a rich man's game for sure. All those restoration shop shows on TV are actually making the hobby unattainable to the regular Joe.

If you think about it, our hobby is very very expensive and takes up a lot of our time. I have spent thousands of dollars just on the little stuff, and the paint job alone on my 64 would cost upwards of $10,000 which is insane!

I think it comes down to what your priorities are, and how good you want your car to look and run. I am actually satisfied with the way my 64 is, and if there was anything major I would do to it, the engine, trans, and drivetrain would all be rebuilt, including getting the A/C to work.

But other than that, I'm ok with it having some tiny dents, minor rust, cracked driver's seat, and light scratches. Sometimes it's stress relieving not being so picky and your car being perfect in this hobby for the sake of your well being.

3D printing will truly allow old parts that aren't made anymore possible again. I just hope someone gets into the business and will start making hard parts for our old Cadillac's so we can keep driving them until we're in the grave. :)

What will derail our hobby, and the future of it, is autonomous vehicles that will be mandatory to own in the near future. The government is already working on it, and personally, it's not right what they're trying to do.

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2017/09/congress-will-bombarded-autonomous-car-propaganda-week/
1964 Sedan Deville
1994 Fleetwood Bro
1972 Sedan Deville (Sold)
1968 Coupe Deville (Sold)
1978 Lincoln Continental

Offline Big Apple Caddy

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #36 on: October 07, 2017, 08:14:10 AM »
While not happening soon, it will someday. This is the new reality no guessing NO AGREEING, all these opinions may not matter.

http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/11/autos/countries-banning-diesel-gas-cars/index.html

http://autoweek.com/article/green-cars/california-mulls-combustion-engine-car-ban-after-similar-uk-france-and-china


Then what will you do?  Maybe only the super rich can play this game if there is any fuel to be had. If not then that's it.

Environmental and safety regulations, as I stated in my first post in this thread, are definitely a potential threat to the use of older cars but at the same time, threats to ban gasoline cars are nothing new even here in the U.S.

Back in the mid and late 1960s, the California State Senate voted to consider banning gasoline cars from California highways by 1975.  It never happened.

In the early 1970s, New York state considered a bill that would ban the registration of new gasoline cars in the state after 1975.  It never happened.

Over the decades, other states and cities and even the federal government have considered restrictions or banning of gasoline cars but it never happened.  Yes, it may actually happen some day but today's threats are nothing new and have been out there in one form or another for a very long time.

Offline 64CaddieLacky

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #37 on: October 07, 2017, 07:17:05 PM »
What kind of kick do politicians get from trying to ban things? Is it the power trip mindset some of these guys have that makes them act this way or what?

They don’t understand that millions of Americans will have gasoline powered cars 50 years from now, they can’t just expect everyone to fully convert to electric cars or autonomous vehicles as the economics don’t pan out.

It’s unrealistic and very political at the end of the day.
1964 Sedan Deville
1994 Fleetwood Bro
1972 Sedan Deville (Sold)
1968 Coupe Deville (Sold)
1978 Lincoln Continental

Offline Bill Young

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #38 on: October 07, 2017, 07:55:26 PM »
Mr. Asaro makes a good point about Government regulation. I will not get political , however I'll just say My Wife and I moved from Western New York State to Florida not principally for the weather but rather at age 62 and 61 we could no longer afford to live there. I have a saying that in New York State everything is either illegal, you got to have a license for it, or it is taxed to death. This society is an expensive place to live in general and way too expensive in particular locales. Cars that cost as much as houses used to that have electronics that are horribly expensive to replace and are not repairable are the bain of the existence of a poorer Family person. Requiring people to buy unaffordable cars they cannot then later afford to fix is not a sustainable solution to internal cumbustion cars of the past that were affordable to buy and affordable to fix.
1972 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado Convertible in Coronation Red , White top , White seats with Oxblood dash and carpet

Offline Bobby B

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Re: Looking to the future of classic cars.
« Reply #39 on: October 07, 2017, 10:08:03 PM »
I will not get political , however I'll just say My Wife and I moved from Western New York State to Florida not principally for the weather but rather at age 62 and 61 we could no longer afford to live there. I have a saying that in New York State everything is either illegal, you got to have a license for it, or it is taxed to death. This society is an expensive place to live in general and way too expensive in particular locales.

Bill,
  Hi. This is why most of the population Lease now. I don't believe in it. We own all our cars outright. To each his own....I guess it gets you into a high end vehicle that you really can't afford to buy, and makes you feel good. That is, unless your accountant instructs you to do so because you'll give the money back to the Government anyway, so you might as well enjoy a brand new car every few years. And Bill, New Jersey is just as bad as New York. Crazy Taxes, Over priced Auto Insurance, and you need a Permit or License to do just about anything. The only thing keeping me here is work.....
                                                                                                     Bobby
« Last Edit: October 08, 2017, 10:14:13 AM by Bobby B »
1947 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible Coupe
1968 Mustang Convertible
1973 Mustang Convertible
1969 Jaguar E-Type Roadster
1971 Datsun 240Z
1979 H-D FLH