Old cars - love em or hate em?

This is the place for posts that don't fit into any other category.

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Post by martyhopkirk » 18 Nov 2004, 23:39

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 4504335868
Lost out on the LNA - garage have shelved the ebay auction and sold it privately. Bummer.
Suppose one persons interpretation of old isnt another - I mean i like 60's and 70's motors, probably because I grew up with them as a child, and my first motors were £50 specials with a hairs bredth of MOT and tax and all 60's or early 70's cars.
However, my mate Bob (who grew up in the 50's) thinks anything newer than 1950 isnt old or classic - currently he is rebuilding his first ever car a 1937 Morris 8 Tourer - which is nice, but not my bag at all. For some cars of the 80's and early 90's will be "old" and deservig of classic status soon, if not already.

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Post by kevin » 19 Nov 2004, 16:33

Sorry for not entering this great debate sooner, I am the lad of 38 years with the AX receiving the care and attention. At the various events in Northumberland and the Scottish borders including the Classic car show at the NEC this year, I have seen a proliferation of MG A, B and the occasional C, Triumph vitesses and herald convertibles but very few Itals, Maxi’s, 11/1300, Escorts and Cortina’s. Very few French cars as well, apart from a 1920’s Citroen C5 and Dyane’s. My point is, while everyone goes for the exotic sports cars and performance models, the every day models these motors are based on are consigned to the history books and rust heap.
It is commonplace for the more popular models to disappear. They were everywhere one minute gone the next without a second thought. How many people traded in their mk3/4/5 cortina’s for a sierra in the eighties or 11/1300 for an allegro before abandoning BLMC for another manufacturer, or a Viva HB/C for a Chevette or Cavalier in the 70/80’s. How many do you see on the roads these days? Very few.
Whilst these vehicles did not advance car design, some of the BLMC, Ford and Vauxhall engines and transmission can be traced back 20 – 30 years, in the case of the Austin/Morris A and B series fitted to the minor, marina and other vehicles from this stable. The ford Kent OHV series can trace its lifespan from the Anglia in the 1950’s to the mk3 fiesta in the 1990’s; these were evolutionary rather than revolutionary vehicles.
I totally agree some vehicles are boring, some say to include the AX/106 model range in this statement as it is nondescript. To some extent yes, but the GT/sports versions were based on the 3 door shell, with up-rated suspension and engines to suit. Most have now been wrapped around telegraph poles or have died due to engine failure, as is the case of most performance models. So, these vehicles should be preserved as well.
As to the definition of a classic car, should it be any car over 10 - 15 years in original condition. I fear I could be lambasted for that statement as well!!


Post by martyhopkirk » 19 Nov 2004, 22:14

Not at all Kevin.
My sentiments exactly - very few bread and butter cars survive the scrapper, which is a shame. I mean im gulity of this as i am currently trying to find an AX to replace my ZX - I could keep the ZX on the road longer, but I just dont love it enough!!!
I would like to keep the Xantia going as long as possible, whether that will happen or not remains to be seen.
Good luck with the AX

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Post by Robin » 20 Nov 2004, 00:03

May I take this topic in a slightly different direction? I have long been involved in the debate between restoration and renovation in the classic car and boat scene. My personal view is to keep a vehicle in as near original condition as possible. Even if it is decent to not having the car resprayed or painted.
Replacement of 'consumable' spares I see as OK - bearings, track rod ends or even an engine rebuild, but when it comes to major repairs to chassis and body to the extent that the car is in the majority new, is that still the same car?
Recently I witnessed a rebuild of a Jag XK140 because the profit margin made it economic sense. Did the new owner get a genuine XK 140 or an assembled basket case from a series of baskets?
The classics lost forever as not worth collecting are now the very ones to own, the old Morris Series E, big Austins and the huge Humbers. Lets try and keep the big Citroens alive somewhere, they will be the first to go because of their upkeep costs. Robin


Post by martyhopkirk » 20 Nov 2004, 01:55

Shame some cars are so unloved.
Just witnessed a 1980 Maxi go for £99 on eBay. 9 months MOT and full running order with only minor body scabs needing some attention and a wheel bearing.
A lot of car (which I knew as I know the owner) for little cash as its an "unloved" or "unpopular" Classic. Shame indeed because its been well looked after and maintained in its life.
It makes more sense to me to maintain a car to keep it on the road than try and do what my mate Bob is with his Morris 8 - a total rebuild from several basket cases - its never going to be the original car, and its going to cost a lot more than its worth - though for Bob his resto is driven by sentiment.
Still would like to keep my Xantia whole and on the road for a long time (if only I could trace the bl**dy water leak!) Im sure Robin will cosset his XM in the same way.

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Post by Robin » 20 Nov 2004, 03:11

I'll do my best Marty[:D]

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Post by James.UK » 22 Nov 2004, 20:03

The love of my life for many years was an old Jaguar "S" type 1955 ish I think? (BRU 388B reg). the one with the inboard disks on the rear and all round independant suspension. (NOT the MK2 that was awfull!)
It was a 3.8 auto in red.. Unfortunately years later I got the chance to drive another one at a car show, mistake, big mistake, huge mistake! it was dreadfull compared to modern cars, Leaned over at 45 degrees on corners and deafened people with tyre squeal, brakes barely slowed it down, and generaly very sluggish all round, just not nice at all,. Except.... Its soooo nice to look at [:D]. My memories of the cars performance and drivability are clearly a lot better than the car actually was.. [:I]
Classic? It clearly is... Would I like one for every day use? Sadly not....

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Post by bxbodger » 22 Nov 2004, 20:29

Whats a classic?
Its what you are bought up with, have fond memories of, learned to drive in.....In my case its the old 60's/70's BMC/Leyland motors- I learned in a Wolseley 16/60 ( an Oxbridge variant, with added walnut for those who don't know.... )and my first car was an Allegro, and
Our first car when I was a kid was an Austin A55 followed by various landcrabs and the Wolseley, and then Princesses -We were from the midlands and thats what you drove, because half your relatives worked there.
I now live in Essex and my friends here have fond memories of Dagenham Fords, because its what they were brought up on.
The thing about old cars is that you are blinded to the faults, but what you DO remember is the seaside trip, the holiday, etc, that you had in them!!!
If I had the space, (which I soon will-woohoo!!!!) there will be an old BMC/BL motor of some description in it, (preferably Hydrolastic/Hydragas for the superior ride.. ) no matter how crap it is in modern terms, or what anyone else thinks of it!!!!!

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Post by kevin » 24 Nov 2004, 18:22

I agree with your comments regarding the retention of a vehicle in near original condition, but how far would you go when replacing the consumable parts to keep the originality of the vehicle? My 306td I use every day has been modified when I changed the front struts from the original oil specification to gas units. I consider this as OK, as gas units were used on the Dturbo models and in my opinion should have been fitted as original equipment to the turbo diesel. Replacements of consumable items are perfectly OK, as they will wear out in time. In some cases, modern replacement items are greatly improved over the original items with the changes in manufacturing processes over the years. The classic case is the first E-types were originally fitted with 6-volt headlamps. A car with a capability of over 100mph in the sixties with effectively candles for headlights, these were changed to 12-volt soon afterwards.
Personally, I see no problem in fitting up-rated equipment when changing consumable items. For example, halogen headlamps, radial ply tyres, adjustable shock absorbers and so on, if the vehicle is to be used everyday. However, if the vehicle is to be used for show purposes I feel it is important to retain the originality as far as possible. As to the XK140, it could depend on how sympathetic the rebuild was concerning the fitting of original specification parts.
Bxbodger raises the question as to what is a classic. Some insurance companies class vehicles between 10 – 15 years and older as classic’s. With that definition in mind, does this allow my 1994 306 to be a classic? In my opinion, any vehicle in good condition that is over 15 years old should be considered as a classic vehicle.
I am guilty of the rose tinted spec’s approach when remembering older vehicles as well. When I recall my first car, a 1977 Chevette purchased in 1985, I remember the holiday touring Scotland but forget the poor brakes and breakdowns.
Once the AX is finished, I might look for a Chevette or an MG 11/1300 next, now where did I put those rose tinted specs……..