Classics by John Babbitt

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Its summer time, so you know what that means. Car show season. And no matter what kind of enthusiast you claim to be, there isn’t a true car fan on earth that doesn’t wish they owned a classic. Something about no safety aids, carbs and chrome get our gears turnin. Although owning a classic isn’t necessarily a task to be taken lightly, it can be affordable if done right from the start.

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For instance, is it rusty? Do the numbers match? For those that already own that special car, they’ll probably tell you patience is key.  Depending on what you’re looking for, it might take some time and traveling, so keep that in mind. And when that magic moment finally does happen, be prepared to sometimes regret you ever even liked cars to begin with! Owning a piece of motoring history truly is a love/hate type of thing. But the pluses always, always outweigh the minuses.

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Also, tuning isn’t as simple as it is with newer cars. There aren’t as many “bolt on” parts as readily available, so creating something unique is actually a lot easier, limited only by imagination. And possibly the best part: no smog check.

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Driving something that’s 30+ years old is something everyone should try. There really is nothing quite like gripping the wheel of something so outdated yet so fun. In my case, a 1966 Chevrolet Impala SS. Huge engine+drum brake all around=quite an interesting drive. But the sounds, the smells, the sights. they just cannot be recreated in modern vehicles. A little nerve-wracking, sometimes downright scary, but you’ll never go for a drive and not smile.

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So with all this in mind, I hope some of you consider getting behind the wheel of a classic, before non-enthusiasts decide they’re too unsafe and to costly to the environment. So remember, if you want to save the world, don’t buy a Prius, recycle an old car!

– Jbab

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