The Classic Car Code

My first trip of the year in my car was fine, but I had a few scary moments there and back. There were idiots with no consideration slicing across the front of my car, the other was to avoid all the trenches or pot holes in the road. The roads in the UK are complete joke right now to be honest after the snow, sun and rain. I think that I compressed my spine by an inch and shook a filling out my tooth due to all the mega craters in the road. I guess that’s what you get when stiffen the suspension in order to make the car handle a bit better.

During the round trip I had a thought to myself wondering if these people realise what us Classic Car owners are thinking while we drive along? So, I had a little fun and came up with this little list in my head then wrote it down before I forgot it;

  1. We treat everybody on the road as somebody who can’t drive properly.
  2. We seriously believe that other road users want to crash into us at every junction.
  3. Pulling out from a junction at the last-minute in front of us really is a problem.
  4. We never trust somebody’s indicator as being their true intention.
  5. We give ourselves extra space to the car in front to allow us time to slow and stop as our brakes may not be as good as modern cars.
  6. We give ourselves extra space to avoid the chance of any stones being flicked up causing a stone chip on our paint jobs.
  7. Our paint jobs can cost as much as a small family car.
  8. Stone chips may look tiny to you, but to us they look as big as a satellite dish and just as ugly.
  9. It may look like we are drunk while driving although we’re not. We are avoiding the pot holes in the road, you normal car drivers wouldn’t give a second glance to.
  10. Pot holes are like moon craters or trenches for classic cars.
  11. We spend as much time looking at the road conditions as we do predicting traffic.
  12. If you wish to overtake us we don’t mind, but don’t chop across the front of our car, give us space, see points 4, 5 & 6.
  13. We will avoid a crash at all costs and we will take extra care.
  14. We will avoid mud. That mud stores moisture and starts the rust process off.
  15. We are paranoid about rust. We can hear our cars rusting in the garage!
  16. We don’t drive close to side of the road where there are hedges as they are a potential for paint damage.
  17. We will stop rather than drive past or through a bush or hedge.
  18. We will slow down for large puddles.
  19. We don’t like rain.
  20. We will do everything we can to protect our cars from water damage.
  21. Tailgating makes us nervous, we won’t speed up just because you want to go faster.
  22. Because we tinker around on our cars doesn’t mean anything is wrong.
  23. If you see our car and you don’t like what you see, don’t tell us because we don’t care.
  24. We are happy to talk to anybody about our cars, but please don’t tell what our cars should look like or what we have done wrong in restoring it.
  25. We will drive around endlessly looking for a safe place to park.
  26. If our car is parked somewhere you can guarantee we can still see it.
  27. There is no need to touch our cars.
  28. Finger prints on our paint is a problem for us. We will clean it off.
  29. Leaning on our cars is definitely not acceptable.
  30. The tinkle of zips, belts, buckles or the metallic sound of a ring will damage our paint.
  31. Young children with ice creams are a potential for more unnecessary cleaning.
  32. Dogs using our tyres as a mobile toilet is not acceptable. We will clean it off.
  33. We don’t like parking under trees because tree sap can ruin paint. We will clean it off.
  34. Birds mess on the car will cause serious damage to paint work. We will clean it off.
  35. Dead insects on our cars is unsightly and can cause damage. We will clean it off.
  36. Cleaning our cars is a pleasure and some of our cleaning products can cost as much as a tank of fuel.
  37. The “You missed a bit” cleaning joke isn’t funny, honestly.
  38. No we won’t clean your car when we have finished ours.
  39. Yes we do need to clean our car if its been in the garage, it gets dusty.
  40. We tend not to thrash our cars around just to prove a point for you.
  41. The grip from our tyres may not be as good as modern-day compounds.
  42. A set of traffic lights is not a cue for drag race with you.
  43. The interior of our classic cars are cleaned with the same care as the outside.
  44. Adding fuel to our cars means we will wipe off every single spilt drop.
  45. We carry spare fluids in the trunk for all eventualities under the hood.
  46. We sit by our cars at car shows to keep an eye on our cars.
  47. No you can’t sit in it – don’t ask.
  48. No we won’t start our car up just so you can hear it, wait untill we leave.
  49. There are two prices for our classic car parts, the proper price and the price we tell our partners.
  50. A classic car is not “just a car” to us, it’s a way of life.

I hope I haven’t missed anything and made a few people smile and say – “yep that’s me!” If I have missed something that needs to be on this list, please let me know and I shall amend it. Although this is a little bit of fun, there is also a serious note to the points too. When I see any Classic Car on the road and I am in my daily workhorse car; I give them plenty of room now.

I just couldn’t do a post with no picture of a car that wouldn’t be right.


Share my Content

40 thoughts on “The Classic Car Code

  1. I understand every word you’ve written in this post, even though I’m not a driver. But if I were, the car I’d want would be one of these – see video – and I’d be afraid to take it anywhere there are other people. As for pot holes… urgh!

          1. That’s okay. 🙂 I was thinking after my visit to your blog that it’s curious that I’m interested in cars at all – I never used to be. What changed that was, one day, I drew one… and started noticing all the amazing detail!

  2. For folks with a terminology problems, substitute “Antique Car” or “Classic Car”, then enjoy Nick’s post. I did and I see a lot of us in his post.

  3. So an old used Ford is a “classic” ? Well, looks like the English language has changed a bit. The term “classic car” USED to mean something had “classic” lines – the ancient greek concept of “form follow function”. That means, in auto design, where the headlight shell sits apart on a fender, each defined by their function. And it means “something unique, of first rank, representing the HIGHEST standard of excellence”. So under the English language meaning, an ordinary 8 cylinder Packard or Cadillac of the 1930’s would not be a classic, but the big “super luxury” V-12 and V-16’s would be. A streamlined car from the 1940’s on…a “classic”…..? Well..of course, if you have a used car you are trying to sell, by all means call it a “classic”.

    1. Peter,
      To be honest I was jut going to delete your response but it made me laugh. I wasn’t sure if this was a wind up or somebody trying to troll me. I will explain why your “Response” is a farce using your OWN arguments as you refer to them. so i will waste my time responding to you.

      The definition of Classic Cars from UK Insurers:
      “only vehicles pre-1976 are tax exempt, many more modern vehicles, often known as modern classics, can also be considered a classic car.”
      “Any car over 15 years old can be considered a classic for insurance purposes”
      There are many ways of defining a classic car. Models might also be referred to as a retro car, vintage car, collectible car, antique car or simply an old car. – Your Argument fails.

      UK’s HMRC:
      “Classic cars as being over 15 years of age with a value of £15,000 or more. However, if your car is over 10 years old (no matter its value), it can be considered a classic car by some classic car insurers.” – your argument fails.

      UK Government:
      Historic (classic) vehicles, “you can apply to stop paying vehicle tax if your vehicle was built before 1 January 1978”. Vehicle tax is not applied to classic cars. – your argument fails.

      Organizations such as the Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) and the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) maintain a list of eligible unmodified cars that are called “classic”. These are described as “fine” or “distinctive” automobile, either American or foreign built, produced between 1915–1998. – your argument fails

      Concours chief judge Doug Greer
      “Classic cars are defined by the Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) and there’s a list of those cars that are considered classics. Most cars that are defined as classics are 1948 and earlier. However “The ’55, ’56 and ’57 Chevrolets get the word classic assigned to them by some groups, and so do the early Mustangs,” says Greer. “In our organization, we call them milestone cars, because they were a significant influence into the market at the time when they were introduced.” – your argument fails.

      Ford often refer to their 1964 Mustangs as the “Classic Mustang”. The Ford Mustang launch in 1964 was revolutionary at the time of launch and defined the term “Pony Car” thus setting a trend for other manufacturers to compete with it. The Base model was a 6 cylinder with 200ci, the more luxurious and bigger brothers started at the 260ci v8s right up to the 427ci etc. As these were often better spec vehicles, using your argument bigger is better so these are also classics then. – your argument fails.

      Your Cadillac v16:
      These were also production line vehicles and were subject to such variables of such a process. They were not hand built to the highest standards although they were classed as “luxury cars”. In fact, builders of some of the finest cars in the world at the time saw no reason for more than eight cylinders. – Your argument fails.

      I take personal offence at the attack on my integrity. I am not sure where you get the impression that I “…have a used car you are trying to sell, by all means call it a “classic””. I have NEVER in my blog made any refences to selling my car or wanting to sell my cars. Anybody who reads the introduction pages to my blog will see that my car is a huge sentimental value to me so it will never get sold. I use the term “Classic” because the car is deemed as being such, by magazines, insurers, government bodies, car clubs, parts stockists, importers, auction houses etc. your own argument has failed.

      I totally agree with Boris here;
      “I think you need to get out in the sunshine a bit more…..”
      In fact, I would go a little further and say before you try and correct somebody, you need to get your facts straight. Anybody can look up the word classic in a dictionary like you have done. The English language evolves and definitions can change take a modern example; “gender” used to mean male or female. That is not the case now with hundreds of variationsof “gender”. The word Gender is still used. Get my point?
      Please go and troll elsewhere.

  4. Excellent! What’s amazing is the universality of your list, and the drivers and roads. I don’t know if you hit everything, but I know you are spot on. Love it. Thanks for the wonderful post.

      1. You know, winning is fun, but that’s not what car shows are about. For me, and I think you are the same, it is about spending time with folks who share your passion, seeing other people’s hard work, just seeing the cool cars and generally having fun.

        I agree with you completely. You must feel very proud to have inspired the other people to start their own project. Have great shows and enjoy the good times.

        1. I think you sre right, we are very similar. I would like to say I’m proud. But i think they may of had it in mind and I was just the catalyst to start their project rollung. I was genuinely pleased for them.

          1. That’s the fun part of the shows, just seeing people passionate about their hobby. Good luck and watch those potholes. We have than here too. Ridiculous.

  5. 100% correct!

    Here in the U.K. the a***hole driver community is increasing daily.
    The pothole situation is in places reaching 3rd world proportions.
    Every trip out in my Model A has become somewhat scary as as I don’t really have the agility and power to get out of trouble at times!

    I wasn’t going to fit seat belts, but I feel it’s inevitable.

    The code rocks!

    1. Thank you, but i fully agree 3rd world is exactly right. I have tyres with plenty of air so it’s not to severe, i can imagine whats it’s like with the Model T tyres and rims. Shame that we have to retro fit seat belts because we fear our own safety, from drivers and the road (dirt tracks) we share.

  6. “We can hear our cars rusting in the garage!” How dreadful, but I’d imagine very true for where you live (not as much here in the desert, but we have the curse of sand getting into everything and rubber drying out).

    I used to have a 1970 Chevy Nova that I didn’t care for properly despite it being in wonderful condition when I bought it. My first car. I was a teen when a relative sold it to me and had no sense with cars until well after I’d ruined it. Someday, I’d like to find one like it and restore it. Which makes me ask: do you meet many women who’ve restored a car?

    1. Hi Karen, you just have to get the Nova project on the go. The answer to your question is that i know a few ladies that own classic cars but not restored the cars themselves. They are fully enthusiastic while their husbands do most of the work with them helping out. I really enjoy speaking to families at shows and i have allowed a few ladies to sit in my car and they love the idea of owning one. The lady owners are out there, but sadly not enough.

      1. Thanks so much for the reply! Might be me one day. My husband isn’t car-handy (perhaps I could get him into it), but I’ve done my fair share of replacing some big things on cars and figure I can manage a bit on my own, although I’d need experts if I wanted it closer to mint. I could be happy with ‘runs well, draws envy when I drive past’. I’ve seen some cars in the local shows around here and they’re about the level I think I could upkeep one day.

        I really hope my old Nova was found by someone who saved it when I couldn’t (I was young and too broke to repair it properly and gave it to a parts yard, such regrets).

        1. I’m impressed Karen. When you get a little time away from your painting you could start your Nova project, im sure your hubby would get right into it.
          I too sold an Audi Quattro Coupe that i wish i had kept, An 80s classic already. I expect to pics of your project soon as well then?

          1. Ah, that project will be quite a while for me, but it’s something I want to do one day (if not a Nova, then a Chevelle) when we have the garage space and more time. But I’ve been looking around occasionally at listings. I think I’ve seen Quattros as rally cars? My husband would enjoy having one of those.

Leave a Reply