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Old 25th March 2009, 15:39   #1
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Default Vintage Cars : What's it to you?

My earliest memories in life include vintage cars at home. I grew up in a world of cars, and so did so many other people I've known since childhood. But I see differences in how each one seems to relate to this passion.

It appears to manifest in as many ways as people's characters/natures differ.

Within our own family I notice differences in how I relate to the cars or how my father relates to them or how my uncles relate to them.

In our circle of friends who also own such cars I see further differences.

So I thought it would be interesting to see what people have to say about what this hobby or passion means to them. How they relate to the cars. What it represents to them.

I'll attempt to list a few observations and we can grow the many possibilities as we go along.

1. There's the individual for whom the vintage car is the ultimate accessory. Like a good watch or a great set of clothes, fine shoes, a particular perfume, or a ring. To these people the car is an extension of themselves. They indulge in the passion as it reflects to the world something about them. Their choice of car is very distinct and these type of people are rarely collectors. They own just one or two cars and deeply identify with the make and model. Their use of the car is as part of the collective impact they desire to make in society. Its like a statement they make about themselves

2. There are those to whom ownership of a vintage car is a social status symbol. Its like the brand craze. To them the ownership of an established "big name" is all that's important. Very rarely do you see this breed of individuals actively using the car. Its usually parked in a prominent place at home for all to see, but rarely driven. Mostly these people don't actively participate in vintage car shows. To them its a waste of time, and are usually affronted if their car doesn't win a prize.

3. Then you have the individual who is deeply drawn to the car for what it is. The mechanicals, the styling, the interiors, the features, the marque's history. The various aspects of the car appeals deeply to this individual and he owns it for the joy and pleasure close contact with such an automobile affords. He uses the car as often as he can and lovingly tends to it ensuring its upkeep. Usually such individuals tend to associate the car with their life's experiences in relation to the car's use and enjoy such aspects of ownership. You usually find such people being committed to a particular marque all their life.

4. This characteristic of ownership is possibly the most widespread. That of human relationships and the car being a part of the experience. The car's value grows on account of the quality of relationships its owner enjoyed during its use. The family car as it grows old is retained and fondly looked after. Sometimes on account of the relationships associated with the car the owners retains the car but doesn't tend to it.

5. Competitive enthusiast. Knowledgeable, carefully selects the car or works over years to acquire that special car which will help him win industry wide recognition. Its the joy of competing that drives this person

6. Enthusiast collector. Wide (general)knowledge/awareness of marques, acquires representative models in different categories. Usually in line with what the industry considers as precious cars is what this collector works toward. These collectors go to great lengths to ensure their cars are in top shape, ready to win any concours

7. Collector investor. This person is at the very least clear his collection is a great investment and will pay off eventually. Usually these collectors don't bother as much to upgrade the condition of the cars and allow them to remain as is. You at times encounter individuals in this group who also acquire the collection for its status value.

8. Inheritance. Many people inherit cars as a legacy. Here in most cases they are not aware of the value and usually let the cars deteriorate. Sometimes they are aware of the value. This group of people have allowed some great cars to disintegrate while refusing to part with them

Its not necessary that we have to fall wholly into one or the other category. Sometimes its possible people are a blend of a couple of the above attributes.

Any thoughts on more variations?
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Old 26th March 2009, 00:01   #2
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This is very well written and thought about. I can identify myself with a couple of points above, just that Im into motorcycles.
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Old 26th March 2009, 01:45   #3
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Brilliant Article. I kniw some of these types, especially the investoe types, and these guys really put me off. They dont really care about the car and they in turn dont allow someone who will really love to actually use the car.

Most of us here come in another category. We are that rare breed who prefer a vintage or in my case a classic car, as compared to a modern car. In my case, i would most definately drive into town in a spotless bright Shiny lil Fiat than a flashy Tuner with some Flash paint and big chrome wheels.

But thats just me!!! And im not to be a bit loony!
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Old 26th March 2009, 10:06   #4
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Guys.

I don't feel this is an issue that needs to be discussed.

Why a guy buys a vintage or classic or does with it is his business. Just because one might be a genuine car enthuseast to look down on anothere who has bought a classic for social reasons, and to creater catagories to fit them into, is not OK.

The bottom line should be what one enjoys the most and to keep at it. This may be restoring or collecting or trading in classic cars.

One should never feel that one is superior than another,. After all we are all born with nothing and will leave in a similar fashion.

So to each his own is what makes absolute sense to me.

For example when a so called collecter find a car interesting and wants to buy it from say a person who doesn't know much about its value will try his best to get the car as cheaply as possible. This same person when he wants to sell one of his cars will always insist on getting top dollar for the car.

There used to be this Duesenberg car parked in a New York parking structure. The owner parked it there in the late thirties and left it there. Over time the garage owner put a lien on it and became the owner. The car was sitting there till the mid ninties.

A lot of guys tried to buy it for $50,000 but were unsuccesfull. One day Jay Leno showed up. He had with him documentation showing what the car was actually worth. He offered the owner $200,000 and took the car home.

He paid fair market value. How many collectors do this. The guy who is buying the car for social reasons may just pay the actual fair price for it and buy it.

Last edited by wasif : 26th March 2009 at 10:21.
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Old 26th March 2009, 12:01   #5
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Wasif you probably don't realise but many of the politics in India are on account of people not understanding who is into the hobby for what.

The observations about why people get into the hobby are valid as often awareness of differing objectives makes it easier to deal with different types of people.

Its just this kind of clarity that allows me to be pals with both opposing groups not just here but in Chennai too.

You may not need to call a spade a spade and possibly hurt someone's ego. But when you recognise a spade when you see one it simply makes it easier to deal with them in a manner which is proactive and enjoyable.

Probably you are not aware but even for a fabulous event like the Cartier show there was loads of heartburn. The show was organised by a hardcore enthusiast but people with differing objectives took serious exception.

Awareness about different views and objectives makes it easier to handle people. Assumptions that all vintage car owners are of the same stock is what leads to fragmentation across cities in India
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Old 26th March 2009, 12:20   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
Wasif you probably don't realise but many of the politics in India are on account of people not understanding who is into the hobby for what.

The observations about why people get into the hobby are valid as often awareness of differing objectives makes it easier to deal with different types of people.

Its just this kind of clarity that allows me to be pals with both opposing groups not just here but in Chennai too.

You may not need to call a spade a spade and possibly hurt someone's ego. But when you recognise a spade when you see one it simply makes it easier to deal with them in a manner which is proactive and enjoyable.

Probably you are not aware but even for a fabulous event like the Cartier show there was loads of heartburn. The show was organised by a hardcore enthusiast but people with differing objectives took serious exception.

Awareness about different views and objectives makes it easier to handle people. Assumptions that all vintage car owners are of the same stock is what leads to fragmentation across cities in India


By making classifications and catagorising owners of collector cars in in itself hurtfull.

Who are you and me to decide,comment and catagorise the depth of anothers passion ?

Politics have no palce in the classic car world. It is precisely this that creates opposing factions out of car lovers to the detrement of all concerned.

Nowhere in the world does this happen but only in India. Everywhere old car lovers are one big happy contented group.

Only here cars of merit don't often get prizes in an event compared with cars that belong to friends of the judges.

We need to rise above petty politics and learn to call a spade a spade.

BTW why are there oposing groups of car lovers in Hyderabad and Chennai today. What is there to opose.

It is just the ego of certain people that creats issues where there should be none. Only in India can organising an event like the Cartier show result in anguish and heartburn to some.

We need to leave the ego at home and try to take pleasure form the cars irrespective of who owns tehm and for what reason.

Don't you all love cars so why the faction fighting.
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Old 26th March 2009, 12:35   #7
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Where there are people you will encounter ego issues and hassles. Its not all that hunky dory abroad either. I can bet many people look down on collectors like Jay Leno but eventually humour him for his wealth and fame. Just recently someone was telling me of passionate bickering at some international meet.

Its not about one person sitting and slotting others or judging them.

You just need to understand where a person comes from and deal with him/her accordingly.

The categories is not to pigeonhole people but to create awareness that different people come into the sport for different reasons. And sometimes, not always, those reasons create rifts when not clearly understood.

Just the purchase of a vintage car doesn't make for one fraternity. Within the group of owners you have people with specific objectives. Those who end up understanding these differences seem to get along great with likeminded chaps and I guess it will be 2 o 3 clubs per city but then as long as likeminded groups are together its ok I think.

So also let there be many events organised by people with differing objectives.

Last edited by DKG : 26th March 2009 at 12:47.
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Old 26th March 2009, 12:54   #8
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I have been a Fan of Fiats and from the time of any sensation i had motoring,I knew only Fiat as my dad taught me i Navi Mumbai,those hand gears,the typical Fiat beat from the engine.Today I completley relate to the Fiat and want to own as many as i can.
Even though Fiat may not be as eloquant as Austins,Packards,Rolls,I was happy to restore mine and enjoy the ride.
In the end,you classic car is your passion and your behold beauty.Even someone classifies it as original/non-original Im not going to abandon the beauty as it means a extension to my family.
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Old 26th March 2009, 13:00   #9
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Originally Posted by hillram View Post
Im not going to abandon the beauty as it means a extension to my family.
Would a combination of 3 and 4 reflect your perspective?

Let me share why this topic is relevant. I was recently delighted to hear a prominent personality such as Manvendra Singh highlight the need for preservation of Indian cars. He obviously recognises the variations in this passion and feels its just not about Rolls Royces, Bentleys or Packards. Its about what you bring to the world of motorcars. Your dad's Fiat, the one you grew up in. That's precious

Recognising the many variations in this hobby is critical in being more understanding. I hope people get the drift

Last edited by DKG : 26th March 2009 at 13:03.
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Old 26th March 2009, 13:04   #10
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Certainly it reflects my prespective.When i see other Classic cars..there is small twitch on the Oh-No Metre..i should have owned this...but i know my means and reach.
I content with what beauty i have and it becomes an emancipation.
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Old 26th March 2009, 13:33   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillram View Post
When i see other Classic cars..
One of the main reason why I was keen on a drive at the recent event was just this. Not everyone owns an exotic. But the passion is what's precious. By including a drive people and their families get a chance to enjoy their car and relate to its charm in ways only they understand. That is very important. A fun day for all means more and more people come together for these events. What your car is doesn't matter on the drive.

Similarly our usual events need to have special classes so all kinds of cars have an opportunity to compete in a fair manner and stand a chance to win. This includes modified cars. At the press meet at the last event Manvendra Singh echoed just this view, to expand classifications and create specific categories to cater to different kinds of entries.
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Old 26th March 2009, 13:44   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
Where there are people you will encounter ego issues and hassles. Its not all that hunky dory abroad either. I can bet many people look down on collectors like Jay Leno but eventually humour him for his wealth and fame. Just recently someone was telling me of passionate bickering at some international meet.

Its not about one person sitting and slotting others or judging them.

You just need to understand where a person comes from and deal with him/her accordingly.

The categories is not to pigeonhole people but to create awareness that different people come into the sport for different reasons. And sometimes, not always, those reasons create rifts when not clearly understood.

Just the purchase of a vintage car doesn't make for one fraternity. Within the group of owners you have people with specific objectives. Those who end up understanding these differences seem to get along great with likeminded chaps and I guess it will be 2 o 3 clubs per city but then as long as likeminded groups are together its ok I think.

So also let there be many events organised by people with differing objectives.

Why would anyone look down on Jay leno. A great guy with a great collection. I can understand people enveying him but to look down ona person is being downright nasty and petty.

This whole holier than thou attitude and looking down on people is what creates a problem.

In international circles there is bickering to a certain extent but it is limited to why a car was judged such and not as such.There are no rival camps or oposing factions, There are only different clubs that cater to different people.

We are all mature people and can see where another is coming from and where that persons interest lies.Each of us needs to judge the other person for our own understanding but to discuss our judgment is not a good idea. But to sit and catagorise them and discuss them is a petty thing to do.

A lot of people in the vintage car circles in Hyderabad look down on Rashid Bhai. They go, he has my family car and it is going to the dogs, He is not looking after it.

The fact here is had it not been for Rashid Bhai or Bhogilal for that matter most of these cars would have ceased to exist. They, by buying the cars saved them for everyone to enjoy.

People forget that when others were getting rid of these cars asuming they had no value these people bought them and saved them. Now how they keep them might not be appeal to all of us but itis entirely their decision.
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Old 26th March 2009, 14:01   #13
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Originally Posted by wasif View Post
A lot of people in the vintage car circles in Hyderabad look down on Rashid Bhai. They go, he has my family car and it is going to the dogs, He is not looking after it.

The fact here is had it not been for Rashid Bhai or Bhogilal for that matter most of these cars would have ceased to exist. They, by buying the cars saved them for everyone to enjoy.

People forget that when others were getting rid of these cars asuming they had no value these people bought them and saved them. Now how they keep them might not be appeal to all of us but itis entirely their decision.
Wasif you just validated this discussion. An enthusiast who say is of the perspective shown in point 3 may not relate to someone like Rashid bhai who may either be 6 or 7. This is just it. Its the failure to understand that different people come to the sport for different reasons is what leads to comments etc which create heartburn or rifts. You gave an excellent example.

BTW I think you probably are assuming that the original list proposes one as better or worse than the other. That is not the case. I have merely stated all possible kinds of perspectives with which one may own a vintage car.

Some people will never understand why another collector never drives a particular car. He definitely falls into one of the categories I have listed and I have no issues with his viewpoint. But you need to listen to others who simply cannot relate to why someone would never drive a car they own.

Last edited by DKG : 26th March 2009 at 14:05.
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Old 26th March 2009, 14:37   #14
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DKG.

All I am saying is we have no right to demarcate catagories and catagorise people. If there is a need to do so in ones mind to be able to effectively deal with them then it should remain in onesw mind.

To discuss others passions inherently implies that one is superior to them and one is looking down on htem.

To each his own is what I feel.
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Old 26th March 2009, 14:41   #15
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All I am saying is we have no right to demarcate catagories and catagorise people.
Wasif we are not putting anyone down. Why do you feel we are doing so? My only contention here is people come to the hobby with unique perspectives which everyone else should atleast be aware of and not surprised at. Such awareness promotes tolerance and not division. I fail to see why you hold such reservations to the categories. I don't think I have even hinted lightly or sarcastically that one perspective is superior to another.
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