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fordee9r (Ron Springstead)

Lost Auto Knowledge, Pt. 2

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Howard's (HVS) post about lost old car knowledge got me thinking... in reverse. This is not unusual for me, it happens quite often.<BR> My thoughts have to do with AACA's policy of accepting any vehicle, 25 years old or older, as an antique. I'm not saying that this policy is right or wrong, but it got me thinking about what the show car fields will look like before long.<BR> If my math is correct, 1976 model year vehicles will be accepted onto the show fields this year. QUICK! What make and model, produced in 1976, stands out or comes to mind? Anything really noteworthy? Did you also consider the offerings by manufacturers such as Datsun (Nissan), Toyota or maybe Subaru?<BR> In Howard's thread I, for one, knew what a Packard was but I wonder how many of us will know much about these "new antiques" being allowed on the show fields each year.<BR> Just think... the day is coming when some poor guy will just miss getting his First Junior because of "incorrect computer"! shocked.gif" border="0

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Two points: There are young people coming into the hobby today for whom cars of the 1976 model year are antiques. A high school classmate of mine from the early 50s recently wrote: "I have a hard time thinking of the cars that we drove in high school as antiques". It depends totally upon our perspective.<BR>Secondly, I believe all of us appreciate a low mileage, well maintained vehicle regardless of age. There are some really nice cars of the 70s & 80s out there. Why not recognize and enjoy them as well?<P>jnp

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Contrary to what might be expected, I won't touch this one right now with a 10 foot pole. shocked.gif" border="0 <P>hvs

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Personally I'd love to see a 76 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible, 76 Datsun 280Z, or even a 76 Pontiac Trans Am with a oh-so tasteful eagle decal on the hood. grin.gif" border="0<P>There are a few cars worth while from the era.<P>Peter

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Wow, it's hard to accept that 1976 was 25 years ago. Seems like it was just yesterday.<BR>Thinking back, it seems that these oil shortage era cars were pretty uninspiring.<BR>Best ideas that I can come up with:<P>Big GM 4dr hard tops<BR>Cadillac Eldorado convertible<BR>Cadillac Bairretz (sp)<BR>Chrysler Cordoba hardtop<BR>Olds Toronado<BR>Pontiac Firebird, especially TransAm<BR>Corvette<BR>Jaguar 2+2 coupe<BR>Mercedes 450SL Coupe and Roadster<BR>Porsche 911 and Carrera<BR>VW Beetle convertible<P>Like Hal, I'd never go for a Pacer, except maybe as a portable greenhouse on wheels.<P> cool.gif" border="0

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TRUE PACER STORY! rolleyes.gif" border="0<P>In 1984 a college buddy of my son had a pacer of questionable origin. shocked.gif" border="0 Its VIN was trouble looking for a place to happen. No title. He dared not try to sell it or trade it in.<P>What to do to get rid of it after he bought a new truck. confused.gif" border="0<P>I suggested that he park it in the WORST part of Baltimore with some gas in the tank and the keys in the ignition. That would surely take care of its disposal. cool.gif" border="0<P>Not so. frown.gif" border="0 Three checks back over a 10 day period found it still there. Finally he stopped looking. I guess even in that neighborhood NOBODY wanted a pacer.<P>I hope this is not too far off the subject, bit someone else mentioned Pacer. smile.gif" border="0smile.gif" border="0<P>hvs<P>PS: My 10' pole remark had to do only with the subject of what cars AACA should accept for judging. It didn't cover asides. wink.gif" border="0<p>[ 06-14-2001: Message edited by: hvs ]

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Ted,<BR>What a bargain, only $12.00 to join, and you don't have to own one grin.gif" border="0 <BR>Maybe I should try to buy one of those "rare" 1980:s<BR> grin.gif" border="0grin.gif" border="0

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Time does go by fast. This January we put antique plates on our 1976 Corvette and in January 2002 we will put them on our 1977 Grand Prix. That one we bought out of the show room. That can't be right!!!!

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I've touched this topic several times with a 10' pole on this forum over the last 2 years (imagine that we'll soon have been doing <I> this </I> for that long!), and been hit over the head with it several times. <P>First of all, just because a car wasn't popular in it's day doesn't mean that it won't be a viable hobby car as an antique. Howard's Pacer story could just have well been about an Edsel Pacer in 1964. <P>But the cars of the Carter/Reagan era serve a special purpose in our history. They define the very endpoint of when we as a Nation defined ourselves by what we drove. They did this by being as a whole exactly what we most feared we were becoming in the post-Watergate era; ineffectual, incompetant, anachronistic, overdecorated, underperforming slackers.<P>I've bored everyone on the topic of how little esteem is held for cars of this era, and how this bodes ill for recruitment into the hobby over the next 20 years or so. I will not continue it here. If you're interested, click on the search icon and look for threads with "Young People" in the title. It <I> is </I> interesting that even here on this forum, among the very members of a group that should be defending the newest recruits into antiquedom, ridicule rules the day. (I happen to think that one of the only cars in the 1977 class to draw any serious interest to the class will be the Pacer! What do you think, that they're all going to be standing around the Chevette or the Volare wagon sighing longingly? rolleyes.gif" border="0 )<P>And that day, when the first AACA Junior is denied due to "incorrect computer", is exactly 4 years away. 1980 begins the era of ECM controlled cars. In fact the last non-ECM controlled passenger vehicle sold in the U.S. was the 1984 diesel Ford pickup. I hope the judges are brushing up on reading chip codes and counting connector pins! shocked.gif" border="0

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Dave ~ Interesting Pacer observation. I think you may be right in that it will be the only thing there that might attract people's attention. The Corvettes, Mustangs and muscle cars already have their own classes. What else is there so different as to attract attention to the production classes of that era? Maybe a Gremlin.<P>hvs

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Why is everyone picking on the AMCs? <P>Oh yeah, I forgot.<P><B>A</B>in't<BR><B>M</B>y<BR><B>C</B>ar

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grin.gif" border="0 Hey everyone... I started this thread as a result of Howard's post about P.F.K.'s (pimply faced kids) lack of knowledge about a fine automobile such as a Packard. Although those kids were supposed to be educated in the ways of the american automobile, they had no conception of what a Packard was. By the same token, many of us "old pharts" have no idea what was offered by various manufacturers just 25 years ago.<BR> Does this mean that all of us with knowledge of the true antiques and classics are smarter than those coming up through the ranks? I don't think so but it does make you stop and think. Do you want to just retain the knowledge that you have aquired over the years and ignore the "used cars" that are now being accepted as antiques?<BR> If this hobby is to continue, we will have to welcome those who's interests are quite different from ours and come from a time that didn't strike us as interesting. Unfortunately, that also includes Pacers! rolleyes.gif" border="0

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How 'bout the Dodge Magnum, the Lil' Red Express, and a small selection of 360 c.i. quasi-muscle of the late '70s, and didn't they build Granadas with 351s in them? Talk about a sleeper. Once we get into the '80s, we'll start seeing fun stuff again like Monte Carlo SS, the various Shelby Mopars (can you say Omni GLHS? ahhhh....), and the aero Thunderbirds, to say nothing of the cool stuff from Britain and Germany in the '70s and early '80s. It also marks the beginning of the era where the Japanese learned how to build cars, and we'll start seeing the more interesting examples there as well, I'm sure.<P>The concept of restoration may have to change, however, as manufacturers switched to a policy of continual improvement, so that a car built at the beginning of a model year may not be quite the same car as the one built at the end of a model year. I've run across that just trying to maintain some of my cars. Drives me nuts. smile.gif" border="0<P>Cheers,<BR>Bry

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OK --- I have put down my 10' pole and am ready to express my thoughts on admission years of cars for AACA judging.<P>Let me go back to 1963 or '64 when I had recently turned 30 and was the <B>VERY</B> proud smile.gif" border="0 owner of a freshly restored '41 Cadillac convertible sedan. To many of the "old timers", just a used car.<P>I took it to a Region 4th of July picnic and was informed by "me betters" to, "Take that car out of here and park it on the street. This is an antique car function not a used car lot." <B>ACTUAL QUOTE SO HELP ME!</B> mad.gif" border="0 <P>So here is my philosophy on admission of cars to AACA judging. Everyone's car is important to him. 25 years has been the standard of admission for years. I personally have little or no interest in cars after the middle '50s and I am not going to hesitate to admit it. <B>BUT SO <BR>WHAT?</B> What interests me or anyone else is irrelevent. It is what interests our members that matters.<P>37 years ago the same feeling prevailed, we don't want all those new cars on the field.<BR>Well, they were finally included on the field and we are a better, stronger and larger organization than we were then.<P>Let them in at 25 and let the spectators separate them for themselves. Also, I have no concerns about our being able to judge these cars. We <B>WILL</B> make mistakes, but what the H---, we've been doing that for years. The judges do their best and regardless of errors, the cars almost always receive the award they deserve. And if you think the judges won't know all the details of the modern cars, you should see what they don't know about the 70 to 90 year old ones.<P>But then that is just my opinion. I could be wrong. wink.gif" border="0 ~ hvs<p>[ 06-15-2001: Message edited by: hvs ]

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Not that I necessarily agree with the following, but here in the UK the government (or whoever it is who decides these things) defined a "classic car" to be one that is over 25 years old. But, concerned that newer cars didn't have that classic feel, recently they froze the year so now cars that are prior to '72 (I think) are classic.<BR>Whether they step this year limit up as time goes by remains to be seen.

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Howard, glad you're back. As you will recall when we first met, the '41 Cadillac did make the grade onto the field in '65 or '66 (since somebody had decided all LaSalle's were Classics prior to that), but the 25 year rule didn't come on until 1974. Prior to that the absolute cut-off had been 1935, and then thru the efforts of some others of us, they moved to a new year ever OTHER year in 1968. You and I started out with "used cars" in the parking lot in '62-'64, but my '39 Buick didn't get off the "used car" lot until 1974. <BR> Now, here's my point. I am restoring a '71 Riviera, and I sort of feel like I got off the LAST train after '72, but you are soooo right! I'm free to like what I like, and others are free to like what they like. The worst curse word in this hobby is "used car" when applied to anybody's car....to me the absolute worst. <BR> I personally love 1932-1949 cars, but my growth in the hobby was stunted because of that, since they were "used cars" when I got my start in '62. <BR> So, let us all be civil, and give the new times their time. Whatever isn't interesting won't be shown and collected. But it's my guess somebody will find what we of the newest "old-timers" group think aren't interesting....interesting. <BR> And, as in past times, as we get old ourselves, our interests will get old, and then it will be necessary to invent a "Reliability Tour", as was done in 1967 or 1970, whenever it was, to stimulate the continued interest in the cars and trucks that have passed by the top of the power curve (radio lingo). <BR> I don't comment often, but this subject is sort of close to my heart.

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HVS/Dynaflash - Right On! Bring them on and let the spectators zero in on their favorites. To show you how well this works I had a neat experience this past weekend at the Rochester MN meet - as I was crossing the street headed towards the showfield, a beautiful well preserved 70 Olds drove by, the original owner driving! He was "cruising" because he knew about the show. He saw my "Judge" shirt and stopped to ask me some questions, and when I mentioned the new Drivers class his eyes lit right up. He promptly parked the car, walked over to the AACA membership tent and joined the club. Someone also made the observation that the Drivers Class will help encourage folks to preserve some cars until they are HPOF eligible. There were a couple of neat cars in the "parking lot" that day, and they also drew a crowd. Getting them onto the showfield is indeed the key to our survivability.

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Terry,<P>In your post you made the comment that indicates that a drivers class car can be put into the HPOF. I was told that you could do either DC or HPOF, but not both. Has there been a change of policy that the membership should know about. Another question is why would one want to put a car in HPOF after it has been in the Drivers class. HPOF cost more to enter than the Drivers Class, doesn't it?<P>Dan

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I would think that once you enter HPOF you would hsve to stay there. I think what was being refered to here is the fact that you can enter the car in the DC at 25 years old. for the HPOF Class the car has to be 35 years old. If the ruling is that it is enter into one and never into the o<BR>ther (looking at the going from DC to HPOF) that is ten years the person has to NOT enter his car into the show to make it eligable for HPOF. <P>I think the ruling is mainly (i'd have double check) is that if you go for an award (Junior, Senior, HPOF, etc.) you can't enter the DC.<P>Father Ron,...Where are you? we need to make sure we are correct on some rule here. Thank you<p>[ 06-16-2001: Message edited by: novaman ]

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novaman ~ I understand the rules the way you do. It makes a lot of sense that someone with a good, original, 25 year old vehicle could participate for 10 years in DC and then if the car were unaltered it could move to HPOF. Then of course it would have to stay HPOF. No jumping back and forth.<P>There is no reason why a "driver" cannot be HPOF. I know people who have HPOF cars that drive them on AACA tours. So what? Just don't restore the darn thing while showing in DF and waiting for the 35 year rule of HPOF. I see no contradictions here. smile.gif" border="0 ` hvs

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When I started this thread I didn't want to condem the AACA's policy of "25 yrs = antique". I apolgize to anyone I offended by using the term "used car" in my second post. It won't happen again!<BR> I wanted to address the problem HVS encountered with the "P.F.K.'s" and his Packard. I feel the problem is multi-level and will have an impact on the AACA and our hobby. The young mechanics entering the field today, too often, are the result of our public education system and are not taking these jobs because they are "car nuts" like I was. They are usually unruly kids disrupting conventional studies so they are transferred to vocational education. I know this from running my own garage for 30 years and seeing who's applying for a job.<BR> When I was growing up in the 50's, cars were constantly changing and it was really exciting to see what was coming out of Detroit next! Chevys were different from Pontiacs, Buicks, Oldsmobiles and definitely Caddys! I lived through the battle of the tailfins, the birth of the pony cars and the birth (and death) of the muscle cars. I loved cars and wanted them to be a big part of my life.<BR> Can today's kids say that? Can you tell a Chevy from a Pontiac if the emblems are removed? My point is that, since todays cars (and most of those produced since the 70's) are not interesting, there are very few kids growing up as "car nuts". Without "car nuts" coming down the pike, who's going to bother to restore that Volare that was his first car?<BR> I think AACA's interest in getting younger people involved in this hobby is commendable but I feel it's an uphill battle. If we hope that kids will take an interest in restoring the cars that were produced when they were growing up, I think we're kidding ourselves.<BR> Maybe we have to look at promoting the history of the automobile. If this had been done, maybe those "P.F.K.'s" would have recognized HVS's Packard. If we're going to get younger people interested in cars, we're going to have to get them interested in cars that are interesting! rolleyes.gif" border="0

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Ron ~ I wasn't my Packard that was being discussed on here. I think it belonged to Chris from NJ. My contribution was to make the comment about the younger generation's lack of knowledge on the subject which led to the subsequent the furor on here. I certainly do not want to get into that again.<P>As for Packards, I don't have one but would be very pleased to receive one for Father's<BR>Day.<P>Happy Fathers Day you guys.<P>hvs

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