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Leaving the old car hobby


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I have been in the old car hobby since the mid-80s. Over that time I have had lots of enjoyable times but over the past several years I have seen the hobby decline IMHO. Between ever organization having car shows (and charging $40 to show a car!!) and to the folks who are in the hobby only to make a buck, I have decided to find a new hobby.

Oer the past year I purchased two vintage cars that were being sold as pristine cars. I went over them extremely well but some things you can't see until you really start to dig into them. Both of them had internal engine issues that the previous owners had (1) failed to disclose and (2) masked with a quick fix to get them sold only to show up a month or so later. After this I have decided, never again.

I know there are some great folks in the old car hobby but after being burned twice in a year, I have decided not to take any more chances. It is sad to see the hobby degrade because of a several low life rip off artists.

Bob

Edited by Bob Hill (see edit history)
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Bob,

With nine collectors cars and a motorcycle, you won't be leaving the hobby to quickly. I too have had some poor experiences, but that's not the fault of the hobby. Warning, when you go to sell you collection: There are buyers who will make you mad too.

How often have we said, "It didn't use to be that way"? It's human nature to find a few bad apples in anything we

do and it seems to happen more often the older we get. It's also good to focus on the good things in life and the bad experiences seem to fade faster if we look at the good things. Consider this, 80% of your collection makes you happy, only the 20% of other peoples problems you bought bug you. Not bad! Ever hear a golfer say he's 80% happy with his game, or anybody who is 100% pleased wiith all their ebay tranactions? If you do, you are listening to somebody who

doesn't dwell on the bad things.

I hope you get over the bad deal and enjoy what you have, life's to short to walk around mad.

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I am sorry, but I do not get the purpose of you post, nor do I understand your last statement.

I was schooled with the saying, " buyer beware". There has been a many a time that I have purchased a car site unseen and driven hundreds of miles with the total faith of thinking the seller knows what there talking about only to get there and find junk that was presented by an excited seller that in reality new nothing about the car or the hobby. Not his fault.

In you statement it is like you bought a packedge of meat from the grocery store, put it in your fridge, then it expired before the due date, so now you have become a vegetarian.

you took some chances and got burned, so now your going to dislike the felling of driving a nice old car down the road?

Just my thoughts with no intention to offend.

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There are plenty of 'bad apples' in every hobby. The trick is to let everyone know who those people are, and let them get 'a reputation' that they deserve, and earned by being dishonest. Every car I sell, I sell like it's being bought by my next door neighbor, or my sister. This way if anything goes wrong, I did my best and I have no problems with my conscious.

I bought a car out of a car corral in Auburn once, it was missing, had issues, the seller told a story that 'kinda-sorta' made sense as an explanation for the missing engine.. the price was low enough that even if the engine was bad and had to be rebuilt, I didn't care. The engine issue ended up being an easy fix.

AND, the 'story' the seller told me proved to be all BS. But i didn't care.

The next year at Auburn, i see the same guy selling another car,, he recognizes me, and looks away, doesn't want to talk with me.. I knew then for sure that 'the story' was all made up, pure BS, just to pawn off the car on another person..

I had the last laugh.. When I sort of cornered him, he had to talk with me, I told him what fixed the car, and how easy it was.. and I told him the evidence i found that what he told me about the car was not true.. I left it at that.. I think he got the message..

Anyway. I hope maybe you'll find another car that sparks your interest and you stay with the hobby, it's not likely to get out of your blood anyway, you'll still have interest in cars.. that just doesn't go away..

Just remember, the saying: 'Buyer Beware' has been around for a LONG time, and it pertains to ANY purchase, not just cars.

Best of luck.

Greg L

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Bob,

Sorry to hear about your bad experiences. I too have been contemplating the same thing. The "hobby" has taken a step backward as evidenced by the latest frenzy in Nebraska. Thousands of people trying to buy low mileage junk that should have been properly stored. Overinflated prices, barn find hype, and on and on.

I started in the early 70's and it was fun. We traded parts or in some cases gave away parts just to help someone out. Today, it's big business and top dollar for everything. Auctions were fun back then when could look the other bidder in the eye and get a feel for their interest in an item. Not today, the phone bid might be coming from overseas or where ever, and deep pockets prevail. Between the reality auto shows, restomod shows, and major televised auctions we are seeing a major shift in the hobby as we knew it.

Unfortunate, but it is what it is.

Hang in there, your stable has some interesting autos.

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I really hate to admit it but I have been burned too. One time to the tune of $15,000. It really sours a person. I know we are not suppose to put any religous stuff on here but I have to violate that in this case.

If you can forgive and forget you will be a happier man. When you allow a few people,, who love money more than the principles of honesty and integrity to get you down then you have allowed them to win. Please do not live looking at the past or in car terms "looking in the rear view mirror". We have to put bad experiences behind and move on. That applies to a bad marrage, bad car deal, bad boss etc, etc..

I hope that you can find the ability to forgive and forget so you can remain a happy person no matter what you do with your cars.

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I think that many people believe that the "old car hobby" consists of nothing but restoring a car, showing that car, garnishing awards for that car, retire that car from the show circuit, start over with a new project. How about just keeping a few of the cars you own, and drive them and maintain them for your own pleasure?

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It sounds like you have just simply become discouraged. Don't make a decision just yet. Making a decision while you are down could be a wrong one that you may regret. I would give it a few weeks, even a few months and see how you feel. However, if after a period of time you still feel the same; then maybe it is time to get out. As hardcore as I am with old cars there are two other hobbies that I enjoy as well. When I become discouraged with the old car hobby I find that somehow after some time I always come back to it. Thats how you really know its in your blood.

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I agree with billybird, a vacation from the hobby is a good idea then see if you still feel the same. My experience is that everyone in the hobby either has been or will get burned at some point, I know I have many times but that has never made me want to quit completely. I agree that the monetary side of the hobby has changed but rip-off artists have always been around. Don't let a few jerks take you away from something you really like, give it some time.

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I don't see anything wrong with getting fed up and leaving the hobby. It has happened to me more than once. What the heck it's supposed to be fun. If it stops being fun go do something else.

It's not the bad experiences, you could shrug those off. It's time for a change that's all.

If you are like me you will be back in a few years.

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If old cars run in your blood, there isn't much that would turn a person away from the hobby. I would guess that probably 75% of the folks in the hobby have run across a ripoff, jerk at one time or another and not let it bother them enough to bow out of the hobby. I know that I have. This too shall pass. There are way more honest people in the old car hobby than there are ripoffs, so try to get past the bad folks. Take a deep breath and a break for a month or two. Hopefully, you will see that this hobby is also full of reputable folks who are here to help.

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I do not and will not attend over priced events. I will not buy a whole car unless the price is very good. I have quit a couple of hobbies because of some of the same reasons you listed. I don’t care to show cars anymore its just become a pain in the butt. I love working on projects and driving my cars. I have looked at a couple of g3ss bikes recently. I had one I bought new in 74.

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40 dollar entry fees? Wow! Around here, we have nice shows with $8 to $15 entries. Even my club's event costs $30, but that's for a weekend event with dances and other events to participate in. Unless a show has paid expert judges who follow an organisation's criteria for judging, I see no reason to go to shows costing that much. Stay away from the Goodguy's and NSRAs who are not clubs, but businesses set up to make a profit ($350 vendors fee? Riiiiiggghhht) Enjoy the local small shows and meet the people, stroll the swap area and eat the food. One can really enjoy the atmosphere which is more akin to a community picnic than a car show by the big guys. Unless one is a trophy hound, a person can have some serious fun at these shows.

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These days, a "restoration" can be totally cosmetic, and the car still has mechanical problems.

Mechanical problems, while they can be expensive on some cars, are still less expensive than body work and paint. So, if you're looking at a car that's perfect mechanically, but has rusted floors, walk away. On the other side of the coin, if the car is perfect as far as body condition goes, but mechanicals are sad, go for it...that's the buy.

I've bought and sold about 175 cars in the last 40 years, falling in love with one, then finding another so selling the first. Yes, I've been burned a few times, but one has to take the good with the bad, and always, always, do a personal inspection then think of what could be wrong.

Usually when one states that they're quitting a hobby that they've obviously been involved in for a while, there are other reasons and factors. Age, health, family matters...and so forth.

Wish you well, if you really decide to leave the hobby.....

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Hershey has priced me out of the market, hotels with 4 night mins at close to 200 a night. ..........

Do not stay in Hershey Ted. My rooms are at $60.00. (it's not a tent either.:)) I can get to the fields early mornings in 35 minutes.

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I took me up a new hobbie too. Fine cigars, Drinkin, Gambelin, and Dancin Girls..... When the money ran out and the girls left, I went back to my Cars, Tractors, and other rusty iron. It only took about one afternoon to relize I could not sustain my new hobbie. ;) Should da put the money in a hole and Burried it. Dandy Dave!

Edited by Dandy Dave (see edit history)
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I'm saying this tongue in cheek (mostly)........but if you're going to leave the hobby (ANY hobby) because of people you're going to have a hard time going shopping....... :P

Every organization, club and hobby has its jerks and everyone knows and probably who they are too.

I got screwed on a couple tractors I bought (these were not $2-3,000 pieces either). It got to the point I couldn't stand to look at them because it made me mad every time I saw them so I SOLD them. Problem solved........and THEN, 3 years ago, I bought my first collector car, a 1920 Model T Ford Coupe.......7 cars later.......sold 2....... :eek: .......I have the 5 I'm going to KEEP now.

The grapevine is in better shape than it EVER was due to the internet. A few PRIVATE conversations and word gets around because everybody knows everybody....... ;)

Forget your losses and capitalize on your successes.

And if you're just plain burned out on cars........there are thousands of other things to collect.........it's in the blood you know....... :D

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Bob Hill,

After working with the public for almost 50 years I have learned not to believe anyone when money is involved.

I will only buy what I know is good for a good price. Every thing else will be discounted the amount it would cost me to fix it if it is broken.

You can't go wrong this way.

I just bought a "good running driver" collector car that I had to put in new brakes (complete job) axles, alternator, wiring, wheels and tires. I am still happy because I did not pay for a perfect car.

I expected the seller to leave off a "few" details and he did not let me down.

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I miss the smell of cooking chocolate, so usually just tape a Hershey bar under my nose at the event.

I do agree that, with the Internet, it's easy to find comments about dealers and such. Also, the car collecting hobby is a very small one, in a way, and I'd bet we're all just one or two people away from knowing each other. All the time, someone will mention so and so, and I'll know the name, or I'll have people say "hey, I know your name".... So if you're looking at a specific car, then chances are there's a collector out there that not only knows the marque, but also knows the particular car and the person selling it.

Many years ago, I had two old car friends helping me put the engine back in my Pierce. As we were working, another good friend called (I won't mention Marty's name here) and asked about a car he was getting ready to trade for....as we talked I mentioned it to my two friends standing there, and one of them asked "Is it green?"....he knew the car! So, as stated, the car collecting hobby is a small one.

Just in the last two weeks, I walked into two separate local restoration shops, and each was working on a car I used to own! Small world....

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