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Antique Cars and the Public.....Public Property????


srhustiene55
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Last night I went to dinner with my wife in our 1960 Chevy Impala. And when proceeding to leave the restaurant I see in the back of the parking lot (where I parked far away from other vehicles) this middle aged man going all over my car, the way I would expect a body shop doing an estimate on full body work. Then before I approach my car I see what looks like him trying to open the passenger side door (was Locked). I quickly approached him and asked "Are You Messing With My Car" He quickly got uncomfortably close we stared at each other for a minute and he asks me what the hell is my problem! its an old car! He being the gentleman that he is, spit on the ground close to my foot and walked away. Well it made me think how would he react if I was close to his car trying to open the door when he stepped out of the restaurant? I'm sure he would call the police or in his case probably try to fight. I have been fortunate enough to own many classics over the years, and please! do not get me wrong, I love the attention that all my cars have gotten! I have had the pleasure to meet many wonderful people due to my classics. This just made me think tho........Just because they are classics are they different than other peoples vehicles? and are under a free range of public property?........I am curious if any of you have had a similar experience? And what is your take on this?

Edited by srhustiene55 (see edit history)
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My take would be the same as yours. I would have asked if I could help him. You have every right to protect YOUR property and if he has a problem with that, it is on him...not you. I am not a fan of confrontations, but you need to look out for your stuff when nobody else will. Folks need to learn not to touch other folk's items and it sounds as if his upbringing does not reflect that rule.

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It takes all kinds. Years ago a foreign couple tried to put their toddler on the fender of a freshly restored Packard for a picture (!) and didn't understand my angst about it. Not sitting mind you, STANDING on a freshly painted 100pt car. Good call on the possible crime element. We're all pretty sick of hearing about stolen collector cars and a 60 Chevy would part out nicely. Coulda been scopin you out.

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I am always willing to share the car with anyone who is really interested; let them sit in it, show the engine and in many cases let them drive when I had my Model A. One day at a local show my "A" was sitting along the street. When I approached I saw 3 young men sitting inside. It being a roadster pickup had hardly enough room for 2 rather than 3. I was angry and ask the guys how they would feel if the owner saw them in there without permission. They looked at me funny and I told them they were about to find out when they decided to bail. If they had asked I probably would have let them. What really made me mad was that I never stepped on the painted running boards but these guys, with their clod-hoppers on climbed all over them. Some people have no respect for other's property and it doesn't look like it's going to get any better anytime soon!

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It really saddens me the way things are changing, I had always had a classic car as a daily driver up until 3 years ago,There does seem to be a change in the public with classics, as if its a public owned object If its a classic, its free to poke and prod with as you wish. I recently was on a cruse with my friend in my 1966 Chevy Biscayne we stopped at a gas station and I asked him if he was coming in with me, he was unsure and just stayed in the car. I then told him I need to lock up if so, He laughed, After I came out of the store he proceed to tell me (I see what you mean) He laid back in the seat and some guy stuck his head through the window and scared the hell out of him. I have in recent years ran into more and more of this type of thing.

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The way things are going these days, yes - some people think they can just do what they want with your car.

It's not right, but they do it.

You can get ugly with them, or use your car and the situation as an ambassadorial moment for the hobby.

In our chapter, we go out of our way to let folks (especially children) sit in our cars, and show them off.

But that's just us.

I am sorry that butthole made you uncomfortable. I hope next time someone is near your car, it's a more enjoyable moment.

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Good Call, now days you would have ended up in jail. I call them "kids without parents" no respect for other people and no parents around to tell them different. My kids have friends over all the time, first thing they get is a lesson in what they can and can't do around my old cars. For most of them it is the only time they have seen or touched a collector car. Try to take them all out for a ride, lots of smiles and great memories, might drum up some more interest.

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I don't think there is anything "new" about this phenomenon. I can certainly remember similar occasions at least 30, if not 40 years ago. I once came back to my 1910 REO to find an entire family of children jumping on the seats while the mother looked on... but the worst case I can think of was a friend who came back to his fabulously original 1930 Studebaker only to find two people in the back seat eating fried chicken and wiping their hands on the upholstery.... and this was at a car show!

Tasteless, clueless and ignorant people are not a recent problem.

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The spitting at ones feet is the part that is beyond stupid, it is aggresive

I agree with JV Puleo, It's nothing new. I would also go one step further on John's comment that it's aggressive and would consider it as throwing the first punch.

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What you described happens frequently with my cars but with a slightly different tone; I often "break the ice" by saying "...bet you haven't seen one like that in a long time..." That often leads to a friendly discussion with my my wife tapping her feet to get back home, unless, of course, the persons wife is there and wants about quilting. I've never had a bad encounter, but then I have off brand cars (Studebakers/Avantis) that seem to be magnet to anyone over 60 who wants to tell my their father had one and this is the first time they have seen one in many many years. Ken, Deltaville, Va

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I think looking inside is one thing, but to try to open a closed car door is like trespassing. I was always taught as a kid, if it's not yours dont touch it untill you ask permission. I'm sure I'll be upset too, wen mine is finally done, if I see someone climbing in and poking around inside my car if I haven't okayed it first.

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I have had nice looking women climb on my cars to have their pictures taken without my permission. I like my paint to be perfect and it sickens me to have any scratches. I have had to call the police before to get the other persons insurance info. It is vandalism and the cops don’t mind handing out citations for it. Cops in my area love old cars.

<o:p> </o:p>

I don’t eat at restaurants where I can’t see my car. When I take the wife out to eat I usually drive a work vehicle.

Spit at me and its all done I have such a short fuse and very little self control. I am not saying its OK I am just saying I know what would have happened.

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I have had similar experiences with my 1929 Studebaker. Years ago I was with a large group of old car owners, 20s and 30s, various makes, and we parked our cars in a parking lot of the historic part of town with gold rush era buildings from the 1800s. After we returned to our cars from eating lunch I discovered fresh paint chips on the crown of the left front fender of my 1929 Studebaker that still had one of the finest original paint jobs of any original car. The paint was black and easily showed the deep scratches down to the bare metal all over the top of the fender – paint chips still lying next to the scratches. Someone who was hateful vandalized a nice original car. You can never get that nice original paint back.

Another time I was showing two cars 1929 Studebaker and a 1958 Cadillac. I returned to the Studebaker after having checked on the Cadillac in time to see a family of five – mom, dad, and three small children climbing all over the car. One kid was hanging from a door trying to pull himself up while kicking the door. Another older boy was sitting on the hood looking in through the windshield. Mom and Dad standing there with the third kid acting like nothing was wrong while the kids are tearing up my car. I was direct and forceful in asking them to get their kids off my car. They told me I was rude. The car was on display – wants my problem?

Last year, I was part of a display of CCCA cars parked in front of a large well known San Francisco Bay Area car museum. During the course of the event I left the museum to go out front to the plaza were our cars were parked. One of our members has a 1940 Cadillac convertible, parked with the top down, on display with our club’s cars. There were people sitting inside the car with friends taking pictures with a lineup of other spectators waiting their turn to get their picture taken sitting in the Cadillac convertible. The car’s owner was inside the museum and had no idea what was going on outside with is Cadillac.

It is gotten so bad I almost don’t want to take my car out unless I can stay with it every minute until it is returned to the garage.

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There are many morons that walk amongst us. I was called an idiot on Saturday by a family that appeared to have just crawled out of the mountains.

Trailered 2 vehicles to the Swigart meet. Late afternoon I went to get the trailer ready for loading only to discover a vehicle parked 3’ from the rear door, even though there was a large parking area alongside. Had the vehicle make, color and license announced to no avail. After an hour they wandered back to leave and I asked them why they would park in a car trailer loading door. They jumped in their vehicle, drove 25’ and hollered out the window “you idiot you could have pulled straight out”. Yes I guess I could go straight and run the trailer over the double stacked railroad ties onto the highway however I would prefer to load my vehicles first that YOU prevented me from doing since YOU were blocking the trailerdoor.

After they left a couple in a small pick up drove in and parked on the trailer parking area exit road. They said to me “is this a good place to park”. I said it is perfect if you want to block all 6 of these car trailers in. They responded “so you think I should move”?

Edited by Ron Green (see edit history)
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If I have had the pleasure of meeting you then you know I'm an easy guy to get along with, but the spit at my feet would have been the last straw. There is nothing more vulgar than someone spitting at you. I'm not a small guy, so that kind of stuff doesn't happen to me often. I look like a big tattooed goon so any time someone has been looking over my car when I walked out was usually met with " I'm sorry" or " I wasn't touching it, Just wanted to check it out". At which time I try to be friendly, give a bit of information about the car, and answer any questions they may have. Lots of times it ends with them jumping in for a quick ride, but never have I had someone get mad and spit at my feet. I don't know how I would handle that. It would take a lot of self control. The way the guy handled himself would make me believe he was scoping the car out. It is a good thing you went out when you did.

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Having dealt with the public for many years, I've come to the conclusion that the majority of the general public are stupid, self centered morons. Even though my '94 Crown Vic is not an antique yet, I will not take it anywhere I would have to park in a public lot any more. I've had too many sheeple park too close or at weird angles. I've come back to the car to find fingerprints on the windows. The paint on the car is factory original, and in pristine condition. No dents, either, and I want to keep it that way. I've even cut back on driving it because of the idiots that constantly tailgate and cut you off without signaling. After four years of living in SC, I'm convinced that the natives haven't a clue what that lever on the left side of the steering column is for other than to hang things on.

Edited by jay144 (see edit history)
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I caught a guy sitting on my Harley going VROOM VROOOM while twisting my throttle and jumping up and down. I came up behind him, grabbed his collar, yanked backwards and showed him the ground. I feel certain he got the point.

I had a father open the door to my Amphicar and let his kid jump in. First thing the kid did was grab my turn signal switch and snap it off. All this before I could get near him. He grabbed the kid and walked away like nothing happened. I confronted him and he said "it's not a big deal, it's just an old car anyway." I followed him to his car and while he was busy on the phone sitting on the hood of his car, I took out the pliers I had in my pocket and ripped out a valve stem. I looked at him and said "It's not a big deal, it's only air." I came back later and took 2 more for good measure. Amazing how loud that is!

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My Crown Vic is a bit newer than yours Jay. I drive it so I won't need to worry about most of the morons around. I bought it cheap so I don't worry about it that much when parking it somewhere. I don't keep any valuables in it or items in plain sight that might attract attention. It's also a Police Interceptor so I get a little respect on the road as most sheeple are unsure if it is really a cop car or not. It's not pristine but it's not a wreck either. It's a decent looking car but I wouldn't confront any suspicious goons looking it over either. My cell phone can take pictures as fast as I can call the cops if need be.

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I caught a guy sitting on my Harley going VROOM VROOOM while twisting my throttle and jumping up and down. I came up behind him, grabbed his collar, yanked backwards and showed him the ground. I feel certain he got the point.

I had a father open the door to my Amphicar and let his kid jump in. First thing the kid did was grab my turn signal switch and snap it off. All this before I could get near him. He grabbed the kid and walked away like nothing happened. I confronted him and he said "it's not a big deal, it's just an old car anyway." I followed him to his car and while he was busy on the phone sitting on the hood of his car, I took out the pliers I had in my pocket and ripped out a valve stem. I looked at him and said "It's not a big deal, it's only air." I came back later and took 2 more for good measure. Amazing how loud that is!

Boy oh boy you triggered my memory. I had just bought my 65 VW type 111 (standard model non U.S. export) and had gone surfing. The year 1968 (and I still have the car). Just got out of the water and was walking to the car. I had taken the end space as most car guys and gals do who don't want door dings when this VW bus comes up and parks into the space next to me, only he took part of my space as well. Before I could get to the cars the owner popped the door open and hit the side of my car. I confronted him and like your situation John, and the guy said " It's just a car " , and with that I opened the boot, and then my tool box and got mu diagonal cut pliers and popped all four of his valve stems saying with each stem " It's just a car right? ". He was wise enough by that time to not say a word as I put my board on the car, tools away dried off and drove away.

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"it's not a big deal, it's just an old car anyway."

In 2003 I bought a new Toyota Tundra truck. I did not have it 6 months when a relative borrowed my truck to tow a trailer. The truck ended up with the tailgate dented and the bumper bent. I pointed out the damage and the response was “It’s just a truck. I broke it in for you”. To save on insurance I did not put in a claim and two years later I traded the Tundra in on a Ford F-150. The damage cost me big when I made the trade. Lesson learned.

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When I went to Charlotte this Spring I took my brand new Dodge Quad cab pickup. After dropping the trailer at Auto Fair, I went to my hotel to check in. After doing so, I came out to the parking lot, I found a car with New York tags on it parked next to me and the driver was in the process of taking his things out of the car. His door was wide open and firmly imbedded into mine. I made some sort of comment about slamming my door into his to make things even. His reply "Go ahead...it's insured". Then he just walked away. I hope it was because MEK does wonderous things to car paint jobs.

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Based on the above posts, I must be living in some weird alternate universe. In eight years of attending local shows I've never had any problems with the public. I enjoy bringing the cars out and the public seems to like looking at them and occasionally asking the odd question. No drama.

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Based on the above posts, I must be living in some weird alternate universe. In eight years of attending local shows I've never had any problems with the public. I enjoy bringing the cars out and the public seems to like looking at them and occasionally asking the odd question. No drama.

You must understand these are compilations of many years in the hobby, however I think with children and young adults there is a lack of respect of other peoples property. This is not their fault though. Parents more and more want to be friends with their kids instead of doing the hard work of parenting, and government and media do not help because they make parents afraid to do disciplinary action for fear of being turned in by their kids for doing the simplest and non damaging forms of corporal punishment.

Edited by helfen (see edit history)
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Based on the above posts, I must be living in some weird alternate universe. In eight years of attending local shows I've never had any problems with the public. I enjoy bringing the cars out and the public seems to like looking at them and occasionally asking the odd question. No drama.

My experience as well.

Ben

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I got a swat on the butt when I deserved it. It taught me to respect others, and not make the same mistake twice. I don't feel like I was abused or mistreated. For how strong willed of a child I was I believe my parents are saints for not beating me within an inch of my life :P.

X2!

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I suspect incidents like this are actually very rare. They certainly have been in my case. What makes them memorable is that they are so unusual. The crude and ignorant will always be with us and always have been... I'd prefer to not have them dictate my behavior so I'll try to continue being polite and as helpful as I can be. We shouldn't let the morons call the shots.

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Many years ago, sometime in the 1970's, I took my car to a Rickel's store. I can't remember what car it was but I always had 50's - 60's cars as my daily drivers.

Anyway, I come out of the store and someone parked a nice shiny, expensive car in the space next to my car on the drivers side. They were parked so close that I had to crawl through the window to get into the car. Some other .... had blocked in my passenger side, too.

I was less than 20 years old at the time and very tempermental ( as Moe said of Curly of the 3 Stooges - "your 95% temper and 5% mental) the car on my driver side needed a new taillight lense before I left.....OOOOPS!!!!!

2 wrongs don't make a right but it sure felt good.

One other story, of many more - back in 1974 I was 17 years old and bought my very first new car - a bright red 74 Toyota Celica GT.

I washed that car everyday. Some said I was fanatical - I agree. It always looked as if it was just unwrapped from being sealed in plastic

So one day I'm playing tennis with my GF and the car is parked in the lot right next to the court. It was the only car there.

I look up and I see 3 punks sitting on the hood of my car - in jeans - with their feet on the front bumper.

I walked over to them and told them, somewhat nicely, to get off the car. They asked, "Is it yours"? I said yes but they still refused to move.

I had my tennis racket in my hand and I told them I would use it to MAKE them move if they didn't want to. So, they slide down off of the hood - GRRRRRRRRRR and walked away while talking under their breath.

Unbelieveable.............

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My experience, thankfully, was more humorous than anything else. I was shopping and parked my 1989 Caprice Classic in the lot away from everyone elses vehicle. Its an immaculate black beauty without a mark on it. I bought it with 39k miles on the clock and had it repainted with new chrome trim pieces and all. When I came out, I saw some old geezer twisting his key in my lock, trying to open the door. I approached and asked what he was doing to my car. He replied that it was his car and for some reason his key wouldn't work. I glanced two rows down and sitting there was another 89 Caprice Classic identical to mine, paint and all. We both had a good laugh.

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