Carsnz123 Posted March 8, 2015 Share Posted March 8, 2015 (edited) There are five things I am really grateful cars have evolved. They would be Power steering, Power breaks, Indicators, heaters and demisters. Over the past month I have had my appreciation of the these five things greatly improved after driving a 1929 Plymouth, a car with 40hp and a top speed of 95kph, to work because the "modern" 1987 Toyota Crown needed a bit of work doing to the engine. Now as you are reading this you will probably think that vintage cars cant be used every day as they are too unreliable and can't handle today's commuter traffic, well you're wrong on both counts... sort of. It took me two attempts to pass my restricted drivers license. When I pulled into the car park of the testing center after failing my first attempt, driving the Crown I had done most of my driving in, I noticed there was a lot of oil in the park where I had started the test an hour earlier. Further inspection revealed the car was hosing oil out at an alarming rate and there wasn't much oil left in the engine. So my second attempt a few days later was done in my sister's Toyota Starlet, a car I had only done a quick blat up and down the street with to make sure I had put it back together right after rebuilding the head. Somehow against all odds I passed with flying colours but I had a small problem; My car had to have the engine out to fix the oil leak, I needed to get to work 30km away and the only car available to me was our 1929 Plymouth. oh well they did it 80 years ago, why cant I do it today? The first week was great. I really enjoy driving the car, all my work mates were quite amazed someone my age could drive such a machine let alone something akin to a horse and cart would be able to be used as every day wheels. By the second week I realized how expensive the car was to run. It was getting 13 MPG, I was spending $120NZD on gas every week and I needed to fill up twice a week because I could only 3/4 fill the tiny 11 gallon tank because of the leaky fuel gauge. It also started to get colder and darker at 6:30 AM and the car less a heater meant the 40 min trip to work was very cold. Furthermore it rained on a couple of days so I had to drive with the windows open to stop the car fogging up. The wiper is also not the best and I had a hard time seeing when the headlights of other cars lit up the rain on the windscreen. The novelty wore off on the third week. The suspension (and my spine) had a hard time coping with Christchurch's earthquake damaged roads, I was charging the battery every night because the headlights were draining the battery faster than the generator could charge it, the rate of acceleration and deceleration was a bit hair raising pretty much every trip with other motorists not realizing that I couldn't go any faster or break in a hurry. In the mornings I froze my arm off every time I needed to indicate and it let what little warm air in the car escape. After a hard days work on the construction site the non-power steering and crash gearbox were hard to handle and the lack of a radio made sitting in traffic on the way home rather boring. The constant noise and vibration of the engine and drive train were rather annoying too. I put up with the... quirks of the Plymouth for another week and was very happy when the crown was together and able to be used again. What I can takeaway from the experience is that driving a vintage car gives you more gratitude of what we have in our modern cars, all the fancy bells and whistles that we take for granted, the comfort and luxury that people in the 1920s could only dream about. It also teaches you how to drive, I don't mean getting in the car and pushing the go peddle to go and the stop peddle to stop but rather being in full control of each aspect of the car: when to change gear, when the ignition should fire, how much choke is on, how much fuel to give the engine. you learn to drive to the conditions, keep a look out for dangers, pick appropriate gaps in then traffic and to not be generally stupid as the car you're in is irreplaceable. I think everyone should spend a month or more using a vintage car as a daily driver to discover they don't need all the comforts of modern cars to get from A to B. The last month had its ups and downs but I have to say I really enjoyed it but may leave it a while before doing it again. Edited March 8, 2015 by Carsnz123 (see edit history) Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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