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ericmac

My new year's resolution 2020

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I have been considering this for some time; the cost of the hobby from an investment perspective.  In my old, pre knee replacement, life I was a marathon runner.  I did most of the big ones including Boston twice (the Pebble Beach of the running world). While running in its purest form is very inexpensive,  basically you need shorts, socks, a T-shirt and a pair of running shoes, when you get into marathons the costs pile up fast. This is particularly true if you decide to be a 50 stater (running a marathon in all 50 states) or even more so, if you want all 6 of the majors (New York,  Boston,  Chicago,  London,  Berlin and Tokyo) or the 7 continents. 

 

So what's my point? Never in 40 years and 50,000 miles of running did I ever hear of a runner complaining about cost. Never. Nor did I ever hear of a runner holding any expectation of getting a return on their investment.  Instead they simply enjoyed their experience. 

 

That is what I hope to impart to our hobby for the upcoming year. Lets enjoy the cars, the drive, the shows, the publications, this website and most importantly,  the people of the hobby. The cost? In my humble opinion,  it's worth it.

 

Happy New Year 2020 website friends.

Eric Macleod 

 

 

 

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in that case, to hell with the mortgage.....................................!

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I agree wholeheartedly with your resolution Eric.

 

I'm not blessed with a natural mechanical ability (a serious handicap in this hobby) and rely on friends and professionals to help keep things going. That said, there are many enthusiasts out there,including on this forum,that are of immense help.

 

My greatest joy is researching my car's histories, and maintaining and showing them to an uninitiated public.

 

Generally, I resolve to not make New Year's resolutions. I do have a couple of goals hobby-wise this year. One is to finish restoring what I have of a 1901 and 1903 Olds engines.The other is to finish and mount the rear bumperettes on my '25 Buick coupe.

 

Best wishes and Happy New Year to all that read this.

 

Jim Boland

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15 minutes ago, mercer09 said:

in that case, to hell with the mortgage.....................................!

Yup...that too!

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Posted (edited)

I have two good friends I would like to offer as anecdotal responses to my good friend ericmac. The first told me early in our 30 year friendship he was born with more money than he could spend in his life time. He was certainly not extravagant but he bought what he wanted when he wanted it. He bought and sold a lot of cars, most very high end, never concerning himself with cost or expense. He was certainly a good friend to me.

 

The second friend kept his hobby separate from his personal business. As a young man, he bought a T model, fixed it up, sold it, and made a little money. He took that money and bought another car, did some work on it, and sold it, making a little profit, and invested in another car. He did this his whole life and by the end he was buying very nice high end cars. He never bought a car as an investment but never lost money on one either. To my knowledge, he never advertised one of his cars for sale, people would find out what he had in his garage and stop by to make an offer. He used to tell me, "If the offer was so high I couldn't afford to keep the car, I'd sell it."

 

There are a lot of people in this hobby with all kinds of financial abilities. I noticed where a certain car sold at auction for $120,000 but two years later the same car sold for $90,000. A loss such as this would bankrupt a lot of hobbyist but the first friend I mentioned above would not even take notice. He had ericmac's philosophy but he also could afford such a philosophy. My question is: why is there not room in this hobby for people who enjoy the old cars, are happy to spend money on them, but really need to be able to get most of it back?

 

A little while ago a guy was trying to sell 10 Lincolns in a dilapidated building and everybody cried and moaned they weren't worth restoring; they were just too far gone. But if money is no object, if we don't look at our cars as investments, no car is too far gone to be restored. The only question is: Does somebody want to invest their money in the car.

Edited by AHa (see edit history)

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AHa,

 

it is all a matter of choice. to lose money, break even or make a boat load of money.............. choices we make.

 

no different then buying location location location in real estate. some care and some dont. Many a rich person has lived in an average house and been quite content, while they could have had much more.

 

A model A ford can make most happy and are not extravagantly expensive.

 

all it comes down to- is what do you want?

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 When I was 17, I bought a 32 Ford roadster. I kept a careful ledger on all of the costs,and have done so on all of the cars that I have restored since.

 But, the last three that I restored I never bothered to add up the costs. 

 I don't sell any of them as they don't eat but I keep four of them  registered on a revolving schedule because it's nice to drive them rather than to let them sit. 

 As I just "celebrated" my 80th birthday, I am concerting selling a few as I may not have time to drive them all, and it would be nice for someone else to enjoy them.

 As the original poster ericmac said, the cost is worth it.

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Posted (edited)

There are a lot of things I don't understand, running would be in the top six, but billions are spent on sneakers every year. I'm happy with the projects I have, I could afford every one when I bought it and stand to make money if I ever parted with one. I don't have time to hand a Kleenex to the whiners that are loosing money. By they way,what does it cost to go to the Super Bowl and watch sweaty millionaires run around? 

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)

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28 minutes ago, 1937hd45 said:

By they way,what does it cost to go to the Super Bowl and watch sweaty millionaires run around? 

 

  More importantly, what do you have when the game is over?

 Just like rebuilding a car, the lasting value is in the enjoyment is in the doing, not the resale value.

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With you 100%  It's only money. I can go out and make more.  I just spent the entire day in my shop working on my speedster in total bliss. What's that worth? 

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If you get into old cars as a business, then you have the expectation of profit, Small, moderate, or substantial-

but-

if you get into vintage automobiles as a hobby,

the best way to endure the hobby with a small fortune,

is to start with a large fortune.

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Old cars are a hobby and hobbies cost money. My daughter’s hobby is horses, horses cost more money than old cars have cost me. I will say I only spend what I can afford too on old cars. I will also say don’t ever buy anything that eats while you sleep!  

Have fun. 

Dave S 

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Posted (edited)

Our new years resolution this year is to have a lot of work done on the A that will be done by a small specialist, young guy building a restoration business focused on early Fords.  I won't have time in the near term, even though I do have the ability.  I know I am doubling the cost vs. Doing my own work, but the reality is my time is limited.  With a lower end car this may not make financial sense to some but for me getting brakes, front end and ride from typical for an old A to top notch will allow us to go further with confidence.  So its worth it, should have happened last year but a job change threw me off track a bit, all good now.  Happy New Year all!! 🙂

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

I trudge along with my vintage cars at various speeds. I go hard for a while. Other times progress slows down.  I backed off over the holidays, spending a lot of time relaxing. I think I’m actually ready to go back to my day job! I can’t remember the last time I ever said that. I’m sort of supplying a steady drip of funds for my old cars. I don’t order all my project parts in large chunks. I try and save money where I can. I am not saving or tallying my receipts on my ‘38 revival. I’m a fool to think if I spend $20K over 10 years, it’s justified. Compared to spending $20K in two years. I can’t/won’t do that! Lol. 

 

I am fairly new to the old car hobby. I will admit that I have debated how much to spend restoring an old car compared to a realistic sell price. This thought process is a black hole to disappointment. I have a great time while out in my garage working on my old cars. I get giddy ordering new parts. Upon arrival I really enjoy installing the parts. The satisfaction of a completed well-done job is a good feeling. The resale price has become irrelevant to me.  I spend what I am comfortable with. Where I’ll end up I don’t know. I do know for sure that later I’ll enjoy driving the car immensely.  I am fortunate that I do have time on my side. I’ll be 49 in 2020.  Hopefully I’ll have quite a good run to enjoy the hobby. 

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
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I appreciate all the thoughtful comments.  In addition to the scenario I mentioned specific to running,  another poster and I were discussing the "value " of playing golf. Again, I  don't think any golfer outside of a professional expects a return on their investment. 

To be clear, I don't begrudge any of our posters here who make or augment their income as dealers, parts manufacturers, restorers etc. We have plenty of room in the hobby for them. Indeed,  we wouldn't have a hobby without their contributions including their insightful contributions to this forum. 

Where I am going with my resolution for the new year is for me personally to be less concerned about whether the hobby is worth the effort from a financial perspective vs. being worth my effort from an intrinsic perspective. 

I am considering this quite a lot as I contemplate my next major restoration,  which is almost certainly going to be my late father's 1926 Ford Model T Fordor Sedan.  Right now in running, driving condition, the car is likely worth in the neighborhood of $1500-2000. With a Stynoski and AACA Senior Grand National and National Award tags on the radiator it might be worth $13,000, but only if the right buyer were to come along. Past experience has told me that transformation will probably cost in the neighborhood of $40,000, assuming that I do a lot of the work myself. So, clearly this is a stupid car to restore,  right? Is it worth it? To have dad's car the way he dreamed it could be, and enjoy the process of the restoration,  yes. Yes, it is.

Again. Happy new year to all. 

Eric

20190907_152001-1008x756.jpg

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Personally I prefer to buy cars that need little. Pay cash and limit to the number of garage doors. Five that need nothing but occasional TLC. Do have one project that was too cheap to pass up. Looks good, decent interior DOHC with a five speed manual & AC  Need to fi.x the hydroelectromechanical stuff (retractable). Motivation is difficult when alone.

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34 minutes ago, padgett said:

Personally I prefer to buy cars that need little. Pay cash and limit to the number of garage doors. Five that need nothing but occasional TLC. Do have one project that was too cheap to pass up. Looks good, decent interior DOHC with a five speed manual & AC  Need to fi.x the hydroelectromechanical stuff (retractable). Motivation is difficult when alone.

 

 

I did that once back in 1983, bought the 1912 T Touring that was the first Antique car I was offered a ride in. Buying running cars than only need gas and oil is the way to go. The 1950 restoration looks fine and will stay. Bob 

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ericmac,

Most of the posters on this forum do what you are suggesting. enjoy their cars.

What bothers them is the ever increasing costs of car parts, paint, tires, insurance. etc, etc

I carry a 1967 Hemmings Motor News in the glove box of my 1934 Ford an druel over the

ads from 1967 for 1932 Ford Roadsters for $800.

We're all a litttle guilty of living in the past

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I generally don't do New Year's resolutions. Instead, I set goals. My automotive goal for 2020 is to attend two car shows outside the state of New York. Despite attending car shows my entire life, I didn't attend my first outside my home state until last year. That is particularly embarrassing because I can get to three other states in under an hour's drive. I did see a show on Cape Cod and one in Connecticut when I was a teenager, but was not allowed to stop and attend them. 

 

I'm starting 2020 on a bit of a sour note, my brother's car is having some engine problems and I can't diagnose them, because I really don't know anything about the mechanical aspect, and not healthy enough to learn, which has been the cause of much depression and anxiety for me over the years. The fact that our mechanic hasn't been able to diagnose it either provides little comfort.

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Posted (edited)

Started today, 75% there to rolling front end out from under the A as a complete unit, and sending it off to Pat for a rebuild.  Once done we will do same to the rear, and with that out, replace the clutch.  Start Jan 5! 🙂

 

Billy let me know if you hit any shows in CT!

20200105_141455.jpg

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)
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When I was first interested in old cars ; mid 1970's onward, the costs were low enough that I didn't pay too much attention to the cost. The cars I was interested in were of the " affordable " end of the spectrum, and my living costs were quite low. As decades went by all my living costs ate up an increasing percentage of my income . Life naturally gets more complicated and expensive as we progress from single young men to middle aged family men. Mortgage and kids are big ticket items.  And over most of those 4 1/2 decades old car costs have risen substantially in excess of increase in income.  Like I mentioned in another thread the 1966 Mustang I bought as a young man for about $1000.00 would now cost at least $30,000 to replace today { 1966 2 + 2 fastback } Unfortunately my income has not even come close to a 30 fold increase { perhaps 4 times what I made in my 20's these days } so something has to be adjusted . 

 So much more attention has to be paid to stretching  hobby dollars / as much cost recovery as practical.  Just one of the facts of life. I am probably not going to become interested in 1980's Chevette's so that leaves quite a gap between what I would like and what I can afford. Not planning on buying any more cars. I already have a few projects. I know they usually end up costing more in the long run but most were bought years ago when prices were more manageable.

 I know many in the hobby are in a relatively good position financially and don't have to be penny pinchers. But some of us have no choice unless we are prepared to sell up and take up a different hobby.

 

Greg in Canada

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Posted (edited)

Last year's resolution: Uncover my first '31 DB coupe from the shop dreck. 17 truckloads later, it is almost done.

This year's resolution: Get my other '31 brakes done and get it running. Start back on reassembling my first '31's engine.

 

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Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

While I'm not into New Year resolutions either, if I had to make any it would be about trying to drive my vintage cars more than just a few thousand miles annually.

The day cost of owning/maintaining/using them becomes a major concern will be the day I know I'm in the wrong hobby and I'll get out of it, but if past 40+ years is any indication, it continues to be a right one for me.

I do have other interests and passions, but fortunately they haven't become cost concerning either, though one or two I had to slow down with or stop because of medical/physical limitations, like jogging/running due to knee problems.

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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Good for you Eric M!  Over the years, I have had many conversations with antique auto hobbyists on this subject. Most true hobbyists here agree. But for some reason, the hobby also seems to attract a lot of people that truly believe THEY should be financially rewarded for whatever they spend. Every year I see cars for sale where some fool has spent tens of thousands for a really wrong restoration. Everything is done wrong, workmanship is lousy, incorrect (by a long-shot!) materials, everything. But they insist they should get all their money back on a restoration most of us wouldn't have for peanuts.

We all know of hobbies enjoyed by as many or more people than antique automobiles are. Whether it is sinking (pun intended) tens of thousands into a boat? Golfing (I knew a fellow years ago that was trying to play a round of golf on every course he could in the world!), traveling, attending the Super Bowl? Nobody actually expects to recover their expenses.

I have never kept my receipts, if you buy a car from me and feel the need to cut a couple grand for that? So be it. I have never totaled my costs either. I don't want to know. I do wish I could afford more and better? But my cars are what they are. And I want to work on them and enjoy them that way.

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