Rough Ride - Revcounter 460

By: Guy Allen

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Some days they really test you

It’s okay, you can admit it. There are times when you look at the wonderful collection of liabilities sitting in the shed and question whether you should sell the whole damn lot and take up something easier. Like chainsaw juggling.

Once every few months or so, muggins will stomp into the lounge room and announce loudly that whole bloody lot will be sold – cars, motorcycles, you name it – and we’ll just go out and buy a nice new (yes, new!) runabout and turn it over the minute the warranty runs out. No more headaches, no more scrounging around dim garage floors looking for the elusive 10mm socket.

No more staying up late at night, stalking sellers on the other side of the planet, searching for that rare left-threaded thermongrommet to fit your equally rare (because no-one other than you liked them) 1974 Hootmobile. Actually…I quite like that part. Another reason to question your own sanity.

My ever-patient spouse, Ms M snr, has learned to completely ignore those hissy fits and treat them pretty much like the weather – hang around for a few hours and it will change.

What got me on to this theme was two apparantly unrelated but similarly emotional outbursts by a couple of our regular writers: Cliff Chambers and Jon Faine. Cliff puts together our annual muscle car value guide, a monumental job of data collection and analysis. In the introduction on page 144 (issue #460), he lets rip with this beauty, when summing up the collectible car market in 2021: "People paying insane money for rat-infested wrecks have become a talking point and also symbolic of our national spirit in the face of calamity." Go Cliff – spit it out, mate!

There’s so much to unpack from that statement. For a start the eternal optimism it implies, bordering on being utterly delusion. However, it’s a trait that is not exclusive to Australians. I give you this statement by Chev owner John Frostell, on page 86 (issue #460), who said when describing Swedish car restorers: "If there’s some rust with a bit of steel in it, they’ll see it as a challenge to keep them going through the winter months."

One of the costs of getting so committed to these old cars is the emotional toll they take. I once owned an E24 BMW 6-series which empited my wallet once too often, and I actually carried out my threat to sell it. Ironically, it went back to the bloke I bought it from. Then, a year later, I went out and bought another in the same colour. My youngest daughter meanwhile bought a beautiful sixties Mustang which she adored, but ended up selling to pay for a house. A perfectly rational decision which made me wonder if we’re really related. That said, I would not be in the least surprised to see another parked in her driveway.

However the prize for revealing how far these toys get under your skin goes to young Mr Faine, who on page 130 describes our worst nightmare, which was his E-type catching fire. Fortunately he caught it before the whole shed went up.

He descibes the aftermath and his response: "I am not ashamed to admit I wept." You know what? I get it. Sometimes it’s all too easy to forget how much emotion we have tied up in these things…


From Unique Cars #460, Dec 2021

Unique Cars magazine Value Guides

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Unique Cars magazine Value Guides

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