Jim’s Blog: Do you use your old car?

A few weeks back, I was driving my ’66 Chevrolet home from the ACC office and sitting in traffic. A guy in a minivan pulled up next to me, rolled down his window, and started asking me all about the car. 

Now this isn’t really much of a story for those of us who use our cars regularly, but it stood out for me at the time. Why? Because it had been a while since I’d last had a random stoplight conversation belted out as a near-yell over the rumble of 3-inch exhaust. I’m sorry to say the car’s been parked for longer stretches of time recently than I’d realized, even though it’s completely usable and ready to go at the turn of a key.

Two small kids and the stress of a home sale, purchase, and move between May and September all conspired to keep my car parked through most of the summer, and I’ve been scrambling to use it more now that fall is settling in. Winter’s just around the corner.

When other things get in the way, it’s amazing how fast time can fly. The last time I’d used that car with any purpose was in June when I took it out to the drag races to see how the fuel-injection system had changed its performance. It was great that night — and I promptly took it home, parked it, and got tied up in other things, being content to just look at it in the garage.

That leads me to this question: do you use your old car?

Now I don’t mean from time to time. I mean often enough that cold starts aren’t all that rough, because there’s still gas in the float bowls from the last time you drove it. Do you take it somewhere every two weeks? Every Sunday? Every day?

If not, why not? Does daily life get in the way, or is driving a prized machine in modern traffic just to hair-raising in 2018? 

I’d like to know if I’m the exception or the rule. Let’s talk about it in the comments below.


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  1. Well, for me some of my cars are on the other side of the country. I use to come out a few times a year, but lately it has been more like once or twice. I end up charging batteries and questioning the tires now than enjoying them. However, for the cars I have closer to home, I use almost on a daily basis. I am lucky to have a short commute, but cars are more restromoded which make it more enjoyable if I do get stuck in bumper to bumper. I hope to have most of not all of my collection closer, but even then only see me using a few of the ones with the modern touches for more than weekend entertainment.

  2. I got my 1980 Datsun 280zx in Feb 2018, now on Oct 3 2018 i have put almost 6 thousand miles on the car. Needless to say it gets driven and enjoyed. Still awesome after all these years.