Restoring old cars and vehicles.
Why go to the trouble of restoring classic cars etc?
For every form of transport you can think of, including classic and vintage cars, there will be someone, somewhere, restoring one to its former glory. Cars,
once they have a few years under their tyres, suddenly become 'classic cars' and surviving examples are eagerly sought
by bands of enthusiastic preservationists who are determined to see increasingly rare cars survive into the future.
Dig a little deeper in the subject of transport preservation, and a whole new world of keen owners can be found in sheds
up and down the land, breathing new life into not just classic cars, but motorcycles, microcars (bubble cars), antique caravans,
bicycles, tractors and more, all with the same long term goal of ensuring their pride & joy's survival.
Most people do this as their hobby, and as such limited budgets often mean that rather than buy a restored vehicle that
can be used straightaway, it will be necessary to buy a decrepit example and slowly restore it to its former shiny condition.
Those who aren't a part of this hobby look across and find it hard to understand why men and women, otherwise of a
rational approach to life, willingly adopt crusty old wrecks and try to rejuvenate them once more. Logic mercifully
plays a very small part of most restoration projects, after all what cold hard logic is there in spending far more on
restoring a vehicle than it will ever be worth at the end of it? and why voluntarily spend long nights in a draughty
workshop, fighting with corroded bodywork and seized mechanicals?
To anyone reading this who is already upto their elbows in grease and no longer remember their fingernails ever being
fully clean, the answers are obvious. There is a great satisfaction in taking something that to others is no more than
a pile of junk, carefully dissecting it and conquering the challenge of making it work as once it did.
There is something theraputic about dismantling, cleaning and refurbishing worn components in an old car. If nothing else a couple
of hours tucked away in the garage can be a welcome relief from the busy office workplace, or endless brain-numbing dirge
on the television. Its been said before that every bloke (and often his good lady) needs a shed of some description, if
only to provide escape for a few hours at a time!
Restoring something old can be a very enjoyable experience, equally it can also be a real struggle. Help in rebuilding
a worn out machine, whether its a car, tractor or lawnmower, can often be found amongst the legions of other preservationists
dotted around the world, and with the advent of the internet getting in touch with like-minded souls is easier than ever
before. Preservation can be a very sociable pastime, throughout the year every weekend has many vintage shows where
exhibits can be viewed, and conversations had with people who have already been through what you're now experiencing.
Buildings, antique furniture and artwork have had preservationists interested in their survival for many decades, yet
interest in restoring historic transport and machinery is something that until 30 years or so ago was very much an
unusual interest. The explosion of magazines for every flavour of transport interest is testimony to the massive following
that renovation now has. Specialist magazines can now be found for old farm implements, classic diggers and cranes, tractors,
buses, racing cars and so on, all with their own band of enthusiastic readers and supporters.
In restoring classic cars and other vehicles, preservationists are not only benefiting themselves, but are assuring the long term survival
of yesterdays transport for future generations. Learning from books and faded photographs is one thing, but for youngsters
actually seeing examples of their dad's and grandad's old car or bicycle truly bring the subject to life, just as do old
buildings and monuments.
Many people hoard several examples of older car or truck for instance, knowing that they will probably never find time
to restore them themselves, but at least they are ensuring that the vehicles are surviving, so that they can be rebuilt
at some point in the future. For anything to be restored, firstly it has to survive, and so long as things are stored in
reasonably secure and dry accomodation there is no reason why all but the worst restoration project cannot survive well
into the future, before its time for rejuvenation comes.