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Thread: Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?

  1. #1
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    Default Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?

    Many of you covet a used wooden boat, classic car, old motorbike much like you would classic rock, classic literature, and classic films, are considered better than their modern equivalents just 'cause the gauntlet of time has weeded all the s****y ones out. If any 1965 model year car is still out and driving around in any significant numbers, you know that it's a good car. If any 2017 model year car is out and driving around in any number, you just know that it sold a lot this year. Most of them (if not all) will be sold, broken down, scrapped, or crashed in two decades' time. There were a lot of really s****y cars and even more crappy boats made in 1950s to the 90s. Many here will argue that we only have the good ones left. Clearly, there is hope that many here thought what was once novel and cool remains so.

    I would argue that most of these old play toys we covet aren't as cool as we hoped. It is t
    heir imperfection we covet, they have flaws that need to work on in order for the boat, car or boat to work without issues. I think it is the owner seeking to fix the flaws, and takes some pride in owning it, even better if it's in good condition or restored. Since the object is imperfect, it has the personality which somehow can transfer to the caretaker which makes us want it.


    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 11-14-2017 at 02:20 PM.
    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?

    They looked better. New cars, trucks and boats look like space shuttles to me. The average guy could fix them without having to go to school first.

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    Default Re: Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?

    Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?
    because we're old, duh. . .
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    because we're old, duh. . .
    Very honest answer.

    Truthfully - Was setting points, changing oil and worrying about driving on flat tires that romantic?
    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

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    Default Re: Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    Truthfully - Was setting points, changing oil and worrying about driving on flat tires that romantic?
    The passage of time tends to dull recollections of reality. Back in the day, the comparative unreliability of cars, for example, was something that nobody would be willing to tolerate today.

    I appreciate old cars, for example... but I also remember the times when I had to struggle with breakdowns, maintenance, and so on.

    A modern car, IMHO, is almost miraculous, in comparison. Most new modern cars will run 80K or more miles with nothing more than periodic oil changes... they have no 'break-in' periods... there's essentially no such thing as a 'tune-up'... in the last 3-4 'new' cars I've bought, they've ran 150K miles or more, without any major expensive repairs... and for those willing to do more significant repairs, 300K miles isn't unusual.
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    Default Re: Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?

    Get your deposit back and buy a klr. Its a brand new 30 year old bike.

    Peace,
    Yep, A Carb And Choke!

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    Default Re: Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Get your deposit back and buy a klr. Its a brand new 30 year old bike.

    Peace,
    Yep, A Carb And Choke!
    Ignition on, choke, start button - turn over without catching idle, push up hill, bump start, out of breath. Dejected. Call my wife to pick me up. Long pause. Hang up. Call tow truck. Catch bus for ride home. Pick up trailer and fetch bike. Disassemble. Order parts. reassemble.

    Repeat in 6 weeks.

    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

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    Default Re: Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?

    Dejected.
    Been there. . .
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?

    My first car was a 1965 Mustang V8 with a 289. She was a real beaut. She also shut down every time I would run through standing water in one of the rainiest cities in America so that I had to take a flathead screwdriver, dry rags, and WD40 with me everywhere I went so I could pop off the distributor cap and dry her out. When's the last time I did that? It's been awhile.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

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    Default Re: Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    I think it is the owner seeking to fix the flaws, and takes some pride in owning it, even better if it's in good condition or restored.

    There was a famous powdered cake mix that sold amazingly well because it advertised that you had to "add your own egg!" I think this egg adding is all important in so much in life. One feels much more proud and involved if one has a hand in building ones own flying machine.

    So much of modern life is prefab, like the rails were laid down long before you were born; in such a world it is not surprising that people seek individualism in such an otherwise manacled existence.

    Although I appreciate reliability in modern cars, I also despair of them; I do not need to be told which gear I should be in, nor if I am sitting in one but my seat-belt is not yet attached, nor do I need some pointless beeping telling me I might bump a lamp post when reversing; I am more than capable of operating my vehicle thank you, because I can drive. I feel underestimated in one, fast windscreen clearing notwithstanding.

    I also despair of not having 50,000 of software needed to diagnose that I have a stupid unneeded gizmo (that was only invented to force me to need 50,000 worth of said software in the first place, along with putting small friendly mechanic out of business) that needs replacing, which thus reminds me that I live in a world of unnecessary corporate greed and waste.

    I can swap out my oil / turbo / injectors / suspension / accelerator cable / exhaust system / steering pump / head gasket on my '91 Defender with about 5 spanners. But I open up my 2010 Golf, and am faced with a big black square under the bonnet, and reach for my phone.

    Modern boats are largely lightweight, ugly and unfit for purpose, and there's no meaningful involvement. What's to like?

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    Default Re: Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?

    I used to get a kick out of the occasional breakdown. (6 cross country trips with my 68 VW bus). I almost always could get it going again.
    But now there is just too much traffic. Large sections of new highways do not even have break down lanes. Not safe to drive a cartoon car in our serious world.
    (I only drive it locally anymore....Sunday car).

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    Default Re: Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?

    Still, on the other hand, if we consider just how the American driver, and I mean, they're really great, they are great, really, but still, when there's a stop light in the way you should slow down sometimes, but maybe not unless you really need to...right? Am I right?
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    Default Re: Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?

    Face it, if you become invested in participating on an internet forum predicated on small, mostly human- or wind-powered wooden boats, you are already a budding Luddite...
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

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    Default Re: Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?

    Quote Originally Posted by mmd View Post
    Face it, if you become invested in participating on an internet forum predicated on small, mostly human- or wind-powered wooden boats, you are already a budding Luddite...
    This is quite true. The ability to adapt and fix has a special personal satisfaction reward. Truthfully, having old, tired and broken but salvageable is so tempting to me. More so as the price for such things seem on their face affordable. Maybe a more than a few relate, those of these things have cost in time which weighs heavier than from a wallet. Experiencing and enjoying these things that others may have might be better than being the prime duster and caretaker of these assets of entropy.
    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

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    Default Re: Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    Many of you covet a used wooden boat, classic car, old motorbike much like you would classic rock, classic literature, and classic films, are considered better than their modern equivalents ...
    I would say it's more like I appreciate classic cars, boats, and motorbikes... but I don't covet them.

    There is much to appreciate, in those old things... but when 'appreciation' gets out of hand, it becomes a delusion. I 'appreciate' the beauty, for example, of a classic MGA... but I certainly don't miss their blatant unreliability. Maybe it isn't fashionable to give the devil his due, but modern cars, in particular, have such overwhelming advances and advantages... these days, when I leave the house, I can expect, with VERY high certainty, that it will start, and run, just fine. Furthermore, I also expect it to run flawlessly for many tens of thousands of miles between what will only be very minor maintenance requirements... I can expect the air conditioning and heating to keep me comfortable, irrespective of weather... I can expect it to NOT belch blue smoke... and I can expect, in the event of an accident, to not fold up like a piece of paper when hit by another car.

    So, I will continue to appreciate the classics... but I certainly don't 'covet' them (well, that's not quite true... if I were made of money, and could afford it, I'd own a classic car or boat. Since I'm not, I don't)
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    Default Re: Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    Truthfully - Was setting points, changing oil and worrying about driving on flat tires that romantic?
    HELL NO! I remember all too well what old machinery was like (well, back through the middle '60s anyway, and I had a '51 Plymouth for a while), I'm reasonably good at fixing 'em, and even like working on cars in moderation. But there are many excellent reasons I drive an anonymous grey 2010 Toyota Camry; it's comfortable, was fairly cheap, tows small boats just fine, is reliable as an anvil, never gives me the slightest hassle, is invisible to the police, and is utterly boring; the last is exactly what I want. Old cars are interesting - but I don't want to put up with 'interesting' unless it's voluntary.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

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    Default Re: Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    But there are many excellent reasons I drive an anonymous grey 2010 Toyota Camry; it's comfortable, was fairly cheap, tows small boats just fine, is reliable as an anvil, never gives me the slightest hassle, is invisible to the police, and is utterly boring; the last is exactly what I want.
    I love that description... it fits my 2013 Honda Accord perfectly, as well. Boring beyond comprehension... but reliable beyond expectations.

    Mine is grey, too
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    Default Re: Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    because we're old, duh. . .
    It bothers me that my 25 year old son likes the look of "classic" old boats of cars from the '70s.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    Very honest answer.

    Truthfully - Was setting points, changing oil and worrying about driving on flat tires that romantic?
    Old stuff is beautiful, especially metal tech (but not to exclude old houses, old jewelry, old art, old forests, old music and old souls). But new ones run better, are more reliable and generally higher in performance. But not as beautiful. If I'm going to actually use it a lot, I like new stuff. Would anybody buy a new car without AC?

    The cool thing about points, plugs and condensers is that you can actually fix them.
    Last edited by Lew Barrett; 11-15-2017 at 05:43 PM.
    One of the most enduring qualities of an old wooden boat is the smell it imparts to your clothing.

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    Default Re: Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?

    There is always great nostalgia for those very few tangible objects that exemplify a kind of timeless wisdom in which ordinary men can place their trust. Being a custodian of such objects identifies us with this wisdom and trust.

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    Default Re: Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?

    New cars are technological marvels. I don’t have a problem with them, but old cars move me in a way new cars don’t.

    Jeff C

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    Default Re: Why do we spend so much time talking about old boats, cars or bikes?

    Old cars were easy to fix. Air. Fuel. Spark. Didn't take much to figure out how to get each. And we all loved the simple aesthetics. Having said that:

    In recent decades, the very electronified cars have gotten pretty darned reliable, and even self-diagnosing.

    I like low pollution emissions.

    But mostly, I wouldn't drive any older car as a daily driver because they are deathtraps, even the big ones. I saw online a video of an offset frontal crash between a recent Malibu (I think about 2005) and a '59 Chevy Impala. The '59 folded up to an extent you would not believe, the much lighter Malibu plowed right into the passenger compartment, instant death, while the Malibu maintained integrity of the passenger compartment.

    Old boats and bikes, even old airplanes, do not present such risks. And I love old cars. But I'm realistic with regard to their use.
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