The top 4 reasons to be thankful for vintage cars, according to you

The love of vintage cars runs deep within many car enthusiasts. We were curious to find the most potent catalysts for that passion, so we polled the Hagerty Forums over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and asked exactly why you’re thankful for your vintage ride. We received a great number of responses outlining just what it is about old cars that draws you to them. Here’s what you had to say.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/12/02/top-4-reasons-to-be-thankful-for-vintage-cars-according-to-you

No integrated hvac controls in the tablet / touch screen. Easy to work on. Computer tuning is straight forward. Doesn’t look like a derivative of every other car on the road. Stands out in traffic. Get compliments doing simple things as getting gas and parking at a store. Great conversation starter, not owning an appliance also has its perks.

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The top reason is that these cars are the closest things to a time machine that exist today. When you get in, it’s the sight, sound, smell, and feel of all those memories that stay alive and are experienced every time you drive!


Those of us who own vintage cars are smarter people, and that gives us satisfaction and helps us grow as persons. We know how the car works (out of necessity) and how to use it. That is good; when we suffer, we gain knowledge. Today’s automotive appliances are designed not to challenge the occupants, so that they are mere observers of the transportation occurring and not participants in the journey. Life is too short and too fun to just be a constant observer. Breakdowns are fun, car shows are fun, people in this hobby are fun. Auto journeys should not be a problem that has to be endured in between getting a latte and a mani-pedi (good grief). My grandfather would say “it builds character” which is something we know vintage car ownership surely instills and is sorely needed.

I would like to add vintage, classic or just plain old cars have a personality in their individual style. Yes, we can and often do modify their looks but the basic beauty is still there. Up to the early 70s I couldn’t wait until late September when the new models came out and my parents took us around to the various dealerships to see the new cars. These days, I couldn’t care less. Sure, the pony cars hold some interest and I wouldn’t mind having one but they’re so full of electronics and other gadgets I don’t have any inclination to actually buy any of them.

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  1. No smog checks, no restrictions
  2. Simple mechanically
  3. Can be wrenched on by owner
  4. Not a cookie-cutter look alike

I think it comes down to the styling of vintage cars - with the potential of history of a vehicle included. Vintage street cars weren’ t designed for drag and fuel efficiencies that leads cars to often look all alike. Modern cars have more design efforts in their electronics, comfort and safety where it seems vintage cars were designed for different buyers’ tastes. Do you like modern art, abstract, impressionism, art deco? Vintage cars designs nearly have that same wide selection to me made from starting with square-ish or round-ish? And then there’s horsepower! And CHROME! I ask myself, is all of that chrome something that we like look of or is the chrome an instant clue that you’re looking at a vintage car?

Enjoy Passing on the Torch

Generational camaraderie & history often associates itself with the auto hobby between friends & relatives over the years.

The legends & memories of past & present autos and those who enjoyed & continue to enjoy them are as embedded & memorialized in family history through discussion & pictures as are the Egyptian monument’s hieroglyphics.

For me and the youngest people in the crowed/hobby the memorys of our parents and older relatives that are not with us anymore. The legacy of past generations. The. Cars and pictures/memories are all we have left. Classics never die. Thank you hagerty!!! And all those followers with the great story’s!!!


I’m so afraid the government will ruin this hobby. It’s already starting in Calif.

I think for me it all comes down to simplicity and nostalgia. When I pop the T-tops out of my '94 Camaro Z28, it takes me back to a much simpler, more carefree time in my life. I was 15 years old when my car was built. There are components of that car that remind me of other GM vehicles my family had when I was a kid. From a vintage standpoint, it’s as symbolic to me as a '68 Camaro would be to my father or someone his age. Every time I drive the car, it’s like a breath of fresh air. There is no touch screen on the dash. The technology is so much more basic. It’s what cars were originally created to be. When you drive it, you can truly feel the road beneath you. And the styling is so 90’s. That’s the other piece of the attraction to vintage cars for me. The styling had so much more personality. You would see a car and you knew what it was. That is lost on the cars of today. They all look the same. People are more concerned with how many USB ports it has than how many horses are under the hood. Vintage cars are a piece of our history and each generation of them tell a story. My only hope is that I am able to instill that understanding and appreciation in my children so that my love for vintage cars lives on with them long after I’m gone.

In response to TDAsmith455

That and the enjoyment of getting waves, thumbs up and comments as you tool around in the car. My '57 Pontiac Chieftain certainly brings back memories of the two different ones I had back in the late 50s and mid 60s.

All of the above! Whether a project is completed, restored or survivor unit, we all know what it takes to make these machines reliable and fully operational. That feat alone is enough to admire.

To me it’s all about style. Cars are amazing pods of freedom and power and I’ve always been fascinated by them. But certain designs stand out as timeless, and I want to keep them with us. The age of the car doesn’t matter to me - ideally I’d want my classic to have modern features (but keep the knobs!) Others don’t warrant such respect and may be left to scrap. But if you like it and I don’t, I still salute your efforts to maintain our automotive heritage!

It’s really simple for me. There are two broad categories of automobiles:

  • Car-as-appliance - meant to go from one place to another with minimal issues en route.
  • Car-as-toy - meant to allow for short, fun trips with a sense of uncertainty and perhaps even adventure.
    Today’s cars just plain Work better than the vintage ones. They are safer, run longer without maintenance, are more efficient and mostly perform better. (With the possible exception of the stop light drag races – which was always overrated anyway.)
    I don’t particularly want adventure and fun from the vehicle that takes me to town and back, or the one that pulls the small travel trailer down the road on a weekend trip.
    But I will very much enjoy the adventure and fun from the mid-60’s convertible I am working on.
    I will appreciate each for what they are.

There is no “the government.”
CA is not ND.
The LA basin airshed has a far different set of issues to deal with than does Minot ND. The issues require different sets of approaches. There’s a lot to be said for breathing actual air whenever possible.
ND will never require the same inspections as CA does. ND may allow vehicles trailing blue smoke to drive down the roads and streets for years, while CA does not.
Given the sheer numbers of vehicles involved and the micro-climate in their respective states, there is nothing unreasonable about CA taking a stricter stance on the matter.

So goes Calif, the rest of the country follows. Sad, but true.