When to move on from a classic car

After a thunderstorm delayed my flight back to Boston, I stumbled inside my garage at 1:00 a.m. and was greeted by the unmistakable stench of old, varnished gasoline. I eventually figured out the gas was leaking from my wife’s 2001 KTM Duke II, which had been sitting for at least three years for no other reason than a busy schedule.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/09/13/when-to-move-on-from-a-classic-car

I think, it is a timing question…

Certainly, the market is going up for older Sport Utility vehicles, like the Blazer.

I would also consider keeping that Corvair simply because I don’t think it would take up as much room as the Blazer and both of it’s tops.


When you are no longer willing or able, financially or medically, to care for your automobiles, it is time to let them go. You are doing a good deed by putting them in stronger or just more interested hands. Not using an older car is not necessarily the same as not caring for one, as low mileage can increase value significantly. some cars bring joy just looking at them - The Jaguar XKE, aston Martin DB9 and the original BMW 8 Series are three that might be considered as art.

Thanks for your wise REMARKS… you have helped me make a decision I have been battling with for some time since I had a stroke. I am going to get rid of my 61,62 cadillacs and my 1963 Thunderbird and my 1999 iron horse motorcycle. But I am going to keep my 1984 wide body Porsche because it is truly a work of art. Thanks.

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Like most, I’ve always found the hunt and anticipation of the find was far more enjoyable than the reality of ownership. Building a barn to hold 10 cars and unlimited parts quickly became a nightmare of moving one with a dead battery to get to the one you want to drive or need to work on. From a high of 14 at one point I’m down to 5 with two of those that need to go down the road. My new home will have space for 4, 5 if I want to leave the daily outside.


Sell all three. Decide what you really want and look for that.
I’ve had more cars than space for a long time. I dragged around a 1972 Roadrunner project for 20 years thinking I would build it when the time was right. The time came and I realized that I would not enjoy the Plymouth as much as I did in my early 20’s.
I made the decision to sell it and have not missed it. After that I sold off several other cars and bought a Hellcat Challenger.
47 year old me enjoys new Challenger the same as 21 year old me enjoyed the Roadrunner.

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You ask all the same questions I do. Nice article. We also have limited garage space. Our '47 Willys CJ2A takes up very little space. We also have a '63 Nova, which is going together now. I considered a Corvair (and I love them) but I had a small block burning a hole in my pocket and it’s going into the Nova. To me, your Corvair and Blazer, like our Willys and Nova, are both very usable nice day cars. When you want to go wheeling, grab the truck, when you want to drive on the street, there’s the Corvair.

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Always keep one. Sell the others but get the one you want and can afford in good running condition. I’ve been there before (with nothing) and regretted every minute of not having something to take for a drive on a weekend. Now I would never do that again. Get the Saab if that’s what you want and clear out the rest. You will be happy and your wife will be ecstatic.

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My Chevelle is done. Wife wants your Monza. Thanks!

I hope my wife doesn’t get hold of this article! She’s been begging me to downsize for years. Although I’ve quit buying any more, I can’t enjoy the finished herd for languishing with the three that are still not complete…
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Again like most I love the hunt. I have also learnt that cars no matter what stage they are in bring enjoyment and that it’s about for me. The cars I am fortunate to buy today are mostly done, just some tic, no body work or paint, the odd mechanical and when the fun and enjoyment are no longer it’s time to move on.

I really enjoyed the read, Thanks. I would keep the scooter, it takes up very little space and it reminds you of your Dad. Nothing can replace that. I owned a 1963 Vespa GL for quite sometime, what a hoot to drive… and it to reminded my of my Father. However, my mechanical skills are not in par with yours or what is needed to keep them running. So I sold it to someone who loves it as much as I did.

Old Iron (for me) is about driving it. I would sell the two other vehicles and get a good runner that you can enjoy from day one. If it is a Saab that has your eye, do it.

I’m an old VW Beetle guy, and although my ownership has ebbed and flowed over the years, my obsession over the past few years had reared it’s head again and I ended up with 5 of them… then reality set in.

I do form a bond with my cars (especially the ones that I spend a lot of time with)… don’t know if that sounds strange or not. In the end however, for me, it’s important that I feel comfortable with the person who is going to take ownership of my cars. Before I agree to sell to anyone I have a good conversation with the person to see what they want the car for and what they intend to do with it. I’m personally about restoration, so if the person is buying the car to restore, then I’m ok with letting it go. If however it’s for tearing apart and disposing of then I won’t sell it to that person.

So, my suggestion is follow your head and your heart. In the end, you should do what you enjoy. So look at your cars languishing without a hope of restoration in your ownership, then if it doesn’t break your heart to do so, let it go to someone who will restore and love the car. I’ve done that with all but two of mine. My personal plan is to find a home for the last one and keep one for myself for the family to enjoy.



What I enjoyed most about this article is the strange comfort of knowing I’m not alone. Shifting into retirement mode, I’ve faced the fact that I’m not about to go out and thrash my BSA Gold Stars. My riding days are over and with 9 more basket cases stashed away, they are going to outlive me. The idea of them being sent to the slaughterhouse and winding up in pieces on eBay is unthinkable. Each and every one deserves a chance to be reanimated.
It just occurred to me, If I make the projects go away and thin out the collection, just maybe I could track down my beloved long lost K2 Allard. Now that’s an idea.

I’ve got 82 vehicles insured with Hagerty, a lot of old Vettes (C1s and 2s), old Chevys, etc. I think I’m a lost cause!

I’ve always envied folks with the space, means and an understanding wife who have a collection of cars. This article and the thoughtful responses have made me realize how lucky I am, though. I still enjoy my old '65 Mercedes 25 years after restoring it. I volunteer at an auto museum so I have another 15 or so interesting cars I get to drive and another 130 or so cars I get to hang out with and admire. The pit crew keeps our “road crew” cars running and the detail crew keeps them shiny. We take cars to events and do “Sunday Drives” for visitors. There are also other docent’s cars I get to drive. They aren’t mine and they might not be my first choice but they are all interesting bits of history.


I feel more “normal” now after your post, Dave!! :upside_down_face:

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Hey, Craig - hope all is well with the family.
Looks like the Blazer’s paint that you put so much work into is holding up well.
The good news is Blazers are hot, Corvairs are coming on, and scooters take up little room.
The bad news is Blazers being hot means they’ll be more expensive if you want another one.
The worse news (for me) is some guy just had to post a photo of a '64 Belvedere drag car…

It is a costly and space-intensive hobby. In my opinion, the automobile represents a perfect merger of engineering and design. I have had two 1968 Mustangs, including a Shelby KR convertible, a Ferrari 308, Buick GS convertible and boat-tail Riviera, and I sold them all eventually. Helped put three kids through college with the money.

I now have a fairly modern Porsche, which is both collectible (eventually) and has a great deal of utility as a good weather daily driver. The author’s questions are all valid, but in the end, I think we should own the vehicles we love and drive them as much as we can. These are machines, not art (Duesenbergs and such notwithstanding), so get them on the road.

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I am more of a thrill of the chase type.Find it sitting dead for a decade or so, get it to dd condition and then it is boring and expensive to go further. Have my fun. say good bye.