Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Open Diff - When Does a Classic Make For a Good Alternative to Buying a New Vehicle?

Posted March 02, 2022 5:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: classic cars

My Dodge Magnum flaked out on me the other day. No crank, no start. I'd already been considering replacing it with something else (it's my firm belief that your daily driver knows when you're eyeballing other vehicles and acts up as a result), so when I took the Magnum down to the dealership to have it checked out, I took a couple laps around the lot. All those little brightly colored dreams I had of cruising in a new Jeep Wrangler with the top down, getting something with a bed for trips to the hardware store, or just being able to go out to the car and have it start every single time popped like a clutch of kids' birthday balloons encountering the whirling turbines of a 747.

Anybody paying attention to the chip shortage's impact on new car inventory has seen the heart attack-inducing prices everything's going for, sending car buyers to prowl the used car lots and in turn jacking up prices there. Here in the Northeast, that means even the chuckleheads trying to sell rust buckets that wouldn't pass a safety inspection conducted by a blind guy have decided to get in on the action by asking Empire State Building prices. Long gone are the days of three-figure beaters, negotiating or expecting a seller to be the least bit ashamed for describing a truck with a cracked windshield and a blown brake line as "solid."

Naturally, once I took my calm-down pills after getting back from the dealership, I turned to the solace of old cars and trucks. Nothing makes sense with the pricing of old cars and trucks these days either, but at least it's an anarchy I'm familiar with. And as I cruised the listings, I got to wondering why I even considered buying new or relatively new in the first place. I've long had much older vehicles as non-project daily drivers, from my 1978 Blazer and my 1971 Nova to the 1993 Grand Cherokee five-speed that I loved so much. In fact, the newest vehicle I've ever owned was a 1996 XJ Cherokee, which I bought at six or seven years old. Sure, maybe it's time I start hashtag-adulting and buy new, but why when there's so many old cars and trucks still on my bucket list?

Does it make sense to purchase an older vehicle as a daily driver rather than a new vehicle?

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#1

Re: Open Diff - When Does a Classic Make For a Good Alternative to Buying a New Vehicle?

03/02/2022 9:00 AM

Does it make sense to purchase an older vehicle as a daily driver rather than a new vehicle?

I'd go for a new battery...

Don't buy anything now unless it's absolutely necessary. They're all overpriced!

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Re: Open Diff - When Does a Classic Make For a Good Alternative to Buying a New Vehicle?

03/03/2022 8:19 PM

Ain't that the truth?

I'm keeping my old rust-buckets until I'm Fred Flinstoning down the road.

I don't want to be in the new or used car market for the foreseeable future.

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#2

Re: Open Diff - When Does a Classic Make For a Good Alternative to Buying a New Vehicle?

03/03/2022 11:57 AM

It makes for a great alternative when the classic does not have a computer on-board like a Moggie Minor or Ford Escort Mk1 or 2. Even a Citroen CV2 is a smart buy

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Previous in Blog: Built in a Borrowed Garage With Junkyard Parts, the Jaguar-Powered Kirke Leonard Special Proves What a Dedicated Amateur Can Accomplish   Next in Blog: Which $20,000-or-Less 1960s Intermediate Would You Choose for Your Dream Garage?

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