Modern cars are faster, better handling, more reliable, more comfortable, cleaner, safer, more economical, and mostly cheaper to purchase, too. Yet classic cars are still loved by many and Beirut’s Classic Car show proves it! Beirut’s 3rd Classic Car Show is taking place from the 7th of September till the 17th of September and the show’s main subject is highlight the evolution of Lebanese motoring history and the prestigious figures involved. So why do people still love and fancy classic cars.
First the design. Classic cars were created in a world where designers used pencil and paper to create elegant shapes and flowing lines that would be impossible to replicate on design softwares used by today’s car designers. These designs belong to a previous era—an age that many people fondly look back on, where designers were not constrained by crash tests, or aerodynamic drag coefficients. Instead, they would create shapes that reflected the mood and trends of the time.
Driving a classic car requires a great deal of manual input from the driver’s end: from adjusting the fuel/air mixture manually with the choke to selecting gears and controlling the engagement of power to the wheels with the clutch. Most connaisseurs would agree on the fact that this is a far more rewarding and satisfying experience than modern driving techniques and mechanisms. Because classic car owners do not usually embark upon a journey to reach a destination; it’s the journey itself that is the finish line.
Nostalgia also plays a large part in the appeal of classics. They all have a history, be it interesting or not. Some have achieved great things in their lives, such as competing in and winning races, expeditions or endurance events, whilst others have overcome challenges that are far less spectacular but no less important to their owner. These machines were great enablers of a better life and provided mobility and freedom back in a time when such perks were rare. They accompanied their owners on major life events, and consequently became indelibly associated with those events.
Each classic car has a story to tell about what it has accomplished, where it has been, who has driven it and why it is still in operation. The cracks in the leather or the scratches on the paint are seen by some as imperfections, but to aficionados, they are a record of the car’s history, adding to its character and chronicling its life.
Automobile manufacturers play heavily on the ancestry and heritage of their brands, but classic cars are the real-life objects that defined that heritage and helped establish the reputation of the brand in the first place.
Then comes individualism. Owning any new car is easy—all it takes is money, and with cheap credit and easy finance, even that is not very difficult anymore. Classic cars however, are no longer in production and are therefore inherently limited in supply, consequently holding a far greater and ever increasing level of exclusivity. No amount of money will get you a brand new classic model, and even if you want an old one, you still have to find someone, somewhere who is willing to sell you his or hers.
The greater effort of acquiring, owning and maintaining a more exclusive product prompts questions of the owner’s passion for that product and his or her motivation for going to these additional lengths when owning a new car is so much simpler and easier. A culture has emerged surrounding classic cars, comprising of events such as classic rallies, road trips, historic racing, and classic car shows. Owners of classic cars gain great satisfaction from exhibiting their cars at these events and use them as a means to show off not only the car but also their own personality and taste.
Classic cars compete on a whole new level. It is about the experience, style, exclusivity and craftsmanship, all of which are universal and timeless. Classic cars not only appeal to car lovers, but also to lovers of engineering, design, art and history.
That is the reason why people do, and always will, love classic cars—and long may it continue. Are you a classic car owner or wish to own one? Share with us your reasons.
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