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The Automotive Chronicles

Monthly newsletter published by McLellan's Automotive History. Dedicated to literature collectors, restorers, museums, publishers, manufacturers and investors who collect and preserve automotive literature
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May 2006 Issue
 
ARTICLE
 
Grandad's Cars
By Robert McLellan
 

"Automotive News", the dealers' version of "AutoWeek", "Automotive Industries", "Automotive Design and Production" and other such automotive trade magazines keep auto industry executives apprized of new and future developments in design and engineering. Looking down the road to the future paints an interesting picture of the cars of 2020. Computer technology has progressed rapidly in the last 15 years and will accelerate even more rapidly in the next 14 years. Future cars will be computers on wheels. Fantastic machines that "read" the road and traffic 360° from the driver's seat at a distance of 1000 yards. You cannot do anything that is not safe because cars will not allow that option. Your speed, braking, passing and activities are all monitored and controlled and recorded on site and from any distance. Safe and comfortable travel, but not really fun. No hot rodding, thrilling drifts through the corners and exhilarating acceleration. That would not be safe in a new 2020 automobile.

So how will we make driving fun in 2020?

Last month's article requesting your choices for the top collectible cars in 2020 is getting good response. If you have not sent in your list, please click here to do so. We know you think about future collectibles because that is a natural curiosity of literature collectors. Next month's issue of the "Automotive Chronicles" will feature the results. If your results are included you will get your moment of fame.

Assuming the professional "fortune tellers" are correct, and our new cars in 2020 are computers on wheels, I would imagine that anything old and fun is capable of being collectible.

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Today the majority of collectors of literature and cars are caught up in nostalgia for the dream machines of their youth. Anything older than their teen years is historical. A father explaining the excitement he felt at his first sighting of a 1953 Corvette will ring hollow to his 40 year old son who gets ecstatic over the sight of a red 1970 Plymouth Road Runner just like the one he got to ride in as a kid.

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Do historical cars just fade away with age? Where are all those Model T Fords that were so popular in the 1950s with collectors? They are in museums and the collectors, for the most part, are in nursing homes. Will they ever become popular again? They are cheap and plentiful. Are they bargains or bad investments?

WARNING: What you are about to hear may affect your bank account — positively or negatively? We may be about to see the rebirth of the prewar marketplace. These cars are becoming novelties. No searching for rare parts for these older restorations. Already assembled and needing only cleaning, painting and maintenance. Fun cars. Not fast, powerful or sexy — just fun. They gather crowds and are a blast to drive around the neighborhood and take to shows and parades.

CLICK

Not too surprisingly, when we have to go through our parents or grandparents home upon their death or move to a nursing home, we come across brochures or photographs of the cars they once owned when young, or restorations they had back in the 1950s of brass era cars or 1930s classics. A bond often develops with their descendent and these old cars because of memories of hearing about the cars, or maybe even riding in them, when they were young. Suddenly these cars come alive and we get requests for literature or press photos. There is the potential for the awakening of new interest in historical cars — those pre-dating our own nostalgia.

 
 
The Automotive Chronicles, May 2006
 
 
 
 
 
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