In a past article, I explained how rewarding it is to own and daily drive a classic car. With that being said, I have to admit that piloting a car that’s over twice my age doesn’t always go as smoothly as I’d like. Remember the 40+ years worth of memories? That could also mean 40+ years of neglect and abuse on a car, making your life that much more interesting when you discover the quirks.
Okay we get it, you can always upgrade your brakes to get more out of them. However, if you’re on a budget, four wheel manual drum brakes are likely what you’ll be dealt with. These brakes are perfectly fine for everyday cruising and leisurely driving, assuming they’ve been well maintained. Nevertheless, drum brakes are still extremely archaic and antiquated when it comes to driving with modern cars. It’s not uncommon for someone to cut you off and slam on their brakes, forcing you to brake as well. Most classic cars in stock form will never come close to having the same braking power and reliability as a modern car with power discs.
The gas mileage debacle clearly isn’t one of my main concerns as I put nearly 15,000 miles on my ’69 mustang just last year. However, if you’re looking for a hobby to save the planet, you may want to look elsewhere. Between the V8 and the lack of a 5th gear, I get a whopping 8 mpg city and 15 mpg highway (assuming I’m going downwind and drafting a semi truck). I did once plant a tree though, does that help?
This problem won’t affect everyone, but my 5′ 11″ stature does not fair all too well in most classics I’ve owned or been in. My head is usually either against or very close to the headliner- a large enough bump in the road will send my head straight into the roof.
Getting tons of attention can go both ways: it’s either getting a thumbs up or noticing a strange character following you around asking if your car is for sale. My first mustang was bright red with white racing stripes, one could imagine how often I was pulled over (I stopped keeping track). I’ve had everything from packed minivans to newer corvettes revving their engines at me trying to race or to simply get a reaction out of me. You can hear my ’69 mustang from several blocks away and the ground shakes as I drive by. I’m sure my neighbors love this when I’m headed to a car show at 5:00 AM.