Old vehicles. Why do we bother

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Rob Farmer, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

    Aug 27, 2002
    Loughborough, Leicestershire. England
    Stunning day in the midlands today. We've been couped up for weeks with heavy rains and miserable weather.

    Dug one of my airheads out after a three month layup today. Out in the sunshine for a spin only to have it coat my foot in petrol a few miles down the road. Sorted that out and came across the chap from the end of my road pushing his old rudge (he does this a lot) magneto died.

    a few more miles and there a beautiful Austin Healy 3000 with the bonnet up and steam billowing out. Cheerful chap "all part of it"

    stopped for a pissed off bloke pushing his a10 "it just died mate" 2 mile push ahead of him.

    1450 Harley in a car park banging and farting on one cylinder.

    all us out for the first time this year. Makes you wonder why we do it to ourselves.
  2. 16VGTIDave

    16VGTIDave Reaver made me do it...

    Nov 4, 2012
    Drumbo, Ontario, Canada
    Because anyone with decent credit can turn the key and go - until it doesn't. Then they use their credit to get a tow to a shop and pay for the repairs that they can't fathom.

    We have the skills to diagnose and repair our old vehicle at the side of the road, and continue on. There is a satisfaction to this added independence that money can't buy.
  3. Voltaire

    Voltaire Titanium and Ceramic Hipster

    Jun 4, 2011
    Auckland,New Zealand
    I spent nearly every night this week taking apart a shed find Triumph T120v motor man I have missed lots of good television advertising and cat videos ....:rofl
    You blokes sure are getting lots of rain.
  4. Gham

    Gham Long timer

    Mar 1, 2005
    Auburn Hills,MI.
    Thats one heck of a day :lol3 I know why I do it,cause when it runs,it's all worth it.
  5. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

    Jan 11, 2005
  6. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

    Aug 27, 2002
    Loughborough, Leicestershire. England
    T120v your a sucker for punishment :D

    Loads of rain. Fortunately we haven't seen any flooding locally

    Some great pictures here that sum it up http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...oding-threat-thousands-homes-near-Thames.html
  7. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

    Sep 25, 2011
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    right on .. have been down in my 56 Austin Healey 100-4 a number of times when I drove cross country regularly. but I've never been down in the old Healey that I couldn't back running again without assistance.

    carrying spare parts and a complete tool kit was normal. but then again when I was driving 100-4 BN2 .. was easily always the oldest car on the open road.
  8. hunter_greyghost

    hunter_greyghost XS650 Allroads Traveller

    Sep 10, 2008
    Yass, Australia
    I just enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that within reason & with heaps of preventative maintenance, :deal
    my old beast will make it there and back, only two breakdowns & one [or 2?] flat tyres in last seven years, I think that's pretty reasonable actually :clap
    And if it happens - well I just blame the mechanic :lol3
  9. nick949eldo

    nick949eldo Long timer

    Jan 31, 2010
    Inverary, Ontario, Canada
    Because when they're running well, sounding good, miles from anywhere, the sun is shining and the weather is temperate, there is nothing - simply nothing better. No modern bike can match the visceral pleasure of all those bits of heavy metal mashing around in syncopation beneath you.


  10. Stan_R80/7

    Stan_R80/7 Beastly Gnarly

    May 12, 2012
    I think it has to do with:

    a.) A sense of accomplishment to get it running again- particularly after pushing for one mile. Also pushing a vehicle for one mile is surprisingly good exercise.

    b.) Not just anyone can do this - it is unique and sets one apart.

    c.) A bit of control (or sense of control) over what is often a chaotic and unpredictable world.

    d.) It's like using a secret super power to bring back life (that must only be used for good) and the skills are useful occasionally.

    e.) A deep appreciation (love?) for mechanical creations that seem beautiful or have that je-ne-sais-quoi.

    f.) Most people appreciate the time and effort spent and it is politically benign as a hobby.

    g.) There are worse ways to spend one's time.
  11. bmwrench

    bmwrench Long timer

    Nov 10, 2006
    When you've reached the end of your patience with an old vehicle, park it for a while. Most of us find ourselves drawn back to them in a short time. If that doesn't happen, get rid of it. Someone else will want it.
  12. caponerd

    caponerd Kickstart Enthusiast

    Jul 4, 2005
    Halfway between Munich and Redditch.
    All of the above.

    Plus (let's not kid ourselves, ego, in one form or another, is part of motorcycling to all of us) the old bikes and cars make friends for us wherever we go.

    Spare magneto coil. Don't leave home without it
  13. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

    Jan 14, 2010
    Cin City, OH
    At one point in the late 80's my '60 MGA was the most reliable car I had of three, was commuting to work in the winter, 36 miles each way for a while.

    What does that tell you about how sad my life was? :rofl
  14. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

    Sep 20, 2008
    backwoods Alabama
    Yep. ^^^this^^^this^^^this^^^this^^^and^^^this^^^

    Anyone can ride something new. It takes a special spirit to ride something with an old patina and keep it ticking.

    Lots of rain in the Britain. It's been a wretched Winter here, too. Spring's 'round the corner, though.

  15. dhallilama

    dhallilama Long timer

    Apr 3, 2012
    Portland, OR, USA
    soul. there's something to be said about a machine that's been around 40 or 50 years... and will be around for another 40 or 50.

    my '67 harley sportster may not be the fastest, best handling, comfortable, etc (and it's a long list) compared to much anything new... but man. kicking it over is an art. know what you're doing and 2 kicks, she's a purring (or rattling/rumbling, really). don't know what you're doing, have fun and enjoy the limp. putting around or slamming through the 4 oddly spaced gears at WOT, either way it always puts a huge smile on my face. the world dissolves around me. i've had great experiences on other motorcycles, and i've loved every minute of most ever bike i've been on... but not like this thing. it's the only vehicle i've ever really had an emotional attachment to (and i've had a lot of vehicles).

    new bikes and cars have come and gone. the only ones i ever seem to really enjoy for any length of time have character and some age.

    i also like having something you can't just go out and buy.

    (and... i like having something in the garage that you can just go out and buy, not worry about, and just ride/drive :) )
  16. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

    Nov 16, 2006
    Bowling Green, Ky
    You should rename this thread to-
    New vehicles why do we bother!!!

    well not a bike but old vehicle. Went to the motorcycle shop to pick up some fork oil. Got ready to leave, turned the key the 79 Chevy truck, turned over fired once and died...Well, went through my quick check, pulled the air cleaner, and checked the choke butterfly, turned key, no love.

    2nd pulled fuel line turned engine over and had fuel.

    3rd- reached behind the seat for the extra coil and ignition module, and pulled the dist cap...ah ha,,, center lead fell out of the cap.....borrowed a workers truck to get a new dist cap and button....1st shop didn't have either in stock...damn who would have thought!!! Went across the street bought a cap and rotor, <$40. Made it back to the truck, put it in and drove home. Tools to fix- one flat head screw drive and a 5/16 nut driver.

    Damn I love old vehicles!!!! Try that on a newer vehicle....

    Why I don't need a new vehicle...I can fix this old stuff, it's cheap to repair and easy to diagnose!!!

    That's why I will never own a new BMW motorcycle...they make nothing I want.

    MODNROD Pawn of Petty Tyrants

    Feb 20, 2009
    single lane highways
    This is my daily ride. It's infinitely more reliable than I am, and will be so for another 30000km when I will probably get similar, Piaggio and all.........
    This is my wife's daily. The old one got the pair of us, with a 5yr old and a 2 yr old, stuck in 48*C heat under a very small shady tree (thank f^&k for that tiny tree, I should have gone back and watered it......) when it overheated on us on a remote highway, not good. This new one is also vastly more reliable than I am.........

    Both are as boring as batshit.

    THIS thing however........
    ....can make a whole weeks worth of drudgery disappear in roughly 11 seconds! :clap It's even as unreliable as I am!
    I enjoyed spending 3 whole hours while recuperating from illness recently on setting up, just setting up not rebuilding, the carbs. You just can't buy time that precious! :lol3

    This stuff here currently has my attention........
    .....for even longer too! It's all good I rekn.

    This photo (it's not an ADV bike sorry) sums up my attitude to these old piles of crap really well...........
  18. lrutt

    lrutt SILENCE.....i kill you

    Jul 25, 2005
    Deltona, FL
    IMO, it separates the men from the posers. As stated, anyone can walk into a dealer and buy a new bike, or contract with some professional restorer and have one done up for big $$$. But when you invest your own time, effort, blood, tears, and sleepless nights, it truly is yours and a labor of love. Men can be so stupid at times to bond with an inanimate object like that but it's just the way some of us are wired.

    Honestly, very very seldom do my bikes or 53MG let me down. It's all in the preventative maintenance and knowing the sounds and vibrations of your bikes. They speak to you and will usually let you know when something is not quite right.

    My 70 Triumph had a very slight but noticeable vibration and a slightly different sound at throttle backoff. So off comes the primary cover and it appeared the clutch basket might have a little more play than usual in it. Sure enough the rollers were just on the low side or under acceptable tolerance, and the thrust washer was a little worn. So new parts in and bingo, she's back to normal. She was treated to fresh oil and a wax job and she's back to purring like a kitten.

    It really is a sense of pride to bring 40, 50, even 60 year old iron back to life. I'm insistent on keeping the bikes stock so no electronic ignition or jap carbs. All points and amals etc. for me. And they work, almost always within 1 or 2 kicks. Often times better than those bikes that have been 'improved' with new tech (ha ha).

    So take pride in your work, keep them alive, and let others admire your handy work as they dream of having something so beautiful and unique as they hop on their new plastic fantastic, plumbing everywhere, ugly as sin new bike.
  19. bomberdave

    bomberdave black cloud wandering

    Dec 9, 2002
    woburn ma
    if you can think of anything better to do let me know
  20. scootrboi

    scootrboi Long timer

    Jan 1, 2011
    Bisbee, AZ
    When I go by the little kids' eyes get big and they pull on their mother's arms. I try to imagine what they are saying.