Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
3/31/09 4:14 p.m.

Hobbies are strange things. They consume huge amounts of our time, energy and money, but they are, by definition, largely pointless. While this lack of purpose usually serves in a perverse way to enhance the fun factor of hobbies, it can also help kill their appeal. After all, once you’ve built that ship in a bottle, there’s not a lot you can do with it. Stacks of completed jigsaw and crossword puzzles just make it hard to navigate your own hallways. And the only way off of Everest is to turn around and trudge back down the way you went up. Once the project is completed, all that follows is anticlimactic.

We car enthusiasts have an edge, of course, since the objects of our tinkerings and tradings are useful things born of practical invention. Once we’ve finished that restoration or obtained that long-sought acquisition, we can drive our cars and actively enjoy them.

The rub comes in finding a place to do so. Sure, you can still drive your 1929 Isotta Fraschini on the street, but unless you’re Erich von Stroheim and you’ve got Gloria Swanson in the back seat, you’re probably not going to find it an ideal daily driver. Car shows and concours d’elegance are great, but these static displays pretty much defeat the argument for collector cars as practical things. Vintage racing is anything but static, but not every car—or every car owner—is suited to racing.

Fortunately, there is one venue for classic and collector cars that includes elements of all three of these activities—combined with the added appeal of a first-class vacation. It’s called vintage rallying.

Read the rest of the story

Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela Digital Editor
8/5/19 3:38 p.m.

Updated with information on our own tours

Gary
Gary SuperDork
8/5/19 9:34 p.m.

Good article. It's been my personal objective for the past 10-15 years to do the New England 1000 with Rich Taylor and crew. I just needed the appropriate vehicle to do it. Still selecting. I have the means and the knowledge. What I lack is the resolve and gumption to "pull the trigger and buy the damn car." I'm working on that with the help of wife Annie and a close enthusiast friend. In fact, they had an ad hoc intervention for me last week at a restaurant. BUY SOMETHING they said!!! Annie is an enabler, and that friend just bought a beautiful 2001 NSX out of AZ. So this article is more incentive for me to move my butt. Hell, I'm seventy. I'd better do it soon.

Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela Digital Editor
8/6/19 10:32 a.m.
Gary said:

What I lack is the resolve and gumption to "pull the trigger and buy the damn car." I'm working on that with the help of wife Annie and a close enthusiast friend. In fact, they had an ad hoc intervention for me last week at a restaurant. BUY SOMETHING they said!!! Annie is an enabler, and that friend just bought a beautiful 2001 NSX out of AZ. So this article is more incentive for me to move my butt. Hell, I'm seventy. I'd better do it soon.

Seems as though you're surrounded by good people. And yes, buy something! You won't regret it. 

 

Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
8/6/19 2:00 p.m.

Thanks for the comments on the article, Gary--it was fun to write.

Rich and Jean do a great job; we've done several of their tours and greatly enjoyed them all. And if you don’t want to step into something that meets their more restrictive guidelines (1990 or earlier), you’d be welcome on a Classic Motorsports tour with us in a more modern sports car. (Well, you'd be welcome with us either way because you're family. Appreciate your regular comments here.) 

Whatever you choose, yes, listen to your kind enablers and do it sooner rather than later.

Margie

stu67tiger
stu67tiger Reader
8/6/19 7:07 p.m.

Hey Gary:

Wasn't there a thread on here a while back, along the lines of "fun cars for touring"?  So what sort of car are you thinking of?  Many would suggest an older Miata, but you already have one.  Trade up to a Spit that's done, or at least driveable? Some older Mercedes SLK's can be had for 4 digits.  They would certainly be comfortable and safe for long distances, but are they too new for your plans? 

Tell us what you are thinking, so we can make more suggestions and totally confuse your selection process ;-))

Stu

Gary
Gary SuperDork
8/7/19 7:08 p.m.

In reply to Margie and Jordan:

Thank you for the words of encouragement. Indeed, I have some supportive people around me (including Stu from Massachusetts). I mentioned the NE 1000, but either The Orange Blossom or Smokey Mountain would be superb as well. They just present a slightly more complex logistical issue from RI. But not insurmountable. Getting the appropriate car is first order of business! 

Gary
Gary SuperDork
8/7/19 7:19 p.m.

In reply to stu67tiger :

Hey Stu,

I'm looking at everything from a Bugeye from "The Guy" in CT, to a "reasonably priced" 356 coupe or 230/250/280 SL Pagoda with manny tranny (they're out there). I'll be going to Palm Springs in November and again in February to the Keith McCormick auctions (been to about ten now). There are always some of these crossing the block in SoCal. And also a ton of 560 SL's in superb dry-climate condition and reasonable prices. Great cars. Usually estate sales because the original buyers/owners are ... well no longer with us. So a lot of these sales are estate sales. Best ones have been well-kept and are in the middle of my price spectrum and present a great  value alternative to the 280 SL Pagoda, although in automatic tranny only.

I'll either keep this thread going or start a new one concerning my progress. (So now there's added pressure on me to perform. I thought that all went away when I retired five years ago. I was trying to avoid that with this classic car E36 M3 frown).

(Then again, maybe I should just enjoy my beautiful, unmolested, low milage '96 NA Miata, which I really love, on the back roads of northern RI and Eastern CT. Then have somebody finish the Spit Mk3 for me ... because I'm done with working on it. I lost my gumption. Damn, now you see my dilemma?)

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