If you are out of style long enough there is a pretty good chance you will be in style. That is another adage I have lived long enough to prove true.
I have seldom had the patience to profit from this bit of wisdom. So, unlike the old hermit that provides a nice retirement for his grandchildren by living in absolute poverty while hoarding everything, I have a day job, a pretty good chance of having a day job in ten years, and a number of stories that begin with, “I had one of those …”
As an example, old trucks have been a part of my life for about as long as I can remember. When I first starting driving legally, thirty or forty year old trucks sold for less than ten cents a pound.
No respectable collector sought trucks. In fact, pick up trucks were the choice of contractors, cowboys, carnies, and goofy teenagers on a tight budget that thrilled at the adventure of following rutted trails across the desert, not respectable society folk.
That was then. Now, an Advance Design series truck from the period 1948 to 1953 in respectable condition will fetch somewhere around $10,000. About ten years ago, I sold a ’51 model that was a daily driven Arizona truck even though it burned a bit of oil for the princely sum of $2,500.
Today the lowly pick up truck is proudly displayed at the most prestigious automotive events. Hit a local car show or major collector car auction anywhere in the country and look at how people flock to trucks.
For me it was a logical progression from pick up trucks to station wagons. Almost from the moment the drivers license was obtained, I enjoyed the practical utility of the station wagon in spite of the derision and jokes that were an accepted part of ownership for an 18 year old kid that drove a ’64 Rambler wagon on purpose.
My how times change. My son was the coolest kid in town when he got his drivers license and cruised the streets in pop’s ’88 Crown Vic wagon. Now, the wagons I drove out of a frugal love for practicality sell for astronomical sums and are consistently listed among the most sought after collector vehicles.
I never got around to painting my old vehicles and the upholstery usually consisted of a saddle blanket. My pleasure came in keeping them on the road and in driving a time capsule. Now these type of vehicles are considered “survivors” and entire car shows are built around unrestored vehicles.
I have always found a raw beauty in vintage vehicles abandoned under a desert sky against a backdrop of buttes and mesas. Of course, twenty years ago these were known as eyesores and blight. Now they are the subject for artists and photographers in the United States as well as Europe.
As evidence of this changing point of view, consider a new book by Veloce Press of England,
Sleeping Beauties USAhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1845843460&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr. This stunning pictorial portrays some of Detroit’s finest against backdrops of rural majesty and urban blight.
One aspect of this book I found intriguing is a bit personal. I have photographed a number of the vehicles that appear on these pages and some of the photos on my office walls seem to have been lifted from these pages!
So, for those who thought I was a lost cause a few decades ago, do not give up hope. After all, the evidence is mounting that you are coming around to my way of thinking. Now, if you can just learn to relax and enjoy an old truck for its rugged simplicity and not see it as an investment.