Quantcast
You are now being logged in using your Facebook credentials

ADVERTISEMENT

Comments (24)

Load Previous Comments
  • I have to agree with Bradley Price. The only argument in favor of the trailer quean is the possibility of people seeing in person the rarest, most spectacular and unique automobiles. They do not need to be modified simply because they were perfect just the way they were (not speed, handling, looks but as a whole with their faults and that indescribable x factor). But These cars are stored away locked from the public because they are to their owners just objects of investment like stock.
    The classic car scene is being destroyed by people who not only are no enthusiasts but they simply do not have the slightest idea about the classic car world or the cars they buy and are in just to make money just because the art market has gotten to expensive. The automobile is not a work off art when it stops being driven its whole purpose the soul of the car is being killed. The only way a car like that does makes sense is in a public museum where it is available to the public as a technological legacy of mans progress.

  • Xander Cesari

    Report Permalink

    As everyone weighs in, I think it's worth explicitly stating that this article starts playing the Devil's advocate from the title; "In defense of...". Clearly it's not the traditional point of view for this site and the kind of motorhead who frequents it. But the occasional article of this ilk contributes strongly to my affection for Petrolicious. I like that the editors (and the commenters) are willing to consider other viewpoints and facets to the glorious automobile. I find myself consistently frustrated with 'enthusiasts' who like what they like and scorn everything else.

    So before I waste any more keystrokes or bandwidth, in short, thanks for the discussion.

  • Todd Cox

    Report Permalink

    I have always considered that the garage queen is a failure of intent and among the most selfish of all things. It is doubtful that the people who crafted (by hand, quite often) these cars imagined anything other than the delight they would bring the motorist. When they are kept as garage queens they become little more than currency, to be traded when convenient, or a bragging right to thump your chest about owning without ever really truly owning the car. To own a vintage machine like this without ever engaging it is a supreme waste, and I feel it violates the golden rule of ownership. It becomes a museum piece whose quirks and brilliance will never be known intimately by its keeper.

    A part of me understands the desire to keep something beautiful hidden from a dangerous world, but whatever was the point of its creation? The hundreds of people involved in breathing life into these creations is instantly muted when such a beautiful dynamic sculpture is stuffed into mothballs, and even for as beautiful as some cars can be, there is a deeper beauty yet in experiencing, or observing the functionality of that car performing its intended purpose (which wasn't to be garage art).

    And to that end, I suggest that 'perfect examples' be nothing more than shells of cars. They should look like the originals; perhaps even rescued from junkyard bits, which have become a blueprint for a real car, but which need never actually run. These machines are appreciated as static art and little else, so why not simply make something to be admired?

    To deny a car its destiny just seems... cruel.

  • Eddie Relvas

    Report Permalink

    While I have to agree that everyone has a valid point, my own feelings are with the crowd... a car not driven is not fulfilling its utmost purpose. Or, as I've read in the past on a classic car magazine, "a car not driven is a car in a coma." So do you enjoy watching these corpses held beautifully preserved in jars like lab samples being paraded about, and which when their owners attempt the folly of getting them to run embarass the breed as they cannot but fart and cough? Sorry, not me.

    I enjoy my cars as sculptures, works of art, but also as cars. Lord only knows how many hours I've spent in the garage doing nothing but stare and touch (something you rarely can do to a museum piece) the curves... it's as much good fun as driving, yes. But I'd feel cheated if I didn't have the rest. Mine are living machines, they breathe and rumble and make your heart pump faster. I drive them, fix them, preserve them, all the while creating memories that will live with me and a lot more persons in this world. Those memories alone will endear these cars to my two sons so someday they'll carry the flame onwards and upwards.

    Besides, there's another important point made quite evident by Jay Leno a while ago... a car not used makes the industry behind it slow die away. If a car is never used, there's no need for parts or expertise. If one day you decide to change that, you'll wake up and realise there's no-one around that knows it anymore, so you'll be stuck. Do we really want to take that risk? We need to keep the industry alive so that it can keep our cars on the road.

  • Paul Thompson

    Report Permalink

    I'm with Zak on this. You need both types of owners.

    If you've gone through the pain, expense and sheer hard graft of restoring an old car (most people will have to do this, there just aren't enough gently aged cars with wonderful patina to go round). What happens at the end of that? You have a beautiful thing that displays the craft, artistry and determination of the restorers. When it's finished that perfection only lasts a short time, that's when you have a choice, you drive it and the perfection is 'ruined', or you blat around the concours scene racking up the prizes. We need people who do both, but personally I definitely want to see the work that those perfectionist can do. At that level it's all about the artisans and craftsmen who create these things and someone who has the vision and the resources to produce it. Thank goodness they do.

    After a period doing the concours scene then these cars might get used, or sold, or put in the garage, and a new project takes over. Call me naive, and I guess it must happen, but I have never met a private owner who has purely bought a car as an investment (examples please?). The vast majority of people buy cars with their hearts then they use them as they see fit.

  • "Jesus Christ, it's just a fucking car."

  • Adam Kaslikowski

    Report Permalink

    I'm really glad to see that this piece has generated this amount - and this quality - of discussion. YES, I'm taking a "devil's advocate" role here, and YES, Petrolicious is primarily made up of drivers not collectors. My vintage car is most definitely a driver, in fact I'm thankful for its imperfections as it lets me stop worrying about pampering it and just lets me enjoy it on the road.
    That said, I absolutely need garage queen examples to help me keep my car on the road. Example -
    All the interior labels on my switches had worn off long before I got my car. I have no idea what they control and how. Strangely, an image search for dashes was no help. Apparently the entire internet does not contain a picture of the interior of my car with the controls plainly visible. Further investigation with forums and schematics went nowhere. I was stuck until I went to vintage meet and was able to see a garage queen-example of my car. This thing was immaculate and everything was present as original. And thank god - turns out I've been driving around LA with my heat cranked on full for months. I thought it was just heat from the engine bleeding into the cabin, but nope. I've been baking unnecessarily, and would have continued to do so without an example to show me how this car left the factory.
    I have no plans to ever own a garage queen, but I understand that some people do. Rather than seeing them as "destroying" our hobby - they're not - I see them as they are: an asset that we drivers can use to our benefit.
    Happy driving everyone.

  • Eddie Relvas

    Report Permalink

    Adam, how about the owners' manual? Surely the information you needed could be found there! I've always made sure to buy the manual for my cars when they're missing at the time of purchase (ok, I'll admit, I've bought quite a few for cars I don't have too, I enjoy it) as they're the best source of information there is. I always read them (remember that old RTFM moniker...?) and keep them at hand.
    Cheers, Eddie

  • Adam Kaslikowski

    Report Permalink

    I've found them to be either surprisingly sparse on details or unavailable to the point of being collectors items. And my Haynes/et al manuals skip as much information as they include. I've yet to find a decent replacement to meeting others and their in-nicer-shape vehicles to get to the bottom of a problem.

  • Guest (Greg Porter)

    Report Permalink

    I could not disagree more. As a classic auto specialist I have worked on cars in all different conditions. Often Garage Queens are in poor mechanical condition. Some are well taken care of. I do not believe that garage queens somehow preserve history. Many examples of truly important historical cars are used on a regular basis. If you go into many world class collections, like the Simeone Foundation, a garage queen is not what you will find. If a car is restored to a pristine condition it should be used in a responsible way. Also mechanical condition beats cosmetics in my book any day.