Before we were confined to Barracks Gail and I called at a classic car auction house in Thornton-le-dale in Yorkshire called Mathewsons. It is featured on the Yesterday channel (“Bangers and Cash”). I love looking at these old cars, and in the past we have owned a few that are now classics (eg Morris Minors/1000s, a 1948 Standard 8 and a 1947 Wolseley 8).
Modern cars are, of course, faster, better handling, more reliable, more comfortable, cleaner, safer, more economical, and mostly cheaper to purchase relative to incomes.
Fundamentally, until electric cars and hybrids and self-driving cars came on the scene, the basics of car design have remained the same for over a century: internal combustion engine, steering wheel, four wheels, etc. Basic systems just became more sophisticated.
Perhaps it is this antiquated, rudimentary but often beautiful design which is so appealing. Or is it the way these cars capture the spirit of a bygone age when freedom and mobility became possible for the first time for many? Nostalgia? The way the cars flouted health and safety rules? The way they had to be driven with attention to every aspect of the mechanical process (eg remembering to pull out the choke when the engine was cold, and then put it back as engine warmed up)? The fact that the journey in a classic is more important than the destination? The cracks in the leather which testify to its long life? The fact that they are in limited supply?
Whatever the appeal, a culture has emerged surrounding classic cars: classic rallies, road trips, car shows, classic car clubs. They help build community.
If you are a classic car owner you generally will think of yourself as merely a temporary custodian of something that has a life beyond your ownership.
I don’t think you will find many references in the Bible to cars, let alone classic cars. But you will find reference to the way certain things have special enduring value (eg the merchant, “who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it” Matthew 13:45-46) and so become pointers to transcendental eternal truths. Perhaps next time you see a classic car you could think on about these things.