Greetings from the deep freeze of Wisconsin
I have been surprised by how busy I have been throughout this whole downturn in our economy. Pleasantly, I must say. When I tell other poeple that I have not felt hardship in my business with the old cars they all are surprised too. Some say that it is because the people with these old Thunderbirds have money anyway and are not hurting I have to strongly disagree. I know many of you personally and know that there are struggles for all of us and we are not “just the rich guys”. Most of us are the struggling middle class.
However I have come up with an explanation for why the parts and service and repair business is still doing well. This is my own personal opinion, however I would like to get some feedback from you people out there with the cars.
It seems that these old Thunderbirds are first of all a labor of love. And owners are for the most part people that like to have their hands involved in the care of these cars. Unlike investments in gold or stocks etc, these cars are something that we have complete control of and possession of. We do tend to look at them as an investment however it is one where we can enjoy the benefits of all the while we own it. And yes, the problems, the hours of work, the frustrations and the money we have to pour into them is all part of who we are. If it were not we would have taken that money and stuck in someplace where we could earn a whopping 4% or so. This investment is one that we can go look at and put our hands on it and understand that the value is there for us no matte what the market does. Yes, some of us worry that we are putting way more into it than we would get in cash if we would sell it. But why should we……. are we going to sell it real soon? I highly doubt you bought the car thinking you were going to make some money by selling it.
I take comfort in the fact that I have a ratty old ’62 bird that I can drive instead of a couple grand in cash. Economy crashes tomorrow, I can still drive my bird but if it would have been cash it would have been able to buy a whole lot less overnight. That bird has a real good chance that it will not lose any value over time, more likely it will increase, although slower than before. Machines only tend to lose value when they become no longer able to be used for something. And even if that something is just an outlet for our creativity, passion and problem solving abilities it is worth ore than the cash we have expended to get it to where it is at any given point. Try taking your cash and walking around at a car show, waving it and see how many people drool and give you the thumbs up. Try sitting in your garage with it on the bench and see how successful you are at increasing it or making it look any better. How much self satisfaction will you get after a couple hours of working on it? Can you get together with your buddies and share shop time over a nice pile of cash or stocks or gold coins? And another one for me, that cash is totally silent no matter what I do with it, but that old bird has a rumble that stirs something deep inside me that has been there for more than 60 years now. Money can’t buy that feeling no matter how long we let it grow. Sooner or later we will trade that money for one of these machines that gives us a whole lot more satisfaction and joy.
Thanks for all of you that spend some of it with me because I do turn it into things that will go Vroom. (I like to eat and stay warm also)
Let me know what you think>
4 thoughts on “My perspective on the hobby”
Sometimes when the economy is bad, those of us with hobby cars tend to stay home and work on our cars instead of spending money other places. And my perspective is that I’m going to spend my money with people who have treated me well in the past. I’ve worked with several suppliers but there are a couple that have gone out of their way to be helpful; you being one of them. So when I need something I’ll contact you first. It just makes sense to work with people that I trust.
Helping owners solve problems and get their birds going good is one of the things that drives me in this hobby. I love challenges.
Here in Norway we have been fortunate and not seen the same down turn in the economy as many parts of the world.
I`m happy to hear your business is still going well. I think one of the main reasons is your knowledge and experience. I have never gotten any wrong parts from you, cannot be said of many of the Norwegian suppliers. And I always prefer to support small businesses.
The first time I came across your web page I gave you a call, you never know when you find an unknown supplier. All doubt as gone in 2 minutes, this guy knows his T-birds.
I am far from a rich guy :), for me I like the feeling of being self sufficient and the ability to spend time working on the car with my young son, like my father did with me.
Thank you for the front spindle by the way, I was glad to have found your site. I am still planning on doing the disk break conversion.
At one time on your old site I remember seeing a post about converting the master cylinder to one from a 73 mustang that has dual reservoirs, do you have a link to that I can’t seem to find it?