Monday, June 01, 2015

Midlife Crisis Number Three

So, are we enjoying Summer yet?  After all, having kicked off with such a blazing hot sun-filled day as today, it's bound to be a good one, isn't it?  As I sit hear, listening to the wind whipping around outside and with rain drumming on the windows, it occurs to me that either I've been watching too many old episodes of Wheeler Dealers on Quest, or I'm heading into another midlife crisis. I say another, this at least the third - last time around I trained as a teacher (but still don't work as one).  However, this impending crisis seems to be following the pattern of my first (which occurred when I was still in my early thirties) when I started buying clapped out and rusty American muscle cars.  Just lately I've found myself looking at pictures of early seventies Ford Mustangs and getting out my old tuning guides for Ford small block V-8s.  Sadly, the days when you could still buy 1971-73 Mustangs (and even some lower-spec 1970 Mustangs) in restorable condition at reasonable prices have long gone.  The passage of time ensured that even these one-time unfashionable models, (which brought the Mustang's first generation to a close), with their angular looks and de-tuned engines, have now attained 'classic' status and the commensurate hike in prices.

Hell, even the once reviled Mustang II which replaced the original car from 1974-78 is now considered a classic and even tatty examples seem to command premium prices.  Times have changed in other ways since my original midlife crisis fascination with American cars - back in those days you could easily source a seventies or eighties Mustang, Camaro, Firebird or Cougar in the pages of your local Auto Trader.  Nowadays, the only American cars you'll find there are the very recent model Mustangs, Cadillacs and Lincolns.  You have to go to the small ads at the back of the specialist magazines to find classic Yank tanks for sale.  And all at prices which are far too high for me. So it looks like this midlife crisis will have to stay a pipe dream.  Which is probably just as well.  As I found out last time, seventies American sports cars can be pretty high maintenance, which is why I eventually gave them up.  Much as I loved driving my old 1978 Camaro Z-28, I finally decided that there were other things I'd rather be spending my money on, rather than an increasingly needy car.  People might denigrate mass production cars like the Mondeo or Focus, but believe me, there's a real novelty in having a car that starts first time, every time and which doesn't constantly have bits coming loose or falling off.  They also don't cost an arm and a leg to have serviced.  Which isn't to say that I wouldn't buy another classic American car again, if the circumstances were right - when they run, they're fantastic machines to drive.  But, for now, I'll stick to looking at pictures of them.



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