What you are looking at in the accompanying photo is the library at the Pontiac Oakland Automobile Museum (www.pontiacoaklandmuseum.com) in Pontiac, Ill. In fact, it is only about half of the library kept there. And Pontiac, of course, was just one little part of General Motors. And General Motors is one of about 5,500 companies that have made cars in America. And the American auto industry is only a fraction of the worldwide car making business.
The reason I mention all this is that I recently heard about a car hobbyist who was talking to some people about another hobbyist. Mr. Hobbyist A told the gang that Mr. Hobbyist B “don’t know nothing about old cars.” So, I thought about how silly it was to make that statement, since no one can know everything there is to know about old cars. In fact, that is one of the reasons that we collect books full of car specifications, and join car clubs to share information and post historical and technical tips on Internet newsgroups to help other restorers
There are people in our hobby who know a lot about Fords and there are others who know a ton about Hudson Jets. Some car experts can tell you every axle ratio available for a ’63 Corvette and others can tell you how to tune an S.U. carburetor for a Triumph. There are hobbyists who spin wrenches every day and there are others who never turned a screwdriver. There are collectors who love going to junkyards to find good used parts and there are others who would never put a used part on their car or set foot in a salvage yard. It just ain’t their thing!
At the annual Iola old Car Show (www.Iolaoldcarshow.com) there is a huge tent covering the “Teamed to Learn” area. Inside that tent, a former teacher named Fred Beyer (www.hotrodhighusa.com) invites collectors, car owners, restoration professionals, parts rebuilders, museums, clubs and educational foundations to get together to share knowledge about classic cars.
I challenge anyone who thinks they know everything about old cars to visit the tent during this year’s show and tell me afterwards that they didn’t learn something new!