Classics do get better with age


In the state of Minnesota, you can license a car that is a collector vehicle if it is 10 years old and a limited-production model or 25 years old or older. Hmm... When I think of a classic, I don’t really think of a 1990 Taurus as being collectible, but everybody has a favorite.

I can remember an auction where we were selling intakes by the lot, and the winning bidder picked the lot for his winning bid. Some of the intakes in these lots still had the carbs on them. Most of the choicest parts were Chevrolet big-block and 409 engine parts. I remember saying “Sold #215” and this young guy reached down and took an intake and carb that wasn’t from one of the big-blocks. He jumped with joy and ran to pay. We all looked at each other and realized he paid more than $400 for a Ford Maverick part that was packed in the pallet among the generally more valuable big-block Chevy parts. To each it’s own.

This month is my 1965 Chevelle SS’s birthday. I was out in the shed the other day taking a look at her and waiting for spring. She’s 50 years old and starting to need some attention here and there. There are a few rust bubbles starting along the quarters, she probably could use a carb kit because she doesn’t quite pull those burn-outs at the stop signs any longer, and well need some more acceleration exercises to keep her up and purring. She doesn’t have many miles on her, just under 56,000. I was thinking, “Now this is a true classic, and 50 years old.” Then I caught myself: “I was born…. What? I’m 50 years old! I’m the same age as my CAR!”

Where did the time go? Then, just like my car, I realized I was in the “classic category,” too.

I also needed more maintenance, some more exercise, and am starting to show some age in areas, too. But with that, think of all the experiences we both have been through. Ah, the history and experiences!

Then I looked around our shed and saw a 1929 Model A Ford — it’s 86 years old! My husband’s 1939 International D3 Pickup is 76 years old! I was standing in the middle of history and I was part of it, too!


It was truly amazing to see how vehicles have changed and what was once new is now a classic, and to each generation, they are their classics.

When I was growing up in Garretson, S.D., everybody had a Chevelle, Camaro or pickup with a big motor — a hot car was “The Thing.” I had my share of good times in the classics of my time, and now we look back at those cars and remember the memories, and forget that we are just as old as them! The thing that classic cars do for a “classic person” is bring back memories and youth by rushing back that young blood adrenalin! Taking a cruise and maybe checking out the “park” with the husband. What great times!

In every era, there was something new and as times go on, classics change. My kids are 21 and 18 now, and they look at some of our stuff and we tell them all the stories. I listen to my dad talk about blowing through Garretson in a 1958 Impala or a 1957 Chevrolet. My mother talks about the first time she met Dad and says, “He drove too fast and in the ditch most of the time, showing off.”

Times change, the definition of a classic changes. But it’s all what stories we hear, what we are exposed to and the cars of the day. I don’t think everyone is a car person, but it’s in how they were exposed to cars. If they have parents who loved cars, then they probably will. Tell the stories, and they will love the cars.

I remember my whole childhood for all my life was Friday, Saturday, Sunday at the area race tracks. Dad was buying cars and putting them away. We would wait hours for Dad to complete a deal with this lady and that guy. We — his children — could spot ’57 Chevy fins in the thickest Midwest grove of trees. It was family fun.

I see on TV how car companies are trying to reinvent the classic. Dodge and Ford have come on real strong. Three cheers for you! Chevrolet is doing great with the Corvette. Dad has several and this is his “new classic.” For my parents’ 50th anniversary, we all drove a Corvette, and I drove the Electric Blue Z06. Of course, we had to do the Arty Driving Course. This “new classic” Corvette is amazing! 140 mph and we didn’t even hit all the gears! Wow! I could learn to love this new classic.

They say with age comes experience, and like my car, I can write a book on that one with adventure and experience. They also say respect comes with age. We respect those old classics, and I can say that people do respect you for all that you have accomplished and put on that resume. Just like a classic, cars and people never go out of style — we just get better and gain more value!

- Yvette VanDerBrink,
The Lil Nordstrom’s Gal
VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC

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