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Many old-car hobbyists know Fred and Dan Kanter of Kanter Auto Products in Boonton, N.J. ( They advertise a lot and sometimes we glance over their ads, but don't read them. Well, their Feb. 2009 ad in a number of publications contains a message that's very much worth repeating at this time of this very unsettling year. It goes like this:

Why Restoring A Car is like Restoring a Country

All of us have car projects and none of us can get them done fast enough. We know it takes planning, the right resources, plenty of time and despite our best efforts to Do It Once And Do It Right there is a learning curve. We start with a dream, perhaps restoring a family heirloom or a car we always wanted when we were young. Maybe it's the same model as the one you went on your first date with your wife (or husband, got to be politically correct). Maybe it's just something that catches your eye. You want to restore it to its former glory, or perhaps improve it to be more reliable and up-to-date with electronic ignition for lower pollution and radial tires for safety. You have a dream and life is about living some of your dreams.

Our country needs attention, too -- restoration if you will. We have a new administration that will try to Do It Right but it will be on a learning curve also. It is useless to point fingers about the dent in the fender or the worn out rings. The task at hand is to get the job done and see that it doesn't happen again. Our country needs care, attention and improvement. While you're restoring your car, think about what you can do to help our country or your neighbor. Cars don't restore themselves and neither do countries. Everyone needs to lend a hand. We're all in the restoration business together -- Dan and Fred Kanter and all the Kanter Auto Products Staff.

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