We have to thank forum member “Thumpin455” for starting this conversation, because it’s certainly a good one. Let’s give you a hypothetical situation: For whatever reason, you find yourself somewhere in the American Southwest, the land of excellent metal and cooked interiors, looking for a car. You won’t be hurting for choice for make and model, but let’s say you stumble upon a 1979 Pontiac Trans Am. It’s in desert-beater condition: the interior is cooked, the paint is roasted, but there’s a good chance it runs and drives, and there’s even a chance you could drive it home. It ain’t pretty, but it could be. Ignore any brand loyalty you have, or feel free to substitute the car of your dreams in place of the Poncho. Would you actually put money down on this car with the intent of doing something with it that doesn’t involve stripping it out? Would you just fix what’s broke and drive it until the wheels fell off? Or, would you be put off because the paint isn’t pretty enough, there’s too much to do, and you’d rather just have one that is already “done”?
Chances are good that if you’re reading these words, that you aren’t affected so much, but to a good portion of the population that likes cars, there seems to be a trend of moving away from cars that need love to the instant gratification of purchasing one that is already up to par for the potential owner. Pick your generation of vehicle and it applies. If you’re hunting late-model (within the last 20 years), would you go for the ragged-out Z28 Camaro that is ready for any engine to replace it’s 230,000 mile old LT-1, or are you waiting for a minty-fresh Camaro SS to come up on eBay? Are you digging through eBay for a mid-70s Monte Carlo, or are you trimming the weeds around a Chevelle that has been sitting on the edge of someone’s property for years to build your own street stomper? We get the allure of getting straight to the driving, but is the idea of doing the work yourself and taking pride in that work actually fading away? You tell us!