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 Post subject: Immortality
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:57 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:54 pm
Posts: 462
Location: Nagoya, Japan
The other day I was watching Petrolicious’ video, The Caretaker (http://www.petrolicious.com/the-caretaker), and it struck a profound chord in me. When he said that no one actually owns a classic car, we are just merely the caretaker for a little bit, I at first disagreed. My counter-argument was something along the lines of “that’s like saying that no one actually owns anything, we just possess it for a bit and then someone else possesses it; either the next person we sold it to or whoever is running the landfill it ends up in.” As the days wore on, it kept bouncing around in my head. I couldn’t stop thinking about what he said and eventually, I decided it all came down to immortality.

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A classic car, whether it be British, Italian, American or Japanese, is something far greater than a summation of its parts. When you finally get one completely together and it breaths into life, it has a character and personality all its own. One that it has nurtured and developed since the day it left the factory. It has a soul. It’s living, breathing, completely alive. Vehicles are born, nurtured into life, cared for, and eventually they die (cancer being the leading killer of our classic rides, otherwise known as rust).

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But do they die? Yes. An overwhelming majority do. However, I believe that certain cars can attain a physical immortality. An interesting example of this is the 1884 De Dion Bouton Et Trepardoux Dos-A-Dos Steam Runabout. Aside from having a hugely epic name, it’s the oldest running car in the world. At 129 years old, it’s older than the oldest living person alive today, which happens to be Kimura Jiromon. Mr. Kimura is a mind boggling 115 years old and is the only confirmed person to be alive today that was born before 1900 (born 1897 to be exact). As a matter of a fact, the De Dion has actually outrun Ms. Jeanne Clament, who was born in 1875 and died in 1997 at the near immortal age of 122 years, the oldest anyone has ever lived to in history.

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I believe that this is an important thing to acknowledge as the 1884 DeDion, which recently sold for a mind blowing 4.6 million dollars, will continue to be looked after and painstakingly maintained for another 129 years. I think as time marches on we’ll see certain cars living to be 200 to 300 years old, and maybe even further. Cars like the 2000GT, the Mazda Cosmo, and the 68 Mustang Fastback will be among some of the immortals that grace the future with their presence. But like a god who requires worship to retain his power, no matter what car, it can only attain immortality through the dedication and hard work of mortals.

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We all play our part in continuing their existence. My Mitsubishi 360 was dying, slowly, of cancer and neglect. I acquired the old girl and have now played my part in bringing her back to life, taking one more step towards immortality. Some day the cancer will come back and some new owner will have to cure it again. Perhaps, even, long after I have passed the car will still be smoking up the streets. It may be running on some exotic form of oil and gasoline that is completely designed in a lab, but with the right mortals at the helm, the little kei could achieve immortality. In that regard, you could say that I don’t actually own that little Mitsubishi. In a way, I am just a friend, here to lend a helping hand in its arduous journey. Someday, the old girl will make a new friend and that person, whoever they may be, will do what is necessary to assist her in moving forward.

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One day, far in the future, when a pristine Honda S800 is parked next to Honda's newest roadster, the old boy will lean over and tell the story of all the JNC’ers that sacrificed so much to get him to where he is today. Because even though he may be immortal, it’s all of you guys, the mortals, that are truly amazing.

Cheers,
David

(Pic credit for the S800 goes to Kuroneko, he quite simply has one of the best S800s I have ever seen. Kuroneko, if you wish for me to take the pic down, let me know and I'll replace it with a different picture.)

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1967 LT23 Mitsubishi 360 // 1967 L10A Cosmo Sports // 1971 S30 Fairlady Z // 1973 PR95 Bellett 1800 GT // 1973 Honda Life // 1988 Z31 300 ZX SS // 1990 BNR32 Skyline GTR // 1996 EK11 March 1.3
My Homepage: http://sites.google.com/site/nakazoto/home


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 Post subject: Re: Immortality
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 12:14 am
Posts: 109
Location: Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Exactly, we are just custodians. My collection of early Mazdas, my fire engines and even my 1926 Chevrolet will one day go to a new owner. Hopefully I have prolonged their lives enough for others to enjoy them.

After all, this hobby is as much about preserving history as it is about enjoying our vehicles.

Thanks for sharing!

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 Post subject: Re: Immortality
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:13 pm
Posts: 383
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
Very good read! I hadn't thought about our ownership of classic cars in this way before. I do agree that we are basically preserving (in whatever fashion) these classics for the future, as well as for ourselves while we are taking part of the story.

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 Post subject: Re: Immortality
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:09 pm
Posts: 666
Location: Shibuya-ku
Here I was with my morning coffee, reading along, thinking 'yeah, that's nice to read, well put together, and thought provoking too', then I saw the last pic! Nearly choked on my latte. Of course you can use it (as can anyone with any of my work), and I'll be careful with my S800 which I hope to pass onto my children one day too. Neko.

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 Post subject: Re: Immortality
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:34 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:26 pm
Posts: 56
Location: Croydon
Nakazoto wrote:
But like a god who requires worship to retain his power, no matter what car, it can only attain immortality through the dedication and hard work of mortals.


I like your analogy. :tu:

One could extend it further and suggest that the more converts we win to our religion, the better protected our 'gods' will be in the future as there will be greater demand and more people willing to invest in restoring and maintaining them.


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 Post subject: Re: Immortality
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:54 pm
Posts: 462
Location: Nagoya, Japan
Thank you guys for the comments (and thank you Neko for letting me use your S800)!
I wasn't sure how the response would be to this as it's a little deeper than the stuff I usually post, but I'm happy to see you're all right there with me!

It's interesting actually, part of me is dreading the day I have to let the Mitsubishi 360 go, but another part of me is hugely excited about it. Knowing that the car will be going to a home that will treat her as well or better than I did would be very exciting.

Thanks again guys!
Cheers,
David

_________________
1967 LT23 Mitsubishi 360 // 1967 L10A Cosmo Sports // 1971 S30 Fairlady Z // 1973 PR95 Bellett 1800 GT // 1973 Honda Life // 1988 Z31 300 ZX SS // 1990 BNR32 Skyline GTR // 1996 EK11 March 1.3
My Homepage: http://sites.google.com/site/nakazoto/home


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 Post subject: Re: Immortality
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:05 am 
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Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 10:38 pm
Posts: 695
Location: Northern California
David,

Awesome read! You couldn't have said it any better. Caretaker is one of my favorite Petrolicious videos aside from mine. :wink:

Btw: see you soon!!

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